Senator Leland Yee is added to the ever growing number of Democratic leaders that will hopefully be thrown in the slammer. Just within the past three months, there have been three major arrests due to corruption. First let's recognize Democratic California State Senator Ron Calderon. He is charged with accepting nearly $100,000 in bribes as well as gourmet meals and high-priced golf games in exchange for actions on legislation, as reported by LA Times. Next we have Democratic California State Senator Rod Wright who was convicted of 8 felonies including perjury and voter fraud.
As Wright sits at home with his generous paid leave, LA Times reveals that he has admitted that he is "finding it frustrating to be away from the policy debate in Sacramento and being stuck in a world of legalese in the criminal justice system". Well bless his heart. Let's all pull out our violins for him. As those violins are playing, we also have a third Democrat who was arrested this week, Charlotte, North Carolina's Mayor Patrick Cannon. Bloomberg.com reports that he "is accused of soliciting and accepting more than $48,000 in cash, airline tickets and other items of value."
Now, as if we can even be surprised at this point, we have yet another huge story break about yet another Democratic leader, California State Senator Leland Yee. Senator Lee is the King Daddy of all the above mentioned Democratic leaders. Yee takes the prize for having 137 pages in a FBI affidavit of charges and allegations against him, according to ABCLocal.com.
Yee and twenty-five others were charged with 7 felonies, which according to MercuryNews.com consists of "firearms trafficking, money laundering, murder-for-hire, drug distribution, trafficking in contraband cigarettes and "honest services" fraud." Yee had become very tight with Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, who is a known as a Chinatown Gangster and the leader of the Ghee Kung Tong organization. The FBI have been trying to trap Chow since the 1980s.
It is rather ironic that Yee was strong in his stance against gun control. HuffingtonPost.com reminds us that Yee was pushing for the Senate Bill 249 by attempting to close a particular loophole in California gun control laws. Their laws are already the strictest in the U.S. Yet, Lee is caught making illegal arms deals with undercover agents. Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?
In one meeting, Yee asks the undercover agent if he would like automatic weapons. The agent told Yee yes. According to the affidavit, Yee continued by stating that Florida and the Philippines may be the safest places to deliver the guns, which Yee assured the agent would include M-16 automatic rifles. There is nothing quite like a corrupt government official that talks out of both sides of his mouth, but this is taking it to the extreme. And to top it off, Yee was also supporting a new California law which would have outlawed violent video games. Yee, come on. Really?
ABCLocal.com reveals another insightful note from the affidavit that states during a meeting between Yee, and an undercover agent at a local San Francisco restaurant, Yee warns the agent, "that the arms dealer, 'has things that you guys want.' Senator Yee cautioned that doing business with people like the arms dealer was not easy and told (him) this was not a business for 'the faint of heart.'" It's almost comical that Yee was saying this to an agent who's daily job is dealing with low-life, dangerous scum.
Imagine a scene from a blockbuster Hollywood movie as FBI agents raided Yee's home and arrest him on the spot, while at the same time, another group of FBI agents are literally hurling Chow out of his bed to haul him off the jail. Yee is so deep in the muck, he may never find his way out. Actually, MercuryNews.com states that each one of Yee's corruption count is "punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000, while the gun-trafficking count is punishable by up to five years and $250,000."
Don Solem is a political consultant told ABCLocal.com that it's possible, like other politicians, that Yee felt the pressure from his seventy thousand dollar campaign debt from when Yee ran for mayor, and that Yee possibly crossed the line, like so many others to try to cover his debt. However, campaigning costs money, and every politician knows this from the beginning.
Something seems amiss with these Democratic leaders, like Yee. Remember, that if Yee takes a paid leave, as the other two senators did, taxpayers will be paying each of their salaries, which combined, according to ABCLocal.com, would be over $285,873 per year. Let's be a little smarter in the voting booths next time around and leave the likes of Yee out of our government.