Politics, government and public life for Southern California

The trickle-down effect of California campaign funding

Republican Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack is in a tight re-election race, but that hasn't stopped her from making contributions to other candidates from her campaign fund and her political action committee.

US Representative from California Loretta Sanchez

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Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez received a donation from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and then made a donation to another party candidate.

One steady source of income to Congressional campaigns in this election has been from current members. And they have lots of different ways to give.

Nancy Pelosi rose through the ranks to become the Democrats’ Congressional leader in part because of her fundraising prowess. In this election cycle, for example, she raised more than $2 million for her own campaign.

Sheila Krumholz, who heads the Center for Responsive Politics, says because Pelosi’s re-election is a lock, she can open up her purse strings: "She can then take that money to tithe to the party."

Pelosi can do this by contributing to the party's campaign arm for House members, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Krumholz says Pelosi will raise funds, "both from her campaign and from her leadership PAC. She will then support other colleagues, junior colleagues, struggling candidates for office."


At long last, Maxine Waters gets her ethics hearing

Mercer 20547

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-LA) on Friday will hear the result of an investigation against her by the House Ethics Committee.

Friday is the last workday for Congress before members return to their districts for the election homestretch. That's the day the House Ethics Committee picked to finally hold a hearing on charges against Congresswoman Maxine Waters — nearly two years after the committee's first attempt to take up the case.

The 11-term Democrat from South L.A. is accused of using her political influence to help a bank in which her husband owned stock. But the investigation has been delayed by allegations of impropriety and political gamesmanship that led to the departure of two staffers, committee members recusing themselves from the investigation, and the hiring of an outside investigator.

On Thursday, the House Ethics Committee announced the long-awaited hearing on the matter, a scant six weeks before the election.