SAN FRANCISCO -- Closing a dark chapter in California politics and capping the downfall of a prominent Bay Area legislator, former state Sen. Leland Yee on Wednesday pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge that is expected to land him in a federal prison cell for at least several years.
The 66-year-old Yee cut a plea deal with federal prosecutors, avoiding a looming August trial date but forcing him to admit he took payments in return for promises to use his political clout for a host of powerful interests, from NFL owners to medical marijuana businesses. Dressed in a dark suit and calm enough to chat casually with reporters before entering his guilty plea, Yee confessed in his plea agreement that he used his bids for secretary of state and San Francisco mayor as racketeering enterprises to extort bribes for his cash-starved campaigns.
This story fails to mention several key facts:
- Leland Yee is a Democrat
- Leland Yee was a huge proponent of gun control.
- Leland Yee was the sponsor of a gun control law so drastic, governor Jerry Brown chose to veto it.
- Most of the charges against Leland Yee deal with illegal gun trafficking.
Yee apparently thought that one good way to keep machine guns and shoulder fired weapons off the streets in the USA was to import machine guns and shoulder fired weapons into New Jersey, and sell those weapons to Islamic militants in the Phillipines. He did expect millions in campaign funds for helping facilitate that.
Yee also was key in California's current "assault weapons band" and sought to strengthen that law by banning virtually all removable magazines and confiscating various registered weapons without compensation.