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In defense of Maxine Waters, Part 2

After reading through the documents issued first by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) and the Statement of Alleged Violation from the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has a stronger case to make in her defense than Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), the pity-party pol from Harlem who hijacked the House floor yesterday.

In part one, I focused on the Sept. 9 meeting between the National Bankers Association and the Treasury that was arranged after a phone call from Waters to Henry Paulson, President George W. Bush’s secretary of the treasury. There was concern that the failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would take down minority-owned banks, which held preferred shares of Fannie and Freddie stock, with them.

Now, about Waters’s husband’s investment in OneUnited, the teetering Boston-based bank that eventually secured $12 million in TARP funds. Even the ethics committee notes that at OneUnited’s height, the Waters’s investment “accounted for somewhere between 4.6 percent and 15.2 percent of the couple’s combined net worth in 2007. What was valued at $351,751.68 on June 30 clocked in at $175,000 by Sept. 30. In her memorandum of support of a motion to dismiss, Waters pointed out that her husband owned a puny 0.10 percent of all outstanding shares of OneUnited stock.

Throughout history we’ve seen politicians and their families do just about anything to feather their nests.I find it hard to believe that Waters would go to such extraordinary lengths to hold onto (relative to their wealth) a few bucks. It doesn’t make sense that she would risk so much for relatively so little. And how do we even know what percentage of their wealth was tied up with OneUnited? Waters, as required, consistently reported her husband’s ownership stake on her Financial Disclosure Statements. By contrast, Rangel failed to disclose $600,000 in income and assets. His financial amnesia was cured after the ethics committee started investigating him two years ago.

And then there’s the conversation between Waters and Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) where she expressed her concern about a conflict of interest. This tete-a-tete happened after the Treasury meeting on Sept. 9, when it became clear to Waters that OneUnited and just one other bank were vying for Treasury help. Frank told Waters he’d handle it. According to the OCE memorandum of interview with Mikael Moore, her chief of staff, “He became aware of this conversation when, as he went through his tasks with [Waters] one day following the September meeting, she indicated that he need not work on the minority-bank matters because, as she said, ‘I spoke to Barney. Don’t worry about it.’”

According to the memo, Moore said that he continued to field calls and emails from Cooper and the NBA because he thought Waters meant not to work on those issues that day. That’s not an unreasonable assumption. But you know what happens when you assume.The ethics committee is right to highlight that Moore is Waters’s grandson. This might feed some conspiracy theories, but it does not concern me. As a Post profile from last April makes clear, the impressive 31-year-old had to earn his way to the chief of staff role. And just as I said in part one, I’m hard pressed to see what he did that was outside the norm of constituent services.

Waters is the third-ranking member on the financial services committee. Over the course of her 20 years in Congress, she carved out a niche as the expert on and go-to person for minority-owned banks. She arranged a meeting with Treasury for a group that wanted to discuss an issue of serious concern that the treasury secretary himself said he and the department were already trying figure out. She sought advice when a conflict became clear after that meeting and ceased her involvement. But Waters failed to make it clear to her chief of staff that he should, too. And, yes, ultimately, the value of her husband’s bank stock was saved from becoming worthless.

As a result of all that, the ethics committee says Waters failed to supervise her staff and that their respective actions might appear to not have adhered to the spirit of House ethics rules. The number one charge against her is that she did not “behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.” How violation of this rule is defined is subjective and would no doubt ensnare most of the chamber if applied as broadly as it’s being applied to Waters. Read the ethics committee’s rejection of her motion to dismiss to get a feel for just how subjective.

Rangel’s rambling rant yesterday didn’t reflect creditably on the House, either. The bald sense of entitlement that has come to light over the last two years is to my mind much more egregious than anything Waters stands accused of doing. If Rangel has the temerity to put up a fight given the stench surrounding him, then it’s no wonder Waters insists on defending herself. In this case, she’s not perfect. But she’s not corrupt, either.

By Jonathan Capehart  | August 11, 2010; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Next: How not to celebrate Ted Stevens

Comments

Seems we've been talking about those republicans who are living in that posh condo rent free that is designated a church to avoid taxes for a long time.

Where is the ethics committee report on them? Did I miss it?

Posted by: dutchess2 | August 12, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

She leaned on the Treasury to use public funds to save 10% of her personal net worth, roughly $150,000. It's hard for me to see that as chicken feed.

