As we exclusively reported Friday night, Rep. Ted Lieu, who constantly berates those who aren’t following “the science” and is in favor of every totalitarian mandate and lockdown California “public health” officials promulgate, took his elderly parents on a cruise to Bermuda for Thanksgiving, then traveled to Hawaii for Christmas, and went to an NFL game at Los Angeles’ Sofi Stadium *maskless* with his wife and brother in October. Yet, he filed a “proxy letter” with the Clerk of the House of Representatives for the week of January 10, stating that he couldn’t travel to Washington DC due to the “ongoing public health emergency.”
It turns out, he actually filed five proxy letters for 2021. One of them covered his trip to Bermuda during Thanksgiving, just before the Oct 10 NFL match between the Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns.
That’s right. The “ongoing public health emergency” prevented him from traveling to do his taxpayer-funded job, but it didn’t prevent him from flying to New York City, traveling from the airport to the cruise terminal, and then sailing to Bermuda on a floating petri dish with his 80-year-old mother and 77-year-old father, and it didn’t prevent him from going to a professional sporting event with 70,237 other people – while maskless.
The House was open for business on the whole week of November 15 and November 23 and 26, respectively (Tuesday through Friday during Thanksgiving week). Even though Lieu filed his proxy letter with the Clerk of the House of Representatives on November 17, he must have filed it after that day’s business ended since we know that Lieu attended the November 17 session in person (probably because he wanted to vote to censure Rep. Paul Gosar). Apparently the Build Back Better Act wasn’t as important, since Lieu was absent on Thursday the 18th and Friday the 19th, when the House passed the Build Back Better Act. Lieu’s vote is counted as a yea, but House records show it was cast by his proxy, Rep. Don Beyer.
The House also was in session during Lieu’s visit to Hawaii. According to his tweet of December 29, 2021, it was probably around December 22. There’s no indication that Lieu was performing any official duties in Hawaii from his social media.
While Lieu was traveling by airplane for luxurious family vacations, we know from his numerous proxy letters he wasn’t traveling to his job in Washington, DC much last fall. You wouldn’t know that by looking at Lieu’s campaign account, though, since he spent quite a bit on airplane tickets in 2021 – far more than he did in 2020 – including some odd expenditures around the time that the cruise likely would have been booked. While the federal government covers a large portion of Congressional travel from DC to/from DC each year, members can also travel with campaign funds. In fact, in 2020, from the time shutdowns really started (3/15) through the end of that year, Lieu’s campaign spent less than $2,000 on airfare – even though it was an election year.
In 2021, though, Lieu’s campaign spent more than $20,000 on airfare just in the first nine months of the year, and $8,600 of that was spent on one day – August 3, 2021. In light of Lieu’s apparent reluctance to travel because of the pandemic and the fact that it wasn’t really a busy time in terms of campaign activity, that level of spending really sticks out.
Ted Lieu Campaign Expenditures for Airfare on August 3rd 2021 SOURCE: FEC.gov, screenshot
Judging by Lieu’s social media, he also wasn’t jetting around to events that would have been campaign-related, unless they were secret, maskless events like Nancy Pelosi’s Napa fundraiser. Even so, Napa from Los Angeles is not a difficult trek.
For contrast, Lieu’s buddy Rep. Adam Schiff, whose Los Angeles district borders Ted’s, spent around $6,000 on airfare during the same period om 2021.
But, hypothetically speaking, flying six people (i.e., Mrs. Lieu and the two children, Ted’s parents, and Ted’s brother) from California to New York, roundtrip, around Thanksgiving for the family cruise could get a little pricey – and the time frames line up.
Celebrity’s Bermuda cruises were a limited-run series of week-long voyages either from Boston or New York City, running from late August through the Thanksgiving week cruise the Lieus were on. This series was first announced by a luxury travel blog July 15th, just two weeks after the flight expenditures were reported.
The FEC forms for the airfare expenditures ($2,000 each to Delta and United, and $600 to Alaska Airlines) don’t list passengers, date of travel, the cities traveled to/from, or the purpose of the trip, so it’s impossible to know if they’re for a permissible campaign expense or not.
There’s no direct evidence that these were the plane tickets purchased by Lieu’s campaign on August 3, 2021, but considering what we know about how Lieu has used campaign contributions before (to help pay off his wife’s alleged campaign debt and “charitable” contributions to his alma mater, Stanford, where his oldest son is now a student), the time frames, and the lack of detail/explanation on Lieu’s FEC filings, the question must be asked. These expenditures were for personal or business use. Lieu’s treasurer should have the necessary information to answer that question.
As stated in Friday night’s story, we’ve come to expect this type of behavior from “progressive” Democrat politicians, especially during this pandemic. They refuse to follow the rules they expect the rest of us to follow, they’re insulated from the economic havoc and destruction the shutdowns have caused, try to tell us that the empty shelves we see right in front of our eyes aren’t actually empty, while at the same time taking lavish international vacations and ignoring masking “rules.”
Conservatives laugh at Lieu’s stunts because we’ve been following common sense prevention measures instead of joining the Cult of Fauci, but I wonder how the millions of fear-addled Democrats who literally only take the mask down to take a quick bite or sip, who don the mask as they drive solo in their Priuses, and who go into panic attack mode if another human being steps within their 6-foot bubble feel about Ted’s outright defiance of these new social conventions? What will they do? Do they care?
Are his donors going to be asked questions by Lieu about where the money they have contributed? The minimum they can do is ask questions and get answers. But they might want to wait until after my next installment in the Ted Lieu’s Creative Uses for Donor Dollars series drops in the next few days.
Ted Lieu’s Creative Uses for Donor Dollars Include Funding His Kids’ Robotics Team and Wife’s School Board Run
Ted Lieu’s Creative Uses for Donor Dollars, Part 2: Shades of Varsity Blues?
Ted Lieu used $15K from his Campaign Contributions for the election of his wife to the School Board