Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein was forced to resign as chairwoman of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee amid reports that her husband, Richard Blum, owned two major defense contractors, which were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.
Two years ago, before the Washington Post became belatedly involved, the online magazine Salon.com exposed the horrors of deficient medical care for Iraq war veterans.While leading MILCON, Feinstein had ample warning of the medical-care meltdown. But she was not proactive on veteran’s affairs.
Feinstein abandoned MILCON as her ethical problems were surfacing in the media, and as it was becoming clear that her subcommittee left grievously wounded veterans to rot while her family was profiting from the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
It turns out that Blum also holds large investments in companies that were selling medical equipment and supplies and real estate leases — often without the benefit of competitive bidding — to the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as the system of medical care for veterans collapsed on his wife’s watch.
As of December 2006, according to SEC filings and www.fedspending.org, three corporations in which Blum’s financial entities own a total of $1 billion in stock won considerable favor from the budgets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs:
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