Posted by: tomtildrum | August 12, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

to all,

as i said on another post reference Charlie Rangel:

IF there is EVIDENCE of ACTUAL CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR on her part:
1. indict her for those crimes in US District Court,
2. TRY her before a jury of her peers,
3. if she should be CONVICTED of any CRIME,
4. IMPRISON her for a LONG sentence.

fyi, i'm a former SDUSM & have a lot of practical knowledge about the federal courts.= the US Attorney's Office & the district court can easily handle this supposed case, without a great deal of TALK, TALK, TALK & SELF-important political posturing & NONSENSE.

otherwise, PLEASE, everyone (including Congresswoman Waters, with her SILLY, constant, playing of "the race-card"!) just SHUT UP.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 12, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

to all,

as i said on another post reference Charlie Rangel:

IF there is EVIDENCE of ACTUAL CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR on her part:
1. indict her for those crimes in US District Court,
2. TRY her before o jury of her peers,
3. if she should be CONVICTED of any CRIME,
4. IMPRISON her for a LONG sentence.

fyi, i'm a former SDUSM & have a lot of practical knowledge about the federal courts.= the US Attorney's Office & the district court can easily handle this supposed case, without a great deal of TALK, TALK, TALK & SELF-important political posturing & NONSENSE.

otherwise, PLEASE, everyone (including Congresswoman Waters, with her SILLY, constant, playing of "the race-card"!) just SHUT UP.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | August 12, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Of course, Rep. Waters should hang in there and be defiant. She has absolutely nothing to fear. In the end, her Democrat colleagues will give her a pass and she will ultimately sit at the high table with Rep. Rangel and be honored by the President for their integrity and bravery under fire.

Posted by: boater452 | August 12, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

If Waters was trying to help black banks in general, she has a good case. I would like more detail on this point. No doubt, there is a double standard. Think of all the people in congress who profited from tax cuts for the rich under Reagan and Bush. Could there be a more blatant conflict of interest? Why isn't there a law that says any congressman cannot profit from a tax cut they vote for?

Posted by: DWSouthern | August 12, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

"....but this does not concern me", writes Capehart. Well, Homer, we are really interested in only those things which concern you. Apparently what concerns you is making excuses, whitewashing, (pardon the term), and propping up the sistah.
It is easier for you to throw Charlie under the bus because he is not "about socializing" like Maxine is, huh Homer?

Posted by: chatard | August 12, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

The bias and possible hypocrisy on the part of the Post columnists is breath taking. First, Robinson defends Rangel on the grounds that Rangel is not a crook (criminal). These are ethics rules, not criminal statutes. They govern how employees of the federal government are expected to act. Government employees may be removed from office for violating these non-criminal, ethical rules. Now, Capehart defends Waters on the grounds that her breaches do not rise to the level of Rangels! Advocating public policy when one has private financial interest spells CONFLICT OF INTEREST, whether it is a Republican or Democrat. I doubt that Capehart or Robinson would come to the defense of a Republican accused of a similar ethical lapse. On a slightly different but similar note, Ruth Marcus was somewhat dismayed by Mitch McConnell's departure from espoused values when he voted against Elena Kagan's confimration. While I agree with her that such a departure from espoused values is unfortunate, where are the voices of indignation when the candidate of reconiliation, Barack Obama, voted against confirmation of two very highly rated nominees by the ABA (Roberts and Alito)? It's time for Democrats (and Republicans) to be accountable. Where deeds don't match rhetoric, liberal columnists need to stop rationalizing their behavior.

Posted by: SkiFanatic | August 12, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

You see...politicians makes mistakes like this because they are so used to doing whatever they want with impunity. They just got sloppy.

Posted by: Aerowaz | August 12, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I am trying to see through race here. How can anyone justify what our representatives are doing? It is clearly unethical and to the average citizen, criminal. How can anyone write an article saying that it is not a crime to steal money? This person along with many other politicians use their positions to get in on "the take." When will it stop?

Posted by: stackedhi | August 12, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Let's get real here. Maxine Waters knew exactly what she was doing. She knew it benefitted her husband. She knew it benefitted herself because she and her husband would not lose moeny they otherwise would lose. She used her official position to influence the executive branch in a way that financially benefitted herself.

You just can't put lipstick on that pig.

And so what that Barney Frank said he would take care of it? This is the same guy who had a prostitution ring running out of his basement and denied knowledge of it.

