Black Activist Petition Demands Democrats Return Donations from Ed Buck

UPDATE: The L.A. County District Attorney has granted immunity against prosecution to several potential witnesses who can testify about their relationship with Ed Buck.

Black activists have launched a petition demanding that West Hollywood City Council members and other politicians return money they received from Ed Buck to to the “Justice 4 Gemmel + All of Ed Buck’s Victim’s Fund.”

Gemmel is Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old African-American sex worker who was found dead last month in the Laurel Avenue apartment of Ed Buck, a prominent local activist and donor to Democratic Party candidates. The L.A. County Coroner’s Office attributed the death to methamphetamine. The L.A. County District Attorney has launched an investigation into the matter. The victims fund “will help with legal costs as well as supporting the family of Gemmel Moore and all of Ed Buck’s victims,” said Jasmyne Cannick, a black communications and public affairs strategist.

LaTisha Nixon, left, with her son, Gemmel Moore.

The petition was first reported this morning by Cannick, who has been active in demanding that Ed Buck be investigated for his possible involvement in Moore’s death. On her website Cannick has published pages from a journal that Moore is said to have kept in which he chronicles his use of meth, a highly addictive and dangerous drug, and his paid encounters with Buck. Other young black men also have approached Cannick with similar stories.

“Buck has given hundreds of thousands of dollars of Democratic causes and candidates over the years,” says a statement on the petition’s homepage. “His Facebook page boasted dozens of photos of him with everyone from presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to Governor Jerry Brown, Los Angeles County Democratic Party and California Democratic Party chairman Eric Bauman and even Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.”

“Most of Los Angeles’ Democratic and LGBT community–which are often one in same – has had nothing to say publicly about Moore’s death. Politicians who have received thousands of dollars from Buck over the years have been curiously silent. Democrats are often the first to call on Republicans to return money at the slightest hint of impropriety — there seems to be a double standard when a Democratic donor is involved in the wrongdoing.”

“Just the fact that the allegations have been made and reported on in the news that these politicians are most influenced by should — and normally would — be enough for Democrats to return their donations and issue statements distancing themselves from the accused. But for the most part, nothing. Is it because Ed Buck is white? Is it because he is white and gay? Is it because he often maxes out on contributing to their campaigns? Is it because the accusers are black gay men? Is it because the accusers are black?”

While the petition calls out donors for their silence, several members of the West Hollywood City Council have expressed their condolences to Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon. Nixon asked the Council at a meeting on Aug. 21 to demand that the district attorney grant immunity from prosecution to young black prostitutes who otherwise would not come forward to testify about their relationships with Buck. Nana Gyamfi, a human rights attorney and legal consultant, announced today that several young men have been granted immunity by the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office in its investigation of Gemmel Moore’s death.

Councilmember Lindsey Horvath, who has not received donations from Buck, told Nixon that she was pressing the L.A. County District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Department to investigate Moore’s death. Mayor John Heilman and Council members John D’Amico and Lauren Meister each offered condolences to Moore’s mother. Councilmember John Duran, a lawyer, warned that young prostitutes with allegations about Buck should consult a lawyer before testifying because they were putting themselves at risk of prosecution.

In her announcement of the petition, Cannick listed federal, state and local politicians who have received money from Buck. Her list shows donations of $38,700 to John D’Amico, whose initial election to the City Council in 2011 was a project of Buck’s. Buck, an animal rights activist, endorsed and campaigned for D’Amico based on his support for a ban on the sale of fur in West Hollywood. However, in an interview with WEHOville, D’Amico noted that his two campaigns for City Council have received a total of only $1,000 from Buck, all of which was spent on campaign activities. While some council members maintain officeholder accounts that hold leftover campaign donations, D’Amico does not.   Cannick notes that D’Amico has made a donation of $25 to a fund established by Moore’s mother to pay for his funeral expenses.

The list also shows $24,700 in donations to John Duran, $2,500 in donations to Lauren Meister and $2,000 in donations to John Heilman.

Because individual campaign donations are limited to $500 per candidate, Cannick’s list apparently includes donations to independent campaign expenditure committees such as Animal PAC and, in Duran’s case, to his unsuccessful campaign for L.A. County Supervisor.



  1. Being a “sex worker” is exploitative, female or male. I do REALIZE that no one puts a gun to anyone’s head and says: “Go prostitute or else…” (well, this may not be true any more with human trafficking, etc.). Most prostitutes and “exotic” dancers, at least female, are not engaged in these activities for fun. Most were abused in childhood and then in adult relationships. We do this because we are in pain. The time has come for mankind to take more personal responsibility for his/her pain. Feel instead of medicate or drain off (Kundalini energy) through orgasm. Sorry to be so blunt. By the way, I have BEEN there.

