California Senate votes to suspend accused arms trafficker, convicted felon…with pay

posted at 8:01 pm on March 28, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

The Brady Campaign Prevention of Gun Violence Honor Roll member Sen. Leland Yee (and former frontrunner for Secretary of State), accused of selling rocket launchers to foreign countries, was the last straw.

(Reuters) – The California state Senate voted on Friday to suspend three Democratic lawmakers who have been the subject of criminal probes, including Leland Yee, who was arrested this week in an FBI sweep on corruption and gun trafficking charges.

They haven’t just been the subject of criminal probes. Yee is facing charges and has yet to be convicted. Ronald Calderon, D-Montebello, also faces more than 20 charges after an FBI raid on his office, and Roderick Wright, D-Inglewood, has been convicted of several felonies. Wright has been on a leave of absence while preparing for his sentencing in early May for voter fraud, among other things.

In a trial that began Jan. 8, prosecutors accused Wright of faking a move to a rental property he owned in Inglewood so he could run in what was then the 25th Senate District.

They accused him of lying on voter registration and candidacy documents and of casting ballots in five elections he was not entitled to vote in from the Inglewood address.

Asked why he didn’t forgo pay while he was on his leave of absence, the charmer had this to say:

“Why would I do that? If I were a police officer and I shot someone, I wouldn’t be asked to do that. There are no other state employees that would be asked to do that. Why should I be treated differently than someone who works at the highway patrol or the DMV?”

Perhaps you’ve hit upon the problem, Senator.

Calderon faces dozens of charges after having his Capitol office and the office of the Latino Legislative Caucus raided by the FBI. He had already been stripped of committee slots, but is now suspended with pay, too:

The Senate Rules Committee voted 4 to 0 to suspend Calderon’s assignments in response to a federal investigation into whether Calderon accepted $60,000 in bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film studio executive in exchange for pursuing an expansion of tax credits for the film industry.

The lawmaker is also alleged to have taken $28,000 from a Long Beach hospital executive for efforts to affect legislation on workers’ compensation claims.

The allegations are contained in a sealed FBI affidavit made public two weeks ago by the Al Jazeera America cable network.

Suspending these men with pay required a “fiery and passionate debate,” though the final vote was 28-1. (The one no vote was a critical Republican who wanted to highlight that he had asked for these suspensions earlier and found this move by Democrats “disingenuous.)

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, is shocked that a sizable percentage of his caucus has faced felony charges this year:

“One is an anomaly, two a coincidence, but three?” Steinberg said on the Senate floor before the vote.

The state of California may want to consider more explicit ethics instructions for its lawmakers, funded by taxpayers, of course:

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.


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The fat lady has sung for the Golden State.

myiq2xu on March 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Better yet, this qualifies his as a Dem for higher office!!!

ShainS on March 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

That “pay” should be three hots and a cot, and an orange jumpsuit.

iurockhead on March 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

…I can’t. I just can’t. (snicker)

Paul_in_NJ on March 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

The fat lady has sung for the Golden State.

myiq2xu on March 28, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Really ?
When didya’ll hear the Mooch sing ?

burrata on March 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

And the president pro tem is SHOCKED !!!

crankyoldlady on March 28, 2014 at 8:11 PM

And the younger generation is more pro-Dems than ever before. Great.

HiJack on March 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

“One is an anomaly, two a coincidence, but three?” Steinberg said on the Senate floor before the vote.

They don’t fear the voters and being voted out, so my question is, “How many MORE THAN THREE will there be?” Absolute power, corruption, yadda yadda, nobody cares, what difference at this point does it make, etc., vote another Dem into his/her/their place, blah.

xNavigator on March 28, 2014 at 8:16 PM

“One is an anomaly, two a coincidence, but three?” Steinberg said on the Senate floor before the vote.

Haha..the idiot wants us to think that there are only 3 crooks in CA Senate :O
Next he’ll tell us that Stephen Kawking runs marathons for a living !!!

burrata on March 28, 2014 at 8:17 PM

Ethics??? hahahaha. Character??? hahahaha

CW on March 28, 2014 at 8:19 PM

No mercy for this POS. He openly ranted against the 2nd ammendment then had the balls to avert laws to sell weapons. Summarily give him a trial then send him to hell where treasons should be

jaywemm on March 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

“One is an anomaly, two a coincidence, but three?” Steinberg said on the Senate floor before the vote.

Welcome to single party control of a state you worthless Democrat bastard! Your filthy party owns this corruption lock-stock-and barrel.

Maryland is on the glide slope right behind you.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Leland Yee suspended? They’re racist. Straight up.

Kaffa on March 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

Chinese mafia hit pending?

