Washington, D.C. – In the midst of a national financial catastrophe, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) used her position as a senior member of Congress and member of the House Financial Services Committee to prevail upon Treasury officials to meet with OneUnited Bank. She never disclosed that her husband held stock in the bank. This outrageous conduct has led Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to include the congresswoman as one of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress. Click here to read the full report on Rep. Waters.
“By contacting then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to request a meeting, allegedly for a group of minority-owned banks, but then arranging for only one bank – OneUnited, in which she had a financial interest – to attend, Rep. Waters violated House conflict of interest rules,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.
Around the same time Rep. Waters asked the Treasury Department to hold the initial meeting, Rep. Waters spoke to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) about OneUnited, telling him that her husband previously had served on the board. Rep. Frank advised her to stay out of matters related to the bank. Nevertheless, Rep. Waters’ chief of staff and grandson, Mikael Moore, continued to actively assist OneUnited representatives in their quest to receive bailout funds, and worked to craft legislation authorizing Treasury to grant OneUnited’s request.
Rep. Waters was scheduled for an ethics trial on November 29, 2010, but the House Ethics Committee postponed the hearing. Inconsistent reports have emerged suggesting both potential new evidence and serious misconduct by two of the committee’s attorneys and improper conduct by committee members. In July 2011, the committee hired respected D.C attorney Billy Martin as outside counsel to investigate both the case against Rep. Waters and the committee itself.
“The ethics committee has handled the case against Rep. Waters with the maturity of school children,” said Ms. Sloan. “Happily, adult supervision in the form of Mr. Martin has been brought in to clean up the mess.”
This is the 7th edition of the CREW’S Most Corrupt Report, an annual look at a bipartisan collection of Washington’s worst. This year’s list includes seven Democrats, and 12 Republicans. Five are repeat offenders. Since 2005, CREW has named 70 members of Congress to the list, 32 of whom are no longer in office.
Directly From Wikipedia
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According to Chuck Neubauer and Ted Rohrlich writing in the Los Angeles Times in 2004, Maxine Waters’ relatives had made more than $1 million during the preceding eight years by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that Waters had helped. They claimed she and her husband helped a company get government bond business, and her daughter Karen Waters and son Edward Waters have profited from her connections. Waters replied that “They do their business and I do mine.” Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) named Waters to its list of corrupt members of Congress in its 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2011 reports. She was accused of using her position to prevail upon officials to meet with OneUnited Bank without disclosing that she and her husband had significant stock holdings in the company. Since she was on the Financial Services Committee she largely had the role of determining where TARP funds would go. $12 Million in TARP funds went to OneUnited without her ever disclosing that she had a financial stake at the company. Citizens Against Government Waste named her the June 2009 Porker of the Month due to her intention to obtain an earmark for the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center.
In 2010, Waters came under investigation for ethics violations and was accused by a House panel of at least one ethics violation related to her efforts to help OneUnited Bank receive federal aid. Waters’ husband is a stockholder and former director of OneUnited Bank and the bank’s executives were major contributors to her campaigns. In September 2008, Waters arranged meetings between U.S. Treasury Department officials and OneUnited Bank, so that the bank could plead for federal cash. It had been heavily invested in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and its capital was “all but wiped out” after the U.S. government took them over. The bank received $12 million in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) money. The matter was investigated by the House Ethics Committee, which charged her with violations of the House’s ethics rules in 2010. On September 21, 2012, the House Ethics Committee completed a report clearing Waters of all ethics charges after nearly three years of investigation.