Maxine Waters Need To Step It Up In The Ethics Violations Department

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Aug 12, 2010 4:00 PM
She's being severely overshadowed by the scandals of a much bigger fish, Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, but Waters, a Democratic Representative from California, is still doing her part to keep Congress corrupt.

Waters is under investigation for pointing TARP funds towards a bank in which she had a vested interest -- and which might not have stayed afloat during the recent banking crisis without her help. She allegedly did it under the despicable guise of helping African-American banks survive. From WaPo:
In 2002, Waters wrote a letter with others to the governor of California in an attempt to block the sale of a black-owned bank in her district to a white-owned bank in Illinois, an action that helped pave the way for Cohee's bank -- then named the Boston Bank of Commerce -- to acquire it instead.

...At the time, Waters was the senior Democrat on the House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions, and her husband had a checking account valued at $250,000 to $500,000 in Cohee's bank, as well as a home mortgage and a line of credit. Her financial disclosure for 2001 does not list income from the account -- because of a clerical error, an aide said -- and her 2002 statement lists unspecified interest income. Such a large account would be partly at risk only if Cohee's bank failed.
That's pretty weak compared to Rangel's thirteen counts of ethical misconduct, Jerry-Springer-esque personal defense, and lavish birthday bash, but is still enough to give light up my Congressional ethics breaches drama radar.