Karen Waters – the daughter of Rep. Maxine Waters (D., Calif.) – has pocketed $1.13 million for providing ‘services’ for her mother’s campaign since 2003.
The majority of the payments is for her role in running a controversial slate-mailer operation, in which California politicians pay money to Waters’s campaign in exchange for mailers bearing her endorsement.
The mailers have become increasingly lucrative for young Karen Waters over the years. During the 2020 cycle, she was raking in $240,000. That’s significantly more than the $90,000 her firm, Progressive Connections, took in during the 2006 election cycle.
Meanwhile, The Federal Election Commission actually gave Waters the green light for the mailer operation in 2004.
While slate mailers are commonplace in states like California and Oregon, the practice is extremely rare at the federal level. In fact, Waters appears to be the only federal politician to use a slate-mailer operation. As such, the arrangement between her and her daughter has led to complaints from watchdog groups asking the FEC to audit the campaign.
Many California politicians have paid to be featured on the mailers. Kamala Harris twice paid tens of thousands from her campaigns for a spot on the mailers. California Governor Gavin Newsom (D.) and former senator Barbara Boxer (D.) have also paid for Waters’s support.
The practice has received criticism from local media.”While some of these mailers reflect the earnest political values of the organizations that put them together, many are pay-to-play money-makers that blur the line between endorsement, paid advertisement and extortion,” CalMatters wrote last year.
Source is the Federal Elections Commission: Link Here