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California version of “American Hustle” features cameo by #Shrimpboy

California version of “American Hustle” features cameo by #Shrimpboy

I am a fan of American Hustle, the Hollywood take on Abscam, a FBI sting operation that was aided by a convicted con-man in which politicians were videotaped as they were offered bribes by a fictional Middle Eastern sheik in return for various political favors.

Now, the Golden State has produced a real-life version of this saga, complete with arms trafficking and Chinatown gangs. The “star” of this show was a contender for the California Secretary of State slot in November’s election, State Senator Leland Yee:

Gun-control groups said Thursday they were trying to find a new legislative leader to champion firearms restrictions after one of their most outspoken supporters was charged in a federal gun-trafficking case. People on both sides of the gun control issue said the charges against state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, may slow consideration of gun legislation this year.

“Ironically, while he’s being charged with gun trafficking, next to (U.S. Sen.) Dianne Feinstein he was probably the second most outspoken gun control advocate. This really leaves us scrambling for someone to pick up that mantle,” said Paul Song, executive chairman of “If it wasn’t so sad it would be comical. But what we’re really worried about is that this will further destroy the momentum for gun control here in California.”

One can sure hope.

Now, are you confused by the fact that one of the single biggest advocates of gun control in the state, a San Francisco Democrat to boot, is alleged to have engaged in a gun running conspiracy? If so, the Los Angeles times offers this handy guide to Leland Yee corruption scandal:

The affidavit says that in August 2013, a prominent California political consultant who had been working to raise money for Yee’s campaigns told a prospective donor, an undercover federal agent, that Yee “had a contact who deals in arms trafficking.”

In exchange for campaign contributions, according to the affidavit, Yee would “facilitate a meeting with the arms dealer” so that the donor could buy a large number of weapons. The firearms would be imported through a port in Newark, N.J. At one meeting, the affidavit said, Yee and the prospective donor discussed “details of the specific types of weapons.”

One of the biggest issues we citizen activists have with elite politicians is that they often act as if the rules do not apply to them. Yee is the new poster child for this attitude.

To me, one of the most fascinating characters in this saga is Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, who was charged along with Yee. The notorious Chinatown gang leader has received awards from politicians, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and Chow’s Facebook album features a photo of himself with former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, now California’s lieutenant governor.

Chow holds a “supreme authority” position in the Triad, an international Chinese organized crime group; heads the Hop Sing Boys, a San Francisco street gang; and serves as the “dragon head,” or leader, of the Ghee Kung Tong, a Chinese brotherhood that allegedly provided cover for criminal operations after Chow took over in 2006, according to the affidavit.

Chow had regularly referred to his “legitimate” business plans, including producing a movie about his life and having $50,000 on hand to publish an autobiography, but money laundering, illegally imported diesel and stolen liquor were also discussed, according to the documents.

Dawn Wildman, President of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition, notes that Yee is the third politician who is part of a disturbing trend in California — citizens paying for representation that they aren’t actually receiving: With the arrest of yet another California elected Senator Leland Yee, the California political elite seem to be the new stars of Orange is the New Black. First we have Senator Rod Wright convicted of 8 count of voter fraud and perjury who is still drawing his salary off the CA taxpayer and then Senator Ron Calderon who has been indicted federally on charges ranging from mail fraud, wire fraud, honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering to aiding in the filing of false tax returns. He too is on paid leave of absence.

Sarah B., another member of SCTRC more humorously noted that since we seem to be rebooting the Cold War, it looks like we are returning to 1970’s-style political crimes as well. However, as noted San Diego blogger KT Kat remarks, when the Yee story is actually produced by Hollywood, he will be transformed into a Republican and the state will be Alabama.

At this point, the California Tea Parties are working toward using these 3 politicians as examples of what happens when progressives go unchallenged at the ballot for prolonged periods of time. Hopefully, this November, we will be able to change the script for Sacramento’s “business as usual” politics.

But, the good news is Yee has suspended his campaign, so that is at least one less crooked politician Californians can vote for.

(Image: Leland Yee’s Facebook Page).


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“…when progressives go unchallenged at the ballot for prolonged periods of time. ”

When any party becomes entrenched. The beauty of the two-party system is that it keeps both parties more honest.

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Valerie. | March 29, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    So… is that why Washington D.C. functions so well? I think that inside the Beltway, Democrats and republicans are so similar that the only way to tell them apart is by which end of the egg they crack. The “two party” system leads to the same corruption, insouciance and proliferation of business-as-usual.

    Yes, there are some exceptions, but I think the Tea Party can be thanked for those presences.

I’m wondering how one would get the nickname “Shrimp Boy”. Could it have something to do with a certain part of his anatomy…

joethefatman | March 29, 2014 at 9:10 am

And yet, just like Gosnell, it’s a local story to CNN.

@/TheINDYpundit It’s in line with us covering state senators & state secretary of state races just about never. You see another conspiracy?

— Writers (@/CNNWriters) March 28, 2014

He was just trying to pass laws to improve his business. With strict gun control laws making it impossible to buy guns legally, more people would turn to illegal gun traffickers for their weapons and ammunition. And he has the business model already in place to profit from the laws he passes.

He is following the Democratic Party method of using global warming to make profits. They create laws (ostensibly to stop global warming) but which really fund money to their own companies (Gore and carbon credits) or their cronies (Solyndra and an endless list of fake businesses

The Democratic fraudsters couldn’t do business in Russia – they aren’t ethical enough

    Lina Inverse in reply to JOHN B. | March 29, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Nah, more like Timothy Sullivan of Sullivan Act infamy, which required a permit to own or carry a concealable weapon of any type, with stiff penalties (a law still in effect, and restricting the RKBA of our host). Selective issuance and prosecution was used to help keep weapons out of the hands of and to suppress rival ethnicities—this was when the great wave of Eastern European immigrants were competing with the earlier arrived Irish—and of course to make the lives of the favored criminals easier and safer.

Somebody needs to sue the Kuhlifornia legislature for propping up these corruptocrats with tax-payer funds.

If it was not for the real threat of radical racist right wing Teabaggers taking over California so they could start killing undocumented travelers from Mexico who are just looking for a better life. And then requiring all females to quit their jobs, stay at home and not wear shoes, proud public servants like Senator Yee wouldn’t have to go to such extremes to raise money to save California.

Now can I have a job at MSNBC?

    TrooperJohnSmith in reply to Anchovy. | March 29, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Only if you are a transgendered, lesbian, environmentally sensitive, vegan who wears sensible shoes and can use the word “vagina” as at least 4 parts of speech. A gold tooth in the front is a plus.

    Estragon in reply to Anchovy. | March 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    Sounds like you already HAVE one . . .

>>”But what we’re really worried about is that this will further destroy the momentum for [fascism] here in California.”

TrooperJohnSmith | March 29, 2014 at 12:54 pm

“…but tonight’s top story here in California concerns Chris Jenner and her ongoing battle with bunions. It’s a well known fact that the matriarch of the famous Kardashian family is unable to wear her Prada shoes any longer, due to a potentially debilitating problem with bunions. For more on that, let’s go to KTLA medical reporter, Amy Wu Chow Ling-Goldstein, who’s live at the Bunion California Institute…”