The reelection of U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters to another term in Congress last month proved to be something of a financial windfall for Karen Waters, the California Democrat’s daughter, federal election data suggest.
Karen Waters received a total of about $240,000 from her 82-year-old mother’s campaign during the election cycle, Federal Election Commission records show.
The dollar figure appears to mirror what Karen Waters received during her mother’s previous campaign in 2018, when the daughter was paid “more than $200,000,” according to a November 2018 report by the Washington Free Beacon.
The 2018 report explained that the bulk of Karen Waters’ payments were for “slate mailer” services that the daughter provided for the campaign, in which other candidates in Southern California paid Maxine Waters’ campaign for endorsement quotes that appeared on mailings sent out to voters on behalf of those other candidates.
Back in 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported that various Waters family members had pocketed a total of more than $1 million over eight years from businesses and campaigns with a connection to the congresswoman. But she separated herself from any ties to those activities.
“They do their business and I do mine,” Waters told the Times at the time. “We are not bad people.”
The congresswoman’s filing this year to the FEC suggests that her daughter Karen Waters performed a repeat of her past campaign role.
The newest data appear across two separate pages of the FEC website: a newly submitted listing of campaign payments (called a “post-general” filing) that includes more than $28,000 in payouts to Karen Waters, and an earlier submitted listing on a page titled, “Schedule B: Itemized Disbursements,” that includes more than $212,000 in payments to the daughter.
The newest FEC filing shows five entries for Karen Waters: a $1,000 payment dated Oct. 23 for “Walker payments”; payments of $900 and $5,000, dated Oct. 30 and Nov. 2, respectively, both marked “GOTV”; and payments of $8,750 and $12,500,” dated Nov. 6 and Nov. 17, respectively, both marked “Slate Mailer Management Fee.” The five payments total $28,150.
The purposes for the payments are not clear, although “GOTV” may refer to unspecified “Get out the vote” services.
Payments to other recipients that appear on the same newly submitted document suggest fees for event staging, package delivery, campaign consulting, telecom service and media advertising.
The document lists a “Total Disbursement Amount (Non-Memo)” of $480,275.72 and a “Total Disbursement Amount (Memo)” of $30,006.05.
The FEC’s listing of previously disclosed payments to the daughter for the most recent election cycle shows Karen Waters to be highest paid of the 10 recipients on the page.
The $212,654.73 paid to Karen Waters is broken down into 26 separate entries, most of them for “Slate Mailer Management” fees but a few others for “office expenses” and “canvassing.” The dates range from March 2019 to September 2020.
The elder Waters, who heads the House Financial Services Committee, has long attracted scrutiny of her campaign finances at least in part because of her daughter’s involvement in her reelection efforts, Fox News has previously reported.
Waters, who represents California’s 43rd Congressional District in the Los Angeles area, has served in Congress since 1991 and previously served in the California state Assembly.