by Richard McCarty
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA-43) represents all that is wrong with Washington, D.C., yet she is next in line to chair the House Financial Services Committee should Democrats seize control of the House. It should be noted that the Financial Services Committee has broad authority with jurisdiction over the banking, housing, insurance, and securities industries and oversight over the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Waters, an 80-year-old California Democrat, was first elected to Congress in 1990. Although she currently represents a working class district, she chooses to live outside of her district in a $4.8 million mansion (which means that the value of her home is more than eight times the median value of homes in her district). Prior to Congress, she spent 14 years in the California State Assembly. She has been a member of the Democratic National Committee for nearly 40 years.
Recently, Waters has seen a surge in her popularity among Democrats due to her hatred and contempt for President Trump; but before reinventing herself as a Resistance leader, she was widely viewed as corrupt. In fact, she has repeatedly been labelled one of the most corrupt members of Congress – by a liberal organization – and her whole family seems to have cashed in on her “public service.”
In the latter part of 2008, Waters’ husband, Sidney Williams, owned thousands of shares of stock in OneUnited Bank, which was failing. Beyond her husband’s ties to the bank, Waters had ties to the bank: the bank’s CEO and the bank’s president, a husband and wife duo, had contributed thousands of dollars to Waters and hosted a fundraiser for her. Waters and her office secured a meeting of OneUnited officials with senior officials from the Treasury Department; and her chief of staff, Mikael Moore, continued to try to assist the bank. The episode led to a House Ethics Committee investigation, and the committee reprimanded Moore, who is also Waters’ grandson.
Furthermore, Waters’ children have profited from her position. Over the years, Waters’ daughter, Karen Waters, has made hundreds of thousands of dollars for producing her mother’s slate mailers. Candidates who wish to be listed in these campaign mailings pay hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege. Waters’ son, Edward Waters, has also benefitted financially from the mailers and has been paid as a consultant to campaigns that his mother endorsed.
In addition to a reputation for corruption, Waters has a long record of radicalism. For example, she attended a rally for Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of murdering a Philadelphia police officer. She also signed a letter on his behalf that stated the following: “There is ample evidence that Mr. Abu-Jamal’s constitutional rights were violated, that he did not receive a fair trial, and that he is, in fact, innocent.”
Nor is Mumia the only radical she has supported. Waters once wrote a letter to Cuban president Fidel Castro explaining her opposition to a House Resolution calling for Cuba to extradite Joanne Chesimard, who escaped from a US prison and fled to Cuba. Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a Black nationalist organization that planted bombs, robbed banks, hijacked an airplane, and killed police officers. While Waters views Chesimard as a “political activist,” the FBI is offering a $1 million reward for Chesimard’s capture and includes her on its list of Most Wanted Terrorists.
When Waters is not busy siding with radical individuals, she can often be found supporting radical policies. For example, she once told an oil executive, “And guess what this liberal [referring to herself] would be all about? This liberal would be all about socializing—would be about basically taking over and the government running all of your companies, and that, I tell you, is an extreme position.”
With her ill-temper, lack of ethics, and radical views, Waters is unfit to serve in Congress. Yet, she is set to chair the powerful Financial Services Committee if Democrats take the House majority. For all of these reasons, the Democrats must be defeated next month.
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Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.