Over the past few years, rich and powerful elites have been exposed for securing top-tier university educations for their children by greasing the admissions wheels with large donations.
According to Fox News, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) is now facing scrutiny over a number of donations he made in the past five years to the prestigious Standford University, his alma mater, after it was revealed that his son will soon begin his freshman year there, following in dad’s footsteps.
Campaigns are legally allowed to donate to charitable causes, the FEC states, but the funds “cannot be used for purposes that personally benefit the candidate.”
What’s the problem?
While it’s certainly not unusual and definitely not against the law for a child to attend the same university as one or both of their parents, it just so happens that Lieu made a number of fairly large donations to the university in the past five years alone.
As a matter of fact, between 2016 and 2018, Lieu donated a staggering $50,000 to the California-based university, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.
Again, it’s not illegal or even unethical for members of Congress to donate money to schools, however, according to an unnamed spokesperson from campaign finance watchdog organization OpenSecrets that spoke to Fox News about Lieu’s particular situation, they seemed to suggest a red flag could be thrown in this case.
“Campaigns can and do donate to charities and universities from their campaign funds, but it’s more common when a member is retiring and has leftover cash,” the spokesperson said.
Lieu’s large donations, which again occurred just prior to his son preparing for admission to the school, were certainly not made on his way out of Congress. As a matter of fact, his first donation came just two years after he first entered Congress in 2014.
Interestingly, one Twitter user who posted a screenshot of the FEC filing showing Lieu’s large donations to Stanford while suggesting that “Varsity Blues” — a reference to the college admissions scandal involving Hollywood elites — is still alive and well.
But another Twitter user quickly noticed that at some point, the original user who shared the FEC screenshot of Lieu’s donations had suddenly been suspended by Twitter.
Uh. This is very bizarre. The account that tweeted about @tedlieu making contributions to Stanford out of his campaign account – and Lieu’s son now attending Stanford – has been suspended. pic.twitter.com/49h1qlWHRI
— Luke Thompson (@ltthompso) August 11, 2021
Again, Lieu’s Stanford donations could all be above board and of no concern, whatsoever. But the timing, with his son starting school soon, and the size of the donations — especially given what’s happened with college admissions over past years — definitely raises fair questions that need to be investigated and either dismissed or appropriately pursued.