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Feinstein resigns from Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee after critical expose

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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 04:49 PM
Original message
Feinstein resigns from Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee after critical expose
Edited on Thu Mar-22-07 04:50 PM by shance
Can someone show me how Senator Feinstein is different than those we rightfully criticize on the other side of the aisle?

We have come to expect it from the Republican side, however not from someone who claims and portrays themself as a Democrat.

We need to confront the Washington corruption coming from both sides.


Feinstein Resigns

Senator exits Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee following the Metro expos and veteran care scandal


By Peter Byrne

Senator Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee.

As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of the Appropriations Subcommittee for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum's ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.

As MILCON Chairperson, Feinstein relished the details of military construction, even micromanaging one project at the level of its sewer design.

She regularly took junkets to military bases around the world to inspect construction projects, some of which were contracted to her husband's companies, Perini Corp. and URS Corp.

Perhaps she resigned from MILCON because she could not take the heat generated by Metro's expose of her ethics (which was partially funded by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute).

Or was her work on the subcommittee finished because Blum divested ownership of his military construction and advanced weapons manufacturing firms in late 2005?

The MILCON subcommittee is not only in charge of supervising military construction, it also oversees "quality of life" issues for veterans, which includes building housing for military families and operating hospitals and clinics for wounded soldiers.

Perhaps Feinstein is trying to disassociate herself from MILCON's incredible failure to provide decent medical care for wounded soldiers.

Two years ago, before the Washington Post became belatedly involved, the online magazine Salon.com exposed the horrors of deficient medical care for Iraq war veterans. While leading MILCON, Feinstein had ample warning of the medical-care meltdown. But she was not proactive on veteran's affairs.

Feinstein abandoned MILCON as her ethical problems were surfacing in the media, and as it was becoming clear that her subcommittee left grievously wounded veterans to rot while her family was profiting from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.


It turns out that Blum also holds large investments in companies that were selling medical equipment and supplies and real estate leasesoften without the benefit of competitive biddingto the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as the system of medical care for veterans collapsed on his wife's watch.

As of December 2006, according to SEC filings and www.fedspending.org, three corporations in which Blum's financial entities own a total of $1 billion in stock won considerable favor from the budgets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs:

* Boston Scientific Corporation: $17.8 million for medical equipment and supplies; 85 percent of contracts awarded without benefit of competition.
*

* Kinetic Concepts Inc.: $12 million, medical equipment and supplies; 28 percent noncompetitively awarded.
*

* CB Richard Ellis: The Blum-controlled international real estate firm holds congressionally funded contracts to lease office space to the Department of Veterans Affairs. It also is involved in redeveloping military bases turned over to the private sector.

You would think that, considering all the money Feinstein's family has pocketed by waging global warfare while ignoring the plight of wounded American soldiers, she would show a smidgeon of shame and resign from the entire Senate, not just a subcommittee. Conversely, you'd think she might stick around MILCON to try and fix the medical-care disaster she helped to engineer for the vets who were suckered into fighting her and Bush's panoply of unjust wars.


http://metroactive.com/metro/03.21.07/dianne-feinstein -... .


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Roland99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Oh, there were plenty here critical of her over the last couple of years.
Myself included.

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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Thanks Roland. I'm amazed individuals like this can call themselves Democrats.
When they engage in such profiteering that harms so many.

Very disappointing at the very LEAST.....
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. The author is simultaneously full of himself and stupid
"Perhaps she resigned from MILCON because she could not take the heat generated by Metro's expose of her ethics (which was partially funded by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute)."

Yeah it was all you dude. :eyes:

"...she would show a smidgeon of shame and resign from the entire Senate, not just a subcommittee"

Because it would be so nice to have a Republican Senator from CA appointed by the Groperfurher. :eyes:
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Glad to see you want to enable more profiteering off the backs of our kids.
Edited on Thu Mar-22-07 05:01 PM by shance
I don't care who is doing it frankly, although in my opinion its a much bigger betrayal when a so called "Democrat" like Feinstein engages in such profiteering.

We expect it from Republicans, not from Democrats who have the gall to claim this war is wrong while they profit off of it.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. Are you even a Democrat?
Because you certainly do not give that impression with your no difference BS.

I am glad she has resigned from this committee but the suggestion that she resign from the Senate is stupid.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. LOL!! Oh gee Rinsd, you right. I must not be a Democrat because I dare to confront
a Democratic legislator who is PROFITING off of this war and then criticizing the war at the same time.

