Political double dipping

24 Feb

Last September we brought you a story of a campaign treasurer cleaning out the accounts of dozens of politicians in California.

You may refresh your memory here.

One of those losing almost $5 million was Senator Dianne Feinstein.

She’s now asking the Federal Election Commission to allow previous donors who have maxed out to her reelection war chest to give again.

She says she needs to make up what Kindee Durkee allegedly embezzled from her campaign.

Durkee, a longtime Democratic treasurer with ties to hundreds of state, local and federal campaigns, has been charged by the Justice Department with diverting at least $660,000 from a California state lawmaker’s campaign account.

Damn, that’s a scary picture.

She’s also suspected of having diverted millions more, including the $4.5 million from Feinstein’s Senate committee.

Durkee is scheduled to appear in court next week.

She hasn’t been formally charged with taking money from the Feinstein campaign, although FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors are attempting to unravel the alleged embezzlement scheme, which could be the largest ever.

In a 98-page request, Feinstein’s campaign attorney argues that precedent dictates that the California Democrat should be able to take the additional money.

The filing notes that California officials have allowed state lawmakers hurt by the alleged theft of campaign cash to ask for additional money from maxed-out supporters, and asks the FEC to do the same.

The lawyer says the donations allegedly embezzled were never legally “accepted” by the Feinstein campaign because of Durkee’s alleged stole them first, and therefore Feinstein should be allowed to get more contributions from the same donors.

We hope the irony of stealing from a politician doesn’t escape you.

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