Shrimp boy has friends.

wolly4321 on March 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

In a trial that began Jan. 8, prosecutors accused Wright of faking a move to a rental property he owned in Inglewood so he could run in what was then the 25th Senate District.

They accused him of lying on voter registration and candidacy documents and of casting ballots in five elections he was not entitled to vote in from the Inglewood address.

That’s some bad luck right there. He had a better chance of being abducted by aliens than doing that.

Flange on March 28, 2014 at 8:23 PM

No mercy for this POS. He openly ranted against the 2nd ammendment then had the balls to avert laws to sell weapons. Summarily give him a trial then send him to hell where treasons should be

jaywemm on March 28, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Hey! It was only a couple million dollars of gun running. Surely we can overlook that for all the good that Yee has done on behalf of the Brady Campaign. Plus, he’s Chinese! This is all racially motivated or something. Why does Obama hate Asians??? (guaranteed the first line of defense if this criminal had been caught during a Republican administration).

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:25 PM

California is just a larger version of Detroit at this point. Leftist, corrupt, and doomed.

Whitey Ford on March 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

Gun running?
In tactical 3-gun, running with guns is involved in many stages of a match. What’s the big deal?

Missilengr on March 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

And the president pro tem is SHOCKED !!!

crankyoldlady on March 28, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Here’s the thing. The senior leader of the Senate should have taken to the floor and read the riot act about unethical and illegal behavior. The House leadership should have done the same.

I’m talking about what should have happened here. The legislative leadership delivering a “check yourself before you wreck yourself” lecture. But, of course, the leadership is all Democrats. Yee may indeed may be the only gun-runner with honors from the Brady campaign but Wright isn’t the only one who lied about residency and they all take bribes (just not from the FBI).

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:31 PM

BTW, Why hasn’t there really been anything in the media about all this Dem corruption? All I heard about this afternoon was chat about Obamacare and speculation if the rat-eared wonder bowed before the Saudi king or not.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Wonder if he knows mccain?

Really well.

Hmmm.

wolly4321 on March 28, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Also friends, don’t forget Yee is the same scumbag who led a campaign to silence Rush and “investigated ” Palin to silence her from speaking at a private fundraiser for a university which is not even in his constituency.

burrata on March 28, 2014 at 8:44 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

wow
so ethics class doesn’t teach violating federal and state laws is a violation of ethics ???
I think I see the problem with out politicians.
they are f*ing stupid.

dmacleo on March 28, 2014 at 8:47 PM

BTW, Why hasn’t there really been anything in the media about all this Dem corruption? All I heard about this afternoon was chat about Obamacare and speculation if the rat-eared wonder bowed before the Saudi king or not.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

Gee, al I’ve been hearing about is new speculation about some missing airliner.

HiJack on March 28, 2014 at 8:47 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

Consider the implications of a body of men who write and enact the laws by which others must abide, but are presumed ignorant of what those laws are.

I don’t think that even qualifies under the broadest definition of “government”.

Socratease on March 28, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Laws, like taxes, aren’t written for Democrats. It’s all in the “nuance”.

GarandFan on March 28, 2014 at 8:54 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

Generally, you expect that a state legislator doesn’t have to be told that breaking the law is…illegal.

“One is an anomaly, two a coincidence, but three?” Steinberg said on the Senate floor before the vote.

Incorrect.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence. The third time, it’s enemy action.

- Auric Goldfinger

Especially when No. 3 is someone with political power, who wants more, and also wants to arm criminals and terrorists while trying to disarm everybody else.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 28, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Suspended…With PAY??? HAHA. That will teach them!

Raquel Pinkbullet on March 28, 2014 at 8:55 PM

Outrageous.

If this was anyone OTHER than a state worker, they’d already be in jail and jobless.

KMC1 on March 28, 2014 at 8:59 PM

The California state government established their own kind of “par” a long time ago, and I’d say their state Senate made “par”, with that call.

listens2glenn on March 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

I don’t know why anyone should be surprised. If you are a dem liberal you can do anything and say anything. If this had been a repubic, Gawd awmighty!!!!! And he would have enough honor to resign immediately. Waiting for the big one….

ultracon on March 28, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Breathtaking contempt and entitlement. Multiply it across the ruling class. As Breitbart said, one’s self-identification as a liberal is a kind of license to do anything, an exemption to all moral codes (if these are even recognized at all anymore).

rrpjr on March 28, 2014 at 9:16 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

This is almost the most ignorant thing I’ve heard in many moons coming out of any politician. In fact, it may be the most ignorant.

I can hear it now: “your Honor, I didn’t have an ethics class and didn’t know what I’ve done was illegal.”

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

And he was trying to aid Jihadists.

