Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY) had a high profile ethics investigation over the last few weeks. Congress found he deserved a reprimand for his actions. After his debacle, Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) has also been called out for conflicts of interest. She is pursuing a speedy hearing to clear her name.
Conflicts of interest alleged against Waters
California’s 10 term Representative Maxine Waters has been charged by the House with ethics violations. The upcoming charges were announced weeks ago. According to USA Today, she allegedly arranged for special favors for OneUnited Bank, an online bank which her husband owns stock in. The bank received $12 million in bailout funds. She allegedly arranged for the bank’s representatives to be in a meeting with Treasury Department officials. Mikael Moore, her chief of staff, was allegedly not informed to steer clear of the conflict of interest. Moore, coincidentally, is her grandson.
Representative Charlie Rangel (D-NY) received a reprimand for 13 counts of ethics violations. Among the charges were improper soliciting for donations and not reporting income or assets on tax returns, according to the New York Times. The investigation has been going on for more than two years. There are protocols for the House and the Senate expelling or censuring members, but it is rare for them to be used. The last member of the House expelled was James Trafficant in 1983. Censures in the Senate are rare as well, as only four have taken place since 1950, one of which was Thomas Dodd, father of current Senator Chris Dodd.
Representative Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), was quoted as saying that if Rangel was guilty, he should quit. She also stated that members of Congress needed to hold themselves to higher standards, including that the law applies to elected officials to the same extent it applies to citizens.