Posted by: InTheMiddle | August 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Reading Capehart's post was a waste of my time!

Posted by: LeesburgResident | August 12, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan, You are right, it doesn't make sense that Waters would take such a risk, but that is the case in many criminal cases as well. Don't make the assumption that Waters carefully considered the ethical implications of her actions. Remember, this is a member of congress that sits on the finance committee that actually didn't know the difference between the fed funds rate and the discount rate! Her actions were reckless and unethical. Congress (and the people of her district) would be best served by her removal. Just ask Rep. Obey about her ethical shortcomings...

Posted by: dbunkr | August 12, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Given the repeated Post Op-Eds downplaying Rangel's and Waters behavior... I'm wondering what these Post reporters would be saying if white Republicans were involved ?

Is Capehart and other Post reporters demonstrating "racialism" ? ethically challenged Black Dems get good supportive coverage ?.. ethically challenged white Republicans not so much ?

Who knew the liberal media would do this ?

Posted by: Petras123 | August 12, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Waters is a joke...plain and simple. You mean she didn't know her husband...and thus herself...stood to gain when she requested the Treasury meeting? Tell me another fable! Doesn't matter whether it was 5% or 15% or whatever percent of their personal wealth: it wasn't just "a few bucks" involved. Waters stated clearly that she was knowingly using her congressional influence...and she certainly knew who would benefit if she were successful. That was most certainly NOT "client services"...but "self services." And to also benefit another real slease like Cohee...as fully described in another POST article...that's a disgrace.

It is just astounding how our political system continues, year after to year, to attract such slease: Waters, Rangel, Stevens, Rostenkowski before them, any number of others. Why do we as voters keep electing such people: guess we have absolutely no "standards"...or much intelligence either.

Guess the question is: does our political system just attract those with so little honesty and integrity, or does our "system" just beat it out of them. Whatever, they should be voted out of office...or removed...at the first opportunity.

Posted by: Rigged | August 12, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I have a more basic question. Why is there a need, or should there be a need for a special pleader for "minority owned banks?" What's wrong with lining up all the banks and making a cutoff based on metrics, like the cut in golf? Why does "minority ownership" AUTOMATICALLY (it seems) provide some special handling and special meeting?

This is one of America's growing problems, Mr. Capeheart: EVERYTHING and ANYTHING with "minority" attached to it in any way needs a carve out, a special meeting, a special bill, a caucus, a subsidy, a credit, a boost, whatever.

I cannot diagree with you that Waters has become an expert in exploiting this mind set over the years. But I've watched enough of her performance on C-SPAN to recognize her for what she is: an exploiter, someone who knows the system and knows how to squawk and get money flowing. With regard to her knowledge of banking and the economy in general, she is very, very low on the totem pole.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | August 12, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

So if I understand your logic - because the investment was just a couple of $100k, it was no big deal that she arranged a bailout that benefited her family.

Perhaps congress can pass the "Capehart" exception rule where the first $600,000 of corruption earnings are waived. I'm sure Mr. Rangel and Ms. Waters would willingly cosponsor this bill.

Posted by: sarno | August 12, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

"And then there’s the conversation between Waters and Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) where she expressed her concern about a conflict of interest. This tete-a-tete happened after the Treasury meeting on Sept. 9, when it became clear to Waters that OneUnited and just one other bank were vying for Treasury help. Frank told Waters he’d handle it."

Of course Capehart neglects to mention the rest of that conversation....


Boston Globe (08/02/10)

WASHINGTON -- Bay State Representative Barney Frank urged a Democratic colleague to keep away from a potential conflict of interest involving the Boston-based OneUnited bank, but the congresswoman, California Representative Maxine Waters, didn't heed his warnings...

"She knew she should say no, but it bothered her,'' the report said, recommending that the House Ethics Committee take formal action.

