A few days ago, we noted a report that indicated Democrats familiar with the U.S. Senate’s Judiciary Committee are worried that California Sen. Dianne Feinstein can’t handle the Supreme Court battle that is looming in October.

News reports are now featuring a “scandal” associated with her husband, which may really be the Democrats’ way of persuading the senator to make a different choice regarding the SCOTUS nomination.

Reports indicate that Feinstein’s husband, University of California Regent Richard Blum, was named by the state auditor’s office as one of the regents involved in an admissions scandal wherein UC wrongly admitted dozens of students as favors to well-connected people.

Among those “inappropriately admitted” were a student whose family was friends with a member of the Board of Regents, the child of a major donor and an applicant who babysat for a colleague of a former admissions director, according to the report released Tuesday by the California State Auditor.

In one case, a regent unidentified in the audit sent an “inappropriate letter of support” directly to the UC Berkeley chancellor on behalf of a student with only a 26% chance of winning a spot off the wait list, despite the policy prohibiting efforts by regents to influence admissions decisions by going around the regular process. The applicant was admitted.

Auditor’s spokeswoman Margarita Fernandez confirmed to The Associated Press that Blum was the regent.

Potentially problematic for Feinstein, given the Democratic Party’s current priorities, is that the bulk of the students given preferential treatment were both wealthy and white.

The state audit found that UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara had admitted at least 64 applicants during the six-year time period in question because of connections to donors, campus staff or alumni. In most of the cases, the audit found, the admitted students had been rated not competitive for admission. The majority of them were white and at least half had annual family incomes of $150,000 or more.

UC Berkeley was the worst offender, the audit said, with 55 cases of inappropriate admissions. Among them, 14 cases involved students who were denied admission through the regular process and were offered a spot on the waitlist. Blum’s letter came in support of one of those waitlisted students, the audit said.

But that student, like the 13 others on the waitlist, had received “uncompetitive scores from readers that gave them poor chances of being admitted,” the audit said.

Now, if news reports start exploring Feinstein’s relationship with a Chinese spy in more detail soon, it will likely indicate that Democratic Party leaders truly want to remove her from her spot as the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee as soon as possible.


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