May 1st, 2009, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government today issued a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in order to “make positively certain that Senator Diane Feinstein’s husband’s company was not allotted over $200 million in foreclosed properties by the FDIC in return for the Senator proposing to appropriate $25 billion to the agency.”
“The public has a right to know to if and when legislative favors are made in return for lucrative government contracts,” said ALG President Bill Wilson.
The FOIA request includes all contracts between the FDIC and CB Richard Ellis (CBRE), the company Richard Blum chairs. Blum is Feinstein’s husband. The request also includes all communications between the FDIC and CBRE, the FDIC and Feinstein’s office, the FDIC and Blum, and the FDIC and Feinstein.
“The only way the American people are going to get to the bottom of this growing pay-to-play scandal is when this information is made public,” Wilson said.
“Now is the time to cast some sunshine on the cesspool politics that is so often commonplace in Washington,” Wilson added.
On April 21st, the Washington Times reported that Feinstein offered on October 30th, 2008 to secure funds for the FDIC just days before the agency awarded a three-year contract to CBRE “which raises the appearance of impropriety.”
The Feinstein bill would provide the FDIC with an unusual direct grant to expand its mortgage modification and loan guarantee programs. Mr. Blum’s contract with the FDIC could ne him hundreds of millions of dollars in sale of foreclosed properties held by the FDIC.
Americans for Limited Government recently called upon the Senate Ethics Committee to immediately investigate Feinstein’s role in the scandal.
According to the Times story, Feinstein’s $25 billion proposal was a “pet project of FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair.” Feinstein ultimately introduced the legislation on January 6th of this year to give direct funds to the FDIC, which originally was supposed to operate by raising money from bank-paid insurance payments.
Feinstein’s unusual move came directly on the heels of her husband receiving a highly lucrative FDIC contract. By March, the FDIC had assigned CBRE 507 foreclosed properties to be sold, worth $221.7 million. It already has under contract to be sold more than $11 million worth of properties.
“We trust that the FDIC will be prompt in turning over the requested documents. Pay-to-play corruption symbolizes why America disdains politics as usual, and until it is rooted out and treated harshly, public confidence in our political system will continue to erode,” Wilson concluded.
Interview Availability: Please contact Alex Rosenwald at (703)383-0880 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview with ALG President Bill Wilson.