Liz Swain 5:30 p.m., Sept. 22
Feinstein, tops in Predator maker’s political cash, talks Filner recall
California Democrat and Filner critic tops list of General Atomics giving; only Democrat in Predator-maker's big five, she outranks GOP members by far, accounting reveals
Will one of America’s deadliest weapon makers put huge money behind a recall of San Diego mayor Bob Filner? That could be the message telegraphed over the weekend on CNN by Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.
As previously reported , Neal and Linden Blue, the Colorado bred San Diego brothers who run Predator drone-maker and high-tech military contracting powerhouse General Atomics on Torrey Pines, aren't exactly bleeding heart liberals.
Believed by some to be a card-carrying member of Yale's CIA-linked Skull & Bones secret society, Linden Blue and his brother have built a prodigious fortune on making deadly robotic weaponry for America and other military establishments around the world, including the Predator and its big brother, the Reaper.
In addition to his military hard line, Linden is a die-hard opponent of marijuana legalization efforts, including those favored by the embattled Filner.
In particular, Blue wants more testing of high school students for weed, as he wrote in an article with Peter Bensinger, Drug Enforcement Administration administrator during the Ford, Carter and Reagan years:
If kids know there is about a 99 percent chance they will lose, they won’t take the risk — especially on things that are important to them like a driver’s license or getting a job.
We need to make this work for our kids and for Latin Americans, where the U.S.’s drug appetite has stimulated international cartels and contributed to thousands of deaths.
The Blue brothers’ campaign contributions generally reflect the political philosophy of its owners: hard Right and solid GOP and Blue Dog Democrat.
But there is one exception.
California's senior senator, Democrat Dianne Feinstein, is at the top of the General Atomics campaign giving list, according to political donation data posted online by the Center for Responsive Politics website OpenSecrets.Org.
During the 2012 election cycle, Feinstein picked up $54,750 from the contractor, according to the figures. Number two was GOP congressman Buck McKeon, with $38,800. San Bernardino Republican Jerry Lewis got $22,400 and San Diego GOP congressman Duncan Hunter got $16,450. Losing Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray was number five with $13,250.
The Blues have been big local political players as well, backing GOP candidates for mayor and council with large amounts of campaign money.
But they have reserved their biggest political cash for Democrat Feinstein. Last November, the senator officially announced Linden Blue's engagement to ex-Navy rear admiral Ronne Froman, a former senior vice president at Blue's company.
On Thursday, as San Diego mayor Filner refused to step down in the face of mounting harassment allegations against him, Froman - who has also worked for GOP ex-mayor Jerry Sanders, the school district, and the Red Cross, another her other post-retirement gigs - was one of four local women executives to appear on the set of San Diego State University broadcasting’s KPBS to air their complaints against what they alleged was the Democrat's past out-of-line behavior with them.
On Sunday, San Francisco’s Feinstein, too, joined the chorus for Filner's ouster, saying on CNN's "State of the Union" that "I don't think that somebody who is lacking a moral compass really sets a role model or really will provide the kind of leadership that San Diegans want."
Whether or not she was using inside information from her friend and big-time financial backer Linden Blue the senator didn't reveal, but Feinstein went on to say:
"I suspect there will be recalls, and the people will judge.”
More like this:
- Drone-maker draws a bead on mayoral Democrat — Jan. 13, 2014
- Predator drone maker and pot foe throws down for San Diego GOP — Sept. 30, 2013
- Sheriff reportedly plotting mayor's ouster got funds from Lynch, Blue, hotel interests, report says — Aug. 6, 2013
- Drone maker's Feinstein-announced fiancée says mayor touched her — July 26, 2013
- General Atomics Predator Drones Collide on El Mirage Runway, Investigation Continuing — Aug. 2, 2012