by Kylie Handler, news editor
Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters is facing a mountain of criticism over a longstanding controversy involving how she raises her campaign funds and how she uses them to pay her daughter.
In May, The Horn reported that her “daughter, Karen Waters, has been paid more than $42,862 since the start of 2017, with another $65,000 in payments for “professional services” in the pipeline.”
A government watchdog reported this ugly scandal to the Federal Election Commission requesting a full audit of the Citizens for Waters campaign — and it looks like Waters could be in huge trouble.
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The first of two complaints alleges that Maxine has broken the federal campaign finance law — and names likely 2020 Democratic presidential contender Kamala Harris as a respondent, too.
What a surprise… two corrupt individuals conspiring together.
Right-leaning National Legal and Policy Center is still drafting a second complaint against Waters focusing on how her campaign funds have reportedly flowed an overwhelming $750,000 into her daughter’s bank account since 2004.
According to Fox News,”She mastered this somewhat-rare form of fundraising in slate mailers. California’s top politicians as well as local office-seekers have given far in excess of legal contribution limits to her campaign to be on her slate of endorsed candidates.”
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For reference, slate mailers are practically political junk mail.
Waters’ campaign pays her daughter and other firms to produce, print, and mail the sample ballots — a practice approved by the FEC in 2004.
“Maxine Waters found an old provision and turned it into a cottage industry,” Tom Anderson, National Legal and Policy Center director told Fox News.
The complaint against Waters filed on July 25 alleges that Waters’ campaign received $35,000 to endorse Harris’ candidacy on the mailer.
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The FEC complaint explains that a third party is not allowed to pay for the mailer of a candidate without reimbursement under the 2004 FEC advisory opinion.
“The Democratic State Central Committee of California’s $35,000 contribution to Citizens for Waters violated campaign finance limits,” the complaint states.
Along with Harris, FEC data shows that in the 2018 election cycle Democrat Gavin Newsom, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and candidates for state assembly, sheriff, and judges also paid for the Waters endorsement.
As of July 28, Citizens of Waters paid her daughter $54,000 for the 2018 election cycle, according to FEC data.
Waters is up for re-election in November and Anderson believes, “She is going to be re-elected no matter what,” he said. “She comes knocking and other politicians in California to say, ‘do you want my endorsement,’ because she knows they don’t want her opposing them.”
“If you don’t pay to be on her slate, then maybe you’re one of Trump’s people,” Anderson said. “A local politician, like a judge, does not want to be on her bad side.”
Technically, candidates are allowed to pay a reimbursement fee to be endorsed on Waters’ mailer, but federal law probits individual campaign contributions to $2,700 to a candidate’s campaign and $5,000 to a political action committeee.
“Those payments are legitimate if it’s approximate to the cost for the entity producing, printing and sending the mailers,” Adav Noti, a senior director at the Campaign Legal Center explained. “Without seeing the information on the cost of the mailers, it’s difficult to say if there is anything inherently wrong with the math.”
“This certainly violates the spirit of campaign finance laws, but the FEC doesn’t seem to think it violates the letter of the law,” said John Wonderlich, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation.
Many Americans would agree that her actions are not illegal.
A simple word to describe Waters and her daughter is corrupt.
–Kylie Handler is a news editor for The Horn News