Dianne Feinstein’s aide was in business for herself.
Accusations that a campaign treasurer stole more than $1 million from Democratic candidates across California have jolted the party on the eve of the 2012 campaign season.
Kinde Durkee was arrested Sept. 2 and accused by federal authorities of stealing campaign funds and using the money to pay for an array of personal expenses, including mortgage payments, cosmetics and nursing-home care for her mother. Based in Burbank, Calif., the 58-year-old had long managed money for scores of Democratic campaigns.
According to the federal criminal complaint, Ms. Durkee “misappropriated money from her clients’ bank accounts and filed false disclosure reports to hide the misappropriations.” Ms. Durkee “admitted that she had been misappropriating her clients’ money for years,” according to court documents.
Her lawyer didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
The complaint against Ms. Durkee focused solely on her alleged misappropriation of more than $600,000 from the campaign accounts of state Assemblyman Jose Solorio’s campaign accounts. But prosecutors said the case is set to widen as evidence surfaces that more politicians were alleged victims and millions of dollars in campaign donations may be missing.
“It is far more than just two accounts from one politician,” said a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office.
Ms. Durkee’s most prominent alleged victim so far appears to be Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has used her services for nearly 20 years. A spokesman for Sen. Feinstein said they believed money was missing from campaign funds but it was unclear how much.
Several Dems took a hit: Feinstein claims her campaign funds have been ‘wiped out’, Rep. Susan Davis, D-Calif., says she lost $250,000, Loretta Sanchez, (D-CA), lost $379,000, the Los Angeles County Democratic Party reported that it lost at least $200,000, while California Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D) may be out as much as $677,000.
Durkee wasn’t vetted very well:
Over the last decade Durkee had racked up $185,860 in fines from the Fair Political Practices Commission in eight different cases, a sum that FPPC Chairwoman Ann Ravel said points to “quite serious” issues.
Some things to keep in mind: The money was donated by contributors, it didn’t come out of the Dems’ personal bank accounts. It won’t put a dent in their personal assets. Since there are plenty of Dem sheeple out there, they’ll just raise more money to replace the losses.
Maybe DiFi will hit up her old man for a loan.