Senator Dianne Feinstein has long been accused of corruption and unethical behavior in Congress. From going after the Second Amendment to making tens of millions of dollars through her husband’s companies, Feinstein seems to take unbridled glee in being one of the most corrupt members of Congress today.
Recently, a new wave of accusations has been levied at Feinstein, this time focusing on a deal that started in 2011 when the Post Office awarded the CBRE Group Inc. a contract to be the sole marketer of USPS properties. Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, just so happens to be the Chairman of the Board of the CBRE Group.
That’s right, the United States Post Office, apparently facing a deficit of billions of dollars, has earmarked for disposal over 600 taxpayer funded properties; and a company whose Chairman is the husband of a powerful California Senator stands to reap the benefit.
Currently they have at least 42 different properties listed on their official website.
The notorious debunking website, Snopes, recently decided to look at this issue and they found that although the number of properties listed as of now is a little less than the 52 that was originally quoted, it is in fact true that despite the fact that Feinstein claims to have nothing to do with the USPS deal, she and her husband stand to make a substantial profit off their sell.
Facing a deficit of billions of dollars, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has floated a number of proposals to reduce the deficit, including selling off hundreds of post office properties in order to gain cash flow and reduce expenses. According to the Postal Services 2012 report to Congress, more than 600 buildings nationwide have been “earmarked for disposal,” and the USPS Properties for Sale web site currently lists 41 buildings for sale across the U.S. in addition to 11 land parcels.
In 2011, the CB Richard Ellis Group, (now CBRE Group, Inc.), the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, was awarded ana exclusive contract to market USPC facilities, which CBRE touted by announcing: “Historically, USPC has worked with multiple real estate service providers. The new contract enables USPC to consolidate these activities with one service provider.
This award has been the subject of some controversy, as CBRE’s Chairman of the Board is Ricahrd C. Blum, the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein, who represents the state of California in the U.S. Senate.Snopes then went on to quote a San Francisco Chronicle article that quoted Feinstein’s office as saying that she has nothing to do with her husband's work. (In other words: nothing to see here, move right along)
As for accusations of a conflict of interest and suspicions that Feinstein may have influenced the awarding of the contract to her husband’s firm, Feinstein’s office strongly denies the charges.
“Sen. Feinstein is not involved with and does not discuss any of her husband’s business decisions with him. Her husband’s holdings are his separate personal property. Sen. Feinstein’s assets are held in a blind trust.
That arrangement has been in place since before she came to the Senate in 1992,” said Brian Weiss, Feinstein’s communications director. In 2012, Feinstein voted for an amendment to a postal reform bill that would have temporarily halted post office closings. The amendment was defeated in the House.Regardless of claims by Feinstein’s “communication director,” the fact of the matter is her husband (and Feinstein herself by default) stands to make tens of millions of dollars off the sale of taxpayer-purchased USPS offices.
Shortly after San Francisco’s then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein married private equity financier Richard C. Blum in 1980, those who knew them called theirs “a marriage of the public and private sectors.”
Although Feinstein lost a gubernatorial bid to Republican Pete Wilson, she soon took his seat in the U.S. Senate. Working across the aisle, her power rapidly grew along with her husband’s diversified investments and their mutual wealth.
• As Chair and ranking member of the Military Construction and Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Feinstein appears to have steered contracts to companies controlled by her husband. Blum has profited handsomely from military contracts.
• In 2009, Senator Feinstein introduced legislation to provide $25 billion in taxpayer money to the FDIC after it gave Blum’s CBRE real estate company a contract to sell foreclosed properties at unusually high rates.
• As a Regent of the University of California, Blum appears to have profited from contracts with the UC-run nuclear weapons laboratory at Los Alamos.
• In the summer of 2012, the U.S. Postal Service awarded Blum’s CBRE company the exclusive contract to sell its portfolio of public properties. Feinstein’s office denies any influence in the awarding of the contract.Clearly her corruption extends much further than the sale of USPS buildings.
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