Guiding lights of the Democrat Party are just a bunch of fascists [link]
Why are they labeled as fascists? More info here [unitedstatesfascism.blogspot.com]!
"U.S Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Husband Selling Post Offices to Friends"
This is a chapter excerpt from the new e-book by Peter Byrne
DiFi and the Blumpire: Senator Feinstein pressured the Postmaster General -
Last December in San Francisco, a few score protestors made a loud demonstration at the offices of Blum Capital Partners in North Beach to protest the closure and sale of historic post offices. Escorted by police on motorcycles, they marched downtown to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office. A common theme of the many speeches made that day was that Feinstein had somehow gotten her husband’s firm the contract to sell off the nation’s post offices. FactCheck.org checked the facts and announced that there was no evidence of any conflicts of interest with the CBRE contract.
FactCheck did not check many facts, however. It called the public relations office at the Postal Service to learn that Feinstein did not secure “a sweet deal” for CBRE. And FactCheck talked to Feinstein’s press secretary, who insisted – as s/he always does – that the senator’s wealth is “separate” from her husband’s wealth: a claim that is, in fact, made nonsensical by California’s strong community property laws and common sense.
Factually, Feinstein, 80, is statutorily entitled to 50 percent of any assets acquired by Blum after they were married. Public records show that she and Blum co-own multiple dwellings in San Francisco and Washington D.C. Their assets are reported to be worth as much as $100 million. In fact, due to the complexity and size of Blum’s multi-billion dollar business empire, Feinstein’s 2012 financial disclosure report runs to 137 pages: By comparison, Senator Jay Rockefeller’s report is eight pages.
Some real facts -
A native of San Francisco, Richard C. Blum, 77, has chaired the CBRE real estate services conglomerate—valued at $6.8 billion—since 2001. His privately owned investment firm, Blum Capital Partners, L.P. dominates CBRE’s board of directors through its ownership of 6.9 percent of the company’s shares, which were worth $380 million in March 2013.
CBRE board member Jane J. Su is a partner in Blum Capital.
CBRE board member Laura D. Tyson, former economic adviser to President Bill Clinton, chairs the trustees of the Blum Center for Developing Economies. The Center’s tax returns list its “non-profit” purpose as, “Developing/leasing real property to non-profit organizations at rates substantially below fair market value.”
Value Act Capital Master Fund, founded by a former Blum Capital Managing Partner, Jeffery W. Ubben, holds 6.5 percent of CBRE.
And Goldman Sachs, which has a long history of co-investing in projects with Blum, owns 6.6 percent of CBRE.
As influential players in the Democratic Party, as well as in the Brookings Institution and the Council on Foreign Relations, Blum and Feinstein flanked Barack Obama on stage while he was being sworn in as president for his first term. But the Blumpire likes Republicans, too. CBRE board member Frederick V. Malek is remembered for his leadership of Richard Nixon’s Committee to Re-Elect the President and its bungled burglary of the Watergate Hotel. In 2008, Malek co-chaired John McCain’s campaign finance committee. CBRE board member Bradford M. Freeman was active in both Bush-Cheney campaigns; he raises big money for neoconservative politicians, including Richard Lugar, John Boehner, Rick Santorum, and Mitt Romney.
No matter which party is in power: CBRE will have a political-in. And inside the Beltway, political power translates into contracts, contracts, and more contracts.
Let’s follow the money: According to CBRE filings with the Securities & Exchange Commission, the company earned 5 percent ($325 million) of its revenue from government agencies in 2012.
The leveraging of public funds for private profit has been the core strategy of Blum’s business plan for decades. His privately-owned investment firm, Blum Capital Partners, controls billions of dollars in public employee pension fund capital that Blum regularly invests in his own business deals. His state-subsidized ventures have included building vastly over-budget municipal airports and tunnels and bridges; manufacturing and selling high-tech weaponry for use in Iraq and Afghanistan; developing and selling prosthetic limbs for soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan; managing the federal government’s multi-billion dollar real estate portfolio; and owning for-profit colleges whose primary sources of revenue are federally guaranteed student loans and grants authorized by Congress.
