Repeated ethics complaints filed against California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters have only seemingly served to increase the amounts being billed by her daughter to Waters’ campaign committee for the service of producing endorsement mailers, also called slate mailers.
According to Federal Election Commission filings, Waters made payments totaling $50,000 to her daughter Karen in the first quarter of 2019. Another $133,000 is still owed to her that the campaign will make payments on going forward.
The sweet deal Karen Waters has had since 2004 involves running a slate mailer that is sent to about 200,000 residents in South Central Los Angeles that contains a sample ballot and statement by Maxine Waters endorsing other California Democrat candidates who pay five-figure sums to be included in the mailers.
According to the Washington Free Beacon, “The operation brought in $400,000 from candidates running for office during the midterm election cycle, including $52,000 from now-governor Gavin Newsom. Waters’s campaign received more than 20 separate checks of $10,000 or more from other committees this past cycle.
“Karen Waters has greatly benefited from overseeing the slate mailers and has pocketed north of $800,000 over the years,” the Beacon reported.
Numerous complaints to the FEC against Waters over the practice through the years have failed to stop the practice. The FEC issued an advisory opinion in 2004 allowing Waters to run the operation from her federal campaign committee. Using slate mailers is a common practice in California and Oregon, and the racket is increasingly coming under heavy scrutiny.
The Beacon reports that “Waters appears to be the only federal candidate to run a slate mailer operation from a federal committee, according to a search of the FEC’s database.”