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Belmont Club

Yee Gads

March 27th, 2014 - 1:38 pm

“State Sen. Leland Yee withdrew from the California secretary of state race Thursday, one day after his arrest on public corruption charges,” according to SFGate.

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This followed a chorus of calls from California Democrats demanding Yee’s resignation because he was ruining the brand. “California Democratic senators – wary from months of scandals – called for the immediate resignation of state Sen. Leland Yee, saying Wednesday that charges of gun trafficking and public corruption leveled against their colleague are ‘appalling’.”

“I want Leland Yee gone,” a furious Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg said of the San Francisco Democrat who is a 2014 candidate for secretary of state. Steinberg said he is immediately removing Yee from all committee assignments.

Steinberg’s reaction to the latest scandal – the third to hit the headlines this year – represented a departure from earlier calls for justice to play out after the conviction of state Sen. Rod Wright of Baldwin Park (Los Angeles County) on voter fraud charges. The Senate leader took a stronger position after the arrest of state Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello on bribery charges this year by calling on the Los Angeles County Democrat to resign or be suspended.

Both of those legislators are on a paid leave of absence pending the legal completion of their cases.

Steinberg said Yee faces charges that “create a huge cloud over the institution.”

“Obviously, he can’t come back,” said Steinberg, who then added, “well, if he’s acquitted he can.”

The Sacramento Bee wrote that Yee “had few close ties”. “Yet Yee has been viewed as a somewhat isolated legislator during his nearly dozen years in the Assembly and Senate. A refrain Wednesday among people speaking privately was that Yee plays things close to the vest and regularly left his colleagues unsure of his true feelings.”  Which is to say now that Leland has been busted that nobody wants to acknowledge knowing him.

The demands for his resignation are understandable. The California gun control advocate is pretty unpopular just now. “State Sen. Leland Yee, an outspoken advocate of gun control and open government, was arrested Wednesday on charges that he conspired to traffic in firearms and traded favors in Sacramento for bribes – campaign cash paid by men who turned out to be undercover FBI agents.” Not only was he possibly insincere in his gun control act, he was apparently willing to deal with Russian arms dealers and Muslim rebels.

CBS News recounts some of the charges:

Yee is also accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and cash payments to provide introductions, help a client get a contract and influence legislation. He or members of his campaign staff accepted at least $42,800 in cash or campaign contributions from undercover FBI agents in exchange for carrying out the agents’ specific requests, the court documents allege.

Yee discussed helping the agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder-fired automatic weapons and missiles, and took him through the entire process of acquiring them from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to bringing them to the United States, according to the affidavit by FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.

He was unhappy with his life and told the agent he wanted to hide out in the Philippines, according to the affidavit.

The Philippines. Yes, quite the place to be. But not if you’re the kind of Democrat that Leland Yee presented himself as. Still Yee  may have felt a kinship for that Island Paradise “where the best is like the worst, Where there aren’t no Ten Commandments an’ a man can raise a thirst.”  A place where there are strict gun laws and where schoolchildren in Basilan come to class with M-16s.

Chicago is probably working to become like that. A few more decades under gun control advocates and it may get there. But why was Yee trying to become California Secretary of State, a position which supervises elections and voter rolls?  Because people go where they can thrive. Willy Sutton, the robber, explained why he was drawn to banks.

Why did I rob banks? Because I enjoyed it. I loved it. I was more alive when I was inside a bank, robbing it, than at any other time in my life. I enjoyed everything about it so much that one or two weeks later I’d be out looking for the next job. But to me the money was the chips, that’s all. Go where the money is…and go there often.

Which raises the question of why — since voter fraud is said to be nonexistent — Leland Lee should aspire to being California Secretary of State – as were several other Democrats. ”Yee [was] running for Secretary of State, one of a half-dozen Democrats competing in the race. During a candidates’ forum in Southern California earlier this month, Yee talked about the challenges of succeeding as an immigrant and focused on voter legislation he’s gotten passed. One bill, enacted last year, makes it possible for voters to register online.”

If Yee was — as the authorities allege — a man up to no good there must have been some angle he was planning to work in that lofty position.

One commenter at SFGate remarked there were times when corruption was so rampant that he believed it was not just a case of the odd bad apple but the whole barrel of apples being infested with worms.  He might have been surprised to learn the Founders agreed with him.  James Madison wrote to the people of New York:

If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.

