I just finished reading yet another article about the scandal in the California Senate. Currently there are three Democratic state senators caught up in legal problems. One is charged with arms trafficking and taking bribes from undercover F.B.I. agents. Another is accused of taking bribes from federal agents and the third was convicted of perjury and voter fraud after failure to disclose where he was living when he ran for office. So serious are the charges that the full Senate voted to suspend all three senators from service, while the governor, also a Democrat, has called for their immediate resignation. Of course like the band of brothers they are, the senators have been suspended with pay until their situations are resolved. Please.
You’d have to be an idiot to believe that this recent scandal in Sacramento is an isolated incident. We all know that graft and corruption runs through the veins of state and federal government. I don’t believe there is a state capital in this great land that hasn’t been rocked by charges of some sort or another, and if there are a few out there, well they will be, you can count on it. We’ve all seen what a shambles the fools on the hill have made at the federal level. This crap goes on in every state capital in the Union and up on the federal hill its a way of life. So if the players are corrupt, whose to say that the whole damn state of politics isn’t equally corrupt? Yes the bureaucracy of our government is in a hell of a mess.
What’s truly fascinating is that one of the key players facing the most serious charges in the ‘Sacramento Scandal’ is probably the last legislator on Earth you’d ever suspect. The arrest last week of Senator Leland Yee, a highly respectable senator, caught everyone off guard particularly those closest to him. How could Yee, a strong advocate of gun control and major proponent of open government, be caught up in bribery and gun trafficking? Could he have been involved in brokering a deal for an illegal shipment of automatic weapons and maybe even rocket launchers? Could he have really been that desperate for campaign funds for his bid for Secretary of State? Could his vanity and blind ambition driven him to cross the line? You’re damn right it did.
For career politicians like Yee the ascent to greatness can be costly. He has always known how to play the political crowd. His views on gun control and his pro union stance gained him major support with Progressive’s in San Francisco, yet his support of business owners and landlords appeals to Conservative’s as well and apparently to Chinatown gang leaders as well. Yeah the guy was smooth a real charmer. What a schmuck!
Unfortunately in the political arena you can’t make it on charm alone. Sure it takes a ton of charisma but more importantly it takes money, lots of money. Something Yee apparently didn’t have enough of. His 2011 losing bid for mayor of San Francisco was a set back set him back quite a bit and that debt had to be settled before he could make his run for Secretary of State for which he needed even more money. Taking bribes and brokering arms deal must have looked like a quick and easy way to get the funds he needed. Perhaps if he’d continued to play by the rules he would have lived to play the game of politics another day and may have even been the next Secretary of State. Instead, as it stands now the future looks quite dim for this self made man, very dim indeed.