Tuesday, July 29, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Yee, ‘Shrimp Boy’ and the last hustle

Web_OurView_YourView

By
From page A8 | April 06, 2014 |

One does not often emerge from San Francisco politics smelling like a rose. It is a city of intensely parochial loyalties, where success is earned by building coalitions of voters from the city’s patchwork of diverse neighborhoods. The currency is sweat, tears and favors — the raw ingredients of the hustle.

Out of this environment of back-room dealmaking, Leland Yee emerged as a champion of transparency and accountability. First as an assemblyman, and then a state senator, here was one San Francisco politician who stood for something different. Was it too good to be true?

Was it ever.

Yee first came to our attention in about 2009, when he decided to take on executive compensation at the University of California and California State University systems. We would later learn that the almost-daily barrage of press releases was typical of his approach; once he got his teeth into an issue, he did everything he could to raise awareness and bring pressure on those he saw as obstacles to change.

At the height of the financial crisis, as public universities piled on fees and cut classes, Yee was unrelenting in his criticism of the ever-increasing salaries that university officials received. There wasn’t a hire or a promotion in either system that didn’t draw a scathing response from his office.

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi was a favorite target. When UC hired her from the University of Illinois, Yee insisted on a fuller accounting of an admissions scandal that had rocked that institution. When Katehi clarified that the scandal had nothing to do with her, Yee was unmoved: “It’s interesting that she says, ‘It’s above my pay grade,’ and that’s that,” he told The San Francisco Chronicle. “Is she going to continue this ‘see no evil, hear no evil,’ approach, and just cover up what may be going on?”

Later, after the infamous pepper-spraying incident at UC Davis, he publicly slammed her response to the crisis. The hustle had come to academia.

As the improving economy made the situation on campus less dire, he turned his focus elsewhere. Open government became his focus, and he won praise for his efforts to improve open-meeting laws. Then, setting his sights on California secretary of state job, he began pushing for improved gun control, as well as more restrictions on violent video games.

So it was a shock when the news came down that state Sen. Leland Yee had been arrested in an FBI sting on political corruption and gun-running charges. The open-government and anti-gun advocate was accused of taking bribes and setting up arms-smuggling deals.

The documents in the case paint a lurid picture, straight out of a pulp detective novel: a mysterious “reformed” gangster named Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow; Chinatown social clubs that may or may not be fronts for organized crime; Eastern European arms dealers; and Philippine rebel groups.

The Leland Yee that emerges is the complete antithesis of his public persona; an unprincipled opportunist ready and willing to do anything for a price. It was the ultimate hustle.

But now it’s all gone. His campaign for secretary of state is over, and his fellow state senators suspended him from the Legislature. Instead of his once-glittering career, now he faces years in prison and disgrace. And we, the voters, are left with nothing but one more lesson in politicians who are too good to be true.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Dave ShreeveApril 06, 2014 - 10:35 am

    Interesting how this editorial never mentions that Yee is a Democrat. I highly doubt that would have been the case if he was a Republican.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensApril 06, 2014 - 12:56 pm

    I would like to know why State Senator Yee wasn't charged with terrorism charges by the Feds!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensApril 06, 2014 - 12:59 pm

    Glen, you failed to mention Yee's sponsorship of immigration insanity---driver's licences for illegal aliens and non-cooperation in immigration matters between State and Federal authorities.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Library teens plan summer reading party

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

 
Weather for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Big-rig driver strikes telephone lines in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A6, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: July 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: June 27, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Caltrans makes I-80 lane change

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Fairfield tries to end Cordelia Road detour

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ primed for big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

.

US / World

 
Sacramento Gold Rush Days canceled due to drought

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Man charged in teen’s 9-month disappearance

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Deal to improve veterans’ health care costs $17B

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment | Gallery

Suspect dead, 2 marshals and cop wounded in NYC

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

In Iraq’s Mosul, radicals unleash their vision

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

 
Fighting in Ukraine prompts residents to flee

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Witnesses: Thunderstorm hit beach without warning

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Suspect’s mom also charged in Long Beach burglary

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
City: Emails show ‘cozy’ ties of PG&E, regulator

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Pool water dumped in South Tahoe; resort fires 3

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Additional charge filed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California governor takes dig at Texas guard plan

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments | Gallery

 
.

Opinion

Editorial cartoons for July 29, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page:

 
 
.

Living

Horoscopes for July 29, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

 
Today in History for July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

I don’t want to have intimate contact since learning I had a STD

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page:

 
Community Calendar: July 29, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

.

Entertainment

Kevin Bacon brings his ‘Six Degrees’ to Comic-Con

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Sarah Palin launches online subscription channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

‘Sharknado’ sequel has bite and lots of laughs

By Frazier Moore | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
TVGrid July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Giants lose 5th straight, 5-0 to Pirates

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Raiders relying on healthy Watson to solidify line

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Quarterback Johnny Manziel’s day at Browns camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Judge OKs record-setting $2B sale of Clippers

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Humphrey to savor Hall of Fame day with ‘wingman’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Rays’ Archer: ‘Never saw Hank Aaron flip his bat’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Reed HOF induction gives Bills cause to celebrate

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Gordon eyeing 5th title after big Brickyard win

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Marketing agreement an obstacle in US bid for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sailors to navigate dirty water in 1st Rio test

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Manningham back with Giants, with no guarantees

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Business

Contracts to buy US homes slip in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
FAA proposes to fine Southwest Airlines $12M

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Stocks pause as traders await key economic news

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Zillow buying Trulia to build real estate titan

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Dollar Tree steps up fight, buys Family Dollar

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

B.C. July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

For Better or Worse July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Bridge July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Blondie July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 29

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5