Campaign work for congressional candidates is usually arduous, thankless and a difficult way to earn a living.
If you need evidence, consider the staff on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign. Despite the fact the Vermont independent has been one of the most ardent champions of raising the minimum wage, many of his campaign staffers were paid significantly less than what he was promising Americans. It wasn’t until September of 2019 that he finally struck a deal with the union representing his field organizers to pay them at least $15 an hour, CNBC reported.
All of which is to say that if you want to strike it rich, campaign-level, retail politics probably isn’t the start. Then again, when you’re campaigning for mom, and mom happens to be a star of progressive Democratic politics, things can be a lot more lucrative.
According to a report from the U.K. Daily Mail, financial disclosure records from California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters reveal the far-left fixture paid her daughter over $80,000 in taxpayer money during the last fiscal year.
Between Oct. 23, 2020 and June 17, 2021, Karen Waters was paid $81,650 in campaign funds, according to the Tuesday report. Fox News had previously reported the number was over $74,000.
This isn’t a one-off thing, either. Since 2003, Karen Waters has received over $1.1 million for working for her mother’s campaigns — including $250,000 during the 2020 election cycle.
“The daughter of the California Democrat organized slate-mailing operations to bolster her mother’s reelection,” Fox News reported.
“Slate-mailing is an uncommon practice in federal elections, where a consulting firm is hired to create a pamphlet of sorts that contains a list of candidates or policy measures, and advises voters how to cast their ballots.”
In fact, the practice is so uncommon only one federal candidate used it at the federal level in 2020: Maxine Waters.
Furthermore, this isn’t the first time Waters’ family has made money off of the representative. In 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported that her family had made more than $1 million through Waters or causes and concerns she supported.
At the time, she told The Washington Post there was nothing amiss with the relationship.
“They do their business and I do mine,” Waters said at the time. “We are not bad people.”
However, keep in mind that what Karen Waters made from sending out slate mailers for her mother is more than twice the real median personal income of an American — $35,977, according to PolicyAdvice.
Foul-smelling though this may be, it’s legal. If family member are “providing bona fide services to the campaign,” payments to them aren’t prohibited unless they’re “in excess of the fair market value of the services provided.”
This issue had previously arisen when it turned out that the campaign of Minnesota Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar had funneled almost $3 million to a firm owned by a man who would eventually become her husband.
However, while Omar’s relationship with Tim Mynett’s E Street Group came under scrutiny, it began before the two were sharing conjugal bonds.
However, this to-do is a bit of a different fish, inasmuch as — to state the obvious — Karen Waters has always been Maxine Waters’ daughter, from the congresswoman’s first marriage, which ended in 1972.
Omar also had the good sense to cut ties with her husband’s firm after the 2020 election. Karen Waters remains very gainfully employed by her mother to do a job almost no other federal candidate feels the need to fill.
Working-class Americans are struggling to get by in President Joe Biden’s inflationary economy. Meanwhile, Karen Waters is taking over $80,000 a year of campaign money for an unnecessary job in her mom’s office.
If only Bernie Sanders’ campaign workers had been so lucky.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.