We hardly knew Yee

posted at 5:21 pm on March 27, 2014 by Mike Antonucci

The Capitol here in Sacramento was rocked by the news that State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) was indicted on arms trafficking and corruption charges after a lengthy sting operation by the FBI.

The wall-to-wall news coverage naturally focuses on the illegal arms deals and the murder-for-hire charges against Yee’s campaign fundraiser, Keith Jackson. But there are broader implications about the way Yee did business as a legislator.

The FBI affidavit summarizes well a host of incidents in this way: “Senator Yee would engage in official acts… in exchange for campaign donations and money.”

During the sting, Yee told one confidential source, “By helping me get elected means I’m gonna take actions on your behalf. That’s one thing you gotta understand.”

That’s the illegal form of “pay for play.” A campaign donor receives specific legislative action or inside influence in exchange for cash. But our entire political system exists on a structure in which campaign donors hope or expect specific legislative action or inside influence in exchange for cash. Otherwise, why contribute?

There is an incident described in Yee’s  indictment that shows how even legal and above board campaigns can be tainted by the corruption of others. In October 2011, an undercover FBI agent asked Yee if there were a way to contribute money outside of his campaign for mayor of San Francisco. Yee told him he could “contribute unlimited sums to a committee supporting a ballot measure for school funding that Senator Yee also supported. Senator Yee explained that the ads for the measure would feature Senator Yee in a positive piece supporting schools and education.”

There were no statewide school funding ballot measures in California in 2011, so I assume Yee was referring to San Francisco’s Proposition A, which passed.

Yee has always been well liked within the education establishment, primarily for sponsoring friendly bills. The Community College Association, the higher education affiliate of the California Teachers Association, named Yee its “Legislator of the Year” in 2012. CTA itself endorsed Yee in his 2010 state senate campaign. Here is a campaign ad they helped create.

I feel fairly confident that Yee is the only gun-runner in the California Senate. I’m much less confident that he’s the only one carrying bills for pay.

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He’s a Liberal, therefore he’s a hypocrite.

PolAgnostic on March 27, 2014 at 5:23 PM

Best title!!!

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Yee will be promoted. For the D-rats these are features.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Yee doesn’t shoot straight.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Democrat is as democrat does.

HotAirian on March 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

I wonder if the shoulder fired missiles he said he could get would be covered under a concealed carry license here in Texas???

txdoc on March 27, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Anyone but a sitting Democrat politician would have had multiple SWAT teams with armored vehicles executing a No-Knock raid for being involved in a plan to traffic in shoulder fired missiles.

Let me guess …

… he’s got a permit to carry a shoulder fired missile signed by Dianne Feinstein?

PolAgnostic on March 27, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Where did the guns end up.
Did they end up in islamic hands?

ps

FBI what have you on Brian Terry’s shooter.

Where are all the guns from that gun fight.

Who was there, where is the DEA informant who was there?
Where oh where are the other Fast and Furious guns?

Think clear now, we the people are not total asleep any longer.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 27, 2014 at 5:28 PM

http://i61.tinypic.com/30iknma.jpg

El_Terrible on March 27, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Maybe he could just plead that the money he was taking was ‘for the children’

I’m sure that would get him off and a promotion for ‘caring so much’ like a good Demorat

txdoc on March 27, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Not gun-running…..its an ‘undocumented gun walking’ operation.

BobMbx on March 27, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Yee will be promoted.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Well…If he was murdering or raping or stealing, he would have a bright future as a hero to the Left.

But because he was involved in distributing those awful gun thingys, the Left will discard him like an aborted baby.

itsnotaboutme on March 27, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Oh, my. My younger brother’s a bad egg.

Sincerely, George Takei

22044 on March 27, 2014 at 5:32 PM

“I feel fairly confident that Yee is the only gun-runner in the California Senate.”

I’m not. If he could have given it a fancy name like “Fast and Furiouser”, he probably would have walked.

Tom Servo on March 27, 2014 at 5:34 PM

Well…If he was murdering or raping or stealing, he would have a bright future as a hero to the Left.

But because he was involved in distributing those awful gun thingys, the Left will discard him like an aborted baby.

itsnotaboutme on March 27, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Yeah, like they did the moron Eric Holder because of Fast and Furious.

slickwillie2001 on March 27, 2014 at 5:35 PM

During the sting, Yee told one confidential source, “By helping me get elected means I’m gonna take actions on your behalf. That’s one thing you gotta understand.”

I feel fairly confident that Yee is the only gun-runner in the California Senate. I’m much less confident that he’s the only one carrying bills for pay.

