Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dianne Feinstein to make 1 BILLION DOLLARS off US Postal properties

Dianne Feinstein to make 1 BILLION DOLLARS off US Postal properties
Nov 4, 2013 | NextNewsNetwork

This story about Dianne Feinstein making 1 BILLION DOLLARS off the sale of US Postal properties is like an onion, each layer you peel off reveals another layer and so on. But instead of making you cry this onion only makes you angrier and angrier with each layer peeled. The first layer is that the United States Postal Service is broke and to try and make ends meet they must sell off hundreds of post office properties to gain cash flow and reduce their deficit. In a side stinky layer 80% of the postal service's multi-billion dollar deficit is caused by a law that congress passed in 2006 that requires it to pay retiree health benefits 75 years into the future.

This law does not apply to any other government agency. According to a Postal Service report to Congress more than 600 buildings nationwide are "earmarked for disposal". This alone is making people across the country angry because some of these post offices are historic buildings that have been post offices for almost a hundred years. Such is the case in Berkeley and La Jolla California, where residents have been working to get their post offices historic status to avoid closure. Residents have reached out to their State Senator, Dianne Feinstein, for help with this task but have not heard back. A representative from Dianne feinstein's office said that they contacted the state preservation office and that their reply was "the paperwork for those buildings was not filled out correctly and that they would need to correct and re-submit the paperwork.

That leads us to another layer of this stinky onion, Dianne Feinstein. The company that was awarded the contract to sell all of the postal properties is CB Richard Ellis, the world's largest commercial real estate firm. The chairman of CBRE is a man by the name of Richard Blum, doesn't ring a bell? He just happens to be Dianne Feinstein's husband. OK Let me just list a few of CBRE's highlights with the US Postal Service Properties:

1) CBRE appears to have repeatedly violated its contractual duty to sell postal properties at or above fair market value resulting in the loss of tens of millions of dollars. For example in Seattle CBRE sold a post office building in 2011 for 8 million dollars, it was assessed for 16 million. Another layer.

2) In a series of apparently non-arms length transactions CBRE negotiated the sale of postal properties around the country to its own clients and business partners. Google the Boston Seaport deals and see if that doesn't turn your stomach. Another layer.

3) CBRE has been paid commissions up to 6% for representing both the seller and the buyer in many of the negotiations. This raising questions to whether CBRE was doing it's best to obtain the highest price possible for the postal service or their clients.. another stinky layer.

When Dianne Feinstein was questioned about her husbands dealings and her involvement in them her rep said "Sen. Feinstein is not involved with and does not discuss any of her husband's business decisions with him. Her husband's holdings are his separate personal property."

CBRE is also in charge of appraising the fair market value of these properties and listing at a reasonable sales price. Real estate appraisals are not customarily performed by the agent marketing the property. To avoid a conflict of interest, appraisals are normally performed by professionals not involved in the sale.

So if you're paying attention then you can see how this is working out. CBRE is tasked with selling properties at market value or higher. But who determines what market value is?

CBRE, so the fox is officially running the henhouse.

The worst and stinkiest layer of this whole story is how open our ruling classes have become in stealing from the public at large. Almost like they are doing it with bravado and saying yea what are you gonna do about it. Sadly it seems like nobody has the guts to knock down this so called power couple of Blum and Feinstein.
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