Not bad work, if you can get it.
And it turns out that Senator Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, regularly mixes politics with business. From 2001 to 2005, Feinstein vetted and approved the awarding of $1.5 billion in military construction contracts to two companies largely owned by Blum Capital Partners: Perini Corp. and URS Corporation [http://www.bohemian.com/northbay/senator-warbucks/Content?oid=2181485].
Not only has Feinstein not recused herself from voting on federal legislation that affects her family’s business empire, she is on record as lobbying both the FDIC and the Postal Service of behalf of CBRE-related deals. By way of ethical contrast, the Washington Post has reported that Supreme Court Justice Joseph Alito regularly recuses himself from weighing in on cases that even indirectly concern public corporations in which he owns stock.
DiFi and the FDIC -
In April 2009, The Washington Times revealed that Feinstein had introduced legislation to route $25 billion to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). A portion of these funds were targeted to market foreclosed properties owned by failed banks. CBRE had subsequently been awarded a $108 million FDIC contract to market these foreclosed properties. The blogosphere went wild with accusations of conflicts of interest. Part of the outrage was due to CBRE having received higher than normal commissions and fees for its services.
In March 2012, the FDIC Inspector General released a redacted report showing that CBRE had consistently overcharged the FDIC for its services [https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/758487-13-0050.html]. The Inspector General found that eight percent of the CBRE invoices that it had tested were overcharges. Extrapolated to the amount disbursed under the contract, that adds up to $1.1 million in false claims made by CBRE. Nonetheless, FDIC executives decided to not ask CBRE to reimburse the government for the overcharges, asserting that it would cost more to collect the money than it was worth. The FDIC did not renew CBRE’s contract, however.
DiFi and El Toro -
On the morning of July 8, 2005, the Investment Committee of Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. met on the 20th floor of the investment bank’s Manhattan skyscraper. It approved a $252 million loan to Heritage Fields LLC, a real estate partnership composed of Lennar Corporation, Cerberus Capital Management LP, Rockpoint Group LLC, computer billionaire Michael Dell’s MSD Capital, and the public pension funds for teachers in both New York and California.
Lennar is a major developer of California real estate. The Lehman Brother’s loan financed buying the recently closed El Toro Marine Corps Airstation near San Diego, where Lennar planned to build residential and office space, once the 3,723-acre polluted site was made fit for human habitation by the taxpayer. According to the confidential memorandum prepared for the meeting (found in the Lehman Brother’s bankruptcy filing), “due diligence” on the Lennar project was conducted by CBRE, which “prepared an appraisal of the Project’s planned non-residential uses” [https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/757915-lbex-am-193357-193389.html].
Fast-forward to 2007: the Postal Service is planning to build a mail processing plant on a vacant 26-acre lot—for which it had paid $7.5 million—in the town of Aliso Viejo, near the El Toro project. Aliso Viejo Mayor Carmen Cave writes to Feinstein, complaining that the plant will be too noisy and polluting. Feinstein writes to Postmaster General, John Potter, asking him to intervene:
“I would ask that you fully consider other alternative sites [for the mail processing plant] within the region. I understand that the Postal Service recently made some inquiries into whether there might be an opportunity for the facility to be built on portions of the former El Toro base being redeveloped by Lennar, but that it did not appear to be a viable option. I would like to ask you to also inquire whether any of the land still retained by the federal government at the former base might be suitable and potentially at a significant cost savings than Aliso Viejo.”
Feinstein did not tell Potter that CB Richard Ellis and CBRE Consulting, Inc. were working closely with Lennar on a number of military base redevelopment projects in California, including El Toro, where Lennar was planning to build a commercial hub surrounded by residences. No doubt, a postal facility would have fit in nicely as a business anchor. After receiving Feinstein’s letter, Potter killed the Aliso Viejo project and the $7.5 million plot of land went fallow.
