News

Education

Husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein Admits to Helping Well-Connected Applicants Gain Admission to University of California: ‘No One Ever Told Me It Was Wrong’

Sather Tower rises above the University of California at Berkeley. (Noah Berger/Reuters)

The husband of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D., Calif.) admitted on Thursday to sending an inappropriate letter identified in a state audit that appeared to help an applicant to the University of California, Berkeley, get accepted to the school.

The California State Auditor issued a scathing report on Tuesday that found the University of California system admitted 64 students from 2013 through 2018 based on those students’ connections to university staff or donors, instead of their academic records.

“These inappropriate admissions decisions…denied more qualified applicants educational opportunities,” the report states. One admission at UC Berkeley was “particularly problematic,” because the school “appears to have admitted this student because of an inappropriate letter of support from a university Regent.”

Senator Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum, a financier and University of California Regent, said he was the author of the letter in comments to the San Francisco Chronicle. Blum also admitted that he had written numerous such letters over the years to UC chancellors at multiple campuses.

“I did it a bunch of times,” Blum said. “No one ever told me it was wrong.” Blum is the founder of Blum Capital, and is reportedly worth roughly $1 billion.

Of the 64 inappropriate admissions uncovered by the California auditor, 42 took place at UC Berkeley. Most of the applicants were white, and the families of at least half of the applicants’ families have $150,000 or higher incomes.

“The pervasiveness of this problem at UC Berkeley demonstrates that campus leadership has failed to establish a campus culture that values commitment to an admissions process based on fairness and applicants’ merits and achievements,” according to the report.

The report comes over a year after the Justice Department uncovered a multimillion-dollar fraud scheme led by William Singer, who helped various wealthy families cheat college admissions standards.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More
U.S.

The Lies We’re Told about the American Story

Editor’s Note: The following essay was adapted from remarks delivered to the annual dinner of the Lincoln Club of Orange County, in California, on October 4. Every American heart must break when lies are told to boys and girls, who then grow up to think the worst about their past: that the American ... Read More

Election-Meddling Redux

It is not an attack on the American election. It is an influence operation aimed at the American media, using the $60 billion per annum American intelligence apparatus to pull it off. And it’s working. On Wednesday night, it was suddenly announced that U.S. security services would conduct a press ... Read More

Election-Meddling Redux

It is not an attack on the American election. It is an influence operation aimed at the American media, using the $60 billion per annum American intelligence apparatus to pull it off. And it’s working. On Wednesday night, it was suddenly announced that U.S. security services would conduct a press ... Read More
Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More
Culture

Equality and Envy

We are not the same. Neither men, nor women, nor races, nor ages, nor nationalities, nor in wealth, nor in training, nor in beauty. We are not equal in any way. And that is a reason to be proud and happy, because at the end of the day we are human and not the product of some factory. Let us once and for all ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More