With that said, your insulting, blindly obedience proving post, leads me to conclude, if this party is made up of primarily blind, ass kissing sheeple like you, absolutely, I would never consider myself a Democrat.

Perhaps I am indeed a fool to associate myself with a party who enables and promotes an Administration that is taking everyone to an early grave.



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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 06:16 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Oh please, you've been hitting the no difference pipe for years now
"Perhaps I am indeed a fool to associate myself with a party who enables and promotes an Administration that is taking everyone to an early grave."

Cool. At least stop pretending.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. ROFL!!! Trying to project your own agenda on to me? No sale.
Try to scapegoat someone else with your pathetic "Are you even a Democrat" accusations.

A second grader could see what you're trying to do.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 11:46 AM
Response to Reply #22
28. Exactly. You're not a Democrat, so stop pretending.
Edited on Fri Mar-23-07 11:48 AM by rinsd
You seem to have just a tenuous grasp on reality.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
31. A war profiteer is a war profiteer i think was the point
and I agree.
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. And she's rabidly anti-gun and anti-marijuana.
Given her fixation with things military (oh, she has plenty of gun-toting bodyguards), I wonder what she does on that lunchroom tray sitting on her coffee table. Pheeww! Another prohi!
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librechik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. well, out she goes.
Next, Gonzo.
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LSparkle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
7. Too bad this didn't come out before the November election
She just got another 6-year term (even though I voted for the Green candidate and I'm sure other Dems might have done the same had they known about this).
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Well, if they have broken the law in any way, then we have recourse.
However insulated they are from the law.
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LSparkle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. But we can't recall her -- I thought someone said similar about LIEberman
Once the election's over, there's no recall process for Senators ...
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. There is no recall process for Federal offices
The only option would be having the Senate vote to throw her out(2/3 majority).
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Right on
n/t
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. You think that would have doubled the Green vote from 2% to 4%?
She was elected with nearly 60% of the vote.

I see a brief drop in her popularity amongst liberals in Feb

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollTrack.aspx?g=fabcef...

Though I do not see any change in Democrats

http://www.surveyusa.com/client/PollTrack.aspx?g=fabcef...

Also conflicts of interest between her work and her husband are not exactly new

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronic...

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronic...

The people of CA have heard them and apparently do not really care or trust her judgement.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 06:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. How could you call it a legitimate election with electronic voting?
In truth, as long as electronic voting/Optical scanner equipment is tolerated and accepted as voting equipment, we will have fraudulent elections and never ever know the true results.
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 06:13 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. LOL
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leftchick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
10. Don't forget the "Palazzo Feinsten" purchased with war profits....
Edited on Thu Mar-22-07 05:23 PM by leftchick
she should not even be in the senate let alone on this committee. It took her six fucking years to figure out the impropriety? Give me a fucking break. She is as much a war profiteer as the bushies and cheney. Oh and she has a dandy mansion that the war bought her too...



http://www.counterpunch.org/frank02282006.html

The Mansion the War Bought
The Palazzo Feinstein

By JOSHUA FRANK

It happens all the time. If the antiwar movement takes on the Democrats for their bitter shortcomings a few liberals are bound to criticize us for not hounding Bush instead. It doesn't even have to be an election year to get the progressives fired up. They just don't seem to get it. "How can you attack the Democrats when we have such a bullet-proof administration ruling the roost in Washington," somebody recently emailed me, "Don't you have something better to do than write this trash?!"

Well, not really. It's too cold in upstate New York right now to do anything other than fume over the liberal villains in Washington. "Why do I write about the putrid Democratic Party?" I responded, "I'll tell you, there's a reason this Republican administration is so damn bullet proof -- nobody from the opposition party is taking aim and pulling the trigger."

And that's why the Dems are just as culpable in all that has transpired since Bush took office in 2000. They aren't just a part of the problem -- the Democrats are the problem.

<snip>

Senator Feinstein, who sits on the Appropriations Committee as well as the Select Committee on Intelligence, is reaping the benefits of her husband's investments. The Democratic royal family recently purchased a 16.5 million dollar mansion in the flush Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. It's a disgusting display of war profiteering and the leading Democrat, just like Cheney, should be called out for her offense.

And that's exactly why the Bush administration is so darn bullet-proof. The Democratic leadership in Washington is just as crooked and just as callous.

