Rep. Maxine Waters is embracing corporate campaign contributions as the new chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, even as some progressive Democrats have sworn off fundraising from businesses.
The California Democrat’s campaign received about $210,329 in contributions during the first three months of this year, most of which came from industry PACs, according to a Federal Election Commission filing. About $38,329 came from individual contributions.
The figures suggest Waters is following through on a pledge to have an “open-door” policy with industry, even as she uses the gavel to crack down on financial firms in the name of consumer protection. In all, she saw her contributions grow nearly 18 times over from the $12,009 that her campaign reported in the first three months of the last election cycle in 2017.
Waters’ allowance for corporate PAC donations sets her apart from other liberal icons such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who have pledged to not take the money. Some of it may come with the territory — Waters’ predecessor, former Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), was a top recipient of finance industry contributions, which he shared with fellow Republican candidates on and off the committee.