Maxine Waters intervened with regulators to protect personal investment

posted at 10:48 am on March 13, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) intervened with regulators on behalf of a bank to which she had personal financial ties, the Wall Street Journal reports.  Waters also greased the skids with Treasury to get the bank a meeting it desired.  Waters and her husband own as much as $500,000 in OneUnited stock:

Ms. Waters and her husband have both held financial stakes in the bank. Until recently, her husband was a director. At the same time, Ms. Waters has publicly boosted OneUnited’s executives and criticized its government regulators during congressional hearings. Last fall, she helped secure the bank a meeting with Treasury officials.

Her involvement isn’t new. Ms. Waters has detailed her financial ties in a series of federal disclosure forms and has been vocal in public in support of the bank. Those ties, however, have received little public attention. Nor is it well known how the influential lawmaker has over the years acted to support the bank and its executives.

Such potential conflicts of interest are more serious as the banking system’s crisis has led the government to take an increasingly active role in overseeing financial institutions, including OneUnited. The financial-services committee on which Ms. Waters sits oversees banking issues, and the lawmaker is a potential future chairman.

And the LA Times notes that OneUnited got some tasty bailout bucks, too:

Rep. Maxine Waters, one of Los Angeles’ most enduring liberal politicians, has come under scrutiny because of bailout funds that went to a bank in which her husband had owned stock and served on the board.

Waters was a senior member of the congressional committee dealing with the financial crisis when OneUnited Bank — one of the nation’s largest minority-owned institutions — received $12 million in bailout funds.

Her husband, Sidney Williams, served on the bank board until early last year and held at least $500,000 in investments in the bank in 2007, the most recent year for which public financial disclosure statements are available.

A month before Congress enacted the bailout program, Waters helped set up a meeting between the chief executive of the bank, representatives of other financial institutions and Treasury officials.

“When a member of the financial services committee calls, you pay special attention,” said Jeb Mason, who was a high-ranking Treasury official last fall.

Did Americans go deep into debt to send bailout money to politically-connected banks and to prop up the investment portfolios of elected officials?  Apparently, yes we did.

Of course, conflicts of interest are nothing new for Democrats on Congressional committees.  Barney Frank had a personal relationship with an executive of Fannie Mae while sitting on the same committee, which oversees Fannie Mae operations.  Chris Dodd took sweetheart loans from Countrywide Mortgage, one of the malefactors in the subprime-lending collapse.  Waters’ connections to OneUnited and her serial conflicts of interest make this look more like the rule for Democrats rather than the exception.

The last time members of Congress intervened with federal regulators in the financial industry on behalf of their own interests, they called the perps the Keating Five.  The media ripped the five Senators, including John McCain, who played a more tangential role than the other four — all Democrats.  Three of the others actually intervened to stop federal regulators from discovering that Lincoln Savings and Loan, owned by political heavyweight Charles Keating, was insolvent.

During the presidential campaign just a few months ago, Democrats tried to paint McCain as corrupt by blowing his role in the Keating Five out of proportion.  In fact, they made it sound as though McCain did essentially what Waters has done here, and screeched about corruption.  Now that Waters has been shown to interfere with regulators to protect the personal financial interests of her family and her contributors (OneUnited has generated over $12,000 in donations to Waters), will these same Democrats take action against corruption — as they themselves defined it in the fall of 2008?  Or are they more interested in culturing corruption?

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RealDemocrat on March 14, 2009 at 12:25 PM

RealDemocrat on March 14, 2009 at 12:37 PM

RealDemocrat on March 14, 2009 at 1:09 PM

why isnt this lying bitch in jail?
she is another mcckinny
just smarter..

jcila on March 14, 2009 at 1:12 PM

RealDemocrat on March 14, 2009 at 3:38 PM

I’d love to see someone snatch that greasy wig off this racists head.

Wade on March 14, 2009 at 5:26 PM

why isnt this lying bitch in jail?
she is another mcckinny
just smarter..

No, not smarter, RICHER! Follow the money.

GarandFan on March 14, 2009 at 5:32 PM

why isnt this lying bitch in jail?
she is another mcckinny
just smarter..

jcila on March 14, 2009 at 1:12 PM

They have not checked her freezer yet.

Johan Klaus on March 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM

why isnt this lying bitch in jail?
she is another mcckinny
just smarter..

If we’re talking about Cynthia ‘Cutest Little Communist in Congress’ McKinney, a dead tree stump has more brains than that wacko.

Remember, age and guile beats brain dead and clueless anytime.

SeniorD on March 14, 2009 at 8:26 PM

D.C. no longer stands for District of Columbia. It stands for District of Cesspool.

boomer on March 14, 2009 at 10:47 PM

The true power of a politician is that which we the people allow them. However, because we the people are so busy providing for our family and friends we forget to keep a tight rein on those we elected to protect U.S. and to provide services which are too difficult for the private sector to provide, because of their enormity, such as transportation infrastructure.

The result, Rep. Waters and others of her ilk are deluded into thinking they are important or can make a difference. Not because they are experts in economics or anything for that matter.

Their delusion of power is derived from statements such as this one taken from the LA Times article above “When a member of the financial services committee calls, you pay special attention,”. Only through threats of legal action (that they wrote themselves while you were not watching) are they able to manipulate U.S. into complying.

Remember, you are in charge and you are doing yourself a disservice when delegating without proper direction. When you vote, you are delegating your power to a politician. Therefore, we need to be reminded that every time you vote, never forget the basic rule of delegation-you still own it and are responsible for any outcomes, positive or negative.

MSGTAS on March 15, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Hmmm*….massive conflict of interest?

I heard her side of this story.

Doesn’t sound all that massive to me.

AnninCA on March 15, 2009 at 1:51 PM

I heard her side of this story.
Doesn’t sound all that massive to me.
AnninCA on March 15, 2009 at 1:51 PM

Oh really? Maxine Waters was told by Barney Frank to “stay out of it” (directing TARP funds to OneUnited Bank)BECAUSE of her husbands ties as Director to the bank and due to their owning stock in the bank.

If Barney Frank thinks it’s a conflict of interest, it’s gotta be huge!!!!

The Los Angeles Times in 2004 reported that her family members made more than $1 million by doing business with companies, candidates and causes that the congresswoman helped.

Maxine Waters should be brought up on ethics charges. She is cheating the taxpayers for her own personal gain.

TN Mom on March 15, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Unfortunately, not a darn thing will be done to her. Considering her support is “East LA”, AND the drive by media, AND her willing supporters in congress, anyone have a serious doubt anything will happen to her?

p51d007 on March 15, 2009 at 6:37 PM

Are there any medical doctors reading this article that can tell me what happened to Ms. Waters’s neck?

jarhead0311 on March 15, 2009 at 10:53 PM

Her district is awfully proud of her..Drug users, prostitutes,homeless, bloods, crips, and bankers..

lasertex on March 14, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Not all of us. Some of us used to be rich enough to not qualify for zero-down loans.

unclesmrgol on March 15, 2009 at 11:43 PM

She has committed a crime. She should be arrested and sent to Gitmo that will soon be a carribean resort.

workingforpigs on March 16, 2009 at 9:13 AM