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Durkee, Dems & Other People’s Money: How They Lost Track of Millions, Billions and Trillions

My old dog Bruno has been howling his head off for the past week or so at the unkindest cut his Democratic favorites have suffered at the hands of the “Bernie Madoff of campaign treasurers,” Kinde Durkee.

Here are those know-it-all Democrats trying to find away around the know-nothing Republicans no-more-taxes-not-now-not ever pledge by pretending to be what these days is called “fiscally responsible,” formerly known as watching where every penny goes, even when it’s other people’s money.
Now we find out they not only can’t keep track of taxpayers’ money, they can’t keep track of all those millions that special interests from the business and labor communities pour into their campaign war chests in the expectation that they will get  ”access” that will provide favors worth hundreds of times their donations.
Durkee is the well-seasoned queen of California Democratic politicians from local to state to Congress who is free on $200,000 bail after a lengthy federal investigation led to her being arrested and charged with fraud involving $670,000 dollars missing from various campaign accounts among the hundreds she managed.
Poor Sen. Dianne Feinstein, she appears to be the biggest loser with a $5 million campaign fund that was looted. “I was wiped out,” Feinstein told Politico, with losses possibly running into the millions.”She did my ’92 campaign, my ’94 campaign, my 2000, my 2006 … my gubernatorial campaign. I trusted her implicitly.”
Feinstein’s lack of concern for the money was so great she turned over sole access to her account to Durkee so she doesn’t even know how much is missing or whether all of it is gone. Rep. Loretta Sanchez says she’s out $379,000, LA County Democrats $200,000, Assemblyman Jose Solorio $677,000, Rep. Susan Davis $250,000 who sent a letter to contributors over the weekend declaring:
“We have been robbed!”

A similar sentiment was expressed by state Sen. Lou Correa when the Orange County Register first reported the story.

“This is clearly a sense of betrayal of someone I have trusted for a number of years,” said Correa, who has used Durkee as his campaign treasurer since 1995. “This is a punch straight to the gut.”

The Register identified at least 113 state-level campaign committees that used Durkee including . Assemblymen Gilbert Cedillo, an; State Sens. Ted Lieu and Curren Price, and LA Councilman Paul Krekorian.

How so many politicians could pay so little attention to their campaign funds — the mother’s milk of politics — after all and jeopardize their future employment in the endless of political musical chairs may shed some light on how LA officials never noticed they were spending hundreds of millions of dollars more than they were taking in, and how state legislators failed to observe they were overspending by billion of dollars and how Congress was piling up trillions of dollars in debt.

Then again, you have to wonder if all the politicians who were taken to the cleaners by Durkee, allegedly, are innocent dupes and opes who were robbed and betrayed. Maybe, just maybe, there was some money laundering going on and Durkee wasn’t the only to put campaign contributions into her own pocket, allegedly.

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10 Responses to Durkee, Dems & Other People’s Money: How They Lost Track of Millions, Billions and Trillions

  1. As someone who has taken the time to review the filing records of some of the candidates you mention, I can say there was alot more funny business taking then the Treasurer taking some off the top for herself.
    I have been outspoken in the past about the unethical practices of accepting money in old campaign committees to get around local campaign contribution limits in current campaigns, but it fell on deaf ears.
    Maybe now we can begin to talk about real campaign finance reform…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wondered how Bruno was doing. Tell him HI!
    Oh, I get all these pleas for more and more money from campaigns and they are never satisfied. Phew, now I do not feel guilty anymore when I just recycle the request

  3. Anonymous says:

    While the Democrats mourn, the Repubicans are quietly creating a special award for Kinde for being the greatest help to Republican success in the 2012 election cycle.
    This is being hotly contested by Obama supporters, who feel that Barack deserves the award himself for single-handidly rebuilding a Republican Party that was in danger of extinction following the election of 2008.
    As an unbiased observer, i see no reason why two awards cannot be given, make one National (Obama) and the other Local, as Kinde’s contributions are mainly to California successes.
    The only problem is that if two awards are to be given, Joe Biden would want to get one of them…

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am hearing word that Durkee may have offered a special two-for-one deal. She would not record campaign contribution income but rather send a portion to herself and a portion to the candidate. Thus, they both were financially rewarded by Durkee’s off-the-books revenue diversion program.
    We are in the midst of one of the most disgusting transfer of wealth from the middle class and poor into the bands of billionaires/health insurance companies. This transfer of wealth is happening through legislation adopted by legislators greased by campaign contributions. And if certain contributions were taken off-the-books and unreported to the public and the proceeds split between the treasurer and the candidate — we have a system of hidden bribes in exchange for the corruption of our public policymaking bodies.
    THAT, if shown to be true, could trigger civil unrest from a very angry people who are left struggling and dying at the hands of the wealthy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Everyday, it seems we find just how widespread corruption is, or seems to be, better yet, dishonesty has a grip on our leaders our society and no wonder there are no jobs.
    Who’s watching the store?

  6. Miki Jackson says:

    Miki Jackson
    Durkee may have eaten a lot of snacks and from recent photos, does need some make, but even she couldn’t spend millions on that. Where is all that money, and why isn’t anyone asking?
    There’s no way Durkee did this on her own. We know the LA Times helped by keeping so quiet about her misdeeds that were splashed all over the SF Chronicle, but that’s par for the course with them. If it happens in LA you’ll never read it in the Times? You have to come to this site or other muckraking web sites.
    We suspect Durkee and a number of her clients, and or their staff and aides had a share and share alike arraignment going on. It stands to reason that the FBI arrested Durkee to get her to sing about everyone else. In fact her “guilty” plea is an indication that she has already cut a deal with them.
    Last, but not least, there are a growing number of us who think Democratic County Chairman, Eric Bauman should resign. His immediate response to this was to beg for more money, not apologize to those whose hard earned money his inattention to business allowed Durkee to abscond with. He paid no attention to the funds in his care, choosing instead to attack grass roots Democratic Clubs who didn’t toe his political line. Hollywoodhighlands.org

  7. May she sing a song for freedom that implicates all the pols she “represented.”

  8. jeff says:

    If you steal from a politician, is it really stealing, or just getting even?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Jeff, Our population has cheaters and crooks along with ordinary people who recognize that
    a large group (like a city or country) needs
    to have an organization of representatives to
    take care of some basic issues. We do not think the same way. And majority rules.
    Obama has managed with his Democrat Party affiliates to use this kind of organizaion
    to interfere with our personal lives. We are
    not trying to tell others what they may and may not do. I do not think all people are crooks, and many just do not know any better. That is up to the voters to make sure they are voting for people they can trust.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I doubt that the paranoid rantings about the Obama administration have any merit. It is the LOCAL and STATE Democratic machines that are filled with the lowest scum of the earth.

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