Leland Yee’s interesting history of cash for votes

posted at 2:01 pm on April 6, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Ever since the recent revelations regarding California state senator Leland Yee’s allegedly somewhat unusual approach to capitalist endeavors – to put it charitably – the media has begun digging more deeply into the elected official’s past. (Well, unless the moniker of your media outlet involves the initials C, N and N, that is.. not to name any names.) And as the LA Times reports, there are more than a few curious votes in Yee’s legislative record which, by some amazing coincidence, seem to line up with large political contributions he received.

One of these involved an issue near and dear to the hearts of his always green, San Francisco supporters.

In August 2008, Yee voted against a bill (AB706) by a fellow San Francisco Democrat to require the state to regulate the use of fire-retardant chemicals on couches and other home furnishings. Yee had initially voted for the bill a year earlier but was one of two lawmakers to switch sides after it was expanded to include the toxic chemicals in children’s products. Yee in the interim also had received $5,000 from the American Chemistry Council, Clorox, DuPont and Monsanto. The bill failed.

People are certainly allowed to change their opinions on things, particularly after being given a period of time to gather new information and consider the options. But this begins to look like a repeating pattern when another sudden about face it taken into consideration.

That same month, the Legislature approved a bill (AB1945), later vetoed by the governor, that would have made it harder for health insurers to cancel coverage when a consumer gets sick. Yee supported the bill in committee but opposed it on the floor. Campaign reports show insurance companies raised $32,000 for the senator in the three months leading up to the crucial vote, nearly twice what it had contributed in the entire preceding year, and hosted a fundraiser for the lawmaker. There was no explanation from Yee’s office for the vote change.

Yee also apparently authored a bill to allow foreign investment in California card rooms. That’s something of a curious issue to take on, but I’m sure it had nothing to do with the more than one quarter million dollars which a few gambling interests have reportedly contributed to his campaigns.

Some of the donations didn’t even seem to be tied directly to a specific bill or issue. Yee also received some strange election contributions, including a $50,000 check from Philip Morris on the day of one election, even though he had proudly proclaimed that he wasn’t taking any money from tobacco companies. Again, none of this jumps right out as a blatant violation regarding individual donations under California or federal law, but this is looking more and more like something that walks like a duck and quacks like a duck. I’ve been dealing with state level politics for a long time, and I can tell you that there are thousands of state senators around the nation who would give their eye teeth to attract the kind of support that results in a major backer dropping fifty grand on them. In most places it just doesn’t happen, so we need to ask ourselves just what Philip Morris thought they were getting for their money when it was going to a lowly state senator.

Curiouser and curiouser.


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Leftist thugs are never liberal.

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2014 at 2:04 PM

California State Senate deletes website, online archives of 3 disgraced Democrats

http://www.calnewsroom.com/2014/04/06/california-state-senate-deletes-website-online-archives-of-3-disgraced-democrats/

Mark1971 on April 6, 2014 at 2:07 PM

And as the LA Times reports, there are more than a few curious votes in Yee’s legislative record which, by some amazing coincidence, seem to line up with large political contributions he received.

Amateur. The politicians in Louisiana would never have done something like this. It’s the whole purpose of stuff like third-party land transfers.

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Too bad the media never does this kind of research into our congresscritters and senators in DC. I think we’d find all kinds of … interesting… voting habits.

Timin203 on April 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Amateur. The politicians in Louisiana would never have done something like this. It’s the whole purpose of stuff like third-party land transfers.

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Nah, down in LA, they just take cash and store it in the fridge. None of this amateur campaign donation stuff :).

Timin203 on April 6, 2014 at 2:23 PM

a

SteveInRTP on April 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM

This is something John Conyer’s wife would do.

Flange on April 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM

The NYT covered this story. Back when it broke they had a 4 inch column on page A21.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2014/03/29/nyt-takes-gun-out-aps-original-gun-corruption-charges-leland-yee-headlin

claudius on April 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM

a

SteveInRTP on April 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM

b

Flange on April 6, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Nah, down in LA, they just take cash and store it in the fridge. None of this amateur campaign donation stuff :).

Timin203 on April 6, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Well, that too! The point here is that you never leave such a clear path back to your own finances. You think Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi would have been able to become millionaires on a public servant’s salary had they made such rookie mistakes?

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Before we right off Yee as ‘SUM DUM HO’ for being bought off cheaply like a crack whore, the guy does have potential.

.He’s young
.He’s a minority
.He’s a Democrat
.He’s a totally unscrupulous psychopath (Is being ‘Democratic’ and ‘psychopathic’ an oxymoron?)
He will obviously be overwhelmed by all current events-both domestic and foreign. (Being such a small change, low vision hack. How is he at community organizing?)

Of course he doesn’t come from Chicago but we can’t all be perfect. I think we’ve found our next presidential candidate (After Hillary) and the vformula is the csame

1 First black
2 First female
3 First Asian

Just kidding, of course!

MaiDee on April 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM

“Mr. Yee! D-FENS!”

Lanceman on April 6, 2014 at 2:36 PM

Sunday morning. ‘write off’ and some typos. Sorry!

MaiDee on April 6, 2014 at 2:37 PM

I know how this site eschews cynicism (heh), but the sad truth is that state legislators are pretty much corrupt by default. There are lots of honest men and women in state legislatures across the country, but if you toss a water balloon in the assemblies during their sessions, you won’t get many honest people wet on average.

A well-organized sting could nail a majority of those serving today.

