|United States Senator
November 4, 1992
Serving with Barbara Boxer
|Preceded by||John Seymour|
|Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee|
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Jay Rockefeller|
|Succeeded by||Richard Burr|
|Chairperson of the Senate Narcotics Caucus|
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2015
|Preceded by||Joe Biden|
|Succeeded by||Chuck Grassley|
|Chairperson of the Senate Rules Committee|
January 3, 2007 – January 3, 2009
|Preceded by||Trent Lott|
|Succeeded by||Chuck Schumer|
|38th Mayor of San Francisco|
December 4, 1978 – January 8, 1988
|Preceded by||George Moscone|
|Succeeded by||Art Agnos|
|Born||Dianne Emiel Goldman
June 22, 1933
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Jack Berman (1956–1959)
Bertram Feinstein (1962–1978)
Richard Blum (1980–present)
|Alma mater||Stanford University|
Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein, born Dianne Emiel Goldman (//; born June 22, 1933), is the senior United States Senator from California. A member of the Democratic Party, she has served in the Senate since 1992. She also served as 38th Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988.
Born in San Francisco, Feinstein graduated from Stanford University. In the 1960s she worked in city government, and in 1970 she was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She served as the board's first female president in 1978, during which time the assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and City Supervisor Harvey Milk drew national attention to the city. Feinstein succeeded Moscone as mayor. During her tenure as San Francisco's first female mayor she led a revamp of the city's cable car system and oversaw the 1984 Democratic National Convention.
After a failed gubernatorial campaign in 1990, she won a 1992 special election to the U.S. Senate. Feinstein was first elected on the same ballot as her peer Barbara Boxer, and the two became California's first female U.S. Senators. Feinstein has been re-elected four times since then and in the 2012 election, she claimed the record for the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history, having received 7.75 million votes.
Feinstein was the author of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban which expired in 2004. In 2013 she introduced a new assault weapons bill, which failed to pass. Feinstein formerly chaired the Senate Rules Committee (2007–09) and has chaired the Select Committee on Intelligence since 2009. She is the only woman to have presided over a U.S. presidential inauguration.
At the age of 81, Feinstein is the oldest currently serving United States Senator.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Personal life
- 3 Early political career
- 4 U.S. Senate career
- 5 Awards and honors
- 6 Offices held
- 7 Electoral history
- 8 See also
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Feinstein was born Dianne Emiel Goldman in San Francisco, to Betty (née Rosenburg), a former model, and Leon Goldman, a surgeon. Feinstein's paternal grandparents were Jewish emigrants from Poland, while her maternal grandparents, who were of the Russian Orthodox faith, were from Saint Petersburg, Russia. Her mother also had either German or Jewish ancestry.
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), has been the presiding judge of the San Francisco Superior Court for twelve years, through 2012.
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.
Early political career
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.
President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
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.
Because of her position, Feinstein became a target of the New World Liberation Front, which placed a bomb on her window sill that failed to explode, and which later shot out the windows of a beach house she owned.
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.
Mayor of San Francisco
Feinstein served out the remainder of Moscone's term. She made no staffing changes to his team until she was elected in her own right in 1979. She was re-elected in 1983 and served a full second term.
One of the first challenges to face Feinstein as mayor was the state of the San Francisco cable car system. In late 1979, the system had to be shut down for emergency repairs, and an engineering evaluation concluded that it needed comprehensive rebuilding at a cost of $60 million. Feinstein took charge of the effort, and helped win federal funding for the bulk of the rebuilding job. The system closed for rebuilding in 1982 and reopened in 1984 in time for the Democratic National Convention that was held in the city that year. Feinstein also oversaw planning policies to increase the number of high rise buildings in San Francisco.
Perhaps because of her statewide ambitions, Feinstein was seen as a relatively moderate Democrat in one of the country's most liberal cities. As a supervisor, she was considered part of the centrist bloc that included Dan White and was generally opposed to Moscone. As mayor, Feinstein angered the city's large gay community by refusing to march in a gay rights parade and by vetoing domestic partner legislation in 1982. In the 1980 presidential election, while a majority of Bay Area Democrats continued to support Senator Ted Kennedy's primary challenge to President Jimmy Carter even after it was clear Kennedy could not win, Feinstein was a strong supporter of the Carter–Mondale ticket. She was given a high profile speaking role on the opening night of the August Democratic National Convention, urging delegates to reject the Kennedy delegates' proposal to "open" the convention, thereby allowing delegates to ignore their states' popular vote, a proposal that was soundly defeated.
