Culture of Corruption: Mainstream Media Ignore Feinstein's Conflict

Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is involved in a scandal that so far the media has completely ignored. David Keene reports:

Anyone who knows much about real power in Congress knows that almost every member of the House and Senate lusts after a seat on the Appropriations Committee and hopes one day to achieve the status of Cardinal. The Cardinals, of course, are the folks who chair the various Appropriations Committee subcommittees and literally control the billions of dollars that pass through their hands.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) chairs the Senate Rules Committee, but she’s also a Cardinal. She is currently chairwoman of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee, but until last year was for six years the top Democrat on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (or “Milcon”) sub-committee, where she may have directed more than $1 billion to companies controlled by her husband.

If the inferences finally coming out about what she did while on Milcon prove true, she may be on the way to morphing from a respected senior Democrat into another poster child for congressional corruption.

The problems stem from her subcommittee activities from 2001 to late 2005, when she quit. During that period the public record suggests she knowingly took part in decisions that eventually put millions of dollars into her husband’s pocket — the classic conflict of interest that exploited her position and power to channel money to her husband’s companies.

In other words, it appears Sen. Feinstein was up to her ears in the same sort of shenanigans that landed California Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R) in the slammer. Indeed, it may be that the primary difference between the two is basically that Cunningham was a minor leaguer and a lot dumber than his state’s senior senator. [...]

In spite of the blatant appearance of corruption, no major publication has picked up on the story, the Senate Ethics Committee has reportedly let her slip by, and she is now chairing the Senate Rules Committee, which puts her in charge of making sure her colleagues act ethically and avoid the sorts of conflicts of interest with which she is personally and so obviously familiar.

Hat tip: florida_chad.

Update 19:10. Ed Morrissey has been following this case for a while and adds this:

I'm glad Keene gives this some sunlight -- but I first wrote about this last month. As Keene notes, not much has changed in the interim -- but I have posted my original at Heading Right to highlight just how disinterested the media seems in Congressional corruption when practiced by Democrats.

Update (Ken Shepherd | May 3, 10:10 EDT): CNSNews.com, a division of the Media Research Center, has covered the Feinstein scandal.

CNSNews.com managing editor Patrick Goodenough also informed me that Silicon Valley's metroactive.com has coverage of the scandal here.


Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013