Lennar’s $1.4 billion El Toro project stalled after Lehman tanked at the onset of the subprime loan crash. A half-decade later, it is picking up steam and, according to CBRE’s Website, “CB Richard Ellis has been chosen to consult on the entire project as well as to provide brokerage services.” In a remarkable synergy of events, CBRE is also brokering the sale of the abandoned Aliso Viejo lot [https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/782176-aliso-viejo-land.html].
Feinstein’s Communications Director Brian Weiss commented that, “Senator Feinstein frequently communicates with federal officials on behalf of California constituents and local officials.” Cave, however, had said nothing about El Toro or Lennar in her letter to Feinstein.
DiFi emails -
Emails between Senator Feinstein’s aides and Postal Service staff obtained under FOIA reveal that from mid-2011 through mid-2102, a Feinstein aide asked for updates about which postal properties were slated to be sold (by CBRE, of course) [https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/782486-difi-emails-etc-copy.html]. He also asked if historic place and environmental protection laws can stop post office closures, even as CBRE was conducting the historic place and environmental protection reviews for these same properties.
“My boss is just curious,” wrote Feinstein staffer, David Hantman, to Mary Ann Simpson of the Postal Service on May 24, 2012, regarding his request for a list of post offices on the National Register of Historic Places. Previously, he had asked if the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) applied to post office closures. He now asked, “Has Postal Service faced this [historic protection] argument from any post offices being looked at for closure, and if so do you have any info. I may be able to pass to Sen. Feinstein?”
Simpson wrote back that the Postal Service is “categorically excluded” from having to comply with NEPA, even though the agency [CBRE, in fact] would generate, “NEPA documentation [to] screen for extraordinary circumstances and demonstrate consideration of environmental impacts.” In the context of CBRE’s contract, Hantman’s query is significant, as a legal challenge to the CBRE-brokered sales claims that the Postal Service is not exempt from these types of reviews [https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/780039-ford-amp-huff-appeal-re-berkeley.html].
In February, 2012, Hantman told Simpson: “My boss has asked for any potential amendment ideas to the Postal Service reform bill. I’ve got a few ideas that I wanted to run by you if you have a few minutes to talk.” Legislative details inserted into postal bill amendments could certainly have influenced CBRE’s business with the Postal Service, especially in terms of whether post offices are exempt from complying with NEPA and historic preservation laws.
"Unacceptable! Senator Profits from War and Post Office"
from "Roots Action" [act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7309]:
Senator Dianne Feinstein's numerous apparent conflicts of interest are clear grounds for an Ethics Committee investigation.
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. (MetroActive: Senator Feinstein's Iraq Conflict [http://www.metroactive.com/metro/01.24.07/dianne-feinstein-0704.html]. Z Magazine: The Power Couple of California [http://www.zcommunications.org/the-power-couple-of-california-by-laurence-h-shoup])
• 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 (Bohemian: Senator Warbucks [http://www.bohemian.com/northbay/senator-warbucks/Content?oid=2181485]). Blum has profited handsomely from military contracts. (San Francisco Chronicle: War Brings Business to Feinstein Spouse [http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/War-brings-business-to-Feinstein-spouse-Blum-s-2652085.php]. San Francisco Chronicle: SF Firm Awarded Contract in Iraq [http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11123]).
• 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 (Washington Times: Senator's Husband's Firm Cashes in on Crisis [http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/21/senate-husbands-firm-cashes-in-on-crisis/?page=all]).
• 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. (San Francisco Chronicle: Amid Loud Dissent, Panels Urge Los Alamos Bid [http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Amid-loud-dissent-panels-urge-Los-Alamos-bid-2667935.php]. Santa Cruz Indymedia: Conflict of Interest for Vice Chair of the UC Regents, Richard C. Blum? [http://santacruz.indymedia.org/newswire/display/18037/index.php]).
• 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 (San Francisco Chronicle: Grim Outlook for Post Office Buildings
LaJolla Light: Berkeley Preservationists Question Senator's Ties to Post Office Sales
Truthout: The USPS Media #FAIL [http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Grim-outlook-for-post-office-buildings-4264630.php]).
Ask your Senators to request an Ethics Committee investigation of Senator Dianne Feinstein now.