ͼͽ

Speaking of CNN, after they claimed they don’t cover state senators and Glenn Reynolds found pages of references on their site to his own state senator, a Republican who had proposed a controversial bill, someone else (sorry, forgot who it was) did a search on CNN for just “state senator” and found over 2500 hits. Nearly all of them were stories they did about Republicans doing or saying something controversial or stupid.

So, if there were ever any doubt at all, CNN is a bunch of lying leftist propagandists.

Adjoran on April 6, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Typical democrat.

Murphy9 on April 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM

Jeb Bush: Illegal immigration “act of love”

At least Leland Yee was just selling votes for cash.

Jeb Bush wants to sell out American workers, the rule of law, and national sovereignty for votes.

I wonder if anyone bothered to tell Jebbie that there are another 6 Billion people in the world. I wonder if he thinks they should all just come on in… as an act of love… to take American jobs.

thatsafactjack on April 6, 2014 at 3:31 PM

a

SteveInRTP on April 6, 2014 at 2:29 PM

b

Flange on April 6, 2014 at 2:31 PM

I c what you did there.

rbj on April 6, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Hey but he supports abortion and gun control, so it’s all good.

KMC1 on April 6, 2014 at 3:38 PM

I know how this site eschews cynicism (heh), but the sad truth is that state legislators are pretty much corrupt by default. There are lots of honest men and women in state legislatures across the country, but if you toss a water balloon in the assemblies during their sessions, you won’t get many honest people wet on average.

A well-organized sting could nail a majority of those serving today.

ͼͽ

Speaking of CNN, after they claimed they don’t cover state senators and Glenn Reynolds found pages of references on their site to his own state senator, a Republican who had proposed a controversial bill, someone else (sorry, forgot who it was) did a search on CNN for just “state senator” and found over 2500 hits. Nearly all of them were stories they did about Republicans doing or saying something controversial or stupid.

So, if there were ever any doubt at all, CNN is a bunch of lying leftist propagandists.

Adjoran on April 6, 2014 at 3:26 PM

If state legislators are corrupt, how much more corrupt must the FedGov congressweasels be, who can safely cloister themselves within the walls of the capitol?

gryphon202 on April 6, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Curiouser and Curiouser?

I abhor poor English…

ThePainfulTruth on April 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

In a different and better world, Sacramento trees would currently be decorated with ropes.
And state representatives.

Now, there’s hope and change I could embrace.

orangemtl on April 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Nah, down in LA, they just take cash and store it in the fridge. None of this amateur campaign donation stuff :).

Timin203 on April 6, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Well, that too! The point here is that you never leave such a clear path back to your own finances. You think Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi would have been able to become millionaires on a public servant’s salary had they made such rookie mistakes?

Happy Nomad on April 6, 2014 at 2:31 PM

The commodity futures loophole that Hillary used to score $100,000 for her personal bank account has been closed too. It’s getting so hard to launder money these days.

slickwillie2001 on April 6, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Pitchforks, tar, feathers. This guys deserves the full treatment, but of course he’s a politician from California and a democrat and a liberal and a minority and he says he hates guns so he still has a bright future ahead of him.

jaywemm on April 6, 2014 at 4:15 PM

thatsafactjack on April 6, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Indeed, on all. I hope he goes to Hell.

NO more Bushs and Clintons, Kennedys and obamas!

Schadenfreude on April 6, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Speaking of CNN, after they claimed they don’t cover state senators and Glenn Reynolds found pages of references on their site to his own state senator, a Republican who had proposed a controversial bill, someone else (sorry, forgot who it was) did a search on CNN for just “state senator” and found over 2500 hits. Nearly all of them were stories they did about Republicans doing or saying something controversial or stupid.

So, if there were ever any doubt at all, CNN is a bunch of lying leftist propagandists.

Adjoran on April 6, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Likewise, CNN used the “not covering local stories” as a convenient excuse to ignore the Dr. Gosnell trial in Philly.

Del Dolemonte on April 6, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Why isn’t this guy in jail?

crankyoldlady on April 6, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Wait a minute. Yee, (D-CA), sold his vote for a measly five large? What is he, the K-Mart of Kurruption?

BigAlSouth on April 6, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Why isn’t this guy in jail?

crankyoldlady on April 6, 2014 at 5:21 PM

…Kings. Queens, Dukes, etc. and other Lords… do not spend time in stocks or in the dungeon…that is for us peasants!

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Democrat or Republican, they all feed from the same trough. From local city councils all the way to the U.S. Congress, most if not all are in it for what they can take out of it for themselves and their contributors.

I think Mark Twain said “if voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it”….other than being prosecuted, Leland Yee is no different than any other politician in this country…..

repvoter on April 6, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Curiouser and Curiouser?

I abhor poor English…

ThePainfulTruth on April 6, 2014 at 3:47 PM

You’ll have to take it up with Lewis Carroll. That is a quote from Alice In Wonderland.

Pless1foEngrish on April 6, 2014 at 7:23 PM

California State Senate deletes website, online archives of 3 disgraced Democrats

http://www.calnewsroom.com/2014/04/06/california-state-senate-deletes-website-online-archives-of-3-disgraced-democrats/

Mark1971 on April 6, 2014 at 2:07 PM

…this should be ^ a thread by itself!

KOOLAID2 on April 6, 2014 at 9:42 PM

When a politician states that he must consider the bill before voting, he is really giving time for lobbyist to show up with money. He will vote according to who gives the most. Lee did just that and the money showed up.

The same tactic is used in Washington, D.C.

gasmeterguy on April 7, 2014 at 7:46 AM