He Just Wanted to Stifle the Competition

Holy shit:

In a stunning criminal complaint, State Sen. Leland Yee has been charged with conspiring to traffic in firearms and public corruption as part of a major FBI operation spanning the Bay Area, casting yet another cloud of corruption over the Democratic establishment in the Legislature and torpedoing Yee’s aspirations for statewide office.

Yee and an intermediary allegedly met repeatedly with an undercover FBI agent, soliciting campaign contributions in exchange for setting up a deal with international arms dealers.

At their first face-to-face meeting in January, “Senator Yee explained he has known the arms dealer for a number of years and has developed a close relationship with him,” an FBI affidavit says, noting Yee told the agent the arms dealer “has things that you guys want.”

I’ve seen parts of the complaint and it’s pretty stunning. If the FBI’s account is to be believed — and I’ll grant that’s a reach — there is no question about what he was doing, or at least promising. It’s possible that, like a lot of politicians, he was talking a bunch of shit to get campaign contributions and had no idea how to smuggle their guns into Africa. In fact, I think it’s quite likely this was the case. After all, it wasn’t like the gun runners were going to sue him if he couldn’t deliver the contacts.

Now … does it surprise you that this guy was a huge gun control advocate? That he was honored by the Brady Campaign for his efforts? That he wanted to crack down on bullet buttons and 3-D printed guns and “assault weapons”? That he even advocated against violent video games? As Walter Olson quipped:

Maybe Sen. Yee came down so hard on private gun dealers because he wanted to muscle into the business himself.

The stunning thing is that the papers are indicating that everyone knew Yee was dirty. But, as with Bob Filner, they overlooked it because he was a powerful Democrat pushing issues they cared about.

I don’t expect this to get as much coverage as we see when an obscure Republican candidate for dog catcher does something hypocritical. But this is pretty stunning. And very likely the tip of the iceberg.

Comments are closed.

  1. richtaylor365

    I don’t expect this to get as much coverage as we see when an obscure Republican candidate for dog catcher does something hypocritical.

    It made the front page on my paper this morning, and yesterday’s paper is well. The press will cover it, but instead of titling it in big bold print ,”GOP State Senator caught dirty”, the party affiliation was buried in paragraph four.

    Too bad California does not have an AG that will run interference for him like in PA;


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  2. Hal_10000 *

    The California papers are covering it. But if this were a minor GOP player getting caught rodgering the maid, it would be a national story and the leftie blogs would be howling. They’re giving more attention today to claiming the internal investigation into Christie doesn’t prove anything.

    I am familiar with the Kane story. She’s threatening to sue the Inquirer over the story because, apparently, telling a completely true story about corruption is defamation. Philadelphia’s AG is incensed that she dropped the case.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    Seattle doesn’t really have papers any longer as everyone has gone to digital, but it was nowhere to be found on any of the sites unless you started to dig.

    I found it on FoxNews.

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  4. ilovecress

    Maybe the online edition is different for us in NZ – but the LA times did mention his party affiliation

    SACRAMENTO — A group of schoolchildren chattered excitedly Thursday during a field trip to the state Capitol as state Sen. Ed Hernandez stood nearby in the rotunda, looking grim and sipping coffee from a paper cup.
    The Democratic lawmaker from West Covina was still trying to fathom the arrest the day before of state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) on suspicion of accepting payments from an undercover FBI agent while promising him official action and introduction to an international arms dealer.
    The news was especially hard to take coming weeks after Democratic state Sens. Roderick Wright and Ronald Calderon took leaves of absence to fight unrelated criminal charges.

    The again, the NZ Herald has decided to lead with “Church sells olive oil, claims medicinal.”

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    Smuggle guns IN TO AFRICA? WTH?.. why?

    yeah if this was a republican , this would be lead story onthe evening news with connection stores on how powerful the gun lobby is…

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  6. Hal_10000 *

    Bitch set him up.

    What’s hilarious is to watch the roaches scatter. The Democrats are saying they didn’t really know him and he was kind of an outsider. Yeah, the unknown outsider they picked for the #2 spot in the legislature.

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  7. Miguelito

    BTW, this was the first latimes article I got the other day via googling.. no mention of party (unless I’m missing it) before user comments. Might be in audio of video clip at start, didn’t watch it.

    Local talk radio guy I tend to listen to in the morning had brought up the same point. There was apparently a comment when he looked that was basically “Democrat, democrat, democrat… funny the crack reporters at the ‘Times missed that small fact.”

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  8. Section8

    I watched the video Miguelito, and there was no mention of his party affiliation, but they did talk about how he was successful in getting bills passed. At the end of the video, they did mention the party affiliation of another legislator, Ron Caderon, who is Democrat and has been charged with bribery. It’s no really a secret though that the media has a slant to it. Personally I don’t care, it’s free market. More conservatives need to get into the media business.

    On the bright side though, at least we know this administration is going after criminals regardless of affiliation, unless of course it really hits close to home then not so much urgency in getting answers.

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