Posted by: Bjartur | August 12, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

quick reaction- I am not familiar with Mr. Capehart's writings to
have a preexisting opinion on his view points, accuracy and degree of honesty-

however here is his quote from the above article- re: actions by Ms. Waters chief of staff who turns out to also be her grandson

"According to the memo, Moore said that he continued to field calls and emails from Cooper and the NBA because he thought Waters meant not to work on those issues that day. That’s not an unreasonable assumption. But you know what happens when you assume.The ethics committee is right to highlight that Moore is Waters’s grandson. This might feed some conspiracy theories, but it does not concern me (!!!.EMPHASIS ADDED)

really - as a general proposition there is a very strong bond between a Representative and her/his chief of staff and that chemistry isn't reduced by the familial additive- but investigator
Capehart disregards the value of that relationship- obviously the grandson made a mistake since he really didn't know or understand what Ms.Waters' wanted him to do.-
Capehart's analysi is sorely lacking and untrustwothy


Posted by: 27anon72 | August 12, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

quick reaction- I am not familiar with Mr. Capehart's writings to
have a preexisting opinion on his view points, accuracy and degree of honesty-

however here is his quote from the above article- re: actions by Ms. Waters chief of staff who turns out to also be her grandson

"According to the memo, Moore said that he continued to field calls and emails from Cooper and the NBA because he thought Waters meant not to work on those issues that day. That’s not an unreasonable assumption. But you know what happens when you assume.The ethics committee is right to highlight that Moore is Waters’s grandson. This might feed some conspiracy theories, but it does not concern me (!!!.EMPHASIS ADDED)

really - as a general proposition there is a very strong bond between a Representative and her/his chief of staff and that chemistry isn't reduced by the familial additive- but investigator
Capehart disregards the value of that relationship- obviously the grandson made a mistake since he really didn't know or understand what Ms.Waters' wanted him to do.-
Capehart's analysi is sorely lacking and untrustworthy


Posted by: 27anon72 | August 12, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Capehart -
So why did "the Sept. 9 meeting between the National Bankers Association and the Treasury that was arranged after a phone call from Waters to Henry Paulson" include only representatives from one bank - OneUnited? Could you tell us about any other minority-owned bank officers that met with Treasury officials at Waters' request? Doubtful.
I'm a life-long, liberal Democrat, and this story stinks. But people, please don't extrapolate this to "all Democrats" or "all Congressmen" - it's a couple bad apples.

Posted by: jtool | August 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

HUGE and Worth REPOSTING

Seems we've been talking about those republicans who are living in that posh condo rent free that is designated a church to avoid taxes for a long time.

Where is the ethics committee report on them? Did I miss it?

Posted by: dutchess2
=============================

YUP the GOP back slid this issue..

ISA

Posted by: vettessman | August 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for exonerating Rep. Waters. Case closed.

Posted by: llrllr | August 12, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

What is wrong with Washington Post? Now columnists are defending politicians accused of ethical and /or illegal behavior? Is WaPo a mouthpiece for the democratic party now? With Capehart, Robinson, Sargent, Marcus, Dionne, Klein, Weigel (now back writing columns in Wapo), the paper has become the Fox news of the democratic party.

Posted by: philly3 | August 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

She leaned on the Treasury to use public funds to save 10% of her personal net worth, roughly $150,000. It's hard for me to see that as chicken feed.

Posted by: tomtildrum
___________________________
not even the ethics committee is charging her with "leaning" on anyone. she did a minority bank association a favor and arranged a meeting with Treasury on a subject Treasury was already working on. When she found out that the bank her husband invested in was taking a dominant role, she got out, and thought that Frank had taken over the matter to avoid a conflict for her. She's charged with not giving clear instructions to her staff that she was out of the matter and that they were to stay out of it as well.

Posted by: JoeT1 | August 12, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight. Ms. Waters goes to Mr. Frank and says "my family will benefit from this bank getting a bailout so I can't do it myself. Will you do it for me?" and that is OK.

Why do we let any Member of Congress or their staff's hold financial interests in anything under their purview. They should be forced to divest their interests when they are put in those positions. That's what federal employees have to do.

By the way, many people have thrown away their careers and reputations for a lot less than $150k.

Posted by: DrBob48 | August 12, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Only a WAPO writer would attempt to exonerate Maxine Waters. And he happens to be black. Who woulda thunk. Let's see Maxine, Charlie, JesseJr. and Jefferson from Lousiana, just to name a few. What do they have in common? Black and Democrat. Must be a mistake as only white Republicans are corrupt. Someone tell Obonehead his "summer of recovery" is a joke.

Posted by: theBozyn | August 12, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Wow Capehart, that was one of the more dizzying pieces of spin you are so inclined to.

Posted by: spamsux1 | August 12, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Martha Stewart went to jail.
You do not accidentally break the law for personal gains and just walk.
Thought that was settled.

