U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., is planning to poll executives from minority-owned firms to "get some advice and direction" regarding their concerns about political contributions and lack of representation on the municipal industry's regulatory board.

"I just don't understand why at this late date in 1994 that we're fighting this kind of battle in the financial services industry," the congresswoman said. Waters was responding to a letter written by a black investment banker, Napoleon Brandford 3d, criticizing the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board for its lack of black members. Brandford's letter asks the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to call for a restructuring of the MSRB.

"There's no reason we shouldn't have representation," Waters said. "I know that these firms are competitive."

Waters said she is planning to speak with executives soon to determine how to address the issue as well as recent prohibitions on political contributions.

"I think an investigation is warranted," Waters said. She declined to give specifics.

"If you feel that something is wrong, do a comprehensive review of how it operates," Waters suggested.

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