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Jet-set Dianne Feinstein gave colleagues a Christmas Eve lift

By Paul Kane
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is the Senate's ultimate car pooler.

When two of her colleagues were having trouble finding flights home for the holidays, Feinstein gave them last-minute lifts to the West Coast on her family's private jet.

According to congressional financial disclosure forms released Wednesday, Feinstein gave Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) rides on her husband's jet back to San Francisco on Christmas Eve 2009 -- just hours after the trio had cast key votes in favor of President Obama's health-care legislation.

Boxer and Reid accepted the rides as gifts, according to the disclosure forms, which were valued by each at $3,625.

The Feinstein helping hand came at the end of an unusually intense period of legislative action. Christmas Eve marked the 25th straight day the Senate had been in session in a furious push by Reid to pass a health-care bill before Christmas Day. Some lawmakers hadn't seen their families since Thanksgiving weekend, and a blizzard had pummeled the District a few days earlier, making flight arrangements even more difficult.

Enter Feinstein and her jet, which was purchased by her husband, investor Richard Blum.

Because the travel involved was not political, it was approved under the chamber's new rules that forbid corporate-financed travel for political purposes. (All three parties are intimately familiar with the rules:As the rules committee chairman in 2007, Feinstein helped write the new ethics laws, while Boxer oversees the rules as ethics chairman. Reid served as the main promoter of implementing the new rules.)

After casting their votes for the health-care bill -- part of the 60-39 vote early on the morning of Christmas Eve -- the three senators flew into San Francisco, near where Feinstein and Boxer both have homes.

But Reid still had to take a circuitous route back to his family in Nevada.

"Because of the bad weather, the holidays and various flight delays, Senator Reid opted to fly to San Francisco with them. He then took a flight to Reno to be with Mrs. Reid and their son's family for Christmas," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Wednesday.

The majority leader was home in time to celebrate the holidays with his family.

By Paul Kane  |  June 16, 2010; 2:19 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , 44 The Obama Presidency , 50 States , Capitol Briefing , Cast of Characters  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Pelosi's husband paid up to $5 million for football team; Reid bummed $3,625 ride from Feinstein
Next: Disgraced former Rep. Souder talks life after scandal

Comments

Is this somehowupposed to overshadow the patyoffs and thefts and graft and transparent corruption from her office? INCUMBENTS... COUNT YOUR DAYS!

Posted by: FireWashington | June 21, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

FeinStein had better be careful! The FAA may poke their nose into this to check to see if this ride amounted to a free F.A.R. Part 91 ride or was it an F.A.R. Part 135 ride. (Air charter) Does her husband use this aircraft under Part 135? If so then did these passsengers pay for the ride or was it given to them in exchange for something of value now or later as in votes or other support for her? The Feds are not known as your Friendly Aviator Association.........

Posted by: TexRancher | June 19, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

Private jets? This is news? What about the MILLIONS of people out there who can't even put FOOD on their tables because Congress can't pull it together and pass the Unemployment Extender Bill? This is a JOKE.

Posted by: kcarterid | June 18, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Private jets? This is news? What about the MILLIONS of people out there who can't even put FOOD on their tables because Congress can't pull it together and pass the Unemployment Extender Bill? This is a JOKE.

Posted by: kcarterid | June 18, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The private jet aviation has emerged enormously this year and many businessmen and companies started chartering the jet.
http://www.247jet.com/

Posted by: privatejet | June 17, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Good for Senator Feinstein. That was a very generous gesture. I have given and received rides on private planes in the past and this sort of sharing is widespread in the business community. Shame on any public servant who wouldn't do the same.

Posted by: mikem1159 | June 17, 2010 12:59 AM | Report abuse


Is THAT all you have?

That's what you're paid for? My God, the
Washington Post is a joke.

Like nothing is happening in the world? Or Another try at taking the onus off flotillas? BIZARRE.

Posted by: whistling | June 16, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

At least Feinstein isn't using Air Force jets to commute, unlike Pelosi.

Posted by: rmlwj1 | June 16, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

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