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"This clearly gives the appearance of a conflict of interest," said Kent Cooper, a former federal regulator who specializes in government ethics and disclosures. "To maintain the people's trust in government, it is incumbent on a legislator to take the extra steps necessary to ensure that when she introduces any legislation that it does not cause people to question her motives or the business activities of her spouse."
Mrs. Feinstein and Mr. Blum, a wealthy investment banker, are a power couple in both Washington and California who sat behind President Obama during his inauguration in January. Mrs. Feinstein also is mentioned as a candidate for California governor."