Comment by Jim Campbell
It is time for Dianne Feinstein to be retired from the United States with Elizabeth Emken her challenger showing the 79 year-old senator the door.
The Senior Senator from California has been involved in so many ethical clouds and shady dealings that the Senate Oversight Committee chose to ignore, it’s time for the anti incumbent voter in California to remove her from her ceremonial seat in the U.S. Senate.
Dr. Martin Griffin is a long-time Sonoma-Marin conservationist, founder of Hop Kiln Winery and public health director for 15 years of Sonoma Developmental Center.
Ordinarily when Dianne Feinstein puts this much effort into an effort going completely against her environmentalist constituents it’s “Follow the money time” and that money goes directly to one of her husband, Richard Blum’s companies.
Here she was forced to quit one of her committee assignments under the cloud of war profiteering. As a member of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee, Sen. Feinstein voted for appropriations worth billions to her husband’s firms
This situation is noticeably different as Drake’s Bay is a relatively small company, run by the Lunny family for the past 100 years and not publicly traded. Following the money trail has been to this point impossible, yet an earlier article alluded to her work on behalf of ‘backers.’
In the article, “Dianne Feinstein’s War,” written in the East Bay Express by Robert Gammon, Kevin Lunny, owner is politically connected, Lunny’s supporters also include wealthy Democratic Party donors who have taken up residence in bucolic West Marin. Among them is Nan T. McEvoy, a former co-owner and chairwoman of the San Francisco Chronicle who is also an influential campaign contributor. McEvoy owns a 550-acre organic olive farm near Point Reyes and has intervened on Lunny’s behalf in his efforts to extend his lease. It looks like we are beginning to unravel what’s in it for Dianne….political contributions of course.
Dianne Feinstein doesn’t work for the people of California, in most cases with her wrong-headed tax and spend ideology, she has been responsible for driving companies and jobs out of the state.
When she is not working against the people she is taking care of special interests has she has been doing with the Drakes Bay Oyster Company in the article below.
Last month, the California Coastal Commission issued an enforcement letter, outlining how the oyster company has violated harbor seal protections since 2008, has conducted illegal development since 2005, has failed to deal with its substantial marine debris pollution problem that litters the national seashore beaches with plastic tubes and has failed to pay a $61,250 fine from 2009 for violating environmental regulations.
Despite such egregious behavior, Feinstein echoes false claims that the company is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Even the Monterey Bay Aquarium has removed the company from its Seafood Watch partner list.
Feinstein has applied significant pressure on Salazar to waive laws and policies that preclude extending the company’s operations. Particularly disturbing to me has been Feinstein’s approach to secure a permit extension for the company:
She ignores legal and policy considerations and instead attacks National Park Service research and personnel by using flawed science developed by local oyster company ally Corey Goodman. Goodman’s criticisms of Park Service research, which Feinstein has been promoting in advocacy letters to Secretary Salazar, were discredited last month after a U.S. Marine Mammal Commission letter concluded that Goodman’s scientific analysis was “troubling,” “wrong,” “unreliable” and contains “fundamental flaws” making it “incorrect on multiple grounds.”
What’s in it for Dianne Feinstein?
The CA Health Department issued a warning “Not to eat oysters from Drakes Bay Oyster Company because of reported illness. Later that week the health department issued a recall of all Drakes Bay Oysters as many more people who ate the oysters became quite ill.
This fall, it is my strongest hope that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will decide to protect Drakes Estero, the ecological heart of the Point Reyes National Seashore and let the commercial occupation by the Drakes Bay Oyster Company expire as long intended.
Recently released documents reveal that Feinstein has relied on junk science in her efforts to block the creation of the first marine wilderness on the West Coast at Drakes Estero.Documents also show that Feinstein is promoting a company that has been in continuous violation of state and federal marine resource protection laws and facilitates irreversible damage to the ecology of the estero through the spread of the non-native, invasive “sea squirt” called Didemnum that coats the company’s non-native Japanese oysters. (See complete article below)
For nearly 40 years, the public has been waiting for the estero to receive permanent wilderness protections, which would occur this year when the company’s lease expires. This conservation legacy, as long directed by Congress’s 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act, was hijacked in 2005 when the original owners sold to new, (unnamed) investors — the Drakes Bay Oyster Company — who connected with Washington, D.C. lobbyists to change the law for their own selfish commercial interest.
This reversal of Drakes Estero’s future would break a promise to all Americans and damage the integrity of the national park and wilderness systems.