Mikael Moore is the congresswoman’s chief of staff, and her grandson. His family ties were kept relatively quiet until the ethics investigation into the Democratic lawmaker.
Many people who encounter Mikael Moore, the chief of staff for Rep. Maxine Waters, see a typical Capitol Hill aide: a young, serious, BlackBerry-toting workaholic in a business suit with an intense belief in the importance of his work.
If they know he is also Waters’ grandson, making him a rarity in Congress, it is not because he talks about it much, if at all.
Colleagues say Moore rarely offers information about his family connection, and that they have instead come to know him as a talented, politically gifted peer who has brought order to a sometimes tangled office and quickly grasped the intricacies of Washington.
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Moore’s family ties to the powerful Los Angeles Democrat became better known last week when the House Ethics Committee noted their relationship in charging Waters with ethics violations for her work on behalf of a minority-owned bank during the 2008 financial crisis. He was not accused of any wrongdoing.
Many young staffers rise quickly to positions of power here, making it not uncommon to have 25-year-olds fielding press calls or writing legislation for members of Congress.
But even at 32, Moore is a young chief of staff. It is a position he sought after coming to work for his grandmother, whom he refers to only as Congresswoman, after graduating from Morehouse College in 2004.
Family ties are not uncommon in Washington — note the Bushes, the Kennedys — and though Congress has nepotism rules against hiring most siblings and spouses, grandchildren are excluded.