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Biography Dianne Feinstein

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Dianne Feinstein Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Feinstein
The senior U.S. Senator from California since 1992.


Dianne Feinstein Biography

ENG:  Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein (born June 22, 1933) is the senior U.S. Senator from California and a member of the Democratic Party. Feinstein was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1992, was re-elected in 1994, 2000 and in 2006 for a term ending in January 2013. She also served as 38th Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988. Feinstein was the first female President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, San Francisco's first (and, so far, only) female mayor, the first woman to serve in the Senate from California, and the first woman to chair the Senate Rules Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee. Feinstein is also the first woman to have presided over a U.S. presidential inauguration.


Early life

Feinstein was born Dianne Emiel Goldman in San Francisco to Betty (née Rosenburg), a former model, and Leon Goldman, a nationally renowned surgeon. Feinstein's paternal grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Poland, while her maternal grandparents, who were of the Russian Orthodox faith, left St. Petersburg, Russia, after the 1917 Russian Revolution. Feinstein's father died of diabetes in 2003.


Feinstein graduated from Convent of the Sacred Heart High School (California) in 1951 and from Stanford University in 1955 with a B.A. in History. In 1956, she married Jack Berman (died 2002), a colleague in the San Francisco District Attorney's office. Feinstein and Berman divorced three years later. Their daughter, Katherine Feinstein Mariano (b. 1957), is a Superior Court judge in San Francisco. In 1962, shortly after beginning her career in politics, Feinstein married neurosurgeon Bertram Feinstein; her second husband died of colon cancer in 1978. In 1980, Feinstein married Richard C. Blum, an investment banker. In 2003, Feinstein was ranked the fifth-wealthiest senator, with an estimated net worth of $26 million. By 2005 her net worth had increased to between $43 million and $99 million. Her 347-page financial-disclosure statement – characterized by the San Francisco Chronicle as "nearly the size of a phone book" – draws clear lines between her assets and those of her husband, with many of her assets in blind trusts.


In 1961, Feinstein worked to end housing discrimination in San Francisco.Prior to elected service, she was appointed by then-California Governor Pat Brown to serve as a member of the California Women's Parole Board. Feinstein also served as a fellow at the Coro Foundation in San Francisco.


Political life

In 1969, Feinstein was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She remained on the Board for nine years. During her tenure on the Board of Supervisors, she unsuccessfully ran for mayor of San Francisco twice, in 1971 against mayor Joseph Alioto, and in 1975, when she lost the contest for a runoff slot (against George Moscone) by one percentage point, to supervisor John Barbagelata. She was elected president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1978 with initial opposition from Quentin Kopp. On November 27, 1978, San Francisco mayor George Moscone and supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by a rival politician, Dan White, who had resigned from the Board of Supervisors only two weeks prior. Feinstein was close by in City Hall at the time of the shootings, and discovered Milk's body after hearing the gunshots and going to investigate. Later that day at a press conference originally organized by Moscone to announce White's successor, Feinstein announced the assassinations to the stunned public, stating: "As president of the board of supervisors, it's my duty to make this announcement. Both Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk have been shot and killed."Feinstein appears in archival footage and is credited in the Academy Award-winning documentary film The Times of Harvey Milk (1984). She appears again briefly in archival footage, announcing the death of Moscone and Milk in the 2008 film Milk. Feinstein and her position as President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors are also alluded to several times in the movie, and a portrayal of her character has a few off-screen lines. As president of the Board of Supervisors upon the death of Mayor Moscone, Feinstein succeeded to the mayoralty on December 4, 1978.


In 1990, Feinstein made an unsuccessful bid for Governor of California. Although she won the Democratic Party's nomination for the office, she then lost in the general election to Republican Senator Pete Wilson, who vacated his seat in the Senate to assume the governorship. In 1992, she was fined $190,000 for failure to properly report campaign contributions and expenditures associated with that campaign.


On November 3, 1992, Feinstein won a special election to fill the Senate seat vacated a year earlier when Senator Pete Wilson resigned to become governor. The election was held at the same time as the general election for U.S. President and other offices. Barbara Boxer was elected at the same time for the Senate seat to be vacated by Alan Cranston. Because Feinstein was elected to an unexpired term, she became a senator as soon as the election was certified in November while Boxer would not take office until the expiration of Cranston's term in January; thus Feinstein became California's senior senator, even though she was elected at the same time as Barbara Boxer. Feinstein was re-elected in 1994, 2000, and 2006.


As a superdelegate, Feinstein had declared that she would support Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. However, once Barack Obama became the presumptive nominee for the party, she fully backed his candidacy. Days after Obama amassed enough delegates to win the Democratic Party nomination, Feinstein lent her Washington, D.C. home to both Clinton and Obama to have a private one-on-one meeting. Feinstein did not attend the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver because she fell and broke her ankle.She chaired the United States Congress Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and acted as mistress of ceremonies, introducing each participant at the 2009 presidential inauguration.Feinstein voted for the extension of the PATRIOT ACT, and the FISA provisions.


Feinstein had been reported as considering a run for Governor of California in 2010 to replace term limited Republican incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger. A private poll in July 2008 showed Feinstein far outpacing former governor Jerry Brown, 50 percent to 24 percent, with Congressman John Garamendi at 10 percent. A February 2009 poll showed that 36 percent of Democrats sampled in the poll said they would support Feinstein if she ran for governor. Brown earned 14 percent, followed by Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa, at 9 percent and 22 percent undecided. By October, although undeclared, in a poll by Field Research she led the Democratic field with 52 percent of all voters and 68 percent of Democratic voters. After months of speculation, Feinstein announced in February 2010 that she would not be running for governor. Feinstein became campaign chair for Barbara Boxer in the United States Senate election which resulted in Boxer's reelection.


Feinstein was presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for public service by the Woodrow Wilson Center of the Smithsonian Institution on November 3, 2001 in Los Angeles, California.




Source: wikipedia

June 9th, 2011


icon Dianne Feinstein
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