Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California funneled about $240,000 to her daughter during the 2020 campaign, according to federal documents.
Federal Election Commission filings show that during the 2019-2020 campaign cycle, Karen Waters received about $213,000 as of the start of the last reporting period.
The latest report for the final quarter of the campaign season shows $28,150 paid to Karen Waters. There is a $1,000 payment for “Walker payments”; payments of $900 and $5,000 for “GOTV”; and payments of $8,750 and $12,500,” marked “Slate Mailer Management Fee.”
Prior to the 2019-2020 election cycle, her campaign reportedly paid $750,000 to Karen Waters or her PR firm, Progressive Connections, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
The report of how Waters spent her campaign cash raised hackles on Twitter.
Arrest her not just report it https://t.co/DgpmoRyPxP
— HereWeAre (@sofka_juyne) December 4, 2020
In 2004, LA Times reported that various Waters family members had pocketed total of more than $1 million over eight years from businesses & campaigns with a connection to the congresswoman.But she separated herself from any ties to those activities.https://t.co/e4tRrqpjDW
— Feisty Green Eyes✝️💥🌶🔥Not a ‘Yes’ Woman (@WhimsicalMeToo) December 4, 2020
In 2018, the National Legal and Policy Center filed a complaint with the FEC asking for a full audit of the Citizens for Waters campaign.
Tom Anderson, director of the group’s government integrity project, said the fees Waters collected allowed her to collect money from other politicians far in excess of the campaign fundraising limit
“Maxine Waters found an old provision and turned it into a cottage industry,” Anderson said.
“She 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, said Adav Noti, a former FEC assistant general counsel.
“Those payments are legitimate if it’s approximate to the cost for the entity producing, printing and sending the mailers,” said Noti, 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’s daughter, John Wonderlich, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, said the issue revolves around the “question of enrichment for a family member.”
At that time, she said their enrichment had nothing to do with her.
“They do their business and I do mine,” she said. “We are not bad people.”
Waters has been a member of Congress since 1991.
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