In the run up to the 1984 Democratic National Convention, there was considerable media and public speculation that Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale might pick Feinstein as his running mate. However, he chose Geraldine Ferraro instead. Also in 1984, Feinstein proposed banning handguns in San Francisco, and became subject to a recall attempt organized by the White Panther Party. She won the recall election and finished her second term as mayor on January 8, 1988.
In 1987, City and State magazine named Feinstein the nation's "Most Effective Mayor." Feinstein served on the Trilateral Commission during the 1980s while mayor of San Francisco.
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.
U.S. Senate career
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 Boxer and Boxer had previous congressional service. Feinstein was re-elected in 1994, 2000, 2006, and 2012. In 2012, Feinstein claimed the record for the most popular votes in any U.S. Senate election in history, having received 7.75 million votes. The record was previously held by her California colleague Barbara Boxer, who received 6.96 million votes in her 2004 re-election.
|Survey USA||January 17, 2011||43%||48%||10%|
|Public Policy Polling at the Wayback Machine (archived May 15, 2011)||February 2, 2011||50%||39%||11%|
|The Field Poll||February 2, 2011||48%||33%||19%|
|The Field Poll||June 21, 2011||46%||31%||23%|
|The Field Poll||September 16, 2011||41%||39%||20%|
|Public Policy Polling||November 16, 2011||51%||38%||11%|
- Committee on Appropriations
- Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Defense
- Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development (Chair)
- Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
- Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
- Committee on the Judiciary
- Committee on Rules and Administration
- Select Committee on Intelligence (Vice Chair)
Political positions and votes
Feinstein voted for the extension of the PATRIOT ACT and the FISA provisions.
Feinstein was criticized in 2009 when she introduced a bill directing $25 billion to the FDIC the day after the agency awarded her husband's company a contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms. Feinstein and her husband have been tied to questionable dealings between the world's largest commercial real estate firm and the U.S. Postal Service. Feinstein has also been accused of abusing her position to award her husband’s companies billions of dollars in military contracts.
Feinstein cosponsored (along with Tom Coburn, an Oklahoman Republican) an amendment through the Senate to the Economic Development Revitalization Act of 2011 that eliminated the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit. The Senate passed the amendment on June 16, 2011. Introduced in 2004, the subsidy provided a 45-cent-per-gallon credit on pure ethanol and a 54-cent-per-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. These subsidies had resulted in an annual expenditure of $6 billion.
On May 12, 2011, Feinstein cosponsored PIPA. In January 2012, Feinstein met with representatives of technology companies, including Google and Facebook. According to a spokesperson, Feinstein "is doing all she can to ensure that the bill is balanced and protects the intellectual property concerns of the content community without unfairly burdening legitimate businesses such as Internet search engines."
Assault weapons ban
Feinstein introduced the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which became law in 1994 and expired in 2004. In January 2013, about one month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Feinstein, along with Representative Carolyn McCarthy from New York, proposed a bill that would "ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing or importation of 150 specific firearms including semiautomatic rifles or pistols that can be used with a detachable or fixed ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and have specific military-style features, including pistol grips, grenade launchers or rocket launchers." The bill would have exempted 900 models of guns used for sport and hunting. Feinstein commented on the bill, saying, "The common thread in each of these shootings is the gunman used a semi-automatic assault weapon or large capacity ammunition magazines. Military assault weapons only have one purpose and in my opinion, it's for the military." The bill failed on a Senate vote of 60 to 40.
NSA surveillance programs
After the 2013 mass surveillance disclosures involving the National Security Agency (NSA), Feinstein took measures to continue the collection programs. Foreign Policy wrote that she had a "reputation as a staunch defender of NSA practices and the White House's refusal to stand by collection activities targeting foreign leaders." In October 2013 she criticized the NSA for monitoring telephone calls of foreign leaders friendly to the US. In November 2013 she promoted the Fisa Improvements Act bill which included a "backdoor search provision" that allows intelligence agencies to continue certain warrantless searches as long as they are logged and "available for review" to various agencies.
Democrats praised her for pushing the CIA on possible violations of federal law.
2008 presidential politics
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 had fallen and broken her ankle earlier in the month.
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.
Speaking on the Senate floor on December 9, 2014, Feinstein called the government's detention and interrogation program a “stain on our values and on our history,” following the release of 600 pages declassified out of a 6000 page report about CIA methods.
