US Rep. Ted Lieu Pledges Campaign Donations from Ed Buck to NAACP and LGBT Groups

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, said Tuesday he would be donating campaign contributions from prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck to five gay and civil rights organization, a day after a second man was found dead at Buck’s West Hollywood apartment.

US Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance)

Lieu said he would donate $5,000 each to Lambda Legal and the NAACP, $3,000 each to GLAAD and The Trevor Project, and $2,500 to the Equality California Institute.

Lieu’s announcement and an op-ed in which Mito Aviles, a former candidate for West Hollywood City Council, makes a similar pledge, is likely to put reassure on Mayor John Duran and council members John D’Amico, John Heilman and Lauren Meister to consider taking similar steps. Lindsey Horvath is  the only current council member who hadn’t received donations from Buck.

“I am deeply disturbed by the latest revelations of a second death by overdose at the home of Ed Buck,” Lieu said.

A man was found dead early Monday at Buck’s apartment. The man’s name has not been released and his cause of death was under investigation by the county coroner’s office, Deputy Charles Moore of the Sheriff’s Information Bureau said.

Buck made headlines when the body of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore was found at the same apartment on July 27, 2017. The coroner’s office ruled Moore’s death an accidental methamphetamine overdose, to the dismay of his family.

Buck was present at the location when both deaths occurred, according to the sheriff’s department.

The sheriff’s department said the District Attorney’s Office will be closely involved in reviewing the latest case, as it was in the Moore case, which will also be the subject of “a secondary review” by sheriff’s homicide detectives.

Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, has denied that Buck had any involvement in either death.

Los Angeles County prosecutors last July 26 declined to pursue criminal charges against Buck stemming from Moore’s death.

According to a charge-evaluation worksheet prepared by the District Attorney’s Office, the evidence was “insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (Buck) is responsible for the death of Gemmel Moore. Likewise, the admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore or that suspect Buck possessed drugs.”


  1. LOL. This is ridiculous. Ted Lieu has almost $2,000,000 is campaign cash on hand. This is nothing but Ted Lieu using a small amount of surplus cash to buy support from the organizations he is donating to. Politicians make such donations all the time. His district is going to be redrawn next year and he has to buy support from organizations and other politicians in the event that his constituents are mapped away from him, and he may well have his eye on some other office or committee assignment, and needs to grease all the wheels.

    He already had a budget for making donations like this, and the fact that he got elected to Congress means he is savvy enough to time the donations with media events so everyone knows. You could even expect recipients to donate money back to him, directly or indirectly, or to accept the money as a donation on someone else’s behalf, like a candidate for some other office he wants to buy support for.

    Ted Lieu is not term limited. He is a high salaried member of Congress. He represents several hundred thousand constituents and makes laws affecting the entire country. Interest groups have reasons to give him money. He has accepted over $1,500,000 from PACs since 2013. He has access to immense amounts of money and power, and is in permanent fundraising and campaign mode. He raised about 25 time as much money as his opponent in 2016 but spent only about half of it.

    West Hollywood City Council members are practically volunteers. They are term limited. They are one of five people representing fewer than 40,000 people and their law making power is confined to a tiny city. Candidates for that office typically raise small amounts of money for voter outreach and spend it on that purpose. There is no comparison between their resources and those of Ted Lieu.

    There is no reason for Council candidates to write a personal check just because Ed Buck used their long ago campaigns to spread sunshine or weaken incumbents. Ted Lieu didn’t write a personal check. If Ed Buck gave some money to a Council candidate’s campaign to do an informational mailer to voters, that is nothing like what Ted Lieu does with his campaign contributions, which is to build a political machine to advance his personal career.

    1. A little unnecessarily harsh.
      He is returning Buck’s campaign donations by selecting other organizations – charities to support.

      His district is over 700,000 residents.

      Rep Lieu should advance his political career – I really don’t think he’s after personal enrichment.

      Please send links to reference.
      I love dirt on CA politicians.

  2. Black gay, bisexual, and queer men are the people most affected by Ed Buck’s actions. Lambda Legal, the NAACP, GLAAD, The Trevor Project, the Equality California Institute have no specific focus or programs for Black gay, bisexual, and queer men. Black gay, bisexual, and queer men don’t play a role in the agenda of those organizations. Why is Rep. Lieu giving to these organizations as a way to address the deaths of Black gay, bisexual, and queer men?

    In the Meantime Men, is a local organization he could chose. National Black Justice Coalition is a national organization he could chose. No Homo | No Hetero is a national project he could chose. Counter Narrative Project is another project he could choose.

  3. My advice to current city council members is wash your hands clean of Ed Buck and return your campaign contributions to good causes.
    Ted Lieu took the lead but it could have been one of you.

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