November 8, 2010
More skeletons in Waters' closet
The hits keep on coming for Congresswoman Maxine Waters (whose House Ethics trial , delayed by the Democrats until after the midterms, is coming up):
From the Washington Times
A lobbyist known as one of California's most successful power brokers while serving as a legislative leader in that state paid Rep. Maxine Waters' husband $15,000 in consulting fees at a time she was co-sponsoring legislation that would help save the real-estate finance business of one of the lobbyist's best-paying clients, records show.Ms. Waters' husband, Sidney Williams, a former pro football player and ambassador to the Bahamas, was a paid consultant on a Los Angeles lobbying project for Mike Roos, who served with Ms. Waters in the California State Assembly. During Mr. Roos' 14-year tenure, he held the posts of majority floor leader and speaker pro tempore.In 2007, Mr. Roos expanded his successful California lobbying business to Washington, D.C., after Democrats took control of the House and Ms. Waters became chairman of the House Financial Services housing and community opportunity subcommittee, where she played a key role in housing legislation.Mr. Roos sought her assistance for a California client that specialized in homeownership and asset development.
What role did the Congresswoman play in helping out the writer of the check that went to her husband?
Waters "persuaded" federal housing officials to delay for 30 days efforts to impose a ban on a program that the lobbying firm's client ran that acted as a middleman to allow sellers to finance down payments for homebuyers so they could qualify for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. This type of program worsened the risk that the mortgages would go belly up when purchasers of homes could not meet their mortgage obligations.
Sellers putting up the money for the down payment was a dodge that circumvented the paying of the down payment by the buyer of the house -- usually a good sign that the purchaser had his own equity in the property and could afford to make future payments.
The IRS ruled in 2006 that such seller-funded down payment assistance programs were scams. Yet, three times Waters sponsored legislation that allowed the "scams" to continue until, finally, a ban went into effect in 2008.
During that time, the lobbyist client had financed 600 million dollars in more down payments for 100,000 more purchases.
Of course, Waters's husband is at the center of other allegations against the congresswoman involving her pressure on federal authorities to aid a failing bank in which her husband was a stockholder (and former board member).
Needless to point out; if these were Republicans this story would end up in the New York Times and not the Washington Times.