Awards and honors
In 2002 Feinstein won the American Medical Association's Nathan Davis Award for "the Betterment of the Public Health."
|Office||Type||Location||Elected||Term began||Term ended|
|Mayor||Executive||San Francisco||N/A||December 4, 1978||January 8, 1980|
|Mayor||Executive||San Francisco||1979||January 8, 1980||January 8, 1984|
|Mayor||Executive||San Francisco||1983||January 8, 1984||January 8, 1988|
|Senator||Legislature||Washington, D.C.||1992||November 4, 1992||January 3, 1995|
|Senator||Legislature||Washington, D.C.||1994||January 3, 1995||January 3, 2001|
|Senator||Legislature||Washington, D.C.||2000||January 3, 2001||January 3, 2007|
|Senator||Legislature||Washington, D.C.||2006||January 3, 2007||January 3, 2013|
|Senator||Legislature||Washington, D.C.||2012||January 3, 2013||Ongoing|
|California gubernatorial election, 1990|
|American Independent||Jerome McCready||139,661||1.8|
|Peace and Freedom||Maria Elizabeth Munoz||96,842||1.3|
|United States Senate special election in California, 1992|
|Republican||John F. Seymour (incumbent)||4,093,501||38.0|
|Peace and Freedom||Gerald Horne||305,697||2.8|
|American Independent||Paul Meeuwenberg||281,973||2.6|
|Libertarian||Richard Benjamin Boddie||247,799||2.3|
|Democratic gain from Republican||Swing|
|United States Senate election in California, 1994|
|Democratic||Dianne Feinstein (incumbent)||3,979,152||46.7||−7.6|
|Peace and Freedom||Elizabeth Cervantes Barron||255,301||3.0||+0.2|
|Libertarian||Richard Benjamin Boddie||179,100||2.1||−0.6|
|American Independent||Paul Meeuwenberg||142,771||1.7||−0.9|
|United States Senate election in California, 2000|
|Democratic||Dianne Feinstein (incumbent)||5,932,522||55.8||+9.1|
|Green||Medea Susan Benjamin||326,828||3.1||+1.4|
|American Independent||Dianne Beall Templin||134,598||1.3||−0.4|
|Reform||Jose Luis Olivares Camahort||96,552||0.9||+0.9|
|Natural Law||Brian M. Rees||58,537||0.5||+0.5|
|United States Senate election in California, 2006|
|Democratic||Dianne Feinstein (incumbent)||5,076,289||59.4||+3.6|
|Libertarian||Michael S. Metti||133,851||1.6||−0.2|
|Peace and Freedom||Marsha Feinland||117,764||1.4||+1.4|
|American Independent||Don J. Grundmann||75,350||0.9||−0.4|
|United States Senate election in California, 2012|
|Democratic||Dianne Feinstein (incumbent)||7,864,624||62.5||+3.1|
- Feinstein AK Mag
- California government and politics
- Rosalind Wiener Wyman, co-chair of Feinstein political campaigns.
- "Fe". Real Names of Famous Folk. Retrieved November 11, 2007.
- Charles Mahtesian (November 26, 2012). "Feinstein's record: 7.3 million votes". Politico (Politico). Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- "Feinstein plays key role". San Diego Union-Tribune. January 21, 2009. Retrieved January 22, 2009.
- "Millions witness moment". The Straits Times ((Singapore)). Associated Press and Agence France-Presse. January 21, 2009. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
- Slater, Robert; Elinor Slater (2004). Great Jewish Women. Middle Village, New York: Jonathan David Publishers. p. 78.
- California - Google Books
- The Jews of Capitol Hill: A Compendium of Jewish Congressional Members - Kurt F. Stone - Google Books
- "Presiding Judge". Superior Court of California, County of San Francisco. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- "Katherine Feinstein retiring as judge". SFGate.
- Loughlin, Sean; Robert Yoon (June 13, 2003). "Millionaires populate U.S. Senate". CNN. Retrieved May 7, 2007.
- "Personal Financial Disclosures Summary: 2005". opensecrets.org. Archived from the original on April 12, 2007. Retrieved May 9, 2007.
- "Senate Public Financial Disclosure Report for Senator Diane Feinstein" (PDF). U.S. Senate/Washington Post. June 9, 2006. Retrieved May 7, 2007.
- Coile, Zachary (June 26, 2004). "Bay lawmakers among wealthiest". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 7, 2007.
