Ted W. Lieu was born on March 29, 1969 in Taipei, Taiwan. His family immigrated to America when Ted was three years old. In 1991 Lieu graduated with bachelor's degrees in computer science and political science from Stanford University, and three years later he received a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. He then served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1995-99; an attorney with the firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson from 2000-03; and an attorney with UBS from 2003-05.
Lieu launched his political career in 2002, when he began a three-year stint on the city council of Torrance, California. After serving as a member of the California State Assembly from 2005-10, he ran for the office of California Attorney General but lost the Democratic nomination to San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris. Lieu then set his sights on the California State Senate, where he held a seat from 2011-14. And in a 2014 campaign that was endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America, Lieu was elected to succeed the retiring Henry Waxman as the Representative for California's 33rd Congressional District in the U.S. House. He is also a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
In December 2011, then-State Senator Lieu announced that he was conducting a personal boycott of all Lowe’s home-improvement stores in his district because of a decision by that corporation to withdraw its advertising from the TLC program All-American Muslim, a show with abysmally low Nielsen ratings. Troubled by the fact that the move by Lowe's came shortly after the Florida Family Association had critized the program for its pro-Islamic propaganda, Lieu accused the store of “bigotry.” Moreover, he said he was “looking into” whether “they’ve broken any law” and threatened possible “legislative remedies.”
Also during his tenure in the California Senate, Lieu, who unequivocally believes that human activity is a factor in the creation of potentially catastrophic climate change, co-authored Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act. This legislation required “a sharp reduction of greenhouse gas emissions” as part of a “comprehensive, long-term approach” to saving the environment. In 2015 Lieu introduced a similar measure, the Climate Change Solutions Act, in Congress. He is also in favor of increasing carbon taxes, raising CAFE standards for American-made automobiles, and using federal funds for research into wind, solar, and other alternative-energy resources.
Committed to the notion that illegal aliens residing in the United States today should be offered a pathway-to-citizenship, Lieu calls for increased immigration to the U.S. by impoverished, low-skilled peasants from Central America. “I think it’s easy for people like you and me who wear suits and ties and work in offices to cast aspersions on those with a tenth-grade education,” he told a congressional hearing in 2015, “... But let’s talk about some of these folks with a tenth-grade education.... I have had the opportunity to meet over the years many farmworkers who have had families die under brutal conditions in the heat so that you or I can have less expensive orange juice, cheaper artichokes, or less expensive garlic . . . and I just want to suggest that these people have given far more to American society than you or I ever will.”
In September 2015 Lieu praised Pope Francis for the “inspirational comments” he had made during a speech to Congress on what Lieu termed “fierce and urgent issues like immigration, income inequality, the death penalty and climate change.” Specifically, the pope had made a case for higher levels of immigrant and refugee admittance, the redistribution of wealth, the abolition of capital punishment, and the implementation of measures to counteract “the environmental deterioration caused by human activity.”
Lieu believes that:
- all women should have an unrestricted right to abortion-on-demand at any stage of pregnancy – subsidized by taxpayers, in cases of economic hardship;
- the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is an excellent statute that can serve a strategic stepping stone toward the eventual implementation of a government-run, single-payer healthcare system;
- all employers, public and private, should be legally required to implement affirmative-action hiring and promotion policies that give preference to African Americans and women, as compensation for historical injustices;
- more guns in the hands of private citizens inevitably result in higher levels of crime, thus the availability of firearms should be restricted by whatever means are effective;
- voter ID laws are, by and large, designed to suppress minority voting;
- federal spending on infrastructure projects and job programs is crucial to the success of any economic recovery program;
- the nationalization of banks and corporations is preferable to federal bailouts of those entities;
- the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which which would have carried some 800,000 barrels of tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in the U.S. each day, would have harmed the natural environment and exacerbated America's counterproductive dependency on fossil fuels; and
- restrictions on offshore energy production should be left in place.
For a more detailed look at Lieu's voting record and issue positions, click here, here, and here.
For additional information on Ted Lieu, click here.