According to a new report, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) paid thousands more in campaign cash to her daughter as Republicans increased their attempts to prohibit legislators’ family members benefitting from campaigns.
According to Federal Election Commission documents, Waters’ campaign paid Karen Waters $8,000 in September, a sum greater than the roughly $1 million her daughter has received from the campaign since 2003.
However, scrutiny of legislators compensating family members with campaign funds has recently increased, with some Republicans now attempting to ban the practice outright through new legislation.
Karen Waters received nearly $1 million, including $8,000 for slate-mailer activities.
While it is not illegal to pay family members with campaign donations, it is typically frowned upon by ethical and legal experts. The FEC allows the practice as long as the family member is paid “fair market value,” although it is unclear how the commission calculates this figure.
Members of Congress have long been chastised for compensating family members.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, issued a major report in 2012 criticizing 82 members (42 Republicans and 40 Democrats) for assisting family members working in congressional offices and in various campaign offshoots.
Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) presented the Family Integrity to Reform Elections Act in June, which would prohibit campaign funds from being paid to a “immediate family member of a candidate.”
The law would also impose campaign fines on individuals who break this provision.
It is unclear where this bill stands now that Republicans will have a majority in the House in January.