.
I am ABSOLUTELY confident the total number of politicians in Congress, from both parties, who WON’T carry bills for pay is less than 20.

PolAgnostic on March 27, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Corruption, it’s all the Democrats know. Oh and Hypocrisy, they know that word too. He voted for gun control every time it came up, who would have thought he was running guns……LOL

Johnnyreb on March 27, 2014 at 5:39 PM

No doubt. He will someday be a Dim candidate for POTUS.

Bmore on March 27, 2014 at 5:41 PM

…how long before Eric Holder puts the squeeze on the FBI?

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2014 at 5:43 PM

From ABC:

One month after the Sandy Hook massacre, Yee helped introduce what was seen as one of the toughest pieces of gun control legislation in the country to ban the “bullet button.”

Guns for me, but not for thee.

tommer74 on March 27, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Oh, my. My younger brother’s a bad egg.

Sincerely, George Takei

22044 on March 27, 2014 at 5:32 PM

He’s related to George Takei?

DarkCurrent on March 27, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Now of course Yee is declared to be an “aberration” and Democrats are forgetting that they ever knew him.

myiq2xu on March 27, 2014 at 5:47 PM

Sen. Leland Yee Withdraws From Secretary Of State Race

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A California state senator accused of accepting bribes and introducing an undercover agent to an arms trafficker is dropping out of the race for California secretary of state.

Sen. Leland Yee’s attorney, Paul DeMeester, read a letter that Yee sent to California Secretary of State Debra Bowen on Thursday informing her that he was withdrawing his candidacy.

State legislators have called on Yee to step down from the state Senate. Asked whether Yee planned to do that, DeMeester declined to comment.

Yee was arrested Wednesday during a series of raids in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.

A criminal complaint accuses him of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in cash and campaign contributions in exchange for providing official favors, influencing legislation and helping to broker an arms deal with an undercover FBI agent.

jffree1 on March 27, 2014 at 5:49 PM

At one meeting, agents pressed Yee and Jackson for shoulder-fired weapons or missiles, the affidavit says; Yee asked whether he wanted automatic weapons, and the agent confirmed he did — about $500,000 to $2.5 million worth.

 
So what would we call this guy’s actions if he ran a car dealership instead?
 
Gun shop?
 
Chain of gas stations in NJ?
 
Mosque?

rogerb on March 27, 2014 at 5:51 PM

Keep him in California.They deserve everything that happens to them.

docflash on March 27, 2014 at 5:51 PM

I feel fairly confident that Yee is the only gun-runner in the California Senate.

I feel fairly confident that you’re an idiot.

oscarwilde on March 27, 2014 at 5:52 PM

C’mon, it’s not like he was trafficking in shoulder things that go up.

Midas on March 27, 2014 at 5:54 PM

He’s a Liberal, therefore he’s a hypocrite.

PolAgnostic on March 27, 2014 at 5:23 PM

That’s where you’re wrong. One must have principles to violate in order to be a hypocrite. Liberals have none, therefore no hypocrisy.

CurtZHP on March 27, 2014 at 5:54 PM

We hardly knew Yee

I’m pretty sure that headline is a hanging offense.

Now me, personally, I don’t believe in doling out such sentences to bloggers.

But I wouldn’t want to impose my morality on anyone else….

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM

jffree1 on March 27, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Associated Press still steadfastly refusing to give the guys political party affiliation, I see.

Midas on March 27, 2014 at 5:55 PM

… he’s got a permit to carry a shoulder fired missile signed by Dianne Feinstein?

PolAgnostic on March 27, 2014 at 5:27 PM

Would not surprise me in the slightest…

oscarwilde on March 27, 2014 at 5:56 PM

I feel fairly confident that Yee is the only gun-runner in the California Senate

Well thank you moron !

burrata on March 27, 2014 at 5:57 PM

Gun running: It sounds like the wild west. We need Gary Cooper,Errol Flynn,Tyrone Power or Jimmy Stewart.

jmtham156 on March 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

He’s related to George Takei?

DarkCurrent on March 27, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Aloha, Wofat.

Lanceman on March 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

From ABC:

One month after the Sandy Hook massacre, Yee helped introduce what was seen as one of the toughest pieces of gun control legislation in the country to ban the “bullet button.”

Guns for me, but not for thee.

tommer74 on March 27, 2014 at 5:45 PM

But lots of guns for Yee.

There Goes the Neighborhood on March 27, 2014 at 5:59 PM

Aloha, Wofat.

Lanceman on March 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Aloha Manthing!