"Keeping It In the Family: Senator Feinstein’s Husband Stands to Make Millions from USPS Contract"
2013-06-04 by Daniel Jackson from "The Daily Sheeple" [http://www.thedailysheeple.com/39071_062013]
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 [http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/blum.asp]:
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 [http://www.sfgate.com/business/bottomline/article/Grim-outlook-for-post-office-buildings-4264630.php]. (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.
Feinstein is no stranger to corruption charges. Many have claimed that since her marriage to Blum in 1980 she has used her position of power within government to make ridiculous amounts of money.
A Roots Action post outlines some of her shady past [http://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=7309]:
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.
It is extremely important to remember that as Feinstein continues her crusade against private gun ownership in America, she is also on a different type of crusade, one that involves making an absurd amount of money off the backs of the very Americans she is attempting to disarm.
"Snopes Misses on Story of Collusion Between Sen. Feinstein and Husband’s Company"
2013-05-31 by Bob Adelmann [http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/15579-snopes-misses-larger-story-on-sales-of-post-offices-by-california-sen-feinstein-s-husband-s-company]:
When George Miller, writing for the Ventura County Tea Party on May 22, complained about the blatant conflict of interest apparent in the fact that California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, was the exclusive seller of some 50 buildings belonging to the U.S. Postal Service [http://venturacountyteaparty.ning.com/profiles/blogs/all-in-the-feinstein-blum-family], he didn't know that Snopes had already poo-pooed the charge out of hand back in April [http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/blum.asp].
According to Miller, Blum’s company was going to make a fortune through real estate commissions as a result of his wife's political influence:
The US has entered into a contract with a real estate firm to sell 56 buildings that currently house U.S. Post Offices. The government has decided it no longer needs these buildings, many of which are located on prime land in towns and cities across the country.
The sale of these properties will fetch billions of dollars and a handsome 6% commission to the company handling the sales. That company belongs to a man named Richard Blum. Who is Richard Blum, you ask? Why, the husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein, that's who! What a bunch of crooks we have running this country!
However, when the folks at Snopes analyzed the story in April, they said that while Miller’s charge was largely true, it required some minor corrections, and it majorly misrepresented an important fact — namely that it found no collusion between Feinstein and her husband.
Snopes noted that it is common knowledge that the USPS is in desperate financial condition and, in an attempt to raise some cash and cut some of its expenses, it has “earmarked for disposal” more than 600 buildings. It noted further that at a Post Office website “USPS Properties for Sale” there were 41 buildings and 11 land parcels for sale. It failed to note, however, that the website was a joint venture between the USPS and a real estate company called CBRE. But it did say that CBRE had done a deal back in 2011 to become the exclusive lister and seller of real estate for the USPS. It also noted that Blum’s private equity company, Blum Capital, “is one of CBRE’s larger institutional stockholders.” That, according to Snopes, is where the truth of the claims against Feinstein and her husband end.
According to Snopes, Blum's involvement in the Post Office sales was no big deal, quoting from one of just two articles that they “sourced” — from the San Francisco Chronicle [http://www.sfgate.com/business/bottomline/article/Grim-outlook-for-post-office-buildings-4264630.php]. Andrew Ross of the Chronicle wrote that Blum's activities hardly constituted any sort of conflict of interest. He claimed to know that this assertion was true because Feinstein’s office spokesman, Brian Weiss, said so:
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.
Claim debunked, right? Not so fast.
It’s unfortunate that Snopes didn't dig any further into the matter. It could have, for instance, sourced an 11-page exposé of Blum and Feinstein published by the online site FoundSF entitled “Richard C. Blum and Dianne Feinstein: The Power Couple of California” [http://www.foundsf.org/index.php?title=Richard_C._Blum_and_Dianne_Feinstein:_The_Power_Couple_of_California]. There Snopes would have found how this couple, through a continuing series of events that could only be called crony capitalism on steroids, grew their wealth, starting in 1980 when they were married, from a modest sum to well over $100 million.
