CB Richard Ellis’ internal denial on Feinstein allegations to employees

posted at 5:20 pm on April 22, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, an employee of CB Richard Ellis forwarded me an internal memo distributed to all employees after the Washington Times exclusive on alleged abuse of power and conflict of interest by Senator Dianne Feinstein.  The senior Senator from California allegedly pushed $25 billion to the FDIC in unusual federal funding at the same time the agency was granting a bid by CBRE to manage its residential-foreclosure properties and sell them at higher-than market commissions.  CBRE’s board chairman is Richard Blum, Feinstein’s husband.

Needless to say, CBRE isn’t exactly impressed with the Washington Times, but their logic seems a little short of the mark here. I’m posting the memo in its entirety to ensure readers see the entire context. I’m removing the names on the memo, as they’re not really material to the story.  An e-mail to CBRE’s media office has so far not been answered:

Date: April 22, 2009
To: All U.S. Employees
From: [name redacted by HA]
Subject: FDIC Contract
CC: [names redacted by HA]

A very irresponsible and sensational article about our FDIC contract was published yesterday in a second-tier Washington newspaper with a well-known political agenda. Given today’s viral news environment, the article has subsequently been picked up on certain political Internet sites and has also appeared in more legitimate news outlets. I wanted to discuss the article with you.

The article is an attack piece and attempts to contrive a connection between our FDIC contract and the fact that our Chairman, Dick Blum, is married to Dianne Feinstein, the senior Senator from California. The article makes the inference that Senator Feinstein influenced our involvement in the FDIC program. However, the article never actually draws any connection whatsoever between the Senator and the FDIC contract or Dick Blum, for that matter.

As Chairman of the Board, Dick helps to set the company’s strategic direction, but he does not get involved in day-to-day operational decisions, including client service or contract bidding. Dick had no advance knowledge whatsoever that we were pursuing the FDIC opportunity, and only discovered we were awarded this contract when Brett issued his internal employee announcement on November 26. Equally, Sen. Feinstein had no knowledge of our work for the FDIC, as an article in the San Francisco Chronicle explains. Frankly, given all the challenges Sen. Feinstein is dealing with, she has other more important priorities to focus on than CBRE’s day-to-day operations.

Ironically, the article highlights legislation she introduced (which was subsequently superseded by the President’s stimulus plan) that was designed to help stem property foreclosures. Since CBRE is paid under the FDIC agreement only by handling foreclosed properties, it is unclear just how CBRE would supposedly have benefited from the Senator’s proposed legislation.

The reporter, relying on quotes from some local real estate agents, questions our qualification to handle foreclosure sales and the commission rates and fees under the agreement. The fact is that CBRE was selected for this assignment – along with one other firm – as the result of a highly competitive, multi-faceted bidding process that involved more than 30 firms. We had a team of people working continuously on this opportunity for more than nine months, responding to a written request for proposals, preparing oral presentations and developing pricing schedules based on the FDIC models. Our broad service offering, national office network and specialty services focused on both serving the public sector and restructuring and repositioning failed assets made us ideally suited to assist the FDIC with managing and disposing of its Owned Real Estate portfolio.

Contrary to what’s alleged in the article, we have extensive in-house expertise in working with property foreclosures. Ken Pearson, who heads our FDIC team, is a highly experienced bankruptcy attorney who has represented the Resolution Trust Corporation and other clients in loan restructurings, foreclosures and receiverships. Our subcontractor, Realogy, the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company, adds complementary residential expertise.

The article also questions our pricing under the FDIC contract. You should know that the rates we are charging were developed in accordance with the pricing matrix the FDIC provided to all service providers bidding for the work. We accepted the matrix as part of our bid submission. We believe our pricing is at market for a highly complex assignment with significant and frequent reporting requirements, and is consistent with rates the other FDIC service provider is charging.

The revenue opportunity under the FDIC contract is unknown, but under any scenario, the amount of money we will earn will be immaterial (well less than one percent of revenue) for a $5 billion company, and the FDIC will receive significant value for our work.

During the months leading up to the publishing of the article, we provided the reporter all the pertinent facts about the FDIC contract. It is unfortunate that he and his editors would elect to discount these facts and move forward with an article that, objectively, had very little basis for being published.

