Dianne Feinstein’s Husband Wins Big California Contract: $35M Per Mile

Remember the high-speed rail that California is building to be subsidized by those of us who will never set foot on it? Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband, Richard Blum, “won” the “first phase construction contract.” Of course he did.  The National Black Chamber of Commerce is not happy!

Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein

The Perini-Zachary-Parsons bid was the lowest received from the five consortia participating in the bidding process, but “low” is a relative term. The firms bid $985,142,530 to build the wildly anticipated first section of high speed rail track that will tie the megopolis of Madera to the global finance center of Fresno. Do the division, and you find that the low bid came in at a mere $35 million per mile.

And that doesn’t include the cost of rolling stock (that’s engines and cars to the normal among us). Nor does it include the cost of electrifying the route. Does it at least include the cost of land acquisition? No, it does not.

As this fiasco progress, remember that this $35 million per mile represents the best California can do on the section of track the High on Crack Speed Rail Authority selected to go first because it will be the cheapest. Source: Crazifornia (emphasis mine) Thanks to Daily Paul

The National Black Chamber of Commerce says the Government has embraced a “Gangster Corporation:”

…So it was apropos when the federal government along with the State of New York decided to come up with a crime busting taskforce aimed at the construction activity within the region. They knew they were going after the five Mafia families but they also ended up with a big catch outside the typical organized crime membership. They took the “scalp” of the gigantic firm known as Tutor Perini [Feinstein’s husband’s firm].

The taskforce was comprised of members from Department of Justice, IRS, US Dept. of Transportation, Office of State Inspector General, and US Dept. of Labor and New York City of Transportation. According to the New York US Attorney’s office: “Following a four-week trial, a federal jury in Brooklyn yesterday (March 9, 2011) found Zohrab B. Marashlian, the former president of Perini Corp.’s Civil Division, an international construction services corporation, guilty of fraud and conspiracy to launder money. The charges arose out of Marashlian’s false representation to New York government agencies that Disadvantaged Business Entities (DBE’s) were performing work in connection with major public works contracts, when, in reality, Marashlian had non-disadvantaged businesses favored by Perini Corp. do the work.” Tutor Perini paid Marashlian $14 million in salary while all this was going on. Two days before Marashlian was to receive a multi-year prison sentence he committed suicide. A fellow employee is currently doing a long prison term for the same case.

Perini has been caught doing such things over and over again. They are absolutely ridiculous in California projects. It is like DBE fronting is a part of its business model. Overall fraud appears to be a part of that model also. According to the Seattle News some of the Perini headlines read: “In February, Tutor-Saliba and Perini agreed to pay $19 million to settle racketeering and fraud allegations in a San Francisco airport project.” “In 2004, Perini agreed to pay the federal government $998,500 to settle fraud claims in the construction of an embassy building in Venezuela.” “The companies are embroiled in an 11 – year legal battle over $16 million in extra costs on a Los Angeles subway job.” “Perini sued for more than $170 million in cost overruns on three New York City projects during the 1990s before settling for about $22 million.”

Just a few day ago, Feinstein praised California Governor Jerry Brown and “cautioned” that “federal funding” will depend on the “final cost projections,” which seem to stand at $35 Million per mile as charged by her husband’s firm. Only in California would $35 Million per mile be deemed acceptable. In this April 10th statement there is no mention that her husband is or is to be involved. Read that story here.

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