U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband, University of California Regent Richard Blum, was named Thursday by the state auditor’s office as one of the regents involved in an admissions scandal where UC wrongly admitted dozens of wealthy, mostly white students as favors, Kron4 reported.
Prestigious universities around the country have been named in the college admissions scandals, which have involved admitting well-connected students in favor of more qualified applicants. Athletic coaches and dozens of wealthy parents have been named.
The scandals have shone a spotlight on how racial, educational, and economic inequality and discrimination help create a system where low-income Black students struggle to access quality education, Vox reported.
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A regent who was not identified in the audit involving the UC admissions scandal sent an “inappropriate letter of support” directly to the UC Berkeley chancellor — despite a policy against it — on behalf of a student who had a 26-percent chance of being chosen off the waitlist, the Chronicle reported. The applicant was admitted.
Blum was the regent, auditor spokeswoman Margarita Fernandez told the Associated Press.
A San Francisco investment banker, Blum has a net worth of about $1 billion, according to Inside Philanthropy. His wife, Democratic California Sen. Feinstein, is the second-wealthiest serving U.S. senator — estimated net worth: $94 million.
Blum Capital, a private equity firm founded in 1975 by Feinstein’s husband, is the source of most of her wealth, Investopedia reported.
One of Blum Capital’s first investments was a stake in URS Corp — an engineering, design, and construction firm and a U.S. federal government contractor.
Blum is a member of the board of trustees of UC Berkley’s Richard C. Blum Center for Developing Economies and provided $15 million for the center, which is focused on finding solutions for poverty and disease in the developing world.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday that he’s used his influence to get friends and family into the elite public system for years and that he’s done nothing wrong, KRON4 reported.
“I did it a bunch of times,” Blum said, adding that he never considered it a problem to write recommendation letters bypassing the traditional admissions process. Throughout Blum’s 18-year tenure on the Board of Regents, a policy has been in place prohibiting such influence, the newspaper reported.
Blum and Feinstein have been criticized over his 75-percent stake in contractor Tutor Perini, which received hundreds of millions-to-billions of dollars in military contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan during the U.S. occupation there. Critics said that business contracts with the U.S. government awarded to a company controlled by Blum are a potential conflict-of-interest issue with the voting and policy activities of his wife.
Democratic lawmakers acknowledge that slavery was the original sin of U.S. history, but some just want reparations to go away, including Sen. Feinstein.
The senior Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Feinstein said she understands why Ta-Nehisi Coates and other thought leaders are calling for reparations, but warned in 2019 that the issue is divisive.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
“I understand why. I also understand the wound that it (reparations) opens and the trials and tribulations it’s going to bring about. Some things are just better left alone and I think that’s one of those things,” Feinstein said, according to an article in The Hill published June 26, 2019.
“This is a major blemish on American democracy that has lasted for over 100 years now. It’s not going to change and we have to learn from it and I think we have,” Feinstein said.
Blum is the chairman and founder of the American Himalayan Foundation (AHF), which has given millions of dollars to build hospitals and schools in Tibet and Nepal.
“Believing in these Democratic Party heroes who hate the idea of reparations is like two groups believing in Santa Claus but only one group gets gifts.They give you Kente symbolism, Kamala, & more KOPS, they take the $ & structure. It’s DNC millionaires reporting to billionaires,” Jamarlin Martin, CEO and founder of The Moguldom Nation, tweeted.