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09-12-11, 10:03 PM
Our great financial leaders in action ....


Feinstein: 'Wiped out' by scandal
By: John Bresnahan and Jonathan Allen
September 12, 2011 06:50 PM EDT

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she was “wiped out” by Kinde Durkee, a well-connected California Democratic political operative who served as treasurer for hundreds of state, local and federal campaign committees.

Durkee was arrested by the FBI on Sept. 2 on allegations of fraud surrounding the diversion of more than $670,000 from the reelection committee for a California state assemblyman, and a growing list of California Democrats, including Feinstein and Reps. Susan Davis and Loretta Sanchez, now appear to victims as well.

“I was wiped out too, we don’t know how much,” said Feinstein, indicating the losses in campaign funds could run into hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars. Feinstein, who is up for reelection next year, reported just over $5 million in the bank as of June 30, according to disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
“She did my ‘92 campaign, my ‘94 campaign, my 2000 [campaign], my 2006 [campaign] … my gubernatorial campaign,” Feinstein told POLITICO on Monday, describing her long relationship with Durkee. “I trusted her implicitly.”

Feinstein said she and her campaign staff have been unable to access all their bank records at this point because Durkee alone controlled access to the account, which has made it difficult for them to assess how much money is gone.

“It’s very painful,” Feinstein added.

Davis is missing more than $250,000 from her reelection committee. Loretta Sanchez has already declared her $379,000 campaign war chest was “nearly wiped out” by Kindee. The Los Angeles County Democratic Party reported that it lost at least $200,000, while California Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D) may be out as much as $677,000.

And dozens of other campaign committees have yet to declare whether they suffered losses as well.

Durkee has not been formally accused of any wrondoing in connection with missing funds from the campaign accounts of Feinstein, Davis or Sanchez at this time, but Justice Department officials allege that Durkee moved money from one of Solorio’s accounts into an account she controlled and then wrote a check for $125,000 to Sanchez’s campaign shortly before last November’s congressional elections.

In a letter sent by Davis on Sunday - first reported by the San Diego Union Tribune - the six-term House member told supporters that “we have been robbed!”
“Upwards of $250,000 in campaign funds have been stolen from us. Our treasurer was arrested and is accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe millions) to herself from our campaign, and the campaigns of many, many others,” Davis stated.

“The records we vigilantly kept and reported to the Federal Election Commission accurately reflect contributions that we received and monies we knowingly spent. However, the reports [Durkee] submitted to us about our account balances were false. As this scandal emerges, she may well become known as the Bernie Madoff of campaign finance treasurers.”

Durkee was one of the most widely sought after treasurers in California Democratic politics with dozens of state, local and federal clients. An FBI special agent told a federal judge in California that Durkee had access to “more than 400 bank accounts” at the time of her arrest, and the scale of alleged diversions of funds is only now starting to become clear.

Durkee reportedly used the money she is accused of diverted from Solorio to cover business and personal expenses, including payments for her mother’s nursing home.

Durkee has been released on a $200,000 bond on Friday under strict conditions that she not leave the region or involve herself in the affairs of her company, Durkee & Associates, or its clients.

General Zod
09-12-11, 10:59 PM
The "good news" (if there is some) is that Feinstein and Sanchez don't need a penny to win re-election.

09-13-11, 11:30 AM
The LAT blog said that Durkee's company, while one of the few campaign finance companies working with such large accounts, was also the only one with a history of campaign finance violations and multiple criminal investigations by California DAs. The company had paid out over $185K in fines stemming from 8 separate violations over the last decade. In fact it was the campaign finance committee, in the process of investigating another alleged violation, which tipped off the FBI.

09-13-11, 12:05 PM
BearFan is right in his assessment. Who in their right mind gives sole control over that much money to one person/company with no oversight? Nitwits.

09-13-11, 06:57 PM
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California regulators Tuesday ordered a company tied to hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing political funds to stop providing accounting services, after authorities discovered the firm is not licensed and has no certified accountants on staff.

Burbank, Calif.-based Durkee & Associates managed the books for scores of Democratic candidates and political committees, and its website advertised "expert" accounting for campaigns. But the state Board of Accountancy warned in a letter that the company could face fines unless it stops claiming to provide professional accounting work, because the company and its employees are not licensed to do so.

"We request that you cease such activities immediately," the board said.

Kinde Durkee — who runs the firm — was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of fraud after federal prosecutors said she looted nearly $700,000 from a state Assembly campaign.

Other Democratic officials — including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein — suspect they are victims. Eric Bauman, who heads the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, said at least $200,000 is missing, and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., told her contributors in a letter released Monday that her campaign was looted of about $250,000.

Durkee's company assured its clients their money would be protected. "With operational accounting and reporting so very important, our independent preparation and review of your organization's financial situation assure compliance with every financial regulation," the company website says.

Prosecutors say Durkee engaged in an elaborate shell game in which she furtively shifted money out of state Assemblyman Jose Solorio's 2010 campaign to pay for an array of debts, including shopping trips to Costco and her mother's care at an assisted-living facility. She routinely moved money out of campaign committees under her control, then placed it into her company accounts or channeled funds to other campaigns, apparently when suspicions were raised about misplaced money.

The complaint said Durkee acknowledged misusing clients' money for years and filing bogus records, and that Durkee told investigators she was dealing with "personal and business tax problems."

Feinstein's campaign had a cash balance of about $5 million on June 30, but it could take weeks before investigators track a web of transactions — Durkee had authority over more than 400 bank accounts, including political campaigns.

Durkee "has admitted comingling accounts, misappropriating funds and paying her personal expenses and bills with client funds. That leads to this incredible confusion: Whose money is in what account?" said Bill Carrick, a longtime Feinstein consultant. "I don't think anybody has sorted it out yet."

Durkee's attorney, Daniel Nixon, didn't immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Davis told supporters that reports to the Federal Election Commission accurately reflected her contributions and spending, but Durkee falsely reported account balances to the campaign.

Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento, said more charges are likely.

Read more: http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/California-acts-against-firm-in-political-scandal-2167762.php#ixzz1XsMs3wf3

09-14-11, 01:56 PM
If only the theft of these funds would result in Feinstein and Sanchez losing their re-elections...ahhh, it would be a dream come true.

These politicians are fucked in the head dumb. It sounds like they couldn't write a check or even simply view the balance of their accounts without this person's authority. Who fucking does that?

Bill Needle
09-14-11, 02:48 PM
Big deal, what's wrong with a little economic redistribution? It's about time these wealthy campaigns paid their fair share.

General Zod
09-14-11, 03:43 PM
Big deal, what's wrong with a little economic redistribution? It's about time these wealthy campaigns paid their fair share.

It's all bribe money anyway.

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