  2. Although I am betting that my politics disagrees with most of the contributors to this ribbon (conservative-Libertarian-follower of the true Yeshua), I feel very encouraged by most of the comments, the fundamental belief that NO ONE is above the law! Not a big donor to Democratic politics, not former college president and wife of a powerful independent Senator from Vermont, not a pay-to-play US Senator from NJ! Hopefully, not a crooked former FBI Director and corrupt former Secretary of State. I really do believe people GET IT! Finally, POWER TO THE REAL PEOPLE!

  3. I don’t understand the hoopla around this. He kept a journal that detailed his use of meth. He was a sex worker. He used meth and odd? It happens every day. There has been no mention of any foul play, just that he died from a meth od. He was a sex worker. He got hired. That’s how it works. Many condolences to his mom, because no mother should have to bury their child, but I don’t understand the outrage toward the political donor.

    1. I don’t want to make this the issue, however “Sex Working” or other name is still an illegal activity. (I don’t do that scene, but I think a person can do whatever they want … that doesn’t make it legal either to be a sex worker, as well as being illegal to employ a sex worker)
      Also, Meth purchases is a crime. Using meth is a crime (both of which have penalties that far, Far exceeds the nature of Meth use) Also, technically, if part of his technically criminal sex work is the procurement of and for sale to their sex customers has a very low quantity to classify it as “Drug Dealer” with years of sentencing if charged.
      Not judging, but pointing out the criminal over lapping acts, possibly making a tragic death, a multifaceted crime investigation.

  4. @ Steve Martin: voters removed you 16 years, and repeatedly, rejected you for your many- many flip-flops, ethics violations…contemptible behavior towards Jeff Prang. You were supposed to be “a community leader.” He was your best friend and roommate???

    Steve would also like us to forget that he was fined tens of thousands of dollars by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for his illegal political fundraising and was forced to dispense tens of thousands of dollars of ill-gotten money. This to “woefully ignorant.” Dirty politics is just wrong!

    RIP Gemmel Moore. May justice prevail. This is what this story is about. Right.

  5. When this story broke, the Los Angeles TImes quoted County Assessor Jeff Prang priased Buck as ” a community leader” in West Hollywood; wonder how much Buck gave to his campaign? Given the amounts Buck contributed to John Duran it is no wonder Duran was trying to discourage potential witnesses from coming forward with phony warnings about potential criminal charges. Immunity is routinely granted, both formally and informally, when the District Attorney is trying to solve a major crime. Sowing fear with potential witnesses is simply an obstruction of justice. As a member of the State Bar Duran seemed woefully ignorant of California law governing sexual harrassment…

  6. Not to mention the super-delegates that didn’t vote for Sanders in their state even when he won them. As far as money it’s all about money, That’s what this petition is about, and our campaign fiance laws in weho need reform. The city council did a review of them after a study and basically changed nothing. In fact they if i member right some members wanted to increase what they could get, meaning raise the max from $500. Why is out of town money and developer money the biggest force in our elections? Is that the kind of #weho democracy that serves the interest’s of the residents? So many individuals in West Hollywood dont even vote anymore because they gave up on the idea their vote matters, cause money is what matters who got what from who. If a man can run a campaign for president on an average donation of $37 dollars why does it take massive amounts of money to stay on council? In the last election the incumbents amassed hundreds of thousands of dollars from special interests to stay in power and flooded our mail boxes with the best glossy spin flyers money could by

  7. SHawn – the court’s opinion states that the DNC favored Clinton. We all know it. No where in the opinion does it state it made any difference in the overwhelming result. Clinton won. The DNC had little power to help her, and used less than they had to do so. Sanders lost. Clinton was the democratically chosen nominee. Sanders gained more than anything else in the whole primary by the incredibly undemocratic caucuses he overperformed in.
    Please stop spreading false information. Donald Trump and the Repubs thank you. We are on the same side, and you by repeating falsehoods only help the other side.

    1. Just curious, I never heard a word about considering Bernie as VP. Didn’t that seem the obvious best choice to unite the Democratic Party and surly would have gotten Hillary into the White House as President (Republican Gerrymandering – wouldn’t have been an issue had Hillary united the very divided Democrats during the campaign by choosing Bernie as VP.

      I never even heard a news story about “is she considering Bernie” let alone a statement she actually was. I don’t know how I and apparently the DNC missed pushing Hillary into a guaranteed win. (was there talk?)

  8. On point two its all about money and what it gets you in favors. Im sure none of you really believe all this money goes to these candidates with out something expected in return?

