Maxine Waters Ethics Case To Go Forward

It was in August of 2010 that the House Ethics Committee decided to proceed with charges against California Congresswoman Maxine Waters for contriving to procure “special favors” for the Massachusetts-based OneUnited Bank. And although “Waters has done her damnedest during [these] three years to exploit as many legal technicalities as possible to try to get the investigation halted…” it now looks as though the jig might finally be up.

In 2008, Representative Waters set up a meeting between officials of the Treasury Department and members of a “trade association” of minority-owned banks. The meeting, however, consisted almost exclusively of OneUnited Bank executives who, to the surprise of the Treasury people, asked them for a $50 million dollar loan!

It seems the minority-owned OneUnited was in trouble. It also seems Maxine Waters’ husband, Sidney Williams, was on the board of OneUnited and owned $350,000 worth of the bank’s stock–stock that would have been worthless if the bank failed. The Congresswoman forgot to mention this minor point to Treasury when arranging the get-together.

Now who came to Waters’ assistance but Rush Limbaugh’s “Banking Queen,” Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank? Advising the congresswoman that her involvement in the affair might not look so hot to the House Ethics Committee, Frank offered to do the dirty work for her as OneUnited Bank was, after all, in his district. Frank later told the Committee:

“I said, look, it’s a Boston institution. You should stay out of it. It’s a legitimate constituency thing for me. You should stay away from this. It’s a legitimate thing for me to do, and you shouldn’t be involved,” Frank told the Globe, recounting his conversations with Waters.

Although it is against House rules to “use one’s power as a member for personal financial gain,” it’s apparently just FINE if one of your House colleagues does it FOR you.

At this point, Waters’ Chief of Staff—and grandson—Mikael Moore decided to lend a hand. He addressed numerous emails to the House Financial Services Committee, “…discussing with committee members details of a bank bailout bill apparently after Ms. Waters agreed to refrain from advocating on the bank’s behalf. The bailout bill had provisions that ultimately benefited OneUnited…” 

Read More at Western Journalism. By Doug Book.