Rep. Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, has a long history of misdirecting campaign funds. This time to her daughter, Karen Waters.
During the 2022 election cycle, this practice continued and resulted in Karen (daughter) receiving a significant amount of money in payments. The younger Waters ran a profitable operation through her mother’s campaign funds, which is a common occurrence for the Waters family.
The operation in question was the “slate mailer” setup, where outside campaigns paid to appear on endorsement mailers sent to constituents in the Los Angeles area. This setup is a well-established practice for the Waters family, and the 2022 election cycle was no exception.
According to a review of Federal Election Commission filings by Fox News Digital, Karen received $192,300 from her mother’s campaign between January 2021 and December 2022 for running this operation.
In the fall of 2004, the Federal Election Commission gave Rep. Maxine Waters the go-ahead to run her “slate mailer” operation. Since then, Karen Waters has received over $1.2 million in payments from her mother’s campaign for running this operation.
The practice has proven to be lucrative not only for Karen but also for Rep. Waters’ campaign. Most of the funds received by the campaign are from individuals running for local public offices in California, but statewide politicians, including Vice President Kamala Harris, have also paid substantial amounts to be listed in the Waters mailers.
According to Federal Election Commission filings, in 2010 when Harris was running for California attorney general, her campaign paid $33,000 to appear in the Waters mailers. In 2016, Harris paid an additional $30,000 to be listed in the mailers while running for the U.S. Senate. The success of the Waters’ slate mailer operation highlights the profitability of this setup and the influence it can have in election campaigns.
The influence of Rep. Maxine Waters’ “slate mailer” operation extends beyond Vice President Kamala Harris. Other high-profile politicians in California have also utilized the services offered by the Waters’ campaign. In 2010, Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom paid $45,000 to appear in the mailers while running for lieutenant governor. Former Sen. Barbara Boxer also spent a combined $33,000 in 2010 and 2018 to be listed in the Waters mailers.
In the recent past, even controversial Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón made use of the operation during his 2020 campaign. Gascón paid $36,500 to Waters’ committee to appear in the slate mailers. These payments from various political figures highlight the widespread utilization and profitability of the Waters’ slate mailer operation, as well as the influence it holds in election campaigns in California.