DarkCurrent on March 27, 2014 at 6:00 PM

Would not surprise me in the slightest…

oscarwilde on March 27, 2014 at 5:56 PM

.
I can hear her snarky voice saying, “When you’ve got the Triads after you, you need something more than my dinky .38!”

;->

PolAgnostic on March 27, 2014 at 6:23 PM

This might explain what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight 370.

teejk on March 27, 2014 at 6:28 PM

So why is it corruption for Yee (or every other politician) to trade favorable legislation for money so they can harvest votes, but it is not corruption to trade favorable legislation directly for votes?

jvermeer on March 27, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Gun running: It sounds like the wild west. We need Gary Cooper,Errol Flynn,Tyrone Power or Jimmy Stewart.

jmtham156 on March 27, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Got something against The Duke?

Mitoch55 on March 27, 2014 at 6:29 PM

Yee is connected to Shrimp Boy… a Triad operative… he is connected to… Hsu and Clinton.

It is going to be fun watching the FBI taking out Hillary’s bundlers.

ajacksonian on March 27, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Other than a Waco here and a Ruby Ridge there, the FBI is really the “good” federal law agency. They may keep us from becoming Mexico too quickly. It’s all about the rate of decline at this point.

Rush said today the rash of politician busts is to get it out of the way now, so it will be forgotten in a few months.

bbhack on March 27, 2014 at 6:34 PM

Typical democrat.

Murphy9 on March 27, 2014 at 6:39 PM

CTA itself endorsed Yee in his 2010 state senate campaign

Ahh, the CTA. Propping up criminals and keeping good teachers down for decades. Gotta love ‘em.

JusDreamin on March 27, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Gun Control for libs means they control the flow of guns in and out of the country, I guess.

The irony in this piece is both thick and delicious.

a5minmajor on March 27, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Shows us the real CTA, union thugs “for the kids” who are the real problem with eduction in CA. Yee, the CTA and gun running…makes sense to me.

StevC on March 27, 2014 at 7:36 PM

In the wake of California State Senator Leland Yee’s (D) indictment over arms trafficking and public corruption, Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg says Yee has until Friday to resign, or he will be suspended.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/27/CA-Senate-Pro-Tem-To-Sen-Yee-Resign-By-Friday-Or-Face-Suspenion

bluefox on March 27, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Uh, oh.
Paula Priesse is reporting that one of Yee’s customers is a Muslim separatist group on the island of Mindanao, Philippines…where I live.

itsnotaboutme on March 27, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Uh, oh.
Paula Priesse is reporting that one of Yee’s customers is a Muslim separatist group on the island of Mindanao, Philippines…where I live.

itsnotaboutme on March 27, 2014 at 8:26 PM

This may have been mentioned in the affidavit. Have you had a chance to read it? I read some and I know the Philippines was listed.

bluefox on March 27, 2014 at 8:29 PM

This might explain what happened to Malaysian Airlines flight 370.

teejk on March 27, 2014 at 6:28 PM

You can all go home now…we have our Winner.

ToddPA on March 27, 2014 at 8:54 PM

“Frast And Frurious…”

PointnClick on March 27, 2014 at 9:05 PM

Oh, poor puppies…crocodile tears for Yee and thee.

Schadenfreude on March 27, 2014 at 11:22 PM

Yee Ha.

trigon on March 27, 2014 at 11:24 PM

Democrats are calling for him to immediately resign… apparently he crossed a red line or something…

Both Feinstein and Boxer have publically called for him to quit…

Khun Joe on March 28, 2014 at 1:42 AM

So why is it corruption for Yee (or every other politician) to trade favorable legislation for money so they can harvest votes, but it is not corruption to trade favorable legislation directly for votes?

jvermeer on March 27, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Good question.

I think it’s the obviousness of Yee’s connecting of pay for play.

Hustling (pandering?) for votes is not really distinguishable from “establishing a position on the issues so voters can choose”; unless, of course, one simply lies about one’s position (not yet a legally actionable fraud, unfortunately).

“Regular” campaign donations are supposedly “generic” support for a party or candidates “principles”, which just coincidentally favor the giver’s position.
Bribes are direct payments for distinctly favorable legislation or intercession.

AesopFan on March 28, 2014 at 1:52 AM

The fact that he was in trouble should have been the headline instead of something that should have been the caption on his photo.

Not a good call there. People skim headlines for something interesting to read in case you didn’t know. Putting something Blaze-like as a headline costs you hits, and that’s the only reason I’m in this thread….not to read the author’s take on the story.

Diluculo on March 28, 2014 at 3:18 PM