America was founded on the notion that most politicians can only be expected to be ornery,  low-down, crooks. Nobody in those days was fool enough to believe they could be Light-workers, Messiahs and create a world without guns. Thus in the Founder’s view the only way to guard against rogues was to ensure that government remained as small as possible relative to its essential jobs; to change those in office frequently and often, like we change underwear.

The Founders saw roguery as the byproduct of high office.  And so they wrote a constitution — you know, the document more than a hundred years old that nobody smart reads any more — to keep the weeds down. For they knew better than our modern enlighteneds that any politician sufficiently powerful to disarm the people is sufficiently powerful to sell missiles bought from Russia to Muslim rebels in Mindanao.

Unless one remembers this there is no defense against crooks in high places. The Yee scandal highlights the single most important problem in contemporary American politics: the absence of an anti-central government insurgency within the Democratic Party.  The Democrats and Republicans are now two factions of one party: the Party of the Establishment.

Only the Tea Party, and groups loosely occupying the same political space, are actively fighting for smaller government. They represent a faction which threatens to divide the GOP and may  deny nominal Republicans the success which the Democratic Party has so far achieved.  Like them or hate them, they are an authentic rebellion which is why the Washington establishment despises them so.

But for some reason the Democratic Party has no equivalent. The base will never vote against the collectivists.  In the end better a Yee or a “D” than Tea. Success has been bought at the price of betraying one the founding tenets of America, limited government. Democrats of all persuasions are agreed that more government is better; that the individual is the enemy; that the collective is the wave of the future. This lockstep guarantees the permanent majority. If so then such a party — whether you call it Democrat or Republican — has traded off that guaranteed majority for the expense of an unlimited number of Leland Yees.

Perhaps the choice is not between Democrat and Republican in the long run — but between individual liberty or subordination to rank hypocrisy. If history is any guide many, perhaps even the majority, will choose welfare over freedom. Give me bread and call me stupid, but only give me bread. Lord Bevin boasted upon creating the welfare state “I stuffed their mouths with gold.”  People today are not so demanding.  They’ll be happy with chump change.


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Top Rated Comments   
My argument is not for abolishing the Electoral College but for restoring it. If fleshed out and made a standing body, instead of a toothless sinecure, it could serve its original function of being a screen or vetting body, a political Board of Directors, by which the leading citizens of the states could ensure that the Chief Executive is both qualified and serves the general interest. No Barack Obama could pass a proper Electoral College. My proposal is to make the heads of the three branches at the state level ex officio Electors, with additional members as allotted by the census appointed for staggered 6 year terms. We could tinker with provisions to restrict the qualification for the office to retired Governors and retired Senators etc. but there should be some means for Industrialists or Scholars to get appointed. Creating special constituencies would smack of the fascist influenced Irish constitution.

My argument regarding the franchise to vote is not a property qualification. It only would restrict the vote from those who derive their wealth from the public treasury, with an exemption for enlisted military and officers called to extended active service. Even that restriction would only apply to one of the two levels, state or federal. Almost everyone would get to vote at one level, and most at both.

Federal civilian employees should not vote for Congress. School Teachers and Welfare recipients, and yes Police and Fire Fighters, should not vote for their state or local governments. Contractors at defense plants or employees of colleges whose salaries are paid largely from sums drawn from the treasury, and that includes most private university faculty these days, should lose access to at least one of the ballots. The current shell game of making academic finances opaque and inflating expenses would be discouraged. It would become a point of pride to be identified as a two level voter, most of whom would be average workers.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Constitution as originally crafted was an amazingly effective political machine. It balanced the needs and the weaknesses of government and the governed, as well as of those of the regions and the whole, and those of the small communities and the large merchant centers, and finally those of the large states and the small. Those are four separate categories of overlapping and sometimes competing interests that had to be dealt with. While there were imperfections, the kicking the can down the road with provision for the fugitive slave act and the clumsily described mechanism for the Electoral College as well as the failure to see the need to define the role of Judicial Review and enabling legislation to enforce treaties, all come to mind the fact is that it worked better than anything else that has been attempted either before or since. That is especially true after the addition of the Bill of Rights.

