I have been following the news about California state senator, Leland Yee, who was arraigned in federal court on charges related to alleged roles associated with Chinatown gangsters and brokering arms deals with a Muslim rebel group based in the Philippines.

I made the analogy to the recent box-office smash, American Hustle.

When they write the script, Cal Watchdog’s John Hrabe offers some choice lines to use from Yee’s indictment.

My personal favorites are:

1. Which is better: 10 months or 8 years?

Yee: “I can be of help to you for 10 months or I can be of help to you for eight years. I think eight years is a lot better than 10 months.”

2. Playing Mortal Kombat in the Philippines

Yee authored California’s ban on the sale of violent video games to children that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional. In the indictment, he allegedly said he was “agnostic” to working with a Muslim rebel group, which he knew to be responsible for “kidnapping individuals, killing individuals and extorting them for ransom.”

Yee: “People want to get whatever they want to get. Do I care? No, I don’t care.”

3. Pillow talk for Capitol fundraisers

Yee: “Just give me the g—– money, man s— … you should just tell them, write some f—ing checks, man.”

4. Liberal SF Democrat driven by money

Allegedly Yee, who thought Africa was a largely untapped market for trade, was eager to get the goods and make money.

Yee: “Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money. Do I think we can get the goods? I think we can get the goods.”

…7. Life imitates ‘The Wire’

The catch-phrase of “The Wire” TV show’s Clay Davis appears frequently in the indictment.

Yee: “$15k man, s—. For what we did man? S—. You know, we got him close to [State Senator 1].”

Yee: “There’s got to be some trust around here man, s—”

Yee: “S—, as much as I want that five thousand, I can’t do that man. S—. F—. S—.”

Yee: “S—. That’ s pay to play and you can’t do that. You cannot connect. You could go to jail for that . … They got to understand, it’ s about the long term. It ‘s not about the short term.”

Yee: On his possible election as mayor of San Francisco: ”We control 6.8 billion, man. S—.” The number was the approximate size of the city’s budget at the time.

8. The Allure of Secretary of State?

Yee: “I’m just trying to run for secretary of state. I hope I don’t get indicted.”

After reviewing the charges against one of the most powerful of our state’s representatives, President of the SoCal Tax Revolt Coalition Dawn Wildman takes a look at the recent spate of California politicians convicted on fraud and bribery and comes up with another movie analogy: Remember in the movie The Godfather when Michael is talking to Kay about his father he says, “My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.” Too true.

Yee’s response to the charges? Denial, of course.

California state Sen. Leland Yee is expected to appear in federal court on Monday morning, stemming from a shocking arrest last week where FBI agents charged him with seven felonies related to firearms trafficking and promising political favors.

The hearing before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins is to discuss the terms of his $500,000 bond. His attorney, Paul DeMeester, however, has told the media that Yee intends to plead not guilty to the charges.

What seems to be a comedy is really a tragedy for Californians.


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