    1. Well, ya — DUH! But there is a difference who is giving what. The Republicans are the ones who seem to seek the most DAMAGING TO OUR COUNTRY AND THE PLANET – and BENEFITTING ONLY THE SUPER RICH.

      A choice between two evils is not really a choice – when one is not trying to STUFF Transgendered back into the closet (with no ability to work and no basic medical coverage/assistance – because that one dang female Republican in Congress said – no transgendered for the country, or I won’t vote for (I believe it was the ACA before McCain came to save the day). (BTW-chill dude, you are way too deep into this old rabbit hole)

  9. Here’s the judges word’s

    “In evaluating Plaintiffs’ claims at this stage, the Court assumes their allegations are true — that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz held a palpable bias in favor Clinton and sought to propel her ahead of her Democratic opponent,” he wrote.

    “The Court thus assumes that the DNC and Wasserman Schultz preferred Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president over Bernie Sanders or any other Democratic candidate. It assumes that they stockpiled information useful to the Clinton campaign. It assumes that they devoted their resources to assist Clinton in securing the party’s nomination and opposing other Democratic candidates. And it assumes that they engaged in these surreptitious acts while publicly proclaiming they were completely neutral, fair, and impartial.” Hillary or bust gave Trump the white house

  10. Sorry Shawn, that’s naive. He just lost. But most importantly it’s all irrelevant to this tragic event.

  11. Shawn – you just made that up. No court has made any such ruling. Clinton beat Sanders decisively by about 4 million votes, something like 55 -44%. Yes we need campaign finance reform. That is why it was critical for Clinton to win in November to affect the Supreme Court. He raised more than enough money and lack of financing had nothing to do with his not remotely close rejection by Democratic voters.

  12. keep voting for the same people who have histories of misappropriating money and things like this will continue to happen

  13. @ Jim Nasium: Bernie may have lost but the idea has legs and takes an absence of naysayers to turn this ugly system around. Are you in?

  14. This is not about campaign finance laws or reform. A young man was found dead in the apartment of a well-known West Hollywood activist. For the DA to offer immunity to three witnesses is telling to the fact if they do or do not have a case. However, if immunity was offered, that’s striking. We have to wait and see. If the DA has seen potential evidence or heard testimony and offer’s immunity will a case # be assigned and specific charges entered. We don’t know at this time.

  15. The largest recipients of Ed Buck money are Lauren Meister, John D’Amico and John Duran. Good luck getting that money back.

  16. If there ever was a moment for West Hollywood to seriously reform its campaign finance laws, and remove bundling, so that undue influence of big donations isnt weakening our democracy this is it, in my opinion. Bernie Sanders as we all know ran a full campaign for PRESIDENT of the US on public small donations, no pacs, no action committees, nada. Weho this is your moment to lead the way to big money out of politics. Our urban village has already been sold away to the highest bidder as the buildings get bigger and bigger and the new ones on sunset are almost a ruse for a way to insert more billboards. Is this what west Hollywood is turning into? Pay for play and a yes for every new mega dense project. Just because its legal doesn’t make it ethically right Peace be still to Gemmel. May your passing not be in vain for a higher purpose to unfold.

  17. Cleaning Up The Swamp starts locally and radiates globally. Or as Nancy Reagan said “Just Say No”……referring to drug use. In any decent human book I t commonly refers to unacceptable behavior as well. If you don’t , you’ll become infected as it’s contagious and there is no cure.

  18. With all due respect Ms. Dixon, its incredulous that you didn’t see Mr. Bucks actions…..the ones in public meetings should have raised an eyebrow or ten, then the sycophants around Mr. Buck applauding his actions for political gain. Remember Weho a/SVe Tara? Yup , those enablers. Folks falling for the rescue dog component might not have wanted to see the turgid underbelly. Mr. Buck’s ill deeds virtually made the space around him vibrate. Too bad your raidar was not functioning. Innocent until proven guilty!

    1. Did I not specifically say “innocent until proven guilty” And I attempted to make sure his references were only possible allegations (but wehoville seems to have set a new max words, so I couldn’t make it clear.

  19. I am not up to speed: Of course there has to be a Criminal Investigation and in weho I do pray “Black Lives Matter” just like everyone else (actually weho has less than average care for lives considering the crosswalk killings, the homeless needs & crime it brings, the amazing increase in crimes throughout weho ,… I signed up for “crime mapping” and the number of felony crimes against people within a half mile circle of my home is so high on a regular basis …)

    In any event, my FIRST PRIORITY – if Criminal Guilt is found, I would like focus on this “accused perpetrator” (innocent until proven guilty – it works both ways … for good and bad and good ..) being brought through the Criminal Justice System with all the activists protesting and making social media noise about the poten

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