Rep. Maxine Waters has become a bit of a big deal for the Progressive movement since the inauguration of Donald Trump.
As someone guaranteed to make headlines with her steady stream of outrageous and vitriolic remarks against the President and his associates – such as calling Trump’s cabinet “scumbags” and calling for Trump’s impeachment at today’s “Tax March” – Waters has become a must-have guest on numerous MSNBC and CNN shows.
Besides her sharp tongue, Maxine Waters is a difficult political target for the right because of her gender (female), ethnicity (African American) and age (78).
People who have taken her on have not always fared well.
Bill O’Reilly for example made a poor joke once about Waters’ hair and was forced to apologize when people reacted as if given the middle finger to Mother Teresa:
However, occasionally someone ventures forth undaunted by the risk of being called racist, ageist, and sexist – not to mention cowardly – to mention that Rep. Waters is … well, kinda corrupt.
As reported by the Free Beacon, Maxine Waters’ daughter Karen Waters is a well-paid employee of the campaign committee Citizens for Waters:
Karen Waters has been on the payroll of her mother’s campaign committee, Citizens for Waters, since 2006. She has pulled in more than $600,000 for her services since that time.
Karen is in charge of endorsement mailers, known as “slate mailers,” for her mother’s campaign. The slate mailer operation has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for Waters’ federal campaign committee in recent years.
How these “slate mailers” have generated so much income is what most fascinates.
According to the Free Beacon, these mailers are part of a pay-for-play setup that has been enormously profitable for the Waters family:
In order to appear on a Waters’ slate mailer, candidates for political office must pay Citizens for Waters from their own political committees. If a candidate does not directly pay Waters’ campaign committee, they must credit their own campaigns with in-kind contributions from Waters.
The mailers are sent to almost 200,000 constituents in the South Central Los Angeles area, where Waters holds considerable sway. The mailers consist of an “official sample ballot” with quotes from Waters about candidates and measures she supports.
One of Maxine’s best “customers” in fact is the newly elected California senator Kamala Harris.
Democrat Kamala Harris, the former California attorney general who won a seat in the Senate this November, paid Citizens for Waters $30,000 to appear on the endorsement mailers, campaign finance records show.
This was not the first time Harris has paid for Waters’ endorsement.
Harris made two payments totaling $28,000 to Waters in 2010 to appear on the mailer when she was running for attorney general.
It’s clearly all a bit sleazy.
We know that when our favorite athlete is on television telling us to drink more Mountain Dew that the athlete is being paid for his endorsement of the product.
But do we think that when our favorite politician is telling us to vote for this or that candidate that our favorite politician is receiving a check for that endorsement? Probably not.
But is it illegal as well as sleazy?
Here former DOJ attorney J. Christian Adams seems to argue that paying for an endorsement is legal…
As long as the endorsement wasn’t given in exchange for the cash. Otherwise that would be a in-kind contribution to help a federal campaign. But if you know how to do a deal right, a wink might suffice. Or, just an unspoken understanding that an endorsement is expected following the payoff. Or maybe the payoff comes down the line. If you do the deal right, it doesn’t matter.
That Waters hasn’t been gotten into further trouble speaks to her ability to do a sleazy deal right.
It is after all something with which she has experience.
In the midst of a national financial catastrophe, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) used her position as a senior member of Congress and member of the House Financial Services Committee to prevail upon Treasury officials to meet with OneUnited Bank. She never disclosed that her husband held stock in the bank.
Waters is now considered by CREW as one of “The Most Corrupt Members of Congress.”