We are proud to serve our government during this extremely stressful time in our nation’s history, and to play a small role in helping to correct the imbalances that had developed in the marketplace.

Consistent with corporate policy, should anyone from the news media contact you about the FDIC contract, please refer them to Steve Iaco or Bob McGrath in Corporate Communications.

This rebuttal is rather weak tea:

The article makes the inference that Senator Feinstein influenced our involvement in the FDIC program. However, the article never actually draws any connection whatsoever between the Senator and the FDIC contract or Dick Blum, for that matter.

Yes, it makes a strong inference that at the time the FDIC considered a contract that would greatly benefit a firm that her husband ran as board chairman and in which the two have a significant community-property financial stake, Feinstein pushed for $25 billion in funding — when the government had never funded FDIC at all in the past.  It ran from insurance proceeds from member banks.  Did the Times establish an explicit quid pro quo?  Not yet, but the circumstances of this transaction were highly unusual, and certainly bear some investigation to see whether a quid pro quo exists.  Bear in mind, too, that Feinstein has no connection to the Senate Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FDIC, which makes her funding bill even more unusual.

As Chairman of the Board, Dick helps to set the company’s strategic direction, but he does not get involved in day-to-day operational decisions, including client service or contract bidding. Dick had no advance knowledge whatsoever that we were pursuing the FDIC opportunity, and only discovered we were awarded this contract when Brett issued his internal employee announcement on November 26.

Compare that passage to this:

The fact is that CBRE was selected for this assignment – along with one other firm – as the result of a highly competitive, multi-faceted bidding process that involved more than 30 firms. We had a team of people working continuously on this opportunity for more than nine months, responding to a written request for proposals, preparing oral presentations and developing pricing schedules based on the FDIC models.

So the man who had bought ten million shares to deepen his own investment in CBRE had no idea about a proposal for a lucrative government contract that took a team of executives nine months to develop, including oral presentations?  He just decided to have his investment company buy ten million shares on a whim?  The sun came out, and a little birdie told him that the shares would rise in value from $3.77 to $5.14 after the contract award, creating a $13 million profit?  It could be true, but it almost requires a belief in the Tooth Fairy to buy that explanation.

Frankly, given all the challenges Sen. Feinstein is dealing with, she has other more important priorities to focus on than CBRE’s day-to-day operations.

This is really the best question of all.  Given all of the challenges Feinstein is “dealing with”, why did she take it upon herself to get involved in business that falls under the purview of the Senate Banking Committee, on which she does not serve?  She’s not on the subcommittee that deals with insurance or the one that oversees financial institutions, which has jurisdiction over the FDIC.  Yet Feinstein, out of nowhere, sends a letter announcing her intention to give the FDIC $25 billion in an unprecedented funding mechanism the same week they chose CBRE for the contract?

CBRE says that the potential revenue on the contract will be negligible, but obviously they didn’t think it negligible when they put a team of executives on it for nine months.  They also got very favorable terms, with monthly maintenance fees and an above-market commission rate on all sales.  It’s a darned good deal for CBRE and those who invested in the company before they received the award.  I guess it’s just a coincidence that Feinstein’s husband happens to have put himself and his investment firm in that position.

Update: Haven’t heard back from CBRE, but Senator Feinstein’s office has responded with a couple of denials.  When they have it on their website, I’ll add the links.  Here’s the substantative part of the first denial:

Today’s piece in the Washington Times makes inaccurate and unfair suggestions of impropriety that are simply not supported by facts.

Senator Feinstein had no knowledge of CB Richard Ellis’ receipt of an FDIC contract before the Washington Times made an inquiry on January 21st. There is no evidence of any conflict of interest – or any connection – between the Senator’s foreclosure relief bill and CB Richard Ellis winning a competitively-bid contract, which was awarded – unbeknownst to her – by non-political career staff.

California is besieged by foreclosures – the state has the nation’s highest number of foreclosures, with 837,665 foreclosures filed in 2008 alone. In the first quarter of 2009, California has seen another 230,915 foreclosure filings – a 35 percent increase over the fourth quarter of 2008. The foreclosure relief bill was only one of many actions Senator Feinstein has taken to address this crisis.

Senator Feinstein learned of FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair’s proposal for foreclosure relief for homeowners from news reports, expressed her support in a letter, and introduced legislation to allocate $25 billion from the Troubled Assets Recovery Program (TARP) to implement it.

