House Ethics Committee Outlines Charges against Waters

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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Hat Tip:  JIM ABRAMS Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House ethics committee on Monday announced three counts of alleged ethics violations against California Democrat Maxine Waters, including a charge that she requested federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on its board.

Waters, a 10-term representative from Los Angeles, has denied any wrongdoing and had urged the committee to come forth with details of the charges so that she can defend herself in a trial expected to take place this fall.

That trial would be the second handled by the ethics committee this fall. The report says Waters asked the Treasury Department to meet representatives from the National Bankers Association, a trade group representing minority-owned and women-owned banks. The discussion at that September 2008 meeting centered on OneUnited Bank. OneUnited eventually received $12 million in bailout money.

She petitioned to have the charges dismissed, but the ethics committee rejected that request.

The first count said she violated House rules that members “shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect credibility on the House.”

It said that her husband’s financial interest in OneUnited had declined from $350,000 at the end of June 2008, to about $175,000 in September, and would have been worthless if OneUnited had not received federal funds.

The second violation pertains to the use of improper influence that results in a personal benefit. It cites the failure of Waters to instruct her chief of staff to refrain from assisting OneUnited after she realized she should not be involved in the case.

The third count relates to the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not.

I’m still making up my mind about the seriousness of these charges and will wait for more definitive information. What’s your take?

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Congressional Black Caucus: Selling us out

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If any of the following Congressional Negroes belongs to you, y’all might wanna drop them a line and let them know that you don’t appreciate their voting to bail out crooked bankers and the largely white investor class that lost their shirts speculating in mortgage backed securities. 

Rep. Maxine Waters D-CA
Rep. Laura Richardson D-CA
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson D-TX
Rep. Artur Davis D-AL
Rep. Sanford Bishop D-GA
Rep. Corrine Brown D-FL
Rep. Alcee Hastings D-FL
Rep. Kendrick Meek D-FL
Rep. James Clyburn D-SC
Rep. Mel Watt D-NC
Rep. Chaka Fattah D-PA
Rep. Danny Davis D-IL
Rep. Keith Ellison  D-MN
Rep. Gwen Moore D-WI
Rep. Yvette Clarke D-NY
Rep. Greg Meeks D-NY
Rep. Charlie Rangel D-NY
Rep. Edolphus Towns D-NY

Bankers consciously conspired to disproportionately saddle people of color (mainly Blacks and Latinos) with predatory loans and other dangerous loan products which ruined their lives and destroyed their credit.  They sold the loans on the open market to the investor class at a profit until their colored victims started defaulting on their adjustable rate mortgages when the loans reset.

The Bailout package which failed the other day left the issue of predatory lending unaddressed.   Naomi Klein, author of the Shock Doctrine, which explains the phenomenon of Disaster Capitalism, is a primer for political activists wishing to understand the predatory habits of the right-wing and their enablers in the Democratic Party.   Miss Klein, a Canadian National, writes about how the right has used the crisis surrounding disasters both natural and manmade to unleash free market schemes on an unsuspecting public worldwide.   The credit crisis is just the latest scheme and its being used to bailout the very same people who pushed for the deregulation of the banking industry and caused the problems that threaten global economic collapse.

Dennis Kucinich, as always, hit the nail on the head.  He said on the floor:

Why aren’t we helping homeowners directly with their debt burden?  Why aren’t we helping American homeowners faced with bankruptcy? Why aren’t we reducing debt for Main Street instead of Wall Street? Isn’t it time for fundamental change in our debt based monetary system, so we can free ourselves from the manipulation of the Federal Reserve and the Banks? Is this the United States Congress or the Board of Directors of Goldman Sachs?  Wall Street is a place of Bears and Bulls.  It is not smart to force taxpayers to dance with Bears or follow to closely behind the Bulls.

None of the aforementioned Negroes is running for President and none needs the support of Wall Street to get re-elected.  What is most interesting about this list is the progressive names on it, along with those of the corporate whores, like Artur Davis and David Scott that have been identified by our friends at Black Agenda Report.   Yvette Clarke, Keith Ellison, Gwen Moore, Maxine Waters, and Mel Watt don’t belong on this list–their progressive voting records indicate that they know damn better.

I am particularly peeved by Sistah Waters and Brotha Watt.  As the senior African Americans serving on the House Financial Services Committee, Mr. Watt chairs the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and Mrs. Waters chairs the Subcommittee on Housing & Community Opportunity.  They know full well how hard Banking institutions chafed under the Community Reinvestment Act that monitors how banks redline communites of color and deny them credit.  This predatory loan crisis has been an onging outrage and this bailout package does nothing to remedy the situation.

Unlike their chairman, the brilliant Barney Frank, neither Mrs. Waters or Mr. Watt is beholden to the financial services industry.   Barney Frank has taken in excess of $2,259 907 from the financial services, real estate, and insurance industries since 1989.   Moreover, Barney hasn’t had a competitive re-election bid in 26 years.   There isn’t any reason for their betrayal of the black community except for their alleigance to one woman: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.    I like Nancy. I admire Nancy, but this bailout bill is not what progressive Democrats sent the Democratic majority to Washington for.   For 18 of the 41 member Congressional Black Caucus to capitulate to this bailout betrayal gives new meaning to the epithet House Negro.