Southern California — this just in
September 12, 2011 | 7:12 pm

The Democratic campaign operative arrested on suspicion of stealing campaign funds from her clients may be “the Bernie Madoff of campaign treasurers,” Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) told contributors in an email.

Kinde Durkee, a Burbank accountant who handled funds for numerous local, state and congressional candidates, is accused of stealing more than $250,000 from the Davis campaign, the email said.

“Our treasurer was arrested and is accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars, maybe millions, to herself from our campaign, and the campaigns of many, many others,” Davis said in the “Dear Friends” email.

Davis said her campaign, however, is not without funds because it had a reserve account that Durkee could not access: “This leaves us with funds to fight back and renew our campaign.”

Among the politicians who may have lost all their campaign funds is Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

“I was wiped out too, we don’t know how much,” Feinstein told Politico.

Feinstein, who is up for reelection next year, reported more than $5 million in the bank as of June 30, according to disclosure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

To read entire story, click here.