Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters, one of the loudest and most problematic voices in the anti-Trump ‘resistance’ movement has been hit with an FEC Complaint regarding her possible misuse of campaign funds. During her time as a Congresswoman, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the way Water’s raises money and distributes the funds raised.
The complaint focuses on how Waters has been using campaign funds to pay her daughter, Karen Waters roughly $750,000 worth of campaign money since 2004.
Each election cycle, Congresswoman Waters has been able to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars from California politicians who pay to be listed on Waters’s mailers, otherwise known as sample ballots, which Waters mails out to an estimated 200,000 voters in Los Angeles, so that they are aware of who she has endorsed and is supporting.
In July, the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog filed a complaint against Congresswoman Waters with the FEC, accusing her of violating campaign finance laws. Also mentioned in the complaint is the Democratic State Central Committee and Sen. Kamala Harris, who has been rumored to be a 2020 Democratic presidential contender.
A second complaint against Waters is also being filed by the National Legal and Policy Center. The second complaint focuses on the sources of money going to the Waters campaign and how they were used to pay her daughter. According to Tom Anderson, the director of the group’s government integrity project, the complaint is also asking for a full audit of the Citizens for Waters campaign to determine whether or not campaign funds were abused.
Congresswoman Waters has been in office since 1990. During her over stayed time in Congress, Waters has been making a lot of headlines over the past two years as a result of her clinical Trump Derangement Syndrome, which has been exemplified in her calls to “Impeach 45” and harass Trump supporters and Trump administration officials in public.
The FEC Compliant that was filed on July 25 highlights various instances of Water’s violating FEC rules.
According to the complaint, the California Democratic party paid $35,000 to the Waters campaign in 2016 so that an endorsement of Kamala Harris’ Senate candidacy would appear on the mailer. However, a third party is not legally allowed to pay for the mailer of a candidate without being reimbursed, as stated under the 2004 FEC advisory opinion.
In a different finance report, it is documented that Harris’s campaign also paid $30,000 to the Waters campaign in 2016 to be on the mailer.
According to the FEC complaint, “The Democratic State Central Committee of California’s $35,000 contribution to Citizens for Waters violated campaign finance limits.”
Currently, Waters is running against Omar Navarro, 29, for the 43rd Congressional seat in California.
Months before the 2018 election, and Waters’s mailers are still a lucrative source of funds for her campaign.
According to the 2004 FEC advisory opinion, which was signed by Democratic FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, “The brochure (mailers) will feature a prominent picture or likeness of Representative Waters on the front page. It will be promoted as Representative Waters’ ‘official sample ballot’ and will contain brief quotes, which convey her opinions and endorsements of the federal and non-federal candidates listed.”
For the 2018 election cycle, FEC data shows that as of July 28, Democrat Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial campaign as well as Dianne Feinstein both paid $27,000o to Waters’ re-election campaign to be in the mailers and receive an endorsement from Waters. Candidates for state assembly, sheriff and judges also paid between $2,000 and $12,000 to Waters to be included on the mailers.
Waters has been described by many in California as a Democrat mob boss in the way that she has managed to make millions from her shady political practices while constituents in her district remain impoverished and dependent on government handouts.
“She is going to be re-elected no matter what,” Anderson 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. A local politician, like a judge, does not want to be on her bad side,” Anderson said.
While Waters’s mailer system could be interpreted as a pay for play, in which candidates pay for an endorsement at the whim of Waters’s desired rate, which is illegal, California candidates are blurring the lines of bribery and corruption by legally paying a reimbursement for the mailer, as opposed to outright buying an endorsement from Waters.
Neither Congresswoman Waters herself nor her daughter have replied to requests for comment regarding their apparent violation of campaign finance rules.
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