Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA and failed Candace Owens troll) has a hobby of attempting to “gotcha” President Trump and other conservatives on Twitter. Sadly for him, he suffers from the common Democrat ailment of “Lack of Self Awareness.”
For Cinco de Mayo, Lieu attempted to burrrrn Trump by retweeting a receipt from Mar-a-Lago obtained by ProPublica, showing that the “member” US Department of State spent $1,000 on alcohol.
Dear @CongressEthics: I'm having a reception next weekend. Can I order $1,000 worth of Tequila Patron, Don Julio Blanco, and Woodford Reserve and charge the tab to the taxpayers?
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 5, 2019
Lieu’s post was a mock query to the Office of Congressional Ethics, asking if it would be okay if he billed a bunch of alcohol to the “taxpayers” for a reception the next weekend, then saying:
“Aw, just kidding. I’m not part of the corrupt
Perhaps thinking that his endless needling of Trump would keep people from looking at his own FEC reports, Lieu boldly posted this tweet just two hours and 40 minutes later:
Congratulations to the Torrance Education Foundation on their 25th Anniversary Gala last night! Betty and I were thrilled to be the Honorary Co-chairs for the event. pic.twitter.com/3v2WfiAgoy
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 5, 2019
This was just a wonderful out-of-the-blue honor for two prominent members of the community whose teenage sons attend Torrance, CA schools, right? Well, Mrs. Lieu sat on the board of the Torrance Education Foundation for years, so perhaps that has something to do with it.
And, perhaps the Lieus’ generous personal contribution to the auction (an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Washington, DC for the First Lady’s Luncheon and a performance at the Kennedy Center) contributed to the Torrance Education Foundation’s decision to name them as Honorary Co-Chairs.
But was it really a personal contribution?
It looks like the tickets for the First Lady’s Luncheon were purchased by Ted Lieu for Congress, not School Board Member Betty Lieu and Congressman Ted Lieu. The description on this particular FEC report is listed as “Food and Beverages,” but every other year Lieu’s been in Congress he’s purchased tickets to the First Lady’s Luncheon in the same time frame.
For example, on both February 21, 2017 and March 5, 2018, Lieu’s campaign paid The Congressional Club $600.00 for tickets to the First Lady’s Luncheon.
And, on both February 24, 2015 and March 11, 2016 Lieu’s campaign purchased tickets to the First Lady’s Luncheon from The Congressional Club ($600 in 2015, $500 in 2016).
What a wonderful use of donor money.
There’s another possible explanation for why the Lieus are so popular in the Torrance educational community. Rep. Lieu’s donors have unwittingly donated over $10,000 to the Torrance Education Foundation.
On March 4, 2019 Ted Lieu for Congress made a $5,000 civic donation to the Torrance Education Foundation.
During the 2017-2018 election cycle, Ted Lieu for Congress made donations totaling $7,160 to the Torrance Education Foundation.
Clearly, making charitable contributions to public schools isn’t a nefarious enterprise. However, Lieu has three more personal reasons for his contributions.
If you’ve followed Lieu’s Twitter account at all, you know that he’s quite proud (justifiably) of his sons’ accomplishments in robotics and their award-winning robotics team, TorBots.
TorBots is sponsored by the Torrance Education Foundation.
Again, there is nothing wrong with Lieu contributing to the Torrance Education Foundation. But should he be using his campaign’s funds to make those contributions?
It’s also interesting that Lieu’s campaign is making contributions to a foundation on whose board of directors his wife sits (or did at the time).
Betty Lieu was a Director at Large in 2017 and 2018.
Betty Lieu is no longer on the Torrance Education Foundation’s Board of Directors, because in November 2018 she was elected to the Torrance Unified School District Board of Trustees.
It appears that Rep. Lieu’s donor money went to that race, too. Just after his wife’s victory, on November 26, 2018, Lieu’s campaign contributed $888 to his wife’s campaign.
In January 2019 Lieu’s campaign made two separate contributions, totaling $7,000, to Betty Lieu’s School Board campaign.
From these records, it seems that Lieu’s tweets about “corruption” are ironic, indeed.
Stay tuned for more installments in the Ted Lieu’s Creative Uses for Donor Dollars series.