Subsequently, the President, by executive order, allocated $75 billion in federal funds for a foreclosure relief program similar to the Bair plan. Consequently, Senator Feinstein’s legislation was not necessary and no action on it has been forthcoming.

The Washington Times reporter frames his piece with distortions. He asserts that Senator Feinstein’s foreclosure relief bill was “an intervention on behalf of FDIC.” This is nonsense. Her sole motivation was to help struggling homeowners. Additionally, a federal agency does not benefit itself from administering federal funds which are designated to help citizens stave off foreclosure.

The reporter also wrongly asserts that it is “unusual” for Senator Feinstein to pursue legislation related to FDIC because she is not on the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. But a simple examination of the Senator’s legislative record reveals that she has often pursued legislation that falls outside the scope of her committee assignments.

Below is a sample of bills that Senator Feinstein introduced in the last Congress:

A bill that established licensing standards for the mortgage industry, although she is not on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee (enacted as part of P.L. 110-289);

A bill that closed the Enron Loophole, although she is not on the Agriculture Committee (enacted as part of P.L. 110-234);

A bill that banned harmful phthalates from children’s toys, although she is not a member of the Commerce Committee (enacted as part of P.L. 110-314);

A bill to raise fuel efficiency of America’s fleet of vehicles by ten miles per gallon over ten years, although she is not a member of the Commerce or Energy Committees (enacted as part of P.L. 110-140);

A bill to renew trade sanctions against the Burmese junta, although she is not a member of the Finance Committee (enacted as P.L. 110-52);

A bill to reduce the tariff on imported ethanol, although she is not a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Senator Feinstein has the highest ethical standards and complies with all requirements of the Ethics Committee. Her legislative agenda is dictated by what she believes is best for the people of the United States and the people of California. Period. Any suggestion to the contrary is untrue and unfair.

The office includes a timeline of everything Feinstein did in Congress to deal with issues on the financial crisis, which is simply too lengthy and more or less irrelevant to the allegations of conflict of interest for me to include them here.  Oddly, even though the two documents are dated yesterday, neither appear on Feinstein’s Senate website yet.  When they do, as I said, I’ll add the links.

I’ll add this: if the Senate Banking Committee didn’t think it necessary to promise the FDIC a $25 billion chunk of the taxpayer’s money, the first direct federal funding in its history, why did Feinstein? At the same particular moment that the FDIC was considering the bid from CB Richard Ellis?

Update II: They have their full response posted here. Be sure to check it out.


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All validity of all the arguments posited were lost in the first paragraph…to wit “…was published yesterday in a second-tier Washington newspaper…”

coldwarrior on April 22, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Not a crook?

Hmmmm….lets see, she’s an ultra-liberal pol from The People’s Republic of California and good buddies with Pelosi….naawww…she’ not a crook./

Liberty or Death on April 22, 2009 at 5:25 PM

Frankly, given all the challenges Sen. Feinstein is dealing with, she has other more important priorities to focus on than CBRE’s day-to-day operations.

Translation: “This is a distraction”

portlandon on April 22, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Most ethical Congress ever….when will Nazi Pelosi’s investigation begin? Never…..

uhsooner on April 22, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Obviously the story is true.

drjohn on April 22, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Feinstein’s a Democrat. Only Republicans are part of the “Culture of Corruption.” Case closed.

So Ed, please stop trying to confuse the public.

Cicero43 on April 22, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Where are all of the wackos that scream about how we invaded Iraq just to help Bush/Cheney’s oil buddies? They could see that relationship (irrespective of facts), but can’t see this one???

gregbert on April 22, 2009 at 5:34 PM

Lump this together with Di-Fi blowing it on the Pakistan drone issue…. California must have the dumbest voters ever when they continue to elect Waxman, Pelosi, Boxer, and Di-Fi. I actually like Jane Harmon – she’s always been “reasonable”. Her current problem is totally caused by Pelosi, who hates her. Get some candidates in CA to go against these hacks – If…. there are any decent people still living there.

suzyk on April 22, 2009 at 5:35 PM

As Chairman of the Board, Dick helps to set the company’s strategic direction, but he does not get involved in day-to-day operational decisions, including client service or contract bidding. Dick had no advance knowledge whatsoever that we were pursuing the FDIC opportunity…

I love how these two sentances defame [the] Dick. The first says he provdes strategic direction, and the second states he was not involved in the strategic decision to pursue the FDIC opportunity.

