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Senator feinstein may be investigated for ethics violations

Old 01-26-07, 09:13 AM
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Senator feinstein may be investigated for ethics violations

looks like she funneled money to her husband, and people made up all kinds of crazy stories about bush and halliburton

http://sanfrancisco.dbusinessnews.co...pe_news=latest

AN FRANCISCO -- Sen. Dianne Feinsteinís husband was a major beneficiary of military appropriations blessed by a subcommittee that she headed, Metro Newspapers reports this week.

Feinstein (D-Calif.) acted in apparent conflict of interest while approving billions of dollars in military construction expenditures, according to an investigative story by award-winning journalist Peter Byrne. The story was published jointly in the North Bay Bohemian and Metro Silicon Valley weekly newspapers this week.

Following Feinsteinís participation at the legislative level, large contracts were awarded to two firms ó URS Corporation and Perini Corporation ó that were controlled by an investment group headed by the senatorís spouse, financier Richard C. Blum.

Byrne's investigation reveals the following details about Feinsteinís service as a member of the United States Senateís Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON):

ē From 1997 through the end of 2005, with Feinsteinís knowledge, her husbandís group held a majority interest in two defense contractors active in Iraq and U.S. military bases.

ē While setting MILCON agendas, Feinstein supervised her own staff of military construction experts and lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings.

ē From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini secured $759 million from MILCON projects.

ē Attorney Michael R. Klein, a Feinstein legal adviser and long-time Blum business partner, also served as vice-chairman of Periniís board of directors. In an interview with Byrne in September, Klein stated that, beginning in 1997, he routinely informed Feinstein about specific federal projects coming before her in which Perini had a stake. The insider information, Klein said, was intended to help the senator avoid conflicts of interest. Although Kleinís admission was intended to defuse the issue of Feinsteinís conflict of interest, it instead exacerbated it, and Sen. Feinstein did in fact vote on legislation that affected Perini and URS.

The story published in Metro Silicon Valley and the North Bay Bohemian examines the many ways in which Sen. Feinstein committed repeated breaches of ethics as MILCONís chairperson from 2001-2005.

Metro Newspapers is a group of three free circulation weekly newspapers based in Northern California.
Research assistance was provided by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute.
The story appears online at www.bohemian.com/feinstein or www.metrosiliconvalley.com/feinstein.
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Old 01-26-07, 09:28 AM
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An unethical politician? I find this shocking!

If guilty, burn the witch. If innocent, move on.
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Old 01-26-07, 09:31 AM
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Just getting these out of the way...

[republican response] I knew all those California commie libs were dirty. It's not surprising this hasn't been reported in the lamestream media yet[/republican response]
[democrat response]This just shows how pitifully desperate the Republicans are to take down a sweet and innocent Democratic Senator over something so minor.[/democrat response]
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Old 01-26-07, 09:42 AM
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I'm a Democrat and if guilty, she should siffer the consequences. This is the kind of stuff I can't stand.
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Old 01-26-07, 09:53 AM
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I think some will now see why the Iraqi War was initially supported by both Republicans and Democrats.
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Old 01-26-07, 10:11 AM
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I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Michael Moore goes after Senator Feinstein. According to his post-election letter titled "A Liberal's Pledge to Disheartened Conservatives":

"12. We will not tolerate politicians who are corrupt and who are bought and paid for by the rich. We will go after any elected leader who puts him or herself ahead of the people. And we promise you we will go after the corrupt politicians on our side FIRST. If we fail to do this, we need you to call us on it. Simply because we are in power does not give us the right to turn our heads the other way when our party goes astray. Please perform this important duty as the loyal opposition."

I'll be looking forward to his future documentary "Dianne & Me".
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Old 01-26-07, 10:16 AM
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Living here in California I can tell you I wouldn't be shedding any tears should Feinstein be removed. However the odds of that happening are impossible. She's liked by the press, she's Democrat, and she's a woman. They could find the money stashed in her freezer and nothing would happen.

@ TheBigDave .. yeah, that's gonna happen
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Old 01-26-07, 10:32 AM
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I have never heard of these two free newspapers so I would like a more reputable new source to cover this. There may be something here but I would like some other verification as her husband has a lot of interests and it would be stupid for her to get mixed up in that ... not to say she may not be.

Second, there is no way Feinstein was the "chairperson" of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 through the end of 2005. Republicans controlled the Senate and it was Kay Bailey Hutchison who was the chairperson of that committee.
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Old 01-26-07, 11:07 AM
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Hey, if there's something there, investigate her. If she violated ethics rules, she should suffer the consequences (up to and including, if appropriate, criminal charges).

