In 2005, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., was added to a liberal watchdog’s running list of the most corrupt members of Congress. Waters was added again in 2006 to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s annual report on D.C. corruption. They added her again in 2009 and one more time in 2011.
The group may want to consider saving a spot for Waters for its upcoming report for 2018.
The congresswoman’s daughter, Karen Waters, is set to collect more than $200,000 for heading a slate mailer operation for her mother’s 2018 re-election campaign, the Washington Free Beacon reported
, citing new Federal Election Commission data:
Karen is in charge of slate mailers, or endorsement mailers, in which candidates pay Rep. Waters's campaign to appear on mailers that are sent to more than 200,000 residents in the South Central Los Angeles area, where Waters holds a good amount of clout. The mailers contain a sample ballot and quotes of support from Waters.
From 2006 through the end of the 2016 election cycle, Karen Waters’ firm, Progressive Connections, has collected more than $600,000 in campaign funds from her mom’s campaign committee, the Free Beacon also reported.
The congresswoman’s daughter also received an additional $108,862 in payments from the committee during the 2018 midterm election cycle, according to the FEC
“The committee additionally reported that it still owes $94,000
to Karen,” the Free Beacon noted. “Once the debt is paid off, Karen will have received more than $200,000 in payments from the committee as marked at the end of the midterm cycle. The campaign was paid more than $200,000
from the likes of Democratic candidates and judges in California during the most recent campaign cycle.”
Though it all appears to to be legal, that doesn’t mean it's ethical. This story feels like an extension of the corrupt-but-not-quite-illegal familial kickbacks for which the Waters family has become well-known.
In 2010, for example, Waters was charged with violations of the House's ethics rules after it was reported that she had used her connections in 2008 to ensure a $12 million federal bailout of OneUnited Bank, which had contributed heavily to her campaign and where her husband owned stock. She was cleared of the charges in 2012. Her grandson was the one who took the fall. And by "took the fall," I mean he received a reprimand
Earlier, in 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported separately that Waters' relatives pocketed more than $1 million over the course of eight years from businesses and political campaigns that were in some way connected to the congresswoman. The reporting showed that her children profited directly from her connections, including that they collected hefty fees from campaigns she had endorsed. The California lawmaker defended herself at the time by saying
, "They do their business and I do mine."
That’s the problem, though. There doesn’t seem to be any clear delineation between Waters’ “business” and the rest of her family’s “business.” Everyone in that family is making bank on mom’s safe seat in Congress.