Outspoken anti-Trump congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) is in hot water again as her controversial handling of campaign funds continues to rear its ugly head.
The National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog, has filed the first of their two complaints with the Federal Election Commission asking for an investigation into the Citizens for Waters Campaign.
Each election cycle, Waters has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from Californian politicians who pay to be listed on her slate mailers. These slate mailers are a sample ballot that highlights the candidates she supports in the upcoming election.
Several candidates paid Citizens for Waters between $2,000 to $12,000 to have their names appear in the mailer. Sen. Kamala Harris has paid $63,000 to Water’s campaign and has appeared twice in the mailers.
Democratic lieutenant governor of California Gavin Newsom paid Waters $45,000 to appear in the mailers in 2010 and then $27,000 in 2018.
Karen, Maxine’s daughter has received more than $750,000 in “professional fees” from this fundraising practice.
While the FEC does allow this pratice, it has come under heavy scrutiny in the past. Waters is the only politician running it from their federal committee.
According to Tom Anderson of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), “Maxine Waters found an old provision and turned it into a cottage industry.”
The NLPC’s first complaint targets Waters’s use of the slate mailers in regards to campaign funding exceeding legal contribution limits. Technically, federal law limits individual campaign contributions to $2,700 to the candidate’s committee and $5,000 to a political action committee.
The NLPC’s second complaint focuses on Waters flowing campaign money to her daughter and the accuracy of her campaign finance reports.
While Waters’s mailer tactics does not specifically violate the letter of the law, it does violate the spirit of campaign finance laws as Waters is exploiting the loophole to rake in contributions far over the legal contribution limits.
Perhaps the NLPC’s latest complaints will cause the FEC to reconsider this controversial practice.