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Naturally: California awards billion-dollar high speed rail contract to firm partly owned by Dianne Feinstein’s husband

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By Doug Powers  •  April 27, 2013 03:22 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

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All aboard the crony capitalism train!

Remember the good old days when Dianne Feinstein would insist her husband remove his name from consideration for government contracts in the state she represents because she didn’t want there to be any appearance of impropriety? Me neither.

From Crazifornia by way of Sister Toldjah:

Out of the entire universe of those who could have won the first phase construction contract for California’s high speed rail boondoggle, who would stand out as the last person who would win it if there were no political patronage.

Put another way, who is the most likely person to win it if there is political patronage?

Both questions have the same answer: Richard Blum, the husband of California senator Diane Feinstein.

So, who won the contract? Blum, of course, as the principle owner of Tutor Perini, the lead firm in the three-firm consortium selected by the California High Speed Rail Authority.

That would help explain headlines like this one from just over a year ago:

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Shorter headline: Cha-CHING!

More from Investors Business Daily:

Tutor Perini Corporation (NYSE: TPC), a leading civil and building construction company, today announced that its joint venture’s bid, valued at approximately $985 million, was recently identified by the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) as the “apparent best value” for the design and construction of the initial Madera to Fresno segment of the California high-speed rail system. The Authority’s Board of Directors is expected to approve the design-build contract for this project in the coming weeks. Once the contract is awarded, Tutor Perini’s portion of the contract value will be added to the Company’s backlog.

What is the “apparent best value”? About $35 million per mile of track. But it’s a small price to pay to be able to make the popular Borden to Shafter commute in record time (or maybe not).

Past DiFi coverage:

The Feinstein Chronicles

A question for Dianne Feinstein

DiFi and the culture of corruption

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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