Waters Edge: Maxine Waters' Ethics Problems

Charlie Rangel has been generating the bulk of the "ethics cloud" headlines; but, seemingly out of the blue, Maxine Waters has emerged as the target of her own probe and will be facing an ethics trial of her own this fall.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has chosen to go through an ethics trial, like the one lined up for New York Rep. Charles Rangel, rather than accepting charges made by an ethics subcommittee, a source familiar with the process tells POLITICO.

The back-to-back trials of two black lawmakers represent an unprecedented use of an ethics adjudication system that has rarely been used by House members accused of breaking ethics rules.

Waters's case revolves around allegations that she improperly intervened with federal regulators to help a bank that her husband owned stock in and on whose board he once served.

Waters denies any wrongdoing

If there's a more deserving target than Waters, I'd like to know their name. She's a race-card throwing scold who lives to denounce her fellow Americans as "evil" and who blithely votes for every tax and spend initiative that comes along, regardless of the economic damage or unintended consequences that might arise. Worst of all, she is impregnable; gerrymandered into office and cemented in there by the iron laws of inertia and incumbency. If an ethics trial is what it takes to get her out, I'm all for it.

Still, I am unmoved by the effort to make Waters part of some sort of symbol of a culture of corruption. Oh, that's not to say she isn't corrupt. Of course she is! But she isn't *just* part of a culture of corruption. She is a symbol of the two faced nature of the Democratic Party. Waters has long positioned herself as a champion of the oppressed, both among her fellow blacks and poor people in general. Yet one thing that has come out of Water's ethics investigation is the fact that she is a wealthy woman. In fact, she has ties to a number of minority-owned banks and even sat on the board of one located in her district. Maxine Waters running a bank? I'm still incredulous.

And, typically, the MSM, for all its "let's hold the fat cats to account" posturing, has been resolutely incurious about this. Isn't there one media outlet out there that wants to publish a picture of Waters' undoubtedly huge house(s)? More important, Waters' bank - and others she has been tied to - were involved in the sort of abuses that lay at the root of the financial crisis, namely subprime loans and weakened lending standards. We hear a lot about predatory lending. Was Waters' bank involved in any of that? Were they issuing "liar loans?" Were they selling mortgages to poor people that they knew could never be paid back? Were they turning Waters' constituents into debt slaves who could only be freed by foreclosure or bankruptcy?

Those are questions I'd like to see Waters try to answer, rather than legalistic queries about whether or not she disclosed the right relationship to the right bureaucrat.

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