In that exposé they would have uncovered another source, this time from the Los Angeles Times, which noted the couple's illicit activities from the beginning:
A review of the senator’s first two years in office found that Feinstein supported several positions that benefited Blum, his wealthy clients and their investments. She was a vocal proponent of increased trade with China while Blum’s firm was planning a major investment there. She also voted for appropriations bills that provided more than $100 million a year in federal funds to three companies in which her husband is a substantial investor.
Visiting the Times article would have led them to another source [http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/06/06/Dianne-Feinstein-Still-Dogged-by-Allegations-of-Conflicts-of-Interest] that explained in detail her votes as head of the Military Construction Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Subcommittee (MILCON), which funneled $1.5 billion worth of military construction contracts to URS Corporation, an engineering, design, and construction company located (where else?) in San Francisco — in which Blum had a significant financial interest. Her committee also funneled millions into Tutor Perini, one of the largest general contractors in the country, also located in California, and in which Blum also had a significant financial interest. When Blum sold his interests in URS and Tutor Perini, he booked profits estimated at between $5 and $10 million.
It gets even better. While Blum was an owner in URS, it bought a substantial piece of another company, a defense contractor called EG&G, which just happened to enjoy a windfall contract, thanks to Feinstein’s MILCON committee, of $600 million.
There are other egregious examples of how Feinstein, denials notwithstanding, funneled taxpayer funds into companies either controlled or heavily invested in by her husband. But the aforementioned examples should suffice to prove two points: Snopes often fails to dig deeply enough to discover the depth of corruption and deceit and denial in its efforts to “vet” a story like that from the Ventura California Tea Party. Second, the rampant self-dealing and obvious conflicts of interest go far beyond just a little agreement to sell some post offices through a company controlled by Feinstein’s husband.
If one listens only to Snopes and fails to dig more deeply, one may be left with the conclusion that “there’s nothing to see here. Just move along now, and thank you.”
"Post Office properties to be privatized by crony capitalists; Sen. Feinstein's husband profiteers again"
2013-02-11 by Thom Hartmann [http://www.thomhartmann.com/users/nora/blog/2013/02/post-office-properties-be-privatized-crony-capitalists-sen-feinsteins-husban]:
So difficult to choose a little headline for this one! I also considered these:
* Wouldn't you know a PRIVATIZATION scheme was behind latest Post Office story?
* Washington Corrupted Ethics prime mover of Post Office CRONY CAPITALISM scam
* Repeat offenders are taking the public's money and are running
* Corrupt Duo of Dianne Feinstein and Richard Blum at it AGAIN
The story is from the bottom of the Business page of the San Francisco Chronicle in THE BOTTOM LINE column by Andrew S. Ross.
So, it is reported, US Post Office buildings -- particularly historic, lovely old, well-maintained post office buildings in good locations -- are being sold off.
[I interpret this as predatory capitalists rubbing their hands together in slobbering avarice and saying in phony reasonableness "Wellllll-- if the mail won't be delivered on Saturdays anymore, The People don't need these properties any more, so PRIVATIZE THEM! Sell off the public property of The People to us in the private sector!"]
The Postal Service has ended its previous practice of using multiple real estate agents nationwide for its dealings and is now giving ALL SELLING PRIVILEGES to the CB RICHARD ELLIS GROUP of which California Senator Dianne Feinstein's husband Richard "Dick" Blum is CHAIR.
[Talk about just some crony capitalist hijinks? No! This is not good clean fun. It is absolutely disgusting. This proves that the Feinstein-Blum public trough irregularities uncovered in the past decade should have been investigated and prosecuted, because these predatory profiteering types are always repeat offenders! If you are unfamiliar with the previous Feinstein-Blum scams -- wherein Senator Feinstein was on a Military Appropriations sub-committee and apparently funneled insider government contract tips to her hubbie -- you can read about their profiteering scams here: http://www.bohemian.com/northbay/the-byrne-report/Content?oid=2171069 And here for access to the full expose reportage of Peter Byrne available at: http://www.peterbyrne.info/feinstein_files/index.htm ]
Back to today's latest Feinstein-Blum profitstream with the Post Office real estate: http://www.sfgate.com/business/bottomline/article/Grim-outlook-for-post-office-buildings-4264630.php
[excerpt] ... On its website, CBRE shows 57 post offices nationwide listed for sale or in the process of being sold. They include Sausalito's main post office, priced at $5.2 million, two in Fresno for a combined $2.9 million, and one in Los Angeles for $8.3 million. The main post office in Modesto, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, sold for $1.02 million in 2011 to a developer who plans to convert it to lofts, The Chronicle reported in August. ... In December, protesters opposing the sale rallied outside the offices of Blum Capital in San Francisco's Financial District, and a delegation later met with staffers at the San Francisco office of Feinstein. 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. ...