WhatSlushfund on March 28, 2014 at 9:27 PM

Once again I ask, “Since when do Democrats have to obey the law?”

This is an anomaly.

Not the criminal activity. Just the prosecution of Democrats doing criminal activity. Three at once! It’s obviously a vast right-wing conspiracy!

s1im on March 28, 2014 at 9:28 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all week and here it is, Friday.

Wander on March 28, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Hiding behind the eucalyptus tree
Is California Senator Leland Yee
With a rifle for you and a bazooka for me
And rocket launchers for tumultuous Tripoli
But as with Kerry, Holder & Hillary
He’s a Democrat so he’ll go free

And this clever devil has disarmed any potential competition through stringent anti-gun laws. Anybody getting weapons must go through Yee, don’t you see?

MaiDee on March 28, 2014 at 9:33 PM

At least the train to the prison won’t get there as quickly as previously envisioned.

mankai on March 28, 2014 at 9:33 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard all week and here it is, Friday.

Wander on March 28, 2014 at 9:28 PM

I’ve always heard that ignorance of a law is no excuse.

This also sounds like he’s putting forth a defense. For whom, I don’t know. Himself or others?

Guess he was busy when Fast & Furious was going on and all of the Hearings on the Hill.

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 9:36 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

This is almost the most ignorant thing I’ve heard in many moons coming out of any politician. In fact, it may be the most ignorant.

I can hear it now: “your Honor, I didn’t have an ethics class and didn’t know what I’ve done was illegal.”

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

He stole that excuse from Filthy Filner.

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2014 at 9:43 PM

I can hear it now: “your Honor, I didn’t have an ethics class and didn’t know what I’ve done was illegal.”

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

He stole that excuse from Filthy Filner.

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2014 at 9:43 PM

You mean that someone actually used that “excuse” I posted? I was just making that up.

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 10:03 PM

And the younger generation is more pro-Dems than ever before. Great.

HiJack on March 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Because they see it is much easier to bribe and extort your way to the top…..

And if you are good looking, it is that much easier.

Kids today don’t want a job…..they just want easy money and all that comes with it.

redguy on March 28, 2014 at 10:08 PM

I can hear it now: “your Honor, I didn’t have an ethics class and didn’t know what I’ve done was illegal.”

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

He stole that excuse from Filthy Filner.

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2014 at 9:43 PM

You mean that someone actually used that “excuse” I posted? I was just making that up.

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Beset San Diego Mayor Says He Didn’t Get Harassment Training

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Snow is melting here in central New Hampshire. May take a drive past Claude Rains’ grave tomorrow before the monsoon washes it away…

Claude Rains’ Grave

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2014 at 10:39 PM

John Wayne …send’em to hell

jaywemm on March 28, 2014 at 10:40 PM

l There are no other state employees that would be asked to do that. Why should I be treated differently than someone who works at the highway patrol or the DMV?”

Some are more equal than others.

newportmike on March 28, 2014 at 10:42 PM

They accused him of lying on voter registration and candidacy documents and of casting ballots in five elections he was not entitled to vote in from the Inglewood address.

That’s some bad luck right there. He had a better chance of being abducted by aliens than doing that.

Flange on March 28, 2014 at 8:23 PM

Indeed.

AesopFan on March 28, 2014 at 10:52 PM

You mean that someone actually used that “excuse” I posted? I was just making that up.

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 10:03 PM

Beset San Diego Mayor Says He Didn’t Get Harassment Training

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Thanks for refreshing my memory. I remember reading about that, but had long forgotten the details, LOL

Maybe Steinberg had that bookmarked. If any of those arrested tries that excuse we’ll know they did too.

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 10:52 PM

I can understand not forfeiting pay prior to conviction… when Ronnie Earle finally got his bogus indictment against Tom DeLay, should DeLay have forfeited his Congressional pay?

malclave on March 28, 2014 at 11:50 PM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

Let me get this right – this dude is soooo stupid that he needs an ETHICS CLASS to tell him that smuggling missiles is illegal and immoral (especially given that the smuggling involves Islamic radical groups). Does this guy have an IQ that is less than that of a radish?

Oh, that’s right. He is an elected official from the Democratic party. I just answered my own question.

SubmarineDoc on March 29, 2014 at 12:27 AM

The condemnation hasn’t exactly been full-throated on the Democrat side, partly because, I suspect, they don’t yet know what Yee has on those in government not so far indicted.

Given that he was intending to do business with Islamic terrorists in the Philippines, he may be looking at even more serious charges than those already leveled.

