UPDATE: CA State Senate Votes to Suspend Senator Leland Yee, Two Others

March 28, 2014 14:11 pm · 32 comments

The state Senate passed a resolution this morning to suspend state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo, after a federal criminal complaint was unsealed Wednesday revealing that he allegedly was accepting bribes for campaign donations and scheming to bring illegal guns into the country.

Two Southern California state senators, Rod Wright, D-Baldwin Hills, and Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, were also suspended by the 28-1 vote for alleged crimes involving perjury and corruption, respectively.

Wright and Calderon have been on paid leaves of absence since earlier this year.

This morning’s vote came after Yee’s arrest Wednesday on fraud and weapons charges.

While suspended, Yee will still be paid his annual salary. He is out of federal custody on $500,000 bail.

On the senate floor this morning, Steinberg said he wished the disgraced senators would resign and spare the legislature “the stigma associated with their alleged actions.”

“Leave please,” he said. “We’ve made that request and apparently they will not.”

Yee withdrew his candidacy for California Secretary of State Thursday.

In a statement released after the suspension vote, his attorney Paul DeMeester said, “Suspension is the right step for now, and is appropriate in a system that presumes the innocence of the accused.”

Steinberg said under the resolution Yee and the others “cannot serve another day in this senate going forward unless they are exonerated.”

Steinberg said he was changing his position on placing Calderon and Wright on leaves of absence.

“After Wednesday’s events I recognize that is no longer sufficient,” he said.

Steinberg said the actions of the three senators bring forth questions on “senate culture” and he called for an ethics review to be held in each office on April 7.

“We must do more here in the Senate,” and he called for each office to “take stock.”

The senate leader said despite required ethics training, “there are some things you just can’t teach…I know of no ethics class that teaches about the dangers of gun running and other such sordid activities.”

As part of the resolution, Yee is suspended from his office until his criminal case has been resolved.

Yee is charged with one count of weapons trafficking scheming to defraud citizens of his honest services by allegedly soliciting and accepting campaign contributions in a federal criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday.

He is one of 26 defendants named in the complaint, which also includes notorious San Francisco gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow and former San Francisco school board president Keith Jackson, who is implicated in a planned murder-for-hire scheme.

RELATED STORY: Three Concord Residents Arrested in Raid that Netted Senator Leland Yee

Cowellian March 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM

You don’t suppose that Steinberg is worried they may become a campaign issue, do you?

Saint March 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM


Triple Canopy March 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Well who was the lone soul who voted NOT to suspend these dirtbags?

Dorothy March 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

3rd time the charm? The other two should have been suspended within days of knowledge of their dirty deeds too. Why did it take so long for the first two and just days for the most recent. I say the most recent because I’ll bet there are a few that are wondering if they are being investigates too.

Too bad their pay can’t be stopped too.

ChampagneKitty March 28, 2014 at 2:33 PM

In case you’re wondering, because I was, the lone holdout was Republican Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine. “He argued that all three should be expelled outright and said it was wrong that they should continue receiving their salaries when facing such serious charges.” Here’s the article where I found the info–


Triple Canopy, Part II March 28, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Elected public officials are subject to a higher standard and current law doesn’t allow for increase scrutiny or penalty.

The CA Penal Code should be revised to have a ‘special circumstance’ for elected public officials to increase the penalty like we have for using a gun during a crime, gang membership/affiliation, and multiple homicides.

If there was ever a “there ought to be a law”, this would be a prime case.
Come on DeSaulnier, step up and put up, or shut up!

ArmydadCA March 28, 2014 at 3:08 PM

Why are they still being paid? They are suspended from working, therefore they should NOT be paid. This is just a slap in the face of us Tax Payers.

Be indicted for breaking the law and continue to siphon off of the public trough until your issues are resolved. What happens to his staff? Are they still being paid too? How many of them knew what was going on with their “boss”?

Of course Lee won’t resign, he is a politician and they have no moral compass to do what’s right.

The rest of us would be in jail, lose our job, house, etc. but these yahoo’s (sorry Yahoo) just continue to go on about their lives while their lawyers “fix” things.