- Clarence Johnson (October 24, 1995). "PAGE ONE – It's Brown vs. Brown Ex-speaker's reputation helps, hinders him". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved February 23, 2008.
- Talbot, David (2012). Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 480. ISBN 978-1-4391-0821-5.
- "The Times of Harvey Milk". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
- "Museums in Motion – 1984: Rejuvenation". Market Street Railway. Retrieved October 19, 2007.
- Andrew Stevens. "Gavin Newsom Mayor of San Francisco". City Mayors. Retrieved March 11, 2008.
- Turner, Wallace (10 December 1982). "Partnership law vetoed on coast". New York Times.
- "The Night Stalker: Serial Killer Richard Ramirez". Court TV. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
- "Enforcement Cases: F". California Fair Political Practices Commission. Archived from the original on April 6, 2007. Retrieved May 12, 2007.
- "ontheissues.org: Vote number 11-SV019 extending the PATRIOT Act's roving wiretaps on Feb 17, 2011 regarding bill H.514 FISA Sunsets Extension Act Results: Passed 86–12". Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- "EXCLUSIVE: Senator’s husband’s firm cashes in on crisis". The Washington Times. April 21, 2009.
- "Dianne Feinstein's Husband Tied To Questionable Dealings With U.S. Postal Service, Book Says". The Huffington Post.
- "Violations Force Feinstein Military Committee Resignation". Judicial Watch.
- "News & Culture in CA - Dianne Feinstein: A Question of Ethics". metroactive.com.
- Fight over ethanol brewing in D.C. - News - McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS - McPherson, KS
- "Historic Anti-Corn Ethanol Amendment Faces Uphill Battle". Reuters. June 23, 2011.
- Lochead, Carolyn (January 17, 2012). "Debate over Internet piracy legislation heats up". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- Freedman, Dan (January 24, 2013). "Sen. Feinstein rolls out gun ban measure". San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst). Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- Steinhauer, Jennifer (January 24, 2013). "Senator Unveils Bill to Limit Semiautomatic Arms". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- O'Keefe, Ed (January 24, 2013). "Lawmakers Unveil New Assault Weapons Ban". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 28, 2013.
- Simon, Richard (April 17, 2013). "Senate votes down Feinstein's assault weapons ban". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
- "Dianne Feinstein Is Still a Friend of the NSA After All." Foreign Policy. November 1, 2013. Retrieved on November 18, 2013.
- Lewis, Paul and Spencer Ackerman. "NSA: Dianne Feinstein breaks ranks to oppose US spying on allies." The Guardian. October 28, 2013. Retrieved on November 18, 2013.
- Ackerman, Spencer. "Feinstein promotes bill to strengthen NSA's hand on warrantless searches." The Guardian. Friday November 15, 2013. Retrieved on November 18, 2013.
- Herb, Jeremy. "Feinstein stands by labeling Snowden a traitor." The Hill. October 29, 2013. Retrieved on November 19, 2013.
- Lowery, Wesley (11 March 2014). "Senators rally around Feinstein, demand answers from CIA Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Plus Share via Email More Options Resize Text Print Article Comments 57". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Obama-Clinton meeting held at Dianne Feinstein's home.". CNN. June 8, 2008. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
- "Feinstein Breaks Ankle, Cancels Convention Trip". CNN. August 19, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2008.
- Davies, Frank (January 20, 2009). "Obama warns of tough times, promises 'new era of responsibility'". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved January 20, 2009.
- Maya Rhodan (December 9, 2014). "Here’s What Dianne Feinstein Said About the Torture Report". TIME INC. NETWORK. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
- "Past Recipients of the Nathan Davis Awards". American Medical Association. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- Roberts, Jerry (1994). Dianne Feinstein: Never Let Them See You Cry, Harpercollins. ISBN 0-06-258508-8
- Talbot, David (2012). Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love, New York: Simon and Schuster. 480 p. ISBN 978-1-4391-0821-5.
- Weiss, Mike (2010). Double Play: The Hidden Passions Behind the Double Assassination of George Moscone and Harvey Milk, Vince Emery Productions. ISBN 978-0-9825650-5-6
- Biography at Jewish Women Encyclopedia
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dianne Feinstein.|
- Senator Dianne Feinstein official U.S. Senate site
- Dianne Feinstein for Congress
- Dianne Feinstein at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Op-ed archives at Project Syndicate
- Diane Feinstein's Opening Remarks at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration at AmericanRhetoric.com, video, audio and text