As the Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, and a 28-year inhabitant of Washington, DC, locked in a surprisingly tight race for re-election, one might expect Barbara Boxer to avoid controversial figures like the plague. But the challenges facing Boxer as she seeks to win a fourth term in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday apparently haven’t stopped her from buying the endorsement of her close friend, embattled Rep. Maxine Waters, once again. Below the fold are images of the pages of Waters’ 2010 general election “slate mailer” obtained by Big Government on Saturday, which showcases her endorsement. On page three of the mailer itself, Boxer is prominently recommended by Waters.
Waters, of course, is embroiled in an ethics scandal and will proceed to a full ethics trial following the election. The case against Waters is focused on her alleged use of her elected office as a U.S. Representative for the financial benefit of a family member. This is relevant to Boxer’s “purchase” of her endorsement not only because it is unseemly for a sitting Senator who chairs her chamber’s ethics body to be buying the endorsement of someone facing such charges, but also because Waters’ slate mailer “business,” which appears to focus entirely on the sale of Waters’ endorsement for sometimes large sums, is a financially lucrative enterprise that involves her using her political position again to financially benefit her family.
The slate mailer “business” is run by Boxer’s daughter, and has been criticized by (among others) good government groups Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the Sunlight Foundation. Karen Waters has benefited to the tune of over $400,000 since 2004 by virtue of her mother’s willingness to hawk her political backing to various high-bidding Democrats, including Boxer.
In 2004, Boxer paid $25,000 for a slot on Waters’ slate mailer. Ahead of this June’s primary (in which she faced no serious competition) she paid $5,000 for Waters’ endorsement– when Waters’ ethical travails were well-publicized. Now, days ahead of the 2010 general election, she once again has a slot on Waters’ slate mailer– backing from Waters that she has no doubt paid thousands of dollars for, again, making Boxer complicit in this particular ethically-questionable Waters scheme.
Boxer, of course, isn’t known as a paragon of virtue when it comes to ethical behavior herself, either. Reports this year from this site, the LA Times, the Sacramento Bee, the Daily Caller, National Review (times 1, 2, 3 and 4), and RedState among others, have detailed her ethical missteps including her payment of Waters for her endorsement, pushing legislation that financially benefited her son, being less than transparent regarding loans from Countrywide, paying her son hundreds of thousands of dollars out of her PAC funds, bouncing an astonishing 143 checks while serving in the House, and using her political station to take a great many privately-funded junkets to luxury destinations including a high-priced Mexican resort and Paris.
However, her coziness with Waters and willingness to continue funneling money to Waters’ family via this particular questionable scheme may give some voters pause when heading to voting booths on Tuesday.