[end excerpt; read more at link]
The denials of corruption by Blum and Feinstein are their usual denials. Deniability is trumpetted loudly, but the constant hummmm of INSIDE TRACK knowledge, contacts and information never seems to stop in this era dominated by crony capitalists.
"Uproar Grows as Sen. Feinstein’s Husband Profits from Post Office Privatization"
2012-12-04 by GRAY BRECHIN and HARVEY SMITH [http://www.accuracy.org/release/uproar-grows-as-sen-feinsteins-husband-profits-from-post-office-privatization/]:
Brechin is founder and project scholar of the Living New Deal Project [http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu/]. Brechin has written a series of articles, including “Selling off the Post Office: Berkeley calls out Richard Blum” [http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/01/1165912/-Selling-off-the-Post-Office-Berkeley-calls-out-Richard-Blum] and “Congress to Postal Service: ‘Drop Dead!‘” [http://livingnewdeal.berkeley.edu/newsletter/nov-2012/#post-8994] – which states: “The fire sale of our post offices is accelerating while the media remain largely asleep at the wheel.” Smith is president of the National New Deal Preservation Association [http://www.newdeallegacy.org/] and an organizer for the Committee to Save the Berkeley Main Post Office. He wrote the piece “Post Office Sale is a Surrender to Corporate Interests” [http://www.dailycal.org/2012/07/29/post-office-sale-is-a-surrender-to-corporate-interests].
Activists will be protesting Tuesday and have distributed a flyer headlined “Richard Blum Philanthropist, Opportunist, Thief of our National Heritage!” and stating: “Save the Berkeley Post Office is leading a Rally and March to Blum Capital and Senator Feinstein’s Office. …
“Towns and cities throughout our entire country are losing historic post offices. The giant real estate company CBRE advises the USPS on what post offices to sell and then profits as the listing agent. University of California regent Richard Blum is the chairman of CBRE. Blum is married to California Senator Dianne Feinstein.
“The USPS proposes to sell Berkeley’s beautiful 1914 Main Post Office. It has two priceless New Deal art works. Our grandparents paid for this building and countless others in the country that are on the USPS hit list. Over 3,700 post offices are at risk of sale or closure. Sold post offices have morphed into restaurant and offices.
“At some we must ask permission to see our public art work. The USPS was established in Article I of the Constitution. Benjamin Franklin was our first Postmaster General. Until 1971, the Post Office was under Congress, and funded by taxpayers. Since 1971, the USPS has received no federal tax dollars.
“Congress’s 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act transfers $5.5 billion each year from the USPS to the U.S. Treasury. The media reports that the USPS has defaulted on their annual payments. But no one reports that as of September 2012, the Treasury held $45.3 billion in the Postal Service Retiree Health Fund, a one-year increase of $1.5 billion. In four years, the USPS has cut the number of career employees by nearly 20 percent … a loss of 129,000 jobs.”
The website SaveThePostoffice.com is a general resource; see the article about real estate profiteering: “Eureka! The Postal Service finds gold in California” [http://savethepostoffice.com/eureka-postal-service-finds-gold-california], which states: “The Postal Service has been actively selling off historic post office buildings for over a year now. About forty have been sold or put up for sale. They’re scattered around the country, but for some reason more than a third of them are in California.”
Also, see IPA news release “Nader: Post Office Crisis ‘Manufactured’" [http://www.accuracy.org/release/nader-postal-crisis-manufactured].