How is it possible that California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s estimated worth is $70 million? The deal her husband's company has made with the USPS just might explain everything.
Richard Blum is part owner of one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the world, CBRE. In 2011, CBRE won the bid to sell 56 buildings owned by the USPS. Sales are expected to reach $19 billion. According to Page Six, Blum's company is the only real estate agent assigned to this deal and its expected commission is approximately $1 billion.
It is important to note that Blum has been a member of CBRE’s board since May 1993 and has served as a chairman for the company from 2001 to 2014. Also interesting, one of CBRE’s largest shareholders is Blum Capital, a private equity firm founded by Blum.
Investigative journalist, Peter Bryne, has written a book titled “Going Postal”, wherein he discusses the relationship between Blum, Feinstein, CBRE and the USPS. Byrne hints that Senator Feinstein had an influence over the deal between the governmental agency and her husband’s real estate firm, and that her influence helped CBRE land the $19 billion-dollar deal. However, Feinstein’s communications director, Brian Weiss, denies any involvement on Feinstein’s behalf. Also in response to Bryne’s allegations, a spokesman for CBRE insists that Blum is in no way involved with day-to-day operations or management of CBRE and, therefore, would have no say in how this particular deal was handled.
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In June 2013, the Inspector General for the USPS published an audit report. The report concluded that the marriage between Feinstein and Blum did not create a conflict of interest. It seems that CBRE landed the bid fair and square, and the company will soon become $1 billon richer.