But I'm not sure there's something there.

First, the article says she was chair of MILCON from 2001 until 2005. That makes no sense. Are they really suggesting she was chair of the subcommittee during Bill Frist's tenure as majority leader? From 2003-2007, she was the ranking member of the subcommittee, not the chair.

Also, the underlying article in the Bohemian includes this paragraph:

In her annual Public Financial Disclosure Reports, Feinstein records a sizeable family income from large investments in Perini, which is based in Framingham, Mass., and in URS, headquartered in San Francisco. But she has not publicly acknowledged the conflict of interest between her job as a congressional appropriator and her husband's longtime control of Perini and URS--and that omission has called her ethical standards into question, say the experts.
I'd like more information on what she disclosed versus what she should have disclosed. If she's disclosed that she has large investments in these contractors, I'm not sure what else we can do, short of sweeping changes like banning Congressmen from having investments in entities that do business with the government.

Finally, I don't know enough about how defense appropriations work, so I'm gniunely asking -- is the MILCOM's decision to contract with companies like Perini and URS? Or is that decision driven by the Pentagon and signed off on by MILCOM? If the latter, the ethical implications are significantly lessened.
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Old 01-26-07, 11:25 AM
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Uh oh... It appears Feinstein isn't liberal enough for the Bay Area rags now. That's the major cause of their going after politicians around here.

I can't wait to see what gets published if Pelosi doesn't get us out of Iraq in a few months.
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Old 01-26-07, 11:55 AM
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not surprised
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Old 01-26-07, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by X
Uh oh... It appears Feinstein isn't liberal enough for the Bay Area rags now. That's the major cause of their going after politicians around here.

I can't wait to see what gets published if Pelosi doesn't get us out of Iraq in a few months.
Ah, so they will be held accountable to the farther-left interest groups.
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Old 01-26-07, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Bushdog
An unethical politician? I find this shocking!

If guilty, burn the witch. If innocent, move on.
This is an opportunity to get rid of a politician from the population. Regardless of party, I say we burn her just to be safe.
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Old 01-26-07, 12:34 PM
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We have to understand their culture.
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Old 01-26-07, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
How many congresspeople have the democrats forced out of their party because of ethical concerns? How come crooks like Jefferson, Murtha and Hastings are allowed to keep their seats while men like Foley are forced to resign because of some harmless emails?

Both parties may be corrupt, but one is far more tolerant of it than the other.
That party would be the Republican Party, wouldn't it?

A former speaker is still serving in the House after covering up in the Foley scandal and up to his eyeballs in Abramoff sleeze.
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Old 01-26-07, 01:22 PM
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What was Murtha convicted of?
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Old 01-26-07, 01:25 PM
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I believe he was reprimanded by the House Ethics Committee.
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Old 01-26-07, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
men like Foley are forced to resign because of some harmless emails?
Harmless? Really?
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Old 01-26-07, 01:56 PM
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Hastings gets brought up a lot, but let's keep in mind that he was acquitted (in his criminal trial) of the bribery charges that led to his impeachment. He was also denied a committee chairmanship that would have been his absent the conviction.

Given that Hastings has a Constitutional right to run for Congress, and given that the voters of the 23rd District of Florida keep sending him to Congress, I'm not sure what else can be done.

Likewise with Jefferson -- he's been excluded from the Ways & Means Committee, and the Democratic Party endorsed a rival candidate in the msot recent election. Again, what should be done about him?
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Old 01-26-07, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Nazgul
Harmless? Really?
should have used the word "naughty" as Tony Snow tried to float.
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Old 01-26-07, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CRM114
What was Murtha convicted of?

Nothing "at this time."

You've heard the tape, haven't you? Ethics is a lot more than just what you are convicted on.
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Old 01-26-07, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
What have Foley or Delay been convicted of?
I doubt the GOP "forced" either of them to resign. They resigned out of embarassment.
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Old 01-26-07, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Nothing "at this time."

You've heard the tape, haven't you? Ethics is a lot more than just what you are convicted on.
Yep. And its up to the voters in Murtha's district to decide whether they feel he's ethical. Murtha's district isn't exactly a liberal haven, BTW.
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Old 01-26-07, 03:26 PM
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So that's what the plan to "to bring ethics back to the House" entails as proposed by Pelosi.

If they are still in office, there can be no ethics problems.
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Old 01-26-07, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Vandelay_Inds
How many democrats covered up for Clinton's indiscretions? How many democrats have taken part of the same practices we now associate with Abramoff? How many have been forced to resign over either?
Specifics - please.

We know what Abramoff did for Hastert and what Hastert, in turn, did for Abramoff.
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