Ethics trial looms for Maxine Waters


Influential Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), who occasionally is involved in legislative matters affecting broadcasters via her seat on the House Judiciary Committee, is being charged with possible ethics violations by the House ethics committee. Rather then settling, Waters is indicating she’d prefer a trial where she thinks she can completely clear her name.

The problem involves a different assignment, to the Financial Services Committee. She is said to have taken steps to secure TARP money for minority-owned OneUnited Bank. The problem is that her husband served on the bank’s board of directors and had considerable stock holdings.

Waters is accused of working specifically on behalf of OneUnited; she claims she was advocating on behalf of minority-owned banks in general. Rather than admit to anything at all en route to a settlement with the ethics committee, she prefers taking her case before the public, where she expects to be fully exonerated.

RBR-TVBR observation: We have no idea how much of a distraction this will prove to be for Waters, but any distraction at all will be good news for executives at Comcast and NBCU. Waters has been perhaps the most outspoken member of the House when it comes to opposing the companies’ pending merger.

Now if they can only “distract” Al Franken (D-MN) in the Senate…