Midweek Whisper

| Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Consider it an opportunity overlooked.

It's surprising that Jose Pedro Simoes Ferreira's name didn't surface during John Kerry's confirmation hearings for secretary of State.

Mr. Ferreira, 78, is the older brother of Mr. Kerry's wife, Fox Chapel ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz. Ferreira also is a former Portuguese naval officer linked to leftist Portuguese politics and reportedly backed a 1974 coup against Portuguese Prime Minister Marcello Caetano.

According to Allegheny County voter registration records, Ferreira lives in a four-bedroom, 3½ bathroom $628,000 home on Squaw Run Road in Fox Chapel on property adjacent to the sprawling 87-acre Heinz estate. County property assessment records indicate Teresa Heinz has owned the property where her brother resides since 1993.

Ferreira has avoided the spotlight over the years. And Mrs. Heinz-Kerry seldom speaks publicly about him. One of the few references to him came in a November 1974 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story in which she mentioned that her older brother once had been a Maoist (one who is a devotee of the kind of Marxism-Leninism developed in China by Mao Zedong).

It seems odd that no one on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sought to grill John Kerry on the troubling fact that the prospective secretary of State's brother-in-law once bought into the guiding principles of Communist China.

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