You know they are in tight with congress, they do not read what they send out.

WashJeff on April 22, 2009 at 5:36 PM

The Democrat Culture of Corruption Continues.

Jaibones on April 22, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Go to Jail
Move Directly to Jail
Do Not Pass “Go”
Do Not Collect $200

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2009 at 5:42 PM

With Nazi Peloser leadiing the House, a talking cadaver (Reid) running the Senate and a Chicago politician in the White House, this may be the most corrupt government ever assembled in mankind. Add the fact the Taliban has control of Pakistan to within 6o miles of Islamabad, God help us.

volsense on April 22, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Where is the SEC on this? Is this not insider trading???
Maybe I’m just confused.

RobG on April 22, 2009 at 5:43 PM

a second-tier Washington newspaper with a well-known political agenda.

Having worked in commercial real estate for a couple of years; I am here to say most of the complete, duplicitous a$$holes who work for CB Richard Ellis are 4th maybe 5th tier as human beings. To be fair; they are first class liars and butt of many “this is actually a lawyer joke but substitute a commercial / cbre realtor.”

Branch Rickey on April 22, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Don’t be a hater. Dick is just being a good capitalist. Buy low, sell high…

tommylotto on April 22, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Feinstein has been sending money to her husband, and herself, for years. I’m surprised this one was reported.

No one probably remembers in the first months of GW Bush’s first term when the Communist Chinese forced down one of our surveillience plans (I guess as a test of W) and Feinstein had back channel communications with the Chinese. Her hubby was doing some business with them, I think as a Bank of America exec, and she wanted them to know that Bush’s actions did not reflect her wishes.

She’s a scum bag in a slick package with no media scrutiny.

InterestedObserver on April 22, 2009 at 5:44 PM

Branch Rickey on April 22, 2009 at 5:43 PM

That’s harsh. My wife worked there as a broker…

tommylotto on April 22, 2009 at 5:47 PM

This has got to be the most corrupt government ever. It is stunning in it’s naked power and money grabs.

It is also stunning that the audacity and the magnitude seems utterly lost on the general public.

ORconservative on April 22, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Feinstein and hubby have been getting away with this shit for years, why would she be worried that the Propaganda Ministry of the DNC would say a word about it to the serfs?

jukin on April 22, 2009 at 5:49 PM

SEC insider trading no longer illegal according to DHS memo to Dept of Justice. “It will be the Attorney Generals decision to move forward on prosecuting any possible wrong doing or misunderstandings regarding the strategic directions or decision making abilities of the CB of CBRE.”

lasertex on April 22, 2009 at 5:49 PM

That’s harsh. My wife worked there as a broker…

tommylotto on April 22, 2009 at 5:47 PM

Hope she wasn’t one of the crooks who had their licenses taken away. To be fair, most of the ones were guys who were the most intolerable ~ especially the ones who were paid “government fair-market value” for leases. [yep, none of them cared at all that they were soaking the tax payers.

Branch Rickey on April 22, 2009 at 5:50 PM

Dear CB folks,

Diamondback, Timber, Sidewinder…..all the same critter.

Sincerely,

Limerick on April 22, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Where’s the troll, low-life, “no one is above the laws?”

Branch Rickey on April 22, 2009 at 5:51 PM

Nothing to see here, move along. Senator Feinstein (Cr-CA) is wholly blameless for this obvious bit of serendipity. You may ignore the woman behind the curtains.

What chutzpa!

SeniorD on April 22, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Where’s the troll, low-life, “no one is above the laws?”

Branch Rickey on April 22, 2009 at 5:51 PM

No worries. Feinstein and hubby aren’t above the law, just invisible to it.

Limerick on April 22, 2009 at 5:53 PM

If a project took nine months to bid with multiple presentations, you can bet Dick knew about it on some level. Being cynical, I doubt Feinstein will have to suffer any consequences for this….

catlady on April 22, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Nice “get” Ed, your source obviously has a great deal of respect for you and your journalistic integrity.

thomasaur on April 22, 2009 at 5:54 PM

ROTF More racist rants from Hot air

(don’t have any idea how it is racist but can spin something racist in it if you give me a day)

seven on April 22, 2009 at 5:55 PM

test

ninjapirate on April 22, 2009 at 5:55 PM

All validity of all the arguments posited were lost in the first paragraph…to wit “…was published yesterday in a second-tier Washington newspaper…”

It’s only second-tier because it doesn’t protect Democrats.

