Ed Buck: Animal Activist or Political Opportunist?

ANIMAL WATCH-Ed Buck, former-director of the animal-advocacy group Social Compassion in Legislation, is a well-connected Los Angeles political donor to local candidates, including Mayor Eric Garcetti.

He has been photographed with such high-profile Democrats as Hilary Clinton and former-governor Jerry Brown. Buck supports politicians and political issues that draw press coverage and animal causes that generate media attention. 

But Ed Buck recently gained worldwide attention he didn't want due to the deaths of two men at his West Hollywood apartment. 

The first was Gemmel Moore, 26, a gay sex worker, in July 2016. The cause of death was determined to be an accidental methamphetamine overdose, according to the Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner's website.   

The second man, who died last week, was Timothy M. Dean, 55, an employee of Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills and member of the National Gay Basketball Association. Dean was also an adult film star named “Hole Hunter” who had 18 adult films to his credit between 2007 and 2016, Wehoville  reports. 

Both of the deceased were black. Buck is white. The result has been allegations of racism and that the Sheriff's Office and District Attorney Jackie Lacey are not aggressively seeking justice. 

Buck's attorney, Seymour Amster, told CNN that Buck and the second victim had been friends for over 25 years. "Yes, Ed does have individuals he associates with who have problems with drugs...Sometimes they bring their problems into his apartment." But Amster contends Buck "has a heart of gold." 

Buck has not been charged with a crime, but several leading politicians announced they were returning Buck's political contributions by donating them to charitable causes and sent heartfelt condolences to the families. 

Even the DCCC, issued a statement that it is 'deeply disturbed' by allegations against megadonor Ed Buck, and it vows to donate his recent contributions. 


But, the idolization of Buck as an "animal activist" has seemingly rendered him above question by the equally political and donor-driven "humane" world. This is the group of politicians that should have been most compassionately moved to announce the return of Buck's money through non-profits that care for or are seeking alternatives for those caught in the tragedy of the worst opioid and methamphetamine epidemic in history, with ancillary effects on innocent pets. 

In "Making a List and Checking it Twice: Who Has Taken Money from Ed Buck?", media strategist Jasmyne Cannick, reports: 

Animal PAC/Social Compassion in Legislation for Animals (Ed Buck is the group’s largest contributor.) 

Amount Recv’d: $95,629.06   Amount Returned: $0 Statement Made: No 


Buck is shown in a photo posted on his Facebook page in August 2017 with a dog that appears to be an elderly Golden Retriever with sparse fur, and which seems to be trying to pull away from Bucks' grip around his neck. 

Shouldn't there be some concern voiced by activists/rescuers about any animal  that might be placed in the circumstances shown in photos of Bucks' apartment provided to the Daily Mail [[[ https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6573905/I-thought-going-person-die-Ed-Bucks-house-Man-reveals-Democratic-donor-injected-meth-GHB.html ]]]  by a 28-year-old man who said, "I thought I was going to be the next to die at Ed Buck's house.'  

Allegra Allison, who helped Buck with his City Council campaign, told the HeraldMailMedia, “He had almost no furniture, and he rented furniture for the campaign. It’s two small bedrooms, and the living room was basically empty.” 

Ashlee Marie Preston, a transgender activist and writer, told the HeraldMailMedia,“ she met Buck through the Stonewall Democratic Club, an LGBTQ political group, and in 2016 at a retreat...Buck pulled out his phone and started showing her a video of a young black man appearing to smoke methamphetamine. “He was really fixated on the video. … he just had this awkward smile, and he said, ‘He’s gorgeous.’” 

In his campaign bio for West Hollywood City Council Buck states he has been a volunteer for animal rescue and has fostered over 50 dogs in the last four years, "finding good homes for them all."

However, when Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue (which Buck also claimed to represent at the LA City Council) lists its thanks to permanent fosters, it states, "In the past others have opened their hearts and homes to care for terminal dogs – holding them until it was time to say goodbye. Many heartfelt thanks to Kathy B..., Ed Buck..." 

Does that mean the Rescue does not check back on the dogs, assuming they will die? 


WeHo News announced in a January 28, 2010 article, West Hollywood may ban the sale of dogs and cats next week, "Resident Ed Buck, Director of Social Compassion in Legislation and a Golden Retriever rescue volunteer, said the proposed bill, "'could be the beginning of the end of puppy mills and it's happening in West Hollywood, one of the most progressive cities on animal welfare issues."  

On April 20, 2010, the MINUTES of the CA Veterinary Medical Board meeting lists Judie Mancuso and Ed Buck of Social Compassion in Legislation as attendees. Mancuso requested support for spay/neuter license plates at that time.  

On June 7, 2011, in, Council votes to get tough on breeders, Councilman Paul Koretz first sought to eliminate "so-called puppy mills" from Los Angeles with a law to prohibit local pet stores from offering commercially bred puppies and kittens.  

After quoting Hank Greenwood, president of the American Dog Breeder Association in Salt Lake City, the Daily Breeze, states, "Another breeder, Ed Buck of the Southern California Golden Retriever Association, told the council he supports the measure as a way to allow responsible breeders to operate. "This will put responsible breeders where they belong and so they do not have unfair competition."  

In his June 8, 2011 Newsletter, Councilmember Paul Koretz praised Judie Mancuso and Ed Buck, of Social Compassion in Legislation, for their part in the passage of the motion to ban LA pet shops/puppy mills. Koretz was also formerly on the WeHo City Council. 

On January 31, 2011, WeHo News reports, Ed Buck, one of the organizers of “Fur Free WeHo,” said This campaign is not just about banning fur but promoting West Hollywood as the capital of fur-free fashion, especially in its boutique district that includes a Stella McCartney store, which already shuns furs.”  

Also, in 2011, Last Chance for Animals site lists Ed Buck as one of the animal advocates who "came together to ban the sale of fur in West Hollywood, called "Fur-Free West Hollywood" which was passed on Sept. 20, 2011. 


No one knows what happened at Ed Buck's home that resulted in the death of two men.  But it appears Ed Buck has used animal activism and the political opportunities his money and persona have provided to create an identity that is protected from scrutiny. That must stop now!


See also:   Death at LGBT Activist's Home Stuns L.A.'s Animal World   


(Phyllis M Daugherty is a former employee of the City of Los Angeles and a contributor to CityWatchLA.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.