Feinstein's Husband Helped Subpar Students Gain Admission to UC

Richard Blum says he wrote letters for friends 'a bunch of times'

Sen. Dianne Feinstein / Getty Images
September 25, 2020

Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D., Calif.) husband, San Francisco financier Richard C. Blum, admitted to using his position as a University of California regent to boost under-qualified students' admissions chances after a state audit named him in the UC Berkeley scandal.

The audit, released Thursday, accused Blum of writing letters on behalf of applicants on multiple occasions—a practice that regents banned in 1996. The audit also found that over six years, UC Berkeley admitted 55 under-qualified students with family connections to the school.

Blum, who joined the Board of Regents in 2002, admitted to the San Francisco Chronicle that he had written many applicant recommendation letters—typically for his friends’ children. He said he didn’t know the practice was banned.

"No one ever told me it was wrong," Blum told the Chronicle. "I did it a bunch of times. Wherever they were applying. Wherever they wanted to get in." 

The audit’s release comes after last year's "Varsity Blues" federal sting operation, which found that many wealthy parents, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, had paid college officials millions in bribes to boost their children's admissions chances.