Memo to Senator DeSaulnier March 28, 2014 at 3:09 PM

How about introducing legislation to stop paying them? Its a no brainer and wouls pass overwhelmingly

Michelle March 28, 2014 at 3:10 PM

Look at this, a slap on the wrist and then what! Nothing! Politicians get away with the most crap.

Taxpayer March 28, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Yo – Darrell Steinberg, any affiliation with Yee? maybe Jackson?, or perhaps Shrimp Boy?…..Oh please, oh please, oh please! mwwahhhhhhhh!! mwah, mwah, mwwahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Have a relaxing weekend D!

Big deal March 28, 2014 at 3:48 PM

he still gets paid, probably with benefits. He is innocent until found guilty, which could take years.

Politicians bend the laws to there favor. He should be in jail with no bond. He could disappear to China in a heartbeat, never to be heard from again.

No politician is above scrutiny.

Just wait until next summer March 28, 2014 at 3:50 PM

there will be a bunch of Republicans indited, throwing a blanket of suspicion over them too.

Politicians cannot be trusted, any of them.

@2 March 28, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Its a no brainer and would pass overwhelmingly

In a democrat controlled state legislature, . . . . Not Likely

Taxpayer March 28, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Why are no Republicans involved? you may wonder. Because there are so few Republicans in positions of power that there is no point in trying to bribe a Republican in California. Republicans have no support in this State.

You can bribe a Republican all you want in California but a piece of legislation a Republican supports will never get enough supporting votes from Dems to make it through a one-party government like we have in California. The solution?

Keep a balance of power in the State government between R and D.

Don’t get me wrong, Repubs are corruptible. Wherever R’s rule the State legislature, like the D’s do in CA, they are corruptible. Integrity is the key, not party affiliation. I support neither Dems or Repubs, I support integrity. Until the time comes that the government represents ‘humans’ instead of ‘parties’ corruption is the outcome…eventually.

People know what the correct thing is to do. The sooner we stop accepting propaganda as fact, the sooner we’ll get back on track.

Anyone who wants to discover more about how populations of people are controlled and manipulated can read the book ‘Propaganda’, written in 1928 by Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays.

Bernays is the reason we eat bacon and eggs for breakfast in America, why women smoke, how we were convinced to enter WWII, why we need to add an egg to a box of cake mix, and so much more. If interested, $8.50 will tell you what’s up: http://www.amazon.com/Propaganda-Edward-Bernays/dp/0970312598/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396047508&sr=1-1&keywords=edward+bernays

Also, fyi, for those hateful of Obamacare, the book will indicate what changes are coming to Obamacare….before the 2014 election season, and who will recommend those changes.

This isn’t a mystery or theory, you simply have to be willing to self-educate after your college education. Most don’t.


Anonymous March 28, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Oh I think it would pass( denying them pay and benefits) who would have the guts to vote against it?

We should call DeSaulnier and tell him what we think.

Or we can keep paying the crooks, you and me…

Me-Me March 28, 2014 at 4:24 PM

And don’t forget all that lovely pension he’s entitled to……. which will keep going long after ……..

ChampagneKitty March 28, 2014 at 4:46 PM

Here is the video of (lone holdout) Senator Joel Anderson addressing the senate floor before the vote was taken. It’s about 5 minutes long.


I actually agree with most of what he said, except that he wants all-or-nothing action. Instead of the 3 senators being suspended, he wants them immediately expelled. I don’t see why that can’t happen later. At least with the suspension, that bars the senators from access to their offices and duties. Hopefully, that will put a stop to all of the damage done so far.

The Theorist March 28, 2014 at 5:39 PM

The real question is: How many more politicians have their hand in the cookie jar while telling their constituents there is a back order on flour and sugar!
Maybe we can persuade the NSA to release the blackop records they hold over all elected officials … and we can really watch the **** hit the fan!

Elwood March 28, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Bad Senators! Bad, bad, bad!

Take a paid vacation!

