Congresswoman Maxine Waters is on the hot seat over the ways she raises money and the money she has paid to her daughter.
Waters raises money by charging other California Democrats big bucks to be listed on the sample ballot of candidates she supports that she sends out with her mail pieces, Fox News reported.
Over the past 14 years, her campaign committee, Citizens for Waters, has spent about $750,000 with Waters’ daughter, Karen Waters, or her daughter’s PR firm, Progressive Connections, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
As a result, according to Fox, the National Legal and Policy Center has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission asking for a full audit of the Citizens for Waters campaign. A second complaint that focuses on how Waters raises and spends the money is in the works, Tom Anderson, director of the group’s government integrity project, told Fox.
What Waters does, Anderson said, is collect money from other politicians far in excess of the campaign fund-raising limit to be listed among those candidates she supports.
“Maxine Waters found an old provision and turned it into a cottage industry,” Anderson said.
Although the FEC has said in the past this was legal, the complaint said the rules were broken when the California Democratic Party paid $35,000 to have an endorsement of Sen. Kamala Harris included in Waters’s mailing.
“The Democratic State Central Committee of California’s $35,000 contribution to Citizens for Waters violated campaign finance limits,” the complaint states.
“(Waters) is going to be re-elected no matter what,” Anderson said. “She comes knocking on other politicians in California to say, ‘do you want my endorsement,’ because she knows they don’t want her opposing them.”
Legally, candidates are paying part of the cost of the mail piece, Adav Noti, a former FEC assistant general counsel, told Fox.
“Those payments are legitimate if it’s approximate to the cost for the entity producing, printing and sending the mailers,” said Noti, now a senior director at the Campaign Legal Center. “Without seeing the information on the cost of the mailers, it’s difficult to say if there is anything inherently wrong with the math.”
As for the money flowing to Waters’ daughter, John Wonderlich, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, said the issue revolves round the “question of enrichment for a family member.”
Waters has emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s most vituperative critics of President Donald Trump. Earlier this week, she indulged in name-calling after Trump said he would shut down the government if that was what it took to build his proposed border wall.
“Well you know this president is a bully,” Waters told MSNBC. “And he’ll try to intimidate all of us.”
“He’s not going to shut down the government and we are not going to be intimidated by his bluffing and his bullying,” she added.
However, Waters has become an object of scorn herself, as columnist John Crudele noted Monday in the New York Post.
“Here’s the thing, Maxine. People care about money issues,” he wrote in response to her demand that Americans start “screaming” against Trump. “So, Maxine, sorry — you are just out of touch with the majority of Americans.”