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Forget the Corruption Charges for a Minute—Leland Yee Was an Enormous Hypocrite
Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy Twitter | March 27, 2014
The gun control advocate was putting together arms deals?
In addition to legal charges of arranging an international arms deal and of selling the services of his office in exchange for cash, Democratic State Senator (and still technically a candidate for Secretary of State) Leland Yee is also looking like an enormous hypocrite.
That might be the least of his worries, but it's one of the most striking. Yee had staked his legislative resumes on gun control, restrictions on violent video games, government transparency, and campaign finance reform.
All you have to do is line up what he had been tweeting with what the charges allege that he was doing to see the discrepancy:
What he tweeted: My thoughts and prayers are with the SFPD Officer shot in the line of duty last night. I wish him the best and hope for his speedy recovery (March 9, 2014)
What the charges say: [The agent] told Yee and Jackson he wanted any type of 'shoulder fired' weapons or missiles. Senator Yee asked him if he wanted 'automatic weapons' as opposed to semi-automatic weapons."
What he tweeted: FPPC imposes $1mil fine on 2 AZ nonprofits for disclosure violations. This is a reminder of why we must strengthen our campaign finance laws (October 24, 2013)
What the charges say: "During the meeting, Yee and Jackson openly discussed how they would break up a large sum of cash provided by [the agent] into legitimate campaign donations. [The agent] told Yee he was prepared to give him $6,8000 in cash and a list of weapons [...] Yee told [the agent] he would take the cash and have one of his children write out a check."
What he tweeted: Congratulations to Miss Philippines Megan Young for winning Miss World 2013! (September 28, 2013)
What the charges say: Senator Yee told [the agent] there are approximately 100 rifles currently available [and] advised that the Muslims in Mindanao [a region of the Philippines] had access to a lot of money and were being financed by Muammar Gaddafi before his death."
What he tweeted: My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of today's shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. (September 16, 2013)
What the charges say: Senator Yee explained that he had known the arms dealer for a number of years and had developed a close relationship with him.
What he tweeted: Excited to announce that I'm running for California Secretary of State. I want to expand on our recent election, tech, and open gov success. (November 26, 2012)
What the charges say: "Senator Yee hoped that he would win his bid for Secretary of State but if he didn't, [he] wanted to move into the private sector and exploit all the relationships he had in Asia."
What he tweeted: It's time to bring sunshine to political donations! Looking forward to authoring bill to end abuses. (October 27, 2012)
What the charges say: "Senator Yee advised that he needed to be careful because of the recent indictment and conviction of another California State Senator [...] Yee believed the other State Senator was wearing a 'wire' for the FBI [and that] the other State Senator was a classic example of involving too many people in illegal activities. Yee believed his arms dealer connection could in fact provide weapons."
What he tweeted: @realDonaldTrump you are the biggest idiot on the planet. (October 23, 2012)
What the charges say: "Senator Yee stated he was unhappy with his life [and] that he wanted to hide out in the Philippines."