Nary—nary!—a week has passed since Senator Leland Yee was arrested and already a slew of politicians have spoken out, journalists taken more than their fair share of the Leland pie, and even a Daly City dentist is involved. Also, Yee stole the last bottle of SPF 45, you guys. Let's dive in...
- CIR is all "me too" on the Yee case, with some very useful tidbits. Among the best: "While on the school board, [Yee] was caught registering his children under a fake address so they could be enrolled in better public schools. On a Hawaii vacation, he was arrested for shoplifting suntan lotion. Twice, San Francisco police stopped him on suspicion of soliciting prostitutes in the city’s Mission District. In each case, he denied wrongdoing." Classic Leland. I bet it was Coppertone. Yee doesn't strike me as a Bain de Soleil kinda guy.
- In lieu of checking out Vampire Lesbians of Sodom or buying darling bric-a-brac at the Treasure Island Flea, Yee spent most of the weekend inside his home in the Sunset District. The suspended senator will appear in court today to plead
not guilty to six counts on weapons and corruption charges. [Update: Yee didn't enter a plea today. And Shrimp Boy doesn't have an attorney. Gah!]
- Soon after Yee's courtroom appearance, gangster kingpin Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow and Keith Jackson will appear in court today to be arraigned. Jackson, a former school board member, faces murder-for-hire charges, by the way. Ouch.
- Speaking of court, Yee could use his campaign funds to pay for his defense. It's true. "Suspended state Sen. Leland Yee could have a healthy defense fund thanks to the $653,000 in campaign donations he amassed for his now-defunct run for secretary of state," says today's Matier & Ross. "According to Jay Wierenga, spokesman for the state's Fair Political Practices Commission, Yee can spend the funds for any political, legislative or governmental purpose - including his own legal defense.
- California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom had this to say: "I think the senator should resign, for the benefit of not only himself to focus on his own problems, but the entire institution." Newsom is one of many politicians asking or Yee to step down. The two were on the Board of Supervisors at the same time back in the day. Newsom goes on to say, "This is an exception. This is not the rule. But fundamentally, this is a sad day for all of us because it's all about public trust."
- Score one for the Cavity Creeps. Wilson Sy Lim, a dentist and former San Mateo County commissioner, was arrested in connection with the case and charged with conspiring to traffic in firearms. The 60-year-old man ("who can barely walk," according to one of his colleagues) has no criminal record but, according to the Chron, agreed "to deliver weapons from the Philippine military to an undercover FBI agent posing as an East Coast member of the Mafia." Oops.
- Now for your Monday morning laugh: Randy Shaw of BeyondChron (and SF Magazine, strangely enough) wants you to know that the media protected Yee. Which: huh? Shaw tin-foil hats thusly: "The Chronicle protected Leland Yee because he was the only San Francisco state legislator who backed the paper’s pro-landlord agenda. As a result, rarely did the Chronicle look into connections between Yee’s campaign donors and his votes." Also: "Yee was a favorite of the SF Bay Guardian in its Bruce Brugmann days. The Bay Guardian regularly praised Yee for supporting 'open government,' and saw him as a positive alternative to progressive Chinatown activist and tenant supporter, Rose Pak."
This is off-kilter, to say the least. The Chron would go after anyone, that's crazy. There's no pro-landlord agenda there. And as for the SFBG, that's just Shaw hating them because they go after Ed Lee.