The congresswoman's effort to get government money for OneUnited Bank is the latest slant on questionable conduct that's been going on for years. Here's how a 2004 LAT story opened:
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters' family members have made more than $1 million in the last eight years by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that the influential congresswoman has helped. In varied ways, they have capitalized on clout she accumulated in a 28-year career as an elected official who built her power base among African Americans in South Los Angeles into a national platform. Daughter Karen Waters has charged candidates for spots on her mother's "slate mailer," a sample ballot that many voters in South Los Angeles use to guide their choices. She also has been paid by a nonprofit organization she and her mother set up, funded in part by special interests her mother helps in Washington, that throws parties her mother hosts at Democratic conventions. Waters' husband has collected fees for opening doors with his wife's political allies on behalf of a bond firm seeking government business.
To be clear, there's no suggestion in today's stories that Waters or her family benefited financially from efforts to have the OneUnited folks meet with Treasury. More at issue is the propriety of a senior lawmaker in Congress having a financial stake in a company that she oversees as a member of the House Financial Services Committee. By the way, I was just on Patt Morrison's show on KPCC to talk about the Waters' situation. Also on hand was NYT reporter Eric Lipton, co-author of the paper's story on Waters.