Billions in Military Contracts to Husbands Firms Were Approved by Sen. Feinsteins Committee, Metro Newspapers Investigation Reports

SAN FRANCISCO--()--Sen. Dianne Feinsteins 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 Feinsteins participation at the legislative level, large contracts were awarded to two firms URS Corporation and Perini Corporation that were controlled by an investment group headed by the senators spouse, financier Richard C. Blum.

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

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

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

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.

Attorney Michael R. Klein, a Feinstein legal adviser and long-time Blum business partner, also served as vice-chairman of Perinis 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 Kleins admission was intended to defuse the issue of Feinsteins 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 MILCONs 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.

Contacts

For Metro Newspapers
Gretchen Giles, 707-527-1200 ext. 202
ggiles@bohemian.com

Contacts

For Metro Newspapers
Gretchen Giles, 707-527-1200 ext. 202
ggiles@bohemian.com