Democratic House Rep. Maxine Waters came under fire this week after it was revealed her daughter was paid more than $192k in campaign funds to run the congresswoman’s “slate mailer” operation, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Waters’ daughter Karen reportedly earned $192,300 between January 2021 and December 2022 for running her mother’s operation that sees the 84-year-old California congresswoman endorse candidates and ballot measures via political advertisements that are then mailed en masse to residents throughout the state.
According to Daily Mail, Waters also received payments for appearing on the slate mailers and her daughter has reportedly collected more than $1.2 million since the operation first started in 2004.
The campaign filings also showed that Karen receives between $2,000 and $6,000 payments twice a month, with another revealing Waters’ daughter received a whopping $81,650 between October 23, 2020, and June 17, 2021.
Waters was reportedly paid by high-profile Democratic politicians to endorse the candidates via the slate mailers, including endorsements for Vice President Kamala Harris, California Governor Gavin Newsom, and Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon.
Harris reportedly paid Waters $33,000 in 2010 for the congresswoman to endorse her bid for California Attorney General at the time, plus another $30,000 to endorse her bid for the Senate in 2016.
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Newsom reportedly paid Waters $45,000 during his bid for California lieutenant governor in 2010.
Most recently, Los Angeles Mayor Gascon paid the Democratic congresswoman $36,500 to endorse his bid for mayor in 2020.
Although Waters has been accused of nepotism after it was revealed her daughter profited significantly from running the slate mailer operation, the popular congresswoman has regularly defended her decision to hire family members.
"They do their business and I do mine,” Waters said nearly 20 years ago when the reports about her campaign spending first surfaced in 2004. “We are not bad people.”
It has since been revealed that Waters’ son, Edward Waters Jr., has also profited from the slate mailer operation. Edwards Jr. reportedly worked as a consultant for a number of campaigns his mother was paid to endorse.
Although federal regulations do not bar members of Congress from hiring family members to work on their campaigns, many choose not to because of the nepotism allegations and other criticisms that inevitably arise.