House Ethics Comm. Clears Another Corrupt LawmakerSubmitted by go213mph on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 17:02
Surprise, surprise; the House Ethics Committee has cleared Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a distinguished member of Judicial Watch’s Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians list, for steering millions of federal bailout dollars to her husband’s failing bank.
The famously remiss committee, which is charged with investigating and punishing corrupt lawmakers, found that Waters committed no wrongdoing when she steered $12 million to a Massachusetts bank in which she and her board member husband held shares. The bank, OneUnited, subsequently got shut down by the government and taxpayers got stiffed for the millions. Judicial Watch investigated the scandal and obtained documents from the U.S. Treasury related to the controversial bailout.
Waters, a Democrat who represents some of Los Angeles’ poorest inner city neighborhoods, has denied any wrongdoing and says she allocated the money as part of her longtime work to promote opportunity for minority-owned businesses and lending in underserved communities. At least that’s what her hometown newspaper says. Keep in mind that the now-defunct bank was located thousands of miles away from the south Los Angeles neighborhood she represents in Congress.
The ethics committee evidently bought her story. It launched an investigation a few years ago and announced today that the veteran lawmaker is off the hook. That means she can regain her position as a senior member (or chairwoman if Democrats win control of the U.S. House of Representatives) of the House Financial Services Committee. It will be as if nothing ever happened, though Waters’ chief of staff (her grandson) got a slap on the hand for violating House standards of conduct to help OneUnited.
Even more laughable than the ethic panel’s conclusion is how it was reached. The committee hired an “independent” legal advisor who found that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to prove violations by a clear and convincing standard.