What changes are needed to restore the system now broken to functionality? We have discussed several such as the repeal of the XVIIth Amendment and my favorite idea of restricting, excepting enlisted military etc., the franchise to net tax-payers at each of the two levels of government. Tocqueville as Geoffrey Britain quoted identified the problem and if that is beyond our powers to correct then the game is simply over and no government at any level or in any community, with or without the supporters of the Democratic Party of California, can be made to work. In the long run any community even if it is made up of angels to begin with will face the same problem. The fault is not with the Blacks or the Hispanics or the Homosexuals or the Arabs or the Jews or the Athiests. The problem is in the nature of humanity and the nature of government. That is as true today as it was in 1789.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
First, a quick online search will find plenty of examples of the meme that " Yee “had few close ties”" [especially to other prominent Democrats] to be a blatant lie.

Second, I note that the LA Times recently had the vapors about how the repeated sight of prominent California Democrats in handcuffs [5 so far this year, and it is only March] might be unfairly damaging the image of California Democrats. Which is as close to an "Oh, S**t!" moment as they will have publicly.

Third, the documented M.O. of Democrats being accused [accurately] of corruption is to lie, deny, and cry racism/sexism/political partisanship. And for the law enforcement and judicial organs of coercion to cover things up, even at the cost of what little credibility they still have. Look for the dog that does not bark. This case is an anomaly, and we have to ask why.

If the all-powerful Party and their allies in the media are not trying to cover it up like a litterbox-deprived cat on a linoleum floor; there are two likely reasons. One is intra-party discipline, wherein he has either committed some public ideological heresy [as yet unrevealed] or failed to forward the appropriate cut of the profits to the Capo.

The other is that the scandal has a risk of implicating those higher ups and the enforcers know that they must make it go away quickly before those connections come to light. Which means Yee is ..... expendable, if not already expended.

Over at INSTAPUNDIT, mention was made of unleashing the RICO statute on the Democrat Party. If we were a government of laws and not men; it would happen.

Subotai Bahadur
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21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (81)
All Comments   (81)
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20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
OT: good Ukraine-Crimea article ... www.spectator.co.uk/features/9169001/let-putin-have-crimea-and-it-will-destroy-him/

Maybe our State Dept will read it?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Granting the problems for the Russians laid out by the Spectator, there is this point:

>>>>The peninsula receives 80 per cent of its water and electricity from Ukraine;<<<<

Specifically, the water comes from a water project on the Dnieper River and the power comes from the Zaporizhia [sp?] nuclear reactor complex [the largest reactor complex in Europe] in south central Ukraine. Keeping in mind that the Crimea is technically a desert and lacks water. And besides the civilian population, a bunch of military facilities and factories that the Russians consider to be vital depend completely on the Ukrainian water and electricity.

So if the Ukrainians close the valves or cut off the electricity [not unreasonable considering that their country has been invaded and partially occupied, they are at war, and rationally they have to believe that they will have no help at all if the invasion expands]; the Crimea is scrod.

Imagine our reaction if the currently active La Raza Unida got part of its dream Nation of Atzlan in southern California, however we still held San Diego and Los Angeles, and the military facilities in those areas. If Atzlan held control of the water and power resources feeding our areas; would we consider that a tenable position or would we at least try to expand our footprint so as to secure the power and water? Yeah, I know that in California today the Democrats would push to turn over the military facilities to Atzlan, and pay Danegeld. But the Russians in the parallel position would consider it an untenable situation that must be corrected immediately and with brute force.

They have to take the water project and the reactors. And that means a full scale invasion of Ukraine. In for a kopeck in for a Ruble. There is no upside to not conquering the entire country, and one hell of a downside to failing to do so. The Spectator article assumes that Russia would let the rest of Ukraine live independently in peace.

If the Ukrainian military is even marginally competent, they have pondered scorched earth preparations. And along with that, they have to have considered the option of shutting off the power and water to Crimea as something that the government should have.

Last post I laid out their only Mutual Assured Destruction deterrence option. Don't know if they will do that, but it has to have been thought of by someone.

History moves in fits and starts. It is about to get active on a number of fronts. Happy endings are going to be in short supply, no matter how much Foggy Bottom, the White House, or Brussels want to assume the opposite.

Subotai Bahadur
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21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not certain the system needs any gross changes, just enforcement, like requiring ID to vote, and voting only at the polls - which should stay open for a full weekend, or election day being made a full holiday. And validate the rolls.

I also think government employees should not be able to vote, at least not on their level of government, state or federal (maybe county/city?).