Posted by: Elisa2 | August 12, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

If her husbnd and/or she owned or had owned shares in the bank and it was not diclosed to the TARP authorities, she has a serious problem on her hands. You have a serious problem because you lose credibility with your readers when you don't let the process play out before jumping in.

Posted by: DANSHANTEAL1 | August 12, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Anyone that defends Maxine waters is a stooge or a liar.

Posted by: Realist201 | August 12, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

And with this article, Jonathan Capeheart lost his credibility as a writer. Just like Eugene Robinson's defense of Charlie Rangel last week, Capeheart has gone into knee-jerk reaction mode. As an op-ed writer, Capeheart should be capable of an original thought, and not get boxed in by what others tell him to think.

Posted by: diehardlib | August 12, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Capehart,

Now that you are finished defending another corrupt democrat could you give us your opinion on President Obama calling black people mongrels?

I am sure we would have heard it by now if it would have been a republican.

Posted by: robtr | August 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

With this as a WaPo Front Page Headline: "Cohee at OneUnited, bank in Maxine Waters case, has checkered record" and the full story behind it outlining Ms Waters obviously illegal activity, Mr. Capehart's spirted defense of her couldn't have come at a worse time for his credibility! He doesn't have any anymore!

Thanks and keep up the good work for the Left! With friends like you, the Left doesn't need Republicans to point out faults.

Posted by: A-COL | August 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan, I normally find myself agreeing with most of your commentaries. But while I commend you for taking the time to look at the record here, I'm afraid your defense of Rep. Waters does not even come close to dispelling the concerns many of us have about her behavior.

By your own admission, time after time throughout this saga she failed to avoid or even flag potential conflicts of interest for others. To the contrary, she seems to have been wholly focused on wielding the levers of power to serve her interests and those of her family.

Has the Ethics Committee proven she's corrupt? Absolutely not. But at a minimum, they have a good case, I'm sorry to say.

Posted by: DCSteve1 | August 12, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I don't know how serious these allegations are against Waters but you've made a few points that don't make any sense. First, you said her husband's $350k investment, representing between 5% and 15% of their net worth, wasn't consequential so it's a stretch to believe she would have done anything improper. That's bizarre not only because this is a substantial sum (on its own and in relative terms) but because people engage in questionable behavior for genuinely piddly amounts all the time -- look at Martha Stewart who went to prison over less than $50k and an endless stream of corporate titans, politicians and individuals from every walk of life who risk their reputations for a pittance. Second, you compared her situation to Rangel's failure to disclose $600k of assets on his congressional disclosure forms as an indication that Rangel's actions were far worse (the sum involved in his situation was twice as large. Huh? This is apples and oranges. Rangel's failure to disclose his true net worth on his congressional disclosure forms did not advantage him in any way -- it was a sign of his utter lack of competence in managing his personal finances and complying with disclosure rules. In contast, Waters' actions posed a conflict of interest in that she stood to be personally enriched to the tune of a $350k investment. Now, there are litany of charges against Rangel which collectively may or may not be worse, but this one issue is puny and does not raise corruption or fraud issues -- though it does raise fitness and competence issues particularly for someone chairing an important committee.

Posted by: wswest | August 12, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Why should Waters or anyone else be the the "go-to person for minority-owned banks?"

Balance sheets and assets are strictly objective. Federal banking regulations are what they are. Lending standards should be color-blind. Bad loans are bad loans, and a shaky bank should be allowed to fail.

Why should a minority-owned bank expect or receive (or not receive) any special treatment or favors that a non-minority bank does not?

Posted by: parkbench | August 12, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

There you go again, Capehart. I can appreciate that it is your opinion, but your credibility as a journalist is diminishing with me for each one you put out there. Maxine does not need you to defend her unscrupulous ethical behavior (a form of corruption). My opinion says that it is probably only the "tip of the iceberg". The same for Rangel. They are birds of a feather whose unprincipled careers have come home to roost...and the Democrats don't have a corner on this market by themselves.

Posted by: DQuixote1 | August 12, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I may not love my Congressman, "Call Me Vern" Buchanan, a Republican who primary represents ultra-richies and works to impoverish working Americans. But when it came time to vote on aid to car companies Vern recused himself because he owns car dealerships.

I *disagree* with Vern on many matters, but so far he's proven to be an honorable member of Congress. IMO, Ms. Waters has not. She and Rangel should resign.