It might draw Feinstein’s first tears.

Steve Z on April 22, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Good thing the CBRE corporate communications people let their employee’s know who is a “legitimate” source for news. Don’t mind those silly blogs, or those “second-tier” newspapers. I’m in corporate communications, and know that something internal should have been released. This, however, was not it.

Johnson on April 22, 2009 at 5:56 PM

Sounds like business as usual for the Democrats, the most criminal bunch of incompetents ever assembled.

ornery_independent on April 22, 2009 at 5:58 PM

As Chairman of the Board, Dick helps to set the company’s strategic direction, but he does not get involved in day-to-day operational decisions, including client service or contract bidding. Dick had no advance knowledge whatsoever that we were pursuing the FDIC opportunity, and only discovered we were awarded this contract when Brett issued his internal employee announcement on November 26.

So the Chairman of the Board isn’t corrupt, he’s just clueless. Because CBRE needs his better/worse half in the Senate to keep bringing in the bacon, CBRE employees will C his A (and hers too).

Steve Z on April 22, 2009 at 6:03 PM

Go to Jail
Move Directly to Jail
Do Not Pass “Go”
Do Not Collect $200

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2009 at 5:42 PM

I’m playing the The Feinstein Card

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Sounds like business as usual for the Democrats, the most criminal bunch of incompetents ever assembled.

ornery_independent on April 22, 2009 at 5:58 PM

Yup…. and then attack the messenger when you don’t like the message

UltimateBob on April 22, 2009 at 6:07 PM

I’m getting really, really mad as he$%. When I look at the people in congress I’m sick to death of them all. They all are criminals and it’s too bad they don’t take the honorable way out.
I hope Texas takes a hike and I’ll be there with them.

Bambi on April 22, 2009 at 6:17 PM

Anyone who thinks this issue will ever see scrutiny, let alone a day in court….raise your eyebrows. I’d say raise your hands, but someone of ill content might deem that republicon naziism.

capejasmine on April 22, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Senator Feinstein was just trying to help the good people over at the FDIC..and God knows she never discussed this with her husband…
We are all just a bunch of cynical second-tier blog commenters.

d1carter on April 22, 2009 at 6:36 PM

However, the article never actually draws any connection whatsoever between the Senator and the FDIC contract or Dick Blum, for that matter.

So they’re denying there’s any connection between “the Senator” and “Dick Blum”?

taznar on April 22, 2009 at 6:43 PM

The revenue opportunity under the FDIC contract is unknown, but under any scenario, the amount of money we will earn will be immaterial (well less than one percent of revenue) for a $5 billion company

Hmmmm . . . so they had a large team of people working for 9 months to put together a bid on a contract whose value to the company is “unknown” but which they expect to be “immaterial” in any event?

They’re either liars or idiots, or both.

AZCoyote on April 22, 2009 at 6:44 PM

We had a team of people working continuously on this opportunity for more than nine months

Lets see… NINE months ago would have been last JULY… before the mortgage bubble burst and the economy tanked…

Last July the Mortgage market was still in good shape, so why did they start working on it then?

Or… as I have suspected for some time… were there some people, politicians and bankers, who were in the KNOW about the upcoming debacle… and didn’t do anything to aleviate it?

Romeo13 on April 22, 2009 at 6:46 PM

I’m playing the The Feinstein Card

TheBigOldDog on April 22, 2009 at 6:05 PM

Wouldn’t that be the “Get out of Jail Free” card now that the dems are in control?

Or as get-a-life would call the dems in charge, “the adults.”

Liberty or Death on April 22, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Great article Ed – all the murkypoints are rightfully exposed and clearly the “he knows nothing”, supported by “9 months of intensive bidding” is the smoking gun.

Corp Comm folks are some of the dumbest people in any company – and are picked due to their marginal brains. They are order takers and tell the world what they are told to tell. They mimic the talking points – with zero benefit to their communication, even for the people they are lying to protect.