If the GOP has any sense, they will be using Yee as a poster-child of what you get with Democrat one-party rule in California.

virgo on March 29, 2014 at 12:31 AM

This is almost the most ignorant thing I’ve heard in many moons coming out of any politician. In fact, it may be the most ignorant.

bluefox on March 28, 2014 at 9:17 PM

No, he’s actually correct – ethics classes tend to be along the lines of what exactly constitutes bribery (e.g. if you’re a legislator and some friends buy you a drink after work, is this bribery? What if they’re lobbyists? etc.), what constitutes acceptable uses of money, the issues surrounding working with family members, and so on, because these are the things that are more likely to trip someone up who may have otherwise good intentions.

They don’t cover things like gun running, theft or murder being unethical, because if you need to tell someone that they’re already beyond the help of a short ethics course.

Ramadahl on March 29, 2014 at 1:22 AM

They act much like the liberal mother who when she catches her teen trying to burn down the house (with everyone in it) sends him to his technology laden bedroom for punishment, but keeps giving him his allowance.

Don L on March 29, 2014 at 7:03 AM

It makes you wonder if the Brady Campaign Prevention of Gun Violence has been a smokescreen to create gun violence? I wonder how many others in the Brady Campaign are running guns on the side? That would be par for the course on the Left.

ajacksonian on March 29, 2014 at 7:07 AM

California is just a larger version of Detroit at this point. Leftist, corrupt, and doomed.

Whitey Ford on March 28, 2014 at 8:26 PM

True, but Detroit’s faults are all above ground level.

Don L on March 29, 2014 at 7:08 AM

The “Blue Code” for politicians, they protect their own to the max. How’s Sandy Berger and Congressman Charlie Rangle?

mixplix on March 29, 2014 at 8:38 AM

“I know of no ethics class that teaches about the illegality or the danger of gun-running or other such sordid activities,” he said.

Let me get this right – this dude is soooo stupid that he needs an ETHICS CLASS to tell him that smuggling missiles is illegal and immoral (especially given that the smuggling involves Islamic radical groups). Does this guy have an IQ that is less than that of a radish?

Oh, that’s right. He is an elected official from the Democratic party. I just answered my own question.

SubmarineDoc on March 29, 2014 at 12:27 AM

Amazing how society persevered for 10,000 years without ethics training.

itsspideyman on March 29, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Noteworthy Facts:

Senate Size: 40
Current Composition: 28 Democrats, 11 Republicans, 1 Unrelated Vacancy

That’s over 10% of their caucus.

blammm on March 29, 2014 at 9:00 AM

OT – Because Asian – Was over at DailyKos looking at their Colbert blog about his asian comments. Hilarious. Liberals arguing against liberals about relativism is straight comedy. They can’t decide if it offends them, if they should be offended, if in context it matters, he’s liberal but also white, satire rules, was it even funny, etc.

LaughterJones on March 29, 2014 at 10:03 AM

That’s some bad luck right there. He had a better chance of being abducted by aliens than doing that.

Flange on March 28, 2014 at 8:23 PM

“…literally…”

/Joy

juggler46 on March 29, 2014 at 10:09 AM

I remember when Mike Royko wrote an article about the City of Chicago Alderman where 10% were under indictment and wondered why the other 90% were allowed to get away with it. The New York State Senate is at least as bad if not worse than the CA Senate.

KW64 on March 29, 2014 at 12:04 PM

It makes you wonder if the Brady Campaign Prevention of Gun Violence has been a smokescreen to create gun violence? I wonder how many others in the Brady Campaign are running guns on the side? That would be par for the course on the Left.

ajacksonian on March 29, 2014 at 7:07 AM

Well, legal firearms sales do compete with illegal sales; so I suppose shutting off the legal firearms sales would be good for their business.

KW64 on March 29, 2014 at 12:08 PM

“One is an anomaly, two a coincidence, but three?” Steinberg said on the Senate floor before the vote.

Three is a corrupt system.

I live 20 miles from Sacramento and I can smell the corruption from here.

The Democrats in CA have always been corrupt, but now that they have all the power in government we are seeing an acceleration of corruption and the fulfillment of that old truism that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The reality is that the politicians are acting exactly as one would assume they would act when given too much control and too much money with next to no effective controls and accountability.

As such, the problem is really a reflection of the corruption of the Democrat voters who elect and reelect these vermin.

Don’t think these three are the sum total of corrupt Democrats, rather they are just the stupidest ones and so most likely to get caught.

DrDeano on March 29, 2014 at 12:08 PM

“…with pay”

Because CA is awash in cash.

Another Drew on March 29, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Heard on the radio that the first two were suspended with pay so they can still vote on bills. This way the Democrats won’t lose their super-majority in the CA senate. Political theater…

totochi on March 31, 2014 at 1:22 AM