California Democrat Rep. Ted Lieu used money from his campaign account to funnel more than $15,000 since 2018 to his wife’s school board campaign, according to RedState.
Lieu’s campaign reportedly sent the money to Betty Lieu’s campaign committee in batches. The account forwarded $888 in November 2018, $12,500 for the entirety of 2019, and $2,000 in March 2021.
“Three of the contributions are listed as going to Betty Lieu for School Board 2018 and two are listed as going to Betty Lieu for School Board 2019, but the accounts are one and the same,” reported RedStates’s Jennifer Van Laar. “Ted’s treasurer should know this since he’s also Betty’s treasurer.”
Jon Matthews Jr., chairman for the California Conservative Party, told The Federalist this says a lot about Lieu’s leadership.
“There are certain people out here, Ted Lieu is one of them, who have reached a place where they are almost untouchable,” Matthews said.
The congressman’s wife was elected in 2018 to be a trustee in Torrance Unified School District, located in Torrance, California. While also funneling money to his wife’s cause, Lieu sent emails from his campaign account last year to call for donations, documents show.
While federal election law permits candidates to solicit funds with their email or through other campaign mechanisms, there is a qualifier: Election law and House ethics rules outline how campaign funds cannot be transferred for personal use or used as a donation or gift to family.
“Use of campaign funds for a gift or donation is permissible only if the outlay serves a bona fide campaign or political purpose, and in this regard, the regulation specifies that a Member may not use campaign funds to make a gift or donation to a family member,” the House ethics website states.
The Democrat may have violated the law, given what Lieu wrote to supporters. “Betty still has some campaign debt from her first race in 2018,” he said. “Helping her clear the debt would be a big boost for her re-election campaign.”
Federal Election Commission records show Lieu has had other shady dealings. In 2o17, he made two payments of $25,000 worth of campaign money to his alma mater Stanford University, where his son was later admitted.
Lieu’s office, as well as his campaign and wife, did not immediately respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.