Odie1941 on April 22, 2009 at 7:19 PM

It could be true, but it almost requires a belief in the Tooth Fairy to buy that explanation.

Sort of like cattle futures.

Johan Klaus on April 22, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Or… as I have suspected for some time… were there some people, politicians and bankers, who were in the KNOW about the upcoming debacle… and didn’t do anything to aleviate it?

Romeo13 on April 22, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Insider information. What did they know and when did they know it?

Johan Klaus on April 22, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Given Di’s past practice of managing to direct military contracts to one of her husband’s companies, this isn’t so far fetched.

GarandFan on April 22, 2009 at 7:44 PM

Ding ding ding!!

Last July the Mortgage market was still in good shape, so why did they start working on it then?

Or… as I have suspected for some time… were there some people, politicians and bankers, who were in the KNOW about the upcoming debacle… and didn’t do anything to aleviate it?

Romeo13 on April 22, 2009 at 6:46 PM

You are correct- it’s one facet of The Cloward Piven Strategy in action. And now the Freddie Mac CFO “commits suicide” at 41, after just receiving a huge bonus? Feinstain is a stain on the Republic, I believe she and her crooked hubby knew all about this and multiple other duplicitous things.

We’ll be lucky if we ever get to the bottom of all the corruption that has been and is continuing to go on.

NTWR on April 22, 2009 at 7:49 PM

This is a big deal and involves a lot of money. Blum’s various companies own over 10% of CB Richard Ellis. Given the company’s mkt cap, that means in excess of $150 Million.

About the same time of the contract award, Mr. Blum’s private investment firm reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it and related affiliates had purchased more than 10 million new shares in CB Richard Ellis. The shares were purchased for the going price of $3.77; CBRE’s stock closed Monday at $5.14

Blum has a huge stake in CB Richard Ellis Group Inc:
http://www.secform4.com/insider-trading/1138118.htm

The 10,610,079 shares are just the latest required filing and reflect a single day purchase on 11/12/2008. But if you look at the SEC docs you’ll see that he’s been averaging down. Blum controlled companies own over 10% of the CB Richard Ellis, which happens to have a market cap of $1.56b. It is an understatement to say he has a large position.

moxie_neanderthal on April 22, 2009 at 8:02 PM

Senator Dianne Feinstein needs to be sharing a cell with former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham, period end of story.

doriangrey on April 22, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Do we not remember Maxine Waters during TARP 1 making sure her hubby got some bank business thrown his way?
The failure and corruption of our government is sickening. This is what Sarah and McCain were talking about when they were going to clean up the corruption in government. Unless we demand smaller and more honest government nothing will happen.

BetseyRoss on April 22, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Excellent post, Ed. The only possible flaw in your logic might be that you translated “team of people” into “team of executives”. From my 30 years of exposure to corporate-speak, “team of people” can mean anything from 20 high-level managers to 2 clerks in Hoboken. If it’s the latter, then the CEO could have plausible deniability, although it sure seems suspicious.

KS Rex on April 22, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Below is a sample of bills that Senator Feinstein introduced in the last Congress:
A bill that established licensing standards for the mortgage industry, although she is not on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee (enacted as part of P.L. 110-289);
A bill that closed the Enron Loophole, although she is not on the Agriculture Committee (enacted as part of P.L. 110-234);
A bill that banned harmful phthalates from children’s toys, although she is not a member of the Commerce Committee (enacted as part of P.L. 110-314);
A bill to raise fuel efficiency of America’s fleet of vehicles by ten miles per gallon over ten years, although she is not a member of the Commerce or Energy Committees (enacted as part of P.L. 110-140);
A bill to renew trade sanctions against the Burmese junta, although she is not a member of the Finance Committee (enacted as P.L. 110-52);
A bill to reduce the tariff on imported ethanol, although she is not a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

There is much to Google with this. Anyone care to place a bet on Feinstein’s friends or family being “connected” with these bills? Of course, all will have “no evidence of a conflict of interest”.

Hmmmmm…..they didn’t say wasn’t a conflict, just that there was no evidence of it…

BobMbx on April 22, 2009 at 8:18 PM

Insider information. What did they know and when did they know it?
Johan Klaus on April 22, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Apparently, plenty, and last July??
-
/obvious. sorry.
-
Note: with the Freddie-Mac dude this morning .. what was that “fall on their sword” thingy again ??