Actually, my highest priority major change would be to the judicial system, especially SCOTUS needs to be cut to fixed terms and maximum age - and maximum age should also apply to all branches, if you ask me. I nominate age 72 subject to change as medical science may advance, or maybe not. I also want to reject Marbury Madison and the court's ability to override legislation, though not sure what to replace it with.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Koch Brothers Obsession induced Madness:

Is Harry Reid Senile as well as being terminally dishonest?

Whatever the case, this unpleasant, disgusting little creature is starting to offend me more than Nancy Pelosi.

Caught on tape:

One day Harry calls Republican ads "Lies," the next day he denies ever calling them lies.

http://cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/barbara-boland/reid-denies-making-videotaped-claim-obamacare-horror-stories-are-lies#sthash.7mu0KEMB.dpuf

The two short videos tell the story better than the text.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, Harry Reid is not senile, not any more than he was ten years ago anyway, he's always had a flair for being a nasty liar. He can turn it on and off. He might as well have multiple personalities, but I doubt it's clinical.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am not exactly clear as to why he is stepping down...Is not this type of ambition and networking usually rewarded in the democrat sphere? He must of run afoul of another democrat politician. Well there is always the understanding that DOJ may refuse to prosecute or enforce the particular laws that where supposedly broken. I hope the FBI doesnt need any of his emails for the case as we learned yesterday from the IRS that it takes YEARS to retrieve emails.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have a saying:

There are more people that want power than there are people who deserve power

Someone else reading that asked, "Does anyone actually deserve power?"

Excellent point, and, frankly, it left me stumped at first. But I think the Framers knew the answer to that one.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is pretty much what you get when you have one-party rule. Corruption becomes the norm.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
This may sound off topic but isn't.

First...OUTRAGEOUS RUMOR ALERT. EVERYTHING BELOW IS UNVERIFIED AND UNVERIFIABLE....RUMOR...RUMOR...RUMOR.

Here in DC Federal (feral) workers are sporting little sweat beads on brow. Most are Dems and, privately, are p***ing in their pants over the impending mid-terms.

Many of the brighter ones are getting out. The entire Senior Executive Service (SES) are presidential appointees with no civil service protection. They feel Issa et al breathing down their necks. Resignations abound. Civil service (GS grades) are retiring and/ or clearing filing cabinets as fast as they can. IT contractors work late looking for ways to scrub efiles. Rats and sinking ships.

Others, thinking they are smarter, are planning to spend the last two years covering their behinds and setting up future jobs.

FBI, never happy with Holder, is closing in. The political half is running from the long time professionals who are filing their teeth to points. The Holder resignation rumor is up or down on a daily basis...many feeling he would not survive the next two years having sold most federal law enforcement down the river one or two or three times too many. Just rumors mind you. The other Holder rumor is that he needs a few more months to cover his tracks while the FBI is more than willing to look at their boss. (This was a three drink rumor from an agent friend. Think what you will)

Just like the recent paradigm shift for climate change crooks, Dems feel the wheels shaking.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
I do believe there are "long time professionals" who really hate this lot. What I have trouble believing sis that they would act against them with the odds being that Comrade Obama will be succeeded by Comrade Clinton, who is even nastier and far more energetic that the doper/slacker Obama. If the insiders rise up against some of the Obamunists, they'll be on a hit list as HRC's hand comes off The Bible, and if they've been around long enough and are smart enough to actually effectively rise up, they know that it will be their final act in government. I know I'd probably want to be eligible to retire before I made a move; the gratitude of The People, assuming you'd get any, won't pay your mortgage or your kids' tuition.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Many of the brighter ones are getting out."

So in real numbers, what's that mean? 2 out of the 3?
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Brighter" is a relative term, as in brighter than the other idiots.
Now, if you meant 'bright' as in, say, the average BCer, it is one of one.
lol
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Major Tom to Narrative Control - bury this one quick!
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Gun control means I get to control who gets paid to evade the laws I wrote.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good thing everyone accused by the government and arrested by the FBI is guilty. Conviction is an expensive formality best dispensed with.

The purpose of law and regulation is to provide opportunity for graft. Lawyers feed on that graft as prosecutors, defenders, and representatives.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember the old 'Blue Laws'? Trying to remember the Sabbath, institutionally? We should start categorizing the laws that serve mainly to create income for the law enforcers and shadow income for the criminals --and call them 'Blew Laws' --because they are how we blew the Constitution.
21 weeks ago
21 weeks ago Link To Comment
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