Posted by: roblimo | August 12, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

There you go again, Capehart. I can appreciate that it is your opinion, but your credibility as a journalist is diminishing with me for each one you put out there. Maxine does not need you to defend her unscrupulous ethical behavior (a form of corruption). My opinion says that it is probably only the "tip of the iceberg". The same for Rangel. They are birds of a feather whose unprincipled careers have come home to roost...and the Democrats don't have a corner on this market by themselves.

Posted by: DQuixote1 | August 12, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart, I cannot believe that you are being serious. You question the seriousness of the obvious conflict of interest based upon your belief that the amount of money is so insignificant in your mind? And what is that trivial amount which does not bother you? Well, it was a significant enough investment to deliver over $35,000 in dividends to the Mr. and Mrs. Waters over the preceding three years. The total sum in question was at the time valued at about $170K, down from $350K—as reported by your paper this morning. I'll leave it to you to explain how this is a trivial sum to the rest of us plebes.
But the very basis of your point is undermined by a simple reference to an instance of similar behavior for which someone was actually convicted: Martha Stewart went to jail for lying about a stock sale which saved her about $54,000 when her wealth at the time was over $200M. The point is people who have money hate to see it frittered away if they believe they have the connections to prevent it. True with Ms. Stewart and true with the Congresswoman.
The facts of her case are stark: she intervened to save a bank ion whose board her husband formerly served, from whom she had received $11k in campaign donation in the past, and in which her husband was invested to the tune of over one hundred seventy thousand dollars.
When one is so intertwined with the affairs of a "constituent" one no longer may intervene in said "constituent’s” affairs as one may do for a constituent in which one is not invested.
I am certain that there were innumerable constituents in the Congresswoman's district who would have loved to have her intervention to say, save job or their home from foreclosure, or intervene with a bank to find out the status of their loan modification request or why said request was declined. But she didn't intervene in those affairs only this one, a decision which conveniently saved her husband--and her chief of staff's grandfather--hundreds of thousands of dollars. How decidedly convenient for the Congresswoman; and I suppose inconvenient for her less-important “constituents.”.
Does that make the case sufficiently for you or has your sense of propriety and ethics become so eroded given your immersion Inside The Beltway that such things are merely trivial and inconsequential to you now? (Your inability to see the patent impropriety here reminds me of your shock at the temerity of Gabourey Sibide to actually tell you to give her five minutes to finish her conversation before you could lavish her with your praise.) Your space here could have been much better spent on analyzing the contrast between old school black politicians like Rangel, Waters, Jefferson, and others down to Baltimore's Sheila Dixon with the new generation of African American politicians (Booker, Patrick, Obama, etc.) and why the former, with its adoption of racial and machine politics consistently finds itself at odds with the criminal justice system and the other does not.

Posted by: gwashington73 | August 12, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

i'm an independent who agrees more often than not with Dems these days (paradigm shifts and all that), so i'm usually OK with Mr. Capehart's albeit sometimes "soft" analysis; however, in this case, he's waaaay off.

like another stated here, it "stinks" and is precisely the kind of thing that's the basis for their contempt of Congress and perfect demonstration of power gone awry.

pah-lease, said TARP meeting was "fixed" abd to suggest otherwise is so insulting to the Post's readers, regardless of party affiliation.

perhaps a more senior Post writer should take this one on...

Posted by: kevinhartm | August 12, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, Mr. Capehart, in the past I have occasionally read your blog, but, after reading your flimsy, flawed, silly defense of Maxine Waters in the OneUnited scandal, I know that I would never waste my time seeking your opinion on ANYTHING. How in the world DID you get your blog job?

Posted by: getserious1 | August 12, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

That was a pathetic read. $350k is a giant conflict of interest. It's disgusting how these people constantly rig the game so they never lose. She should be thrown out of congress at the least.

Posted by: peterg73 | August 13, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

It's a Shame! Our "trusted" senators conveniently chose to voluntarily get involved or not get involved to protect the banks' interests.

In our case, Rep. B. Lee, Senator H. Reid, Senator D. Feinstein and Senator B.Boxer chose to not to get involved to make sure that OCC does its job and regulates Wells Fargo for making mortgage loans based on hugely inflated appraisals. www.wellsfargomortgagefraud.com

Posted by: WellsFargoFraudVictim | August 13, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

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