Politics

Candidate Criticizes Millionaire Feinstein’s Taxpayer-Funded Pension

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has collected around $55,000 annually as a pension for the past 20 years for her work as mayor of San Francisco, a job she left 30 years ago, according to her political challengers.

Feinstein, the second richest member of the Senate with an estimated $94 million net worth, collected $60,281 from the city in 2017, according to publicly available financial disclosures, higher than the mean wage of $57,000 for the state’s 16 million workers.

Feinstein, 84, was mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988 and before that was on the city’s board of supervisors. Most of her wealth comes from her husband Richard Blum’s private equity firm Blum Capital Partners LP.

On average, her pension has been about $55,000 a year and is worth more than $1 million, according to the campaign of Alison Hartson, a progressive candidate running for Feinstein’s Senate seat.

“Even President [Donald] Trump, himself a millionaire, could scrape together the moral intelligence to donate his Presidential salary every quarter since taking office in January 2017,” Joe Spaulding, the strategist for Hartson’s campaign. Trump is worth several billion and donates his presidential salary, $100,000 each quarter, to the government for specific projects.

“Feinstein is so out-of-touch with everyday Americans, she doesn’t see the need to let San Franciscans keep that tax money,” Spaulding said.

Taking a pension while serving national political office is not new. Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, for instance, reported a $73,704 pension from the U.S. Navy in 2017. The attack comes as Feinstein faces challenges from her own party in the state’s primary Tuesday.

Hartson is one of the Democrats attempting to unseat Feinstein in California’s “jungle primary” system — where the two candidates with the most votes get their names on the November ballot regardless of party — but she is not the most prominent. State Rep. Kevin de León of Los Angeles has attacked Feinstein for her centrism for not pushing harder for universal healthcare.

To Hartson, a former school teacher inspired to run by the Trump resistance movement, de León is an establishment Democrat.

Feinstein failed to receive the California Democratic Party’s endorsement in February, but she does not appear to be concerned about her chances as Tuesday’s primary approaches. (RELATED: Obama Throws Support To Feinstein In Race Between Liberal And Centrist Dems)

“I think I’m in pretty fair shape,” Feinstein told The Washington Post. “I’m just going to keep going.”

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