CaveatEmpty on April 22, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Richard Blum controlled companies happen to own over 10% of the $1.56b company. To say he owns a large position is an understatement.

The 10,610,079 share purchase ($39,999,998) was just one day (11/12/2008).

Richard Blum is a very busy guy.

So is the little lady.
It would be interesting to take a closer look at Richard’s investments and compare those to the business that comes across his wife’s desk or before the various committees.

moxie_neanderthal on April 22, 2009 at 8:20 PM

Clinton is to Foster

as

Obama is to Kellerman

Was it suicide, or was it a case of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”?

BobMbx on April 22, 2009 at 8:23 PM

Sorry for the double post….

moxie_neanderthal on April 22, 2009 at 8:26 PM

She is so credible on issues of ethics…here are just two examples of her activities benefiting her husband:

Check out Feinstein’s role in transferring Hunter’s Point Naval Yard to investors including members of Nancy Pelosi’s family and SF Mayor Gavin Newsom.

http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/singing-in-the-rain-hunters-point-shipyard-enriches-sf%E2%80%99s-most-powerful-families/

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=df6d6934de76bd863faae6f466300970

Questions of conflict of interest have been raised about Sen. Dianne Feinstein, after her husband’s company was awarded an Army contract worth $600 million, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=32190

Tip of the iceberg.

in_awe on April 22, 2009 at 8:46 PM

This certainly looks like insider trading as well as conflict of interest.

Wasn’t Feinstein involved in legislation to exempt a particular US territory from labor requirements, and didn’t the exemption primarily benefit the cannery of a tuna fishing company in which her family has significant interests?

Oh well! What is the point of being in government if you can’t take home a little extra?

burt on April 22, 2009 at 8:52 PM

Excellent reporting Ed. The new media hits a homerun.

Zorro on April 22, 2009 at 9:17 PM

Its just Graft. Insider Trading and business as usual for Democrat Career Politicians. Above ethics & above the law.

old trooper2 on April 22, 2009 at 9:48 PM

See, the email proves it, it was an accident, DiFi stepped on the soap slipped and CBRE cashed in. How come 100% of the time when pols and their private interests cross paths their interests ALWAYS benefits. If this was truly by chance every once in a while their interest would suffer wouldn’t they? It’s like President Urkel’s cabinet everybody had tax MISTAKES but nobody overpaid! What are the chances?

Dadzilla on April 22, 2009 at 10:30 PM

Feinstein corrupt!!!

In other news…

Sun Rises!

Water Wet!!

44Magnum on April 22, 2009 at 10:35 PM

Didn’t Maxine Waters get the same kind of influx of bailout money for her husbands bank; her husband making a ton of profits??

The Maxine Waters case was similar to Feinstein’s in that each went to the Senate/House Banking Committee to push for these bailouts, which, at the very least, is odd. That they both profit is more than coincindence.

TN Mom on April 22, 2009 at 10:46 PM

Tragically, she’s our most conservative senator from California.

Got to vote against her for Governor, and Senator, several times.

She runs on myopic feel-good-ism. Hard to spit out, she votes better than Boxer.

juanito on April 22, 2009 at 11:53 PM

I just read Feinstein’s web page on this matter. She’s trying to baffle us with bullshit. Or is she tossing red herrings right and left? Whatever the simile, she’s doing it, and it’s not flying.

unclesmrgol on April 23, 2009 at 12:17 AM

Frankly, given all the challenges Sen. Feinstein is dealing with, she has other more important priorities to focus on than CBRE’s day-to-day operations.
Translation: “This is a distraction”
portlandon

Translation: It’s Thursday

DSchoen on April 23, 2009 at 3:14 AM

Dick had no advance knowledge whatsoever that we were pursuing the FDIC opportunity…

Okay, so Dick is a twit when it comes to the day-to-day operational of his company.

Did someone else let Di Fi know they, CBRE, were pursuing the FDIC opportunity?

DSchoen on April 23, 2009 at 3:22 AM

In the words of the current Sec of State, this will “require a willing suspension of disbelief.”

generouse on April 23, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Even the appearance of impropriety is WRONG.

Unless you’re a democrat.

HondaV65 on April 23, 2009 at 5:10 PM