Kinde Durkee Called "The Bernie Madoff Of Campaign Finance Treasurers"
Bernie Madoff and Kinde Durkee
Update: Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she was "wiped out." More below.
Another day, another victim of the Kinde Durkee campaign finance scandal.
Rep. Susan Davis, a San Diego Democrat and a Durkee client, told supporters over the weekend that more than $250,000 has been stolen from her account.
"We have been robbed!!" Davis said in an email, adding that Durkee "may well become known as the Bernie Madoff of campaign finance treasurers."
Durkee is accused of using campaign money to pay her personal expenses, including her taxes, mortgages, cosmetics, a trip to the Long Beach Aquarium, and her mom's nursing home bill.
Davis adds her name to the growing list of alleged victims. It started with Assemblyman Jose Solorio, who was named as a victim in the federal complaint. Since then, Sen. Lou Correa, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, and the L.A. County Democratic Party have all said that they, too, were victimized.
Not everyone is so unfortunate. L.A. Controller Wendy Greuel, a Durkee client and the leading fundraiser in the 2013 L.A. mayor's race, announced today that she has checked with her bank and all her campaign funds are present and accounted for. She is looking for a new treasurer. That should give some hope to other clients.
Still no word from Durkee's highest profile client: Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Update: Feinstein tells Politico that "I was wiped out, too."
She says she doesn't know exactly what the losses were, but seems certain that she too was victimized. She had $5 million in the bank as of June 30.
Feinstein is up for reelection next year. She tells Politico she trusted Durkee "implicitly." "It's very painful," she said.
Note: Feinstein is the 7th richest person in the Senate, with a net worth somewhere between $48 million and $110 million. So if it came right down to it she could self-finance.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.