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Maxine Waters Paid Daughter $192,000 in Campaign Funds During 2022 Cycle

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters has paid her daughter over $1.2 million since 2004, which included the younger Waters getting another six figures in payments in the 2022 cycle.

“Karen Waters pocketed $192,300 from her mother’s campaign to keep her ‘slate mailer’ operation afloat between Jan. 2021 and Dec. 2022, a Fox News Digital review of Federal Election Commission filings shows. The setup involves outside campaigns paying Waters’ campaign to appear on the slate mailers – or endorsement mailers – sent out to constituents in the Los Angeles area,” Fox News reported.

“The practice is highly unusual on the federal level, and Waters appears to be the only national politician using it to grab committee cash. Slate mailers, however, are commonplace in her home state of California, though critics say it involves deceptive practices over one campaign paying another for a politician’s backing in an election. Waters received the green light to run the operation from the Federal Election Commission in the fall of 2004. Since then, Karen Waters has received more than $1.2 million in payments from her mother’s campaign,” the outlet added.

It’s legal for federal lawmakers to employ family members on campaigns, but the practice is frowned upon by ethics experts.

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Now, Republicans are aiming to put a ban on lawmakers from putting family members on the campaign payroll after many prominent Democrats have been called out over the practice.

Republican Texas Rep. Pat Fallon has introduced legislation called the Family Integrity to Reform Elections Act, which would prevent campaign funds from going to a candidate’s immediate family.

The bill, if passed, would also make the candidate directly responsible for knowingly violating the provision.

“The Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act is a critical step to reducing nepotistic practices in American campaigns. Allowing direct family members to be on the take of campaigns must come to an end. For example, Maxine Waters, the worst perpetrator, has given her daughter over $1.1 million in campaign funds. This is utterly egregious, and I will not stand by as the integrity of our elections is further diminished,” Fallon told the Daily Caller.

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“Maxine Waters [paid] $1.1 million to her daughter from campaign funds,” Fallon said in a statement. “Ilhan Omar, $2.9 million to her husband from campaign funds. James Clyburn, over $200,000 to multiple family members from his campaign.”

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Fallon added. “Americans are sick of politicians abusing their voters’ hard-earned money. This modern-day spoils system must end. My bill shines a light on shady campaign finance practices while punishing those who take advantage of these funds to enrich their families.”

“Karen Waters, who has been organizing slate-mailing operations to bolster her mother’s re-election for nearly two decades, and her company, Progressive Connections, have received more than $1.2 million since 2003 for campaign services, including ‘slate mailer management’ fees and ‘campaign managing services,'” Fox News reported.

“A Citizens for Waters campaign committee filing from earlier this week shows that the younger Waters received $24,000 from the committee between January and March 2022. 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 on how to cast their ballots,” the report added.

“The Family Integrity to Reform Elections (FIRE) Act, to be introduced by Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) on Monday, would bar any candidate running for federal office from compensating immediate family members for campaign services,” the New York Post reported back in June.

“It is currently legal for lawmakers to employ family members to work on campaigns. However, Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit paying candidate relatives a salary unless they are ‘providing bona fide services to the campaign” and the salary represents “fair market value of the services provided.’ The legislation – first reviewed by The Post – would extend the ban to any political committee ‘established, maintained or controlled by a candidate or an individual holding Federal office’ – blocking any current lawmaker from compensating a family member for working on their campaign,” the report added.

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