Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has emerged as a liberal icon in recent years… but now, she’s facing renewed criticism over corruption.
A government watchdog, the National Legal and Policy Center, filed two complaints in July with the Federal Election Commission–alledging that Waters wrongly funneled hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars to a public relations firm owned her daughter called Progressive Connections.
The Waters’ campaign uses a unique fundraising strategy: allowing candidates running for other California offices to be listed on Rep. Waters’ “slate” of endorsed candidates, and mailed to her constituents in the Los Angeles area.
Candidates gave Waters large sums of money to appear as one of her endorsed candidates–often in excess of legal campaign contribution limits.
The Waters campaign then used this money to pay Progressive Connections, the company owned by Rep. Waters’ daughter, to produce the mailers.
Since 2004, the Waters campaign paid Progressive Connections in excess of $750,000.
The first complaint alleges that the payments to Progressive Connections broke federal campaign finance law. Also named in the suit is Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is considered an early favorite for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
A second complaint, which would more broadly focus on the exchange of money between Rep. Waters’ campaign and her daughter’s company, is still being drafted.