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When Maxine Waters Needed Ethics Advice, She Turned to Barney Frank

Posted on | August 3, 2010 | 15 Comments

Maybe you see the problem here:

US Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts urged Representative Maxine Waters of California to avoid any dealings with Boston-based OneUnited Bank because her husband owned stock in it. But the congresswoman didn’t heed his warnings, according to a House ethics report released yesterday, and now faces a possible trial before her colleagues over a conflict of interest with the bank.
The 79-page report by the Office of Congressional Ethics said Waters confided to Frank that bank officials came to her for help in 2008. But she felt conflicted because her husband, Sidney Williams, had served on the board of OneUnited from 2004-2008 and was a stockholder. It is against House rules to use one’s power as a member for personal financial gain.

Anyway, the bank in which Waters and her husband were involved had a rather strange interpretation of “community service”:

The case renewed attention on OneUnited, the nation’s largest minority-owned bank, which has been dogged by financial and governance troubles since the financial crisis erupted in the fall of 2008.
The bank lost $50 million on investments in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . . . and was sanctioned soon after by bank regulators, who charged that it had employed poor standards on loans and documentation. Regulators also chided the bank’s top executives for taking excessive pay and perks, including a $6.4 million beachfront mansion in Santa Monica the bank says it used to conduct business. . . .
In fact, the bank was making very few home loans in recent years, according to a Globe review. The handful of mortgages the bank did write were mainly to wealthy clients in tony locations, including the South End and Martha’s Vineyard, despite the bank’s stated mission to support Boston’s urban communities.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with “wealthy clients in tony locations,” but isn’t it ironic that Waters — who militates constantly in the name of social justice to the poor — should get entangled in ethics charges over a bank that seems mainly to have been interested in helping the rich?

Comments

  • Estragon

    Frank obviously misunderstood Waters’ question. She wasn’t asking him if she SHOULD do it, she was asking how to get away with it.

    I can understand her frustration. Frank, Rangel, Conyers, and others have been getting away with more than this, and although Maxine has been lining her own and her cronies’ pockets for years, she didn’t think she had been getting her share.

    Fat chance either she or Rangel will be hit with tough sanctions, but perhaps the incidents will help remind voters of who the Democrats really are, and that their rallying cries to “drain the ethics swamp” of Congress didn’t mean they intended to eliminate corruption, but only to monopolize it.

  • Estragon

    Frank obviously misunderstood Waters’ question. She wasn’t asking him if she SHOULD do it, she was asking how to get away with it.

    I can understand her frustration. Frank, Rangel, Conyers, and others have been getting away with more than this, and although Maxine has been lining her own and her cronies’ pockets for years, she didn’t think she had been getting her share.

    Fat chance either she or Rangel will be hit with tough sanctions, but perhaps the incidents will help remind voters of who the Democrats really are, and that their rallying cries to “drain the ethics swamp” of Congress didn’t mean they intended to eliminate corruption, but only to monopolize it.

  • Estragon

    Frank obviously misunderstood Waters’ question. She wasn’t asking him if she SHOULD do it, she was asking how to get away with it.

    I can understand her frustration. Frank, Rangel, Conyers, and others have been getting away with more than this, and although Maxine has been lining her own and her cronies’ pockets for years, she didn’t think she had been getting her share.

    Fat chance either she or Rangel will be hit with tough sanctions, but perhaps the incidents will help remind voters of who the Democrats really are, and that their rallying cries to “drain the ethics swamp” of Congress didn’t mean they intended to eliminate corruption, but only to monopolize it.

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  • Kojocaro

    Yes bawney fwank is such a paragon of ethics………….excuse me whilst i laugh myself into a coma

  • Kojocaro

    Yes bawney fwank is such a paragon of ethics………….excuse me whilst i laugh myself into a coma

  • Kojocaro

    Yes bawney fwank is such a paragon of ethics………….excuse me whilst i laugh myself into a coma

  • http://www.rightviewfromtheleftcoast.blogspot.com Mark J. Goluskin

    Gee, I kind of forgot that Mad Max Waters HAD a husband! Lucky him! Maybe he takes the seemingly permanent scowl off of her face. Nah, he just takes $12,000,000 taxpayer dollars, thanks to Mad Max Waters.

  • http://www.rightviewfromtheleftcoast.blogspot.com Mark J. Goluskin

    Gee, I kind of forgot that Mad Max Waters HAD a husband! Lucky him! Maybe he takes the seemingly permanent scowl off of her face. Nah, he just takes $12,000,000 taxpayer dollars, thanks to Mad Max Waters.

  • http://www.rightviewfromtheleftcoast.blogspot.com Mark J. Goluskin

    Gee, I kind of forgot that Mad Max Waters HAD a husband! Lucky him! Maybe he takes the seemingly permanent scowl off of her face. Nah, he just takes $12,000,000 taxpayer dollars, thanks to Mad Max Waters.

  • Kojocaro

    if you do’nt raise minimum wage the greedy rich will get away with their evil racism

    /Maxine Oneunited

  • Kojocaro

    if you do’nt raise minimum wage the greedy rich will get away with their evil racism

    /Maxine Oneunited

  • Kojocaro

    if you do’nt raise minimum wage the greedy rich will get away with their evil racism

    /Maxine Oneunited