Maxine Waters may be facing new ethics charges, at the very least she has gotten involved with something that smell a bit on the “crooked side. According to a report in the Washington Times, a powerful lobbying form paid Waters’ banker husband $15,000 in “consulting fees” at the very same time Ms Waters co-sponsored a law designed to help that lobbyist’s top clients. Even worse, the IRS has taken a look at that lobbyist’s clients business and determined those kind of businesses were “scams. ” So Waters bill would have overturned a federal band on those shady businesses and allowed the lobbyist’s client to have keep making tons of cash off the scam.
The Internal Revenue Service ruled in 2006 that seller-funded down-payment assistance programs were “scams,” and federal housing officials tried for several years to end what they considered a dangerous practice of allowing sellers to make the required 3 percent down payments for homebuyers through a nonprofit middleman.
Basically the client acted as a middleman to help sellers give purchasers loans for their down payments. This will enable more low-income buyers to qualify for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Nehemiah Corp., the lobbyist’s client, was the largest of the middlemen in that buisiness and stood to lose hundreds of million dollars if the practice was banned.
The federal government banned the practice in 2008, and despite the fact that Water’s offered legislation to overturn the ban three the ban still stands
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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.
According to federal lobbying records, Mr. Roos was paid $430,000 by the Nehemiah Corp. of America, a Sacramento, Calif.-based nonprofit that acted as a middleman to help sellers finance down payments for homebuyers to qualify for mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). He lobbied members of Congress and federal agencies on behalf of the firm.
One of those lobbied was Ms. Waters, a California Democrat and key Nehemiah ally, who held a hearing on down-payment assistance in June 2007 and persuaded federal housing officials to delay for 30 days efforts to impose a ban on the program. She also co-sponsored legislation in 2008 and 2009 that would have kept Nehemiah’s assistance program viable.
Nehemiah was the largest middleman on such deals nationwide, with more than a third of the business, passing on $1.5 billion from sellers to more than 320,000 home buyers in a decade.
As you may expect, Congresswoman Waters has denied any connection between her husband’s consulting fees and her work to help Mr. Roos’ client, Nehemiah. She claims the program allowed homeownership to hundreds of thousands of low- and moderate-income families who needed assistance with the down payments.
In a statement in response to questions from The Washington Times on her involvement with Nehemiah, she said her work on programs aimed at increasing homeownership had been “consistent throughout my career.”
She said that as head of the House Financial Services housing and community opportunity subcommittee, she was approached in 2007 by advocates both for and against seller-funded down-payment assistance programs to hold a hearing on the issue — before Nehemiah hired Mr. Roos.
Ms. Waters said she called the hearing because of her oversight responsibilities and because the issue had “potential implications for many people seeking homeownership.”
She said it was the owners of the Los Angeles hotel who asked Mr. Roos to include her husband in discussions with the city, and he accepted the contract nearly two years after her initial involvement with the issue of down-payment assistance.
Asked in writing whether there was a conflict of interest for her husband to receive a payment from a lobbyist for whom she was seeking favorable legislation for one of the lobbyist’s biggest clients, she said: “Ambassador Williams was hired for his stellar track record and knowledge of local government. Any suggestion to the contrary is unfounded and irresponsible.”
But this still has the smell of corruption whether you believe the Congresswoman or not.
Waters other ethics charges are also related to her husbands business. Waters is accused of helping a bank with ties to her husband receive TARP funds even though the bank did not have the qualifications to receive funding.
….The funding came three months after Waters, a senior member of the committee that oversees banking, helped arrange a meeting between officials of the bank, other minority-owned financial institutions and Treasury Department representatives.
Waters’ husband, Sidney Williams, had owned stock in the bank and served on its board.
Waters has previously said that she fully disclosed her husband’s ties to the bank.
Gee, it seems as if Ms. Waters has lousy luck, every time she uses her office to help her husband, someone thinks its unethical.