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Jackeen Donating Member (125 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
12. In fairness to her...
I've seen her office do quite a few good things for Veterans when she's been advised of issues. She's not been against pulling her weight, for instance, to open up the Presidio cemetrary for a veteran who had been posted there for a long time. (It's been closed since the 70s) Her name's cropped up a few times on such things that I've been involved in.

I'm totally opposed to her firearms stance, though I don't see that as being relevant to this particular issue, and I'll give her the props as I see them.
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Explain in a little more detail Jackeen what exactly she has done for Veterans
if you could.

I'm willing to give her props too, however there is no denying she's made MILLIONS off of this war and the backs and lives of these vets.

How do you justify that Jackeen?

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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. You can't even acknowledge she won the last election?
How can anyone believe you would give her props for any of her efforts?
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shance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
23. kick
n/t
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-22-07 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
24. Every year or so there is a 'replace Feinstein' rally call
....nothing ever seems to come of it......sigh.


She is not a friend to the lovers of progressive values or PEACE. She maintains just enough of a facade to keep her seat.

Our other Senator ROCKS - Feinstein Sucks.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
25. I was looking into the Texas Pacific Group recently...
... and ran across the article below. I wasn't sure at the time what to make of the mention of Feinstein's husband -- but it's becoming inescapably clear that the Clinton administration, although never quite as corrupt as the Republicans would like to think it was, was far more corrupt than most of us can feel comfortable with. The real question is what we can do about it without shooting ourselves in the foot.

While looking for that item in my files, I ran across another tidbit where Feinstein was described as a major recipient of funds from Titan Corp., along with such worthies as Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa. Sadly, this is all starting to feel more than a bit like the final episode of The Prisoner, where as soon as you think you've gotten out of the Village, you find that you're still inside.
http://www.opensecrets.org/newsletter/ce51/51text/01opi...

A senators husband. Another senators son. The vice presidents former campaign manager. An ex-client of the White House chief of staff. Presidential appointees to government advisory panels. Lincoln Bedroom overnight guests and participants at White House fund-raising coffees. Leading Democratic Party fund-raisers and contributors.

What do they have in common?

Many are sponsors or managers of multimillion dollar international investment funds hand-picked for generous taxpayer guarantees by a little-known government entity called the Overseas Private Investment Corp., or OPIC. Its a no-lose deal for some fund sponsors and investors. OPIC provides long-term secured loans and loan guarantees backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. . . .

When President Clinton sipped coffee in the White House Roosevelt Room on Dec. 15, 1995, with a select group of Democratic fund-raisers and contributors, the guest list included financier Richard C. Blum, husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Texas investor David Bonderman, a partner with Blum in several ventures. Bonderman apparently was so filled with the holiday spirit that exactly two weeks later he wrote checks totaling $100,000 to the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Bonderman, a corporate takeover artist whose acquisitions have included Continental Airlines and DelMonte foods, ranked 116th on Mother Jones magazines list of the 400 biggest political contributors of 1995-96. Bonderman once was quoted as observing about the downsizing that often occurs after corporate buyouts: "Generally speaking, you like to dance with the girl that brung you, and if you cant sometimes you have to shoot her."



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Zodiak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 07:30 AM
Response to Original message
26. According to my calculations, by percentage, Feinstein votes like Lieberman
Feinstein (California) DLC 44.82758621
Leiberman (Connecticut) DLC 44.82758621
Rockefeller (West Virginia) 41.37931034
Conrad (North Dakota) DLC 41.37931034
Baucus (Montana) DLC 39.65517241
Carper (Deleware) DLC 34.48275862
Johnson (South Dakota) DLC 31.03448276
Lincoln (Arkansas) DLC 31.03448276
Salazar (Colorado) DLC 24.13793103
Pryor (Arkansas) DLC 22.4137931
Nelson (Florida) DLC 20.68965517
Landrieu (Louisianna) DLC 17.24137931
Nelson (Nebraska) DLC 3.448275862


Just so everyone knows.

California can do MUCH better than this war profiteer.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
27. AOK by me.
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tehehehe Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
29. Kick! n/t
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
30. Waht took her so long?
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LeftishBrit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-23-07 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
32. You really want her to resign from the senate?
I don't know a lot about her; but I do know that she's a Dem and that Governor Arnie isn't. If he gets the chance to appoint her successor, then goodbye to the narrow Dem majority; hello to Cheney back in control of the senate; goodbye to the investigations; hello to more war escalation, etc.

For the sake of the whole world, let's hope that she doesn't resign from the senate, and that the Democrats remain in control.
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