California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), 87, is reportedly willing to pay a fine after federal forms she submitted failed to disclose shares her husband purchased in a polling firm.
According to Business Insider, Richard Blum, Feinstein’s husband of over forty years, purchased up to $50,000 worth of shares in The Generation Lab. The company, which was known as College Reaction at the time Blum made his purchase, is a Washington, D.C.-based polling and research firm that studies trends and young people.
Feinstein reportedly told the secretary of the Senate in a letter in early January that her husband’s investment should have been reported weeks prior. According to Business Insider, Feinstein is willing to pay any fines, but has not been contacted about doing so.
A spokesperson for Feinstein told Fox Business that the senator first became aware of Blum’s investment in The Generation Lab when his employer conducted a review of his transactions. The investment was reported upon discovery, said the spokesperson.
“We can’t speak to why it had been previously overlooked but have been assured that personnel involved in her husband’s transactions are aware of the reporting requirements,” Feinstein’s spokesperson told Fox Business in a statement.
Blum’s decisions have put Feinstein in the spotlight on other occasions.
Back in the first half of 2020, Feinstein was questioned by federal law enforcement officials in connection with Blum’s decision to sell between $1.5 million and $6 million in biotechnology stock between January 31 and February 18.
Her office described the questioning as “voluntary,” and said that she also provided documents to show that she has no role in her husband’s finances. In March, she said that all of her own assets have been in a blind trust throughout her Senate career.
Under Senate rules I report my husband’s financial transactions. I have no input into his decisions. My husband in January and February sold shares of a cancer therapy company. This company is unrelated to any work on the coronavirus and the sale was unrelated to the situation.
— Senator Dianne Feinstein (@SenFeinstein) March 20, 2020
After the college admissions scandal, the California Auditor’s Office reviewed practices at the University of California and found that a UC Regent — later identified as Blum — wrote an “inappropriate letter of support” for a student. According to the auditor’s office, which deemed the case “particularly problematic,” the student appeared to have been admitted to UC Berkeley because of the letter of support from the regent.
Although the audit didn’t mention Blum by name, he later admitted to writing the letter, and to writing other such letters “a bunch of times” for different people over the years, the Mercury News reported.
“My cousin’s brother wanted to get into Davis,” Blum, who has been a UC regent since 2002, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “They’d send me a letter and tell me why it’s a good kid, and I’ll send it on to the chancellor. Been doing it forever.”
“I’m not convinced I’ve done anything wrong. It all sounds kinda boring to me,” said Blum.
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