More Ethical Challenges: Maxine Waters (D) Profits from TARP

Michelle Malkin comments in her article, Maxine Waters: Banking On Hypocrisy, that Rep. Waters (D-Cal) was “frothing” at the mouth excoriating the CEO’s of various banks. Meanwhile, she is profiting thru ties to OneUnited.

The hubris of these politicians is beyond fathomable. I suppose it’s because they don’t believe anyone will hear about it. They are probably right. The article cites how Waters benefits financially and personally contacted the Treasury Dept to ensure OneUnited received TARP monies. She never disclosed her personal stake in the company.

(Note: Frank Rich also went to bat for the same bank. Not sure what his upside may have been, if any at all)

    “The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the high-and-mighty Waters had a personal and financial stake in Boston-based OneUnited, a minority bank that received $12 million in TARP money under smelly circumstances. The banks’ executives donated $12,500 to her congressional campaigns. Her husband, Sidney Williams, was an investor in one of the banks that merged into OneUnited. They’ve profited handsomely from their relationship with the bank:

    ‘Congressional financial-disclosure forms show Ms. Waters acquired OneUnited stock worth between $250,000 and $500,000 in March 2004, as did Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams joined the board of OneUnited that year.

    ‘Each sold shares in September 2004 — including Ms. Waters’ entire stake — but Mr. Williams continued to hold varying amount of the company’s stock. In the lawmaker’s most recent financial-disclosure form, dated May 2008 and covering the prior year, Ms. Waters reported that her husband held between $250,000 and $500,000 worth of the bank’s stock.’

    ‘Mr. Williams also received interest payments from a separate holding at the bank, also worth between $250,000 and $500,000. The 2008 form doesn’t specify what that is. Mr. Williams stepped down from the bank’s board last spring. It couldn’t be learned whether he still owns stock in the bank. Mr. Williams didn’t return calls seeking comment.’

    Waters (along with Frank) participated directly in pressuring the feds for OneUnited’s piece of the bailout pie. She personally contacted the Treasury Department last December requesting $50 million for the company — and failed to disclose her ties to the bank to them. The government ended up coughing up $12 million in TARP funding for OneUnited — despite another government agency rapping the bank in October 2008 for “operating without effective underwriting standards and practices,” “operating without an effective loan documentation program” and “engaging in speculative investment practices.”

    Oh, and get this: The favored bank of Maxine Waters was also penalized for alleged excessive executive compensation. The FDIC ordered the bank to “sell all bank-owned automobiles,” require reimbursement for executives’ car purchases (according to the Boston Business Journal, OneUnited CEO Kevin Cohee was cruising around in a 2008 Porsche SUV), and cease payments on a $6 million Santa Monica beachfront home purchased by Cohee, his wife, Teri Williams, who served as bank president, and others.

    Responding to scrutiny of the bank’s special treatment, Cohee is now accusing critics of — yep, you guessed it — racism.

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