Home > Uncategorized > Travis and the Senator

Travis and the Senator

As we start another week of Hometown Radio, a couple of notes. First, word is getting around town over the sudden, unexpected death of Andy Cone. Poor guy was only 56. Dropped dead of a heart attack on Easter morning. Andy was a CPA in SLO for thirty years, very active in the community through SESLOC, his church and Kiwanis. Heck of a nice guy and so sad to hear this news.

Also, we’ve had lots of response to our Friday show about the Oceano Dunes. We will follow up next Friday at 5 and hear from the other side. Christine Mullholland joins us on Thursday. Atascadero city councilmember Mike Brennler returns on Tuesday, April 17th. Many of you political junkies are familiar with the name Sam Harris — I’ve asked Chris Ahrend to prepare a special presentation on the man and his thinking. That show will be on the 18th.

Now, to the issue at hand. Travis from SLO has been persistent lately in his criticism of Senator Feinstein and reports of serious ethics conflicts. Apparently she just resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations committee. Part of the original article Travis sent me is posted below. I do find it curious that there is no mention of this story in any MSM web sites or papers that I can find.

The cynic in me wonders if anyone should be surprised that an elected official uses his or her office for personal gain. That’s the way the game is played. I’m glad Travis brought this to our attention and I’m not goiong to defend Feinstein, but nor will I let Travis try to suggest that this is on the same level as Mark Foley or Alberto Gonzales. We could devote an entire week to discussing how certain Bush cronies have profited immensely from the war and the BILLIONS in dollars that are lost or somehow unaccounted for in Iraq. That part bothers me. The Feinstein stuff merely disappoints me.

So thanks Travis. Bloggers, what do you think?

“In the November 2006 election, the voters demanded congressional ethics reform. And so, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is now duly in charge of regulating the ethical behavior of her colleagues. But for many years, Feinstein has been beset by her own ethical conflict of interest, say congressional ethics experts.

As chairperson and ranking member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee (MILCON) from 2001 through the end of 2005, Feinstein supervised the appropriation of billions of dollars a year for specific military construction projects. Two defense contractors whose interests were largely controlled by her husband, financier Richard C. Blum, benefited from decisions made by Feinstein as leader of this powerful subcommittee.

Each year, MILCON’s members decide which military construction projects will be funded from a roster proposed by the Department of Defense. Contracts to build these specific projects are subsequently awarded to such major defense contractors as Halliburton, Fluor, Parsons, Louis Berger, URS Corporation and Perini Corporation. From 1997 through the end of 2005, with Feinstein’s knowledge, Blum was a majority owner of both URS Corp. and Perini Corp.

While setting MILCON agendas for many years, Feinstein, 73, supervised her own staff of military construction experts as they carefully examined the details of each proposal. She lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings to support defense projects that she favored, some of which already were or subsequently became URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by MILCON; Perini earned $759 million from such MILCON projects.

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.”

  1. Anonymous
    April 9, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Bush should be impeached.

  2. Anonymous
    April 9, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear the news about Andy Cone. What a gentle man.

  3. global warming expert
    April 10, 2007 at 12:52 am

    Feinstein should just keep a low profile, Pelosi will get her a pass like the William Jefferson, the poor guy who had 90 grand in his freezer when the FBI arrived at his house.
    Pelosi, for now should start to impeach Bush and cut all the money to US troops.

  4. efrem
    April 10, 2007 at 2:09 am

    Why aren’t the Bush girls in uniform?Bush should be prosecuted and sentenced.After that turn him over to the Taliban or the Al-Queda group.

  5. Mr. Feinstein
    April 10, 2007 at 3:35 am

    Dave, I think it is safe to say that the democrat people on this blog are willing to look the other way and accept this corruption on the part of Ms. Feinstein because of all the “good: she has done for people in this country. Especially me.

  6. Bob from San Luis
    April 10, 2007 at 5:19 am

    Dave: I agree with your assessment of Senator Feinstien, and, I too will not attempt to defend her. Although she is a Democrat, I have always considered her a Corporatist, which I define as someone who is loyal to the corporations above all else, and if possible, they will enrich themselves as well as their friends and partners. I am curious about one point I read in the link on the last thread from Travis about the Senate supposedly making a “secret” ruling on ethical rules concerning conflict of interests; apparently there are no legal obstacles to any Senator benefitting from any conflicts of interests. Does that make it right? Not in any way, shape or form, no matter what party they belong to. My conflict here is that if the Senate gave Senator Feinstien a “pass” by passing a “secret” ruling, is there a legal remedy to make her accountable, other than voting her out of office when her term expires? Is there a “recall” method available to remove a sitting Senator?
    To Travis who posted the first links for this story: As you can see, some of us who are Democrats will want the right thing to be done, no matter the party of the individual involved. As a matter of law however, an individual even if they are a sitting Senator is presumed innocent until proven guilty. That much is owed to anyone, and everyone.

  7. steve
    April 11, 2007 at 1:44 am


    When you use the word “Corporatist”
    to describe Feinstein, it makes me think China is real close with another criminal senator.

  8. azizah
    April 11, 2007 at 3:37 am

    thank you for having lois capps on.she makes me feel good i voted her into power, and i agree when she says the first 100 days of the democratic congress have been outstanding.

  9. golfingslo
    April 11, 2007 at 4:02 am

    Bob from SLO or should I say Santa Maria Bill. I bet you voted for her even though you do not belive in her politically. Just another two political party lamb lead to slaughter. Look out side the box next time you might learn something.

  10. Bob from San Luis
    April 11, 2007 at 5:35 am

    golfingslo: I am flattered that you compare me to Santa Maria Bill, but I am not as good as he is at knowing his facts. I did not vote for Senator Feinstein last time she was up for reelection; I voted for the Green Party candidate. Senator Feinstien may be a Democrat, but she is certainly no liberal, and, as I asserted earlier, I think of her as a Corporatist, like many of the Republicans. Senator Bill Frist was another prime example of a Corporatist who used his elected office to enrich himself and his family business. Like I said before, there may be no particular rules about conflict of interest, but that does not make it right.
    I do look “outside the box” and would actually prefer that our whole method of electing our political leaders by radically changed, which I have elaborated on several threads ago.

  11. rudy mccain
    April 11, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Travis attacks Feinstein, but which senator does he like? I’d like him to show us which senator, republican or democrat, is perfect.

    They’re all tainted. power corrupts.

  12. eric
    April 11, 2007 at 5:03 pm


    Could please let us know where you found the newest poll that says 80%
    of Americans want amnesty for the millions of illegals running wild in the United States. I find that very hard to buy.

  13. don't increase taxes
    April 12, 2007 at 12:39 am

    If Pelosi goes to Iran we could only hope they take her hostage.

  14. Dave Congalton
    April 12, 2007 at 6:40 am


    Sorry, I misspoke. It’s 80% of Californians who favor amnesty for illegals. It ran in Tuesday’s SF Chronicle.

    “More than four in five California voters support giving legal residence to illegal immigrants, according to a statewide public opinion poll to be released today.

    By wide margins, the state’s voters also favor creating a temporary worker program to allow future immigrants to enter legally, increasing the border patrol and imposing stiff penalties on employers who hire unauthorized immigrants, the Field Poll found.”

  15. Anonymous
    April 24, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Crooks, Crooks, and more crooks! Then the libs bitch about Cheany and look the other way…

  16. Hoosier21
    May 24, 2007 at 8:02 am

    This story is weeks old. I really don’t see much difference from Cunningham taking millions in bribes and Feinstein sole sourcing contracts to her husband and doubling there fortune.

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