DanMtz March 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Such a proud day for the Senate. Distancing themselves, pointing fingers and being holier than thou…

Shelly March 28, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I feel used and dirty.

Triple Canopy March 28, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Shelly @21….. been subscribing to the liberal ideology eh?

The Libs have been duping and lying to the voters since 2008, saying whatever they need to scare the populace.

Ven Xeter March 28, 2014 at 8:05 PM

If anyone is wonder why Senator DeSaulnier has been silent on this scandal and is not proposing legislation to cease paying these dirtbags, it is likely because he is too busy doing the same thing as the other 25 Dems YET to be indicted: erasing his computer hard drives and trying to cover up all his tracks before he gets his turn for the FBI to knock on the door.

futbllwmn March 29, 2014 at 2:33 AM

Steinberg is the worst of the worst. I’ll bet he’s not sleeping very well. Old shrimp boy has rolled over others in years past and (keeping fingers crossed) he will again. He’s got the dirt and will sing like a bird for a reduced sentence. Let the games begin.

. March 29, 2014 at 9:02 AM

@taxpayer #14….

You’re absolutely correct!

. March 29, 2014 at 9:08 AM

On the other hand…. Paying them and not allowing them to do anything is probably better than paying them and allowing them to continue making inane laws.

Anon March 29, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Where is Yhe PhanTurd?!?!? We Need You To Keep Us Believing In The Democrats, After All Yee Couldn’t Have Done This, Right? After All The Republicans Are Evil, And The Democrats Are Good, Isn’t That Your Fairy Tail, All Might Oz?


Yhe Phantom March 29, 2014 at 7:20 PM

We clean them out no matter who they are!

Sen. Leland Yee – Arrested by the FBI/DHS: President Barack Hussein Obama appointed James Brian Comey Jr. to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Sen. Ron Calderon –Prosecuted by the offices of Attorney General, Eric Holder, US DOJ

Sen. Rod Wright – Prosecuted by the offices of Attorney General of California, Kamala Harris, Cal DOJ

Mayor Patrick D. Cannon, Charlotte NC – Arrested by the FBI/DHS

Gov. Rod Blagojevich? A Democrat that went to Federal prison during the Obama administration.


We would have gotten Issa…eight real felonies.

He’s thinking about it lately…HAHAHAHAhhahahahaha.

RANDOM TASK March 29, 2014 at 10:09 PM

its a dem state they are saving their own butts by shutting these guys up. They will be back in business shortly just as brown is gov again. This state is run by criminals and the voters are too busy counting their free money to worry about being used. This means absolutely nothing as nothing will happen from it the dems will raise taxes to cover the legal fees of these of these tools and the paid voters will keep em in office. Yay

Antler March 30, 2014 at 7:31 AM

Great job, FBI !!! Hope you and all legal entities will keep these arrests and convictions coming….. regardless of political party or religious leanings.

. March 30, 2014 at 8:26 AM

DeSaulnier could propose a law as described above…..but everyone knows that he current crop of politicians would NEVER vote for it. In any case, he won’t. He plays strictly by the Dem party rules and votes in lockstep with the party, and does exactly what the party bosses tell him to do.

No brain in his head!

An ethics panel in the legislature? Now THAT is a joke!

ItsAboutTimeTo March 30, 2014 at 11:22 PM

It takes some sort of evidence to bring an inditment against someone. Especially a politician. Public employees voted into office should be squeeky clean. They are being paid by us and many are deciding where our money gets spent. Aren’t you tired of hearing about this corruption taking place with your hard earned money!!! Why do they get paid while suspended? If they are found innocent then give them their back pay. They should do everything they can to avoid looking like they are involved in any kind of illegal activity. If they are found guilty they should lose their pensions. They know right from wrong. If any working class person were to conduct themselves the way some politicians do we would be thrown in jail, lose our jobs and maybe our homes. Politicians take an oath to uphold our laws. Doesn’t that mean anything! It’s time to get laws on the books to keep our money from slipping away. To make people think twice before making that dirty backroom deal. Those politicians that vote against such a law should be voted out of office.

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