Top House Dems continue to pay family members thousands of dollars using campaign funds

FIRST ON FOX: Top House Democrats Maxine Waters and James Clyburn have continued to pay out tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds to their family members ahead of the November midterm elections.

The re-election campaign for Waters, the chairman of the US House Financial Services Committee, paid a total of $16,000 to the congresswoman’s daughter in four separate payments in July and September of this year.

Karen Waters, who has organized slate-mailing operations to boost her mother’s re-election bid since 2003, and her company, Progressive Connections, have received more than $1.2 million from Waters’ campaign over the past nearly two decades.

A Federal Election Commission (FEC) filing this week by Citizens for Waters shows that Karen Waters received a total of $16,000 from the committee this quarter for “slate mailer management fees.”

Congresswoman Maxine Waters at a news conference addressed by President Biden at the construction site for the future terminus of the Metro D (Purple) Line near the West Los Angeles VA Campus on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters at a news conference addressed by President Biden at the construction site for the future terminus of the Metro D (Purple) Line near the West Los Angeles VA Campus on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in Los Angeles.
(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

MAXINE WATERS PAYS DAUGHTER ADDITIONAL $16,500 IN CAMPAIGN FUNDS, ADDING TO $1.2 MILLION IN PREVIOUS PAYMENTS

Slate mailing is an unusual practice in federal elections, when a consulting firm is hired to create a kind of pamphlet that lists candidates or policy measures and advises voters on how to cast their ballots.

Waters, D-Calif., was reportedly the only federal politician to use a slate-mailer operation during the 2020 general election.

Other members of the Waters family have also gotten away with donor cash during the congresswoman’s decades-long career. In 2004, the Los Angeles Times revealed that the Waters campaign had paid out over $1 million to other family members over the previous eight years.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters attends a press conference announcing the Transportation Security Administration is testing technology designed to detect, track and identify drones around LAX, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, at the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters attends a press conference announcing the Transportation Security Administration is testing technology designed to detect, track and identify drones around LAX, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, at the Los Angeles Airport Police Department.
(Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

TOP HOUSE DEM JAMES CLYBURN CONTINUES TO PAY THOUSANDS TO FAMILY MEMBERS

Clyburn, the House majority whip, also has a history of funneling campaign money to his family members. His re-election campaign paid $7,500 for “office rent” in August to a company called 49 Magnolia Blossom LLC, according to FEC records.

According to South Carolina business records, Walter A. Reed, who is married to Clyburn’s daughter, Jennifer Clyburn Reed, is the registered agent for the limited liability company. LittleSis lists her as co-owner of the real estate investment company.

Clyburn has paid nearly $80,000 in campaign funds to the company since March 2020.

Clyburn’s grandson, Walter AC Reed, who is chairing Clyburn’s re-election campaign, received five $3,500 payments between July and September, totaling $17,500, from the Friends of Jim Clyburn. Reed also received a $500 “travel grant” in August and a $223.87 “car repair” payment in September from the campaign. He has now received over $75,000 from the Clyburn campaign since last October.

Chairman Rep.  James Clyburn, D.S.C., speaks as Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies about the Federal Reserve's response to the coronavirus pandemic during a House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

Chairman Rep. James Clyburn, D.S.C., speaks as Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell testifies about the Federal Reserve’s response to the coronavirus pandemic during a House Oversight and Reform Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.
(AP)

The South Carolina Democrat’s campaign also distributed more than $20,000 in checks to Angela Hannibal, another of his daughters, for canvassing, truck rental, catering and voter outreach between April 2018 and October 2019, according to his committee records.

Angela’s husband, Cecil, has also received money from the campaign, pocketing nearly $70,000 for community and district outreach and travel allowances between 2010 and 2012.

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Both Democrats and Republicans have paid relatives with campaign contributions over the years. In 2020, OpenSecrets published a piece showing sitting politicians in Congress on both sides of the aisle showering their family members with campaign cash. Although it is legal for federal lawmakers to hire family members for campaigns, the practice is generally frowned upon by ethics experts.

Waters and Clyburn’s campaigns did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s requests for comment.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall, Houston Keene and Joe Schoffstall contributed to this report.

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