State Sen. Leland Yee Arrested on Bribery Charges
Well, his odds of a successful run for Secretary of State just diminished greatly.
State Sen. Leland Yee, one of the most well-known California lawmakers, was arrested this morning on bribery charges, while houses and office buildings were raided throughout the Bay Area and Sacramento. Also arrested was Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, reportedly the head of Ghee Kung Tong, a fraternal organization in San Francisco's Chinatown.
According to ABC 7, Chow's rap sheet dates back to 1978, but he has been out of prison for more than a decade after claiming that he'd turned his life around. Authorities believe he may be a local leader of a Hong Kong-base crime syndicate.
Leland Yee's Greatest Hits
Supreme Court's Violent Videogame Case
In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California ban on the sale of violent video games to minors, with Justice Antonin Scalia comparing the video games to violent fairy tales. The majority held that the ban violated the First Amendment and infringed on free speech rights. Sen. Leland Yee was the author and primary supporter of the ban. According to Ars Technica, California's defense of the ban cost them $1.8 million in attorney's fees alone.
Gun Control and the Bullet Button
Sen. Lee is known amongst those on both sides of the gun control debate as the author of repeated bills attempting to ban the "bullet button," a device that allows semi-automatic rifles to avoid the state's ban on so-called "assault rifles" by making the magazine technically fixed. A tool (the tip of a bullet) is needed to press the "bullet button" magazine release, making the device technically compliant with existing gun regulations.
Transparency and the California Public Records Act
According to KCRA, Yee was honored last week by the Society of Professional Journalists for his efforts to uphold the California Public Records Act, including legislation to close a loophole in the law after CSU Stanislaus Foundation tried to hide a $75,000 speaking contract with former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Protecting Social Media Passwords
Back in 2012, California passed two bills, one from each house of the state legislature, protecting Californians from unwarranted invasions of their personal social media accounts. California was the first state to pass bills prohibiting both employers and schools from requesting access to accounts. Sen. Yee was the author of the bill that passed the state senate.
Arrest's Effect on the State
According to ABC 7, Yee is the third Democratic state senator currently facing criminal charges. Ronald S. Calderon, of Montebello is facing public corruption charges, while Roderick Wright, of Inglewood, has already been convicted of eight felony counts of perjury and voter fraud. If Yee leaves office before the end of his term, the Democrats will lose their majority in the state senate.
Meanwhile, the field for Secretary of State just narrowed -- Yee was one of six candidates running for the office.
- CA Appellate Opinion Mocks Defendant's Attempts to Kill Detective (FindLaw's California Case Law Blog)
- Audrie's Law Introduced, Gun Ammunition Battle Reaches Supreme Court (FindLaw's California Case Law Blog)
- Yolo County's Concealed-Carry Permit Law Ruled Unconstitutional (FindLaw's California Case Law Blog)