Waters, OneUnited Bank and Ethics Committee
Our Readers Who Comment are discussing the House Ethics Committee case against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who arranged a meeting between Treasury Department officials and OneUnited bank's chief executive Kevin L. Cohee before the bank received a $12 million grant in TARP funds. Waters' husband had a significant interest in the troubled bank.
Readers are clearly disturbed. TARP was never popular with many folks. Several say it is another case that proves the necessity of term limits (Waters has been in the House since 1991). Waters is black and there is a racial spin to some of the comments, from both defenders and attackers.
As R. Jeffrey Smith writes in his excellent investigative piece, "Waters's decision to arrange a September meeting, requested by Cohee, with Treasury Department officials at which the bank appealed for federal money is at the heart of allegations that she violated House rules, a charge she vehemently denies. Waters acknowledges setting up the meeting with Cohee, who is African American, but says it was on behalf of minority-owned banks in general."
We'll start with axolotl, who wrote, "Congresswoman Waters needs a fair trial in the court of Congress (!) and should be considered innocent 'til the trial is over. Regardless of the outcome, the House needs to steadily work through its entire membership, starting with the most senior, to comb their affairs for conflicts of interest, financial misconduct, and other violations of House rules and US statutes."
tryreason said, "The article's author seems to be making a case of guilt by association. It doesn't work in this instance. None of the charges have been litigated or become part of the public record."
Calabrese99 asserted that "If they had term limits preventing the existence of career politicians becoming corrupt in their own self interest to ensure their stays, a lot of this would not be happening. The new corrupt American aristocracy calling themselves members of Congress have to be stopped and made to work for their living like anyone else with their hands removed from the public till."
And voogie61 wrote, "It's not a black thing, it's not a white thing....it's a "Political Corruption" thing. I got two words to help solve the problem - Term Limits!! There's a direct correlation between the length of public service and the inevitable temptation to commit ethics violations."
wodiej61 said, "The plot thickens. Now Barney Frank [D-Mass.] is being mentioned. The bank should have been closed down by the FDIC for their lax business practices. They obviously were giving loans to unqualified borrowers who then defaulted.
Not declaring hundreds of thousands of dollars was a clerical error?? Exchanging tarp funds for a political fundraiser? Blocking the sale of the bank to white investors. The CEO was a crook and druggie? My, my...it's getting deep for Waters."
rick386 wrote, "I don't really care about all the 'scandal' stuff around the guy's personal life. That clerical error about interest income on a 1/2 mill account was probably, what, 5k? Most checking accounts haven't paid squat in the last dozen years or so. I'm almost dead positive that many of the 'white' banks involved in TARP funds have a bunch of imprprieties or skeletons if you will. I like Franks and feel that it's a shame his name is somehow involved in this. What I'd like to know is...Has the bank paid back the TARP funds yet??"
peterroach said, "There is much to learn here from Maxine's errors. One big one is due diligence. Having said that, it is still unclear as just what Maxine Waters gained financially from this tragic fiasco. Here errors of judgement seem more for the voters to decide vs some ethics committee. Right now her and husband are out at least $175,000. Maxine may have been simply been had and conned."
bobfbell wrote, "A con man is a con man no matter what he says and the price of his suit. As far as Maxine Waters is concerned, this is a case of birds of a feather; she has played the race card all her political life and we now see it was being used to feather her and her husband's nest first, constituents and taxpayers be damned.
Charley Rangel scammed the system; Maxine Waters went one better: she attempted to use the system and its power for her benefit; she should be gone way before Charley."
donmarder said, "Rep. Waters misused her official position to gain personal financial benefits. She has previously condemned other members of Congress for similar ethical breaches. She must be held to the same standards, and if she is found guilty, she should be expelled from the Congress and charged with criminal violations by the Dept. of Justice. It will be interesting to see whether the "Obama/Holder" Justice Dept. will prosecute, or sweep this "under the rug" to protect Rep. Waters."
mike9270 wrote, "I believe there are 535 senators and house reps. Can anyone guess how many "deals" like this occur on a regular basis? While none of this is surprising, it is disgusting. Why isn't Barney Frank in trouble up to his eyeballs in this deal? Forget the ethics charges, this is the epitome of criminal corruption."
BlueTwo1 said, "America has the most deserving and entitled class of people: business executives. Everything they touch turns to gold. All bow down to worship money and top level executives who can do no wrong."
rprieto wrote, "Waters is a liar and a racist. We're supposed to believe that she and her husband invested a fortune in that bank and didn't do due-diligence and didn't know the CEO was a felon or at least had prior arrests? She's lying. Not only should she be censored but she should do jail time..."
elena2 said, "This is a sleazy story, no doubt. The Washington Post did a good job of investigative reporting, as it has done with Cheney, Stevens, Murtha and other sleazy politicians. Waters reputation has just crashed, and this is before the trial has even started. Apologizing to the public and divorcing her husband would be a better strategy than a "lay off or I'll take the whole party down" bluff..."
We'll close with mgregory29, who wrote, "Cohee is just another in a long line of prima donnas telling the rest of us not to leave a carbon foot print while they fly private jets. I stopped listening to their garbage."
All comments on this article are here.
August 12, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
| Tags: Cohee, House Ethics Committee, OneUnited, Waters
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