Dianne Feinstein

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Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein is a Democratic member of the United States Senate, representing California. She was originally elected to the Senate in 1992.

Early life

Dianne Feinstein was born in San Francisco, California, on June 22, 1933, to a Jewish physician father, Leon Goldman, and a Catholic Russian-American mother, Betty Rosenburg Goldman.

Feinstein was introduced to politics by an uncle who began taking her to San Francisco Board of Supervisors (city council) meetings when she was sixteen. She recalled later that this was the main factor in her decision to pursue a career in public service. After graduating from San Francisco's Sacred Heart High School, she attended Stanford University. She studied history and political science and was also active in student government. She received her bachelor's degree in 1955.

In 1956 Feinstein married Jack K. Berman, a man who would eventually become a San Francisco superior court judge. The couple had one daughter. Combining marriage and family with a career, Feinstein was employed by a public affairs group that was interested in criminal justice. She went on to work for California's Industrial Welfare Commission and was appointed in 1962 to a four-year term on the state's Women's Board of Paroles. When her first marriage ended in divorce, she withdrew from public life for a time but came back as a member of San Francisco's Mayor's Commission on Crime.[1]

Before her career in the Senate, Feinstein was the President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, elected in 1969 for 2.5 terms, and the Mayor of San Francisco, beginning in 1978 for 8 years. She is a San Francisco native. .[2]


In 1956, she married Jack K. Berman (died 2002), a colleague in the San Francisco District Attorney's office. Feinstein and Berman divorced three years later. Their daughter, Katherine Feinstein Mariano (b. 1957), is a Superior Court judge in San Francisco.

In 1962, shortly after beginning her career in politics, Feinstein married neurosurgeon Bertram Feinstein; her second husband died of colon cancer in 1978.

In 1980, Feinstein married Richard C. Blum, an investment banker.

Blum controversy

Controversy has ensued over Blum's companies, Perini Corporation and URS Corporation, for making a profit from the Iraq War. Both companies had contracts with the Department of Defense from 1997 through the end of 2005, with Feinstein's knowledge. Feinstein lobbied Pentagon officials in public hearings, trying to get them to support certain defense projects. Some of these already were or subsequently became URS or Perini contracts. From 2001 to 2005, URS earned $792 million from military construction and environmental cleanup projects approved by the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. Perini earned $759 million from such Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee projects[3]


  • Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
  • Senate Committee on Appropriations
  • Chairman of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies
  • Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
  • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
  • Subcommittee on Defense
  • Subcommittee on Energy and Water
  • Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
  • Senate Committee on the Judiciary
  • Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts
  • Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs
  • Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security
  • Subcommittee on The Constitution
  • Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security
  • Senate Committee on Rules and Administration[4]

Supporting communist Youth Festival


In 1985, while serving as mayor of San Francisco, Dianne Feinstein issued a proclamation in support of that year's World Festival of Youth and Students, in Moscow.

The event was organized by the Soviet front World Federation of Democratic Youth, and was supported locally by the Communist Party USA and similar groups.

EMILY's List

Feinstein has been supported by EMILY's List during her campaigning.

Brookings Institution

Feinstein and her husband, Richard C. Blum, contributed between $500,000 and $999,999 to the Brookings Institution, between July 1, 2008–June 30, 2009.[5]

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Dianne Feinstein in his successful Senate run as candidate for California.[6]

Drinan Award

The Father Robert F. Drinan National Peace and Human Rights Award was established in 2006. The award is annually presented by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation and Council for a Livable World to individuals who exemplify the late Father Drinan's commitment |to peace and human justice".

The award broadly focuses on U.S. politics, political science, physical science, biology, peace studies, and peace and human rights activism.

CLW Gratitude for Leadership on Nuclear Funding Program

June 27, 2013 the Senate Appropriations Committee marked-up the FY 2014 Energy and Waters Appropriations bill. Because of the efforts and leadership of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) the committee passed a bill that increases funding to prevent nuclear terrorism while scaling back wasteful spending on the life extension program for the B61 nuclear gravity bomb.

“We applaud Sen. Feinstein for her leadership in preventing nuclear terrorism and curtailing wasteful spending on an unnecessary and unrealistic life extension program,” said Kingston Reif, director of non-proliferation programs at Council for a Livable World. “Her bill is a victory for U.S. national security and the more responsible stewardship of defense dollars, We hope that the Senate funding levels are included in the final appropriations bill.”

The President’s FY 2014 budget request for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) slashed funding for successful anti-nuclear terrorism and nonproliferation programs including the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, which have removed dangerous nuclear materials from ten countries. While cutting cost-effective non-proliferation programs, the request for the B61 refurbishment rose by forty-five percent above FY2013 appropriations. Two years ago, NNSA estimated the program would cost $4 billion and start in 2017. Today, its estimate has ballooned to over $10 billion and the first refurbished bomb will not be produced until 2020 at the earliest.

“By reversing more than $120 million in core nuclear and radiological terrorism prevention program cuts, the Senate bill would ensure that these activities remain on an accelerated track to secure dangerous weapons usable materials,” said John Isaacs, executive director of Council for a Livable World. “It also sends a signal that future administration budget requests must adequately fund these programs.”[8]

Honoring Harry Bridges

On July 30 2001, a ribbon cutting ceremony for the dedication of Harry Bridges Plaza in San Francisco. Mayor Willie Brown led the event. Joining him on the platform were Rep. Nancy Pelosi, County supervisor Adam Peskin, Port Commission vice chairman and former ILWU president Brian McWilliams and Bridges' widow Nikki Bridges Flynn.

Messages came from Gov. Gray Davis, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Assemblyman Kevin Shelley.[9]

Phillip Burton Awards Committee

In 2013, the Honorary Phillip Burton Awards Committee, of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, consisted of;

  • Jeff Adachi, San Francisco Public Defender
  • The Honorable David Campos, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable David Chiu, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • Carmen Chu, San Francisco Assessor-Recorder
  • The Honorable Malia Cohen, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Anna Eshoo, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Mark Farrell, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, US Senator for California
  • The Honorable Barbara Lee, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Zoe Lofgren, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Eric Mar, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable George Miller, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Leader of the US House of Representatives
  • The Honorable Jackie Speier, US Representative for California
  • The Honorable Katy Tang, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Scott Wiener, San Francisco Board of Supervisors
  • The Honorable Norman Yee, San Francisco Board of Supervisors[10]

Fred Ross award campaign

In early 2013, mainly Democratic Socialists of America aligned activists, together with many elected officials across the United States came together to urge President Barack Obama to award posthumously the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the legendary organizer, Fred Ross, Sr.. The Saul Alinsky trained radical was the first to organize people through house meetings, a mentor to both Cesar Chavez and DSAer Dolores Huerta, and a pioneer in Latino voter outreach since 1949 when he helped elect Communist Party USA affiliate Ed Roybal as Los Angeles’s first Latino council member, "Ross’ influence on social change movements remains strong two decades after his death in 1992".

Congressional endorsers of the proposal included Dianne Feinstein.[11]

External links