Shrimp Boy and Uncle Leland

Nobody can accuse San Francisco of having boring political scandals. Luckily for me I’m in the gay senate district, not the Asian senate district, of SF.

Innocent until proven guilty, and I don’t think Sen. Yee was the original target of the FBI investigation, but holy hell:

State Sen. Leland Yee, an outspoken advocate of gun control and open government, was arrested Wednesday on charges that he conspired to traffic in firearms and traded favors in Sacramento for bribes – campaign cash paid by men who turned out to be undercover FBI agents.

Yee, a Democrat who represents half of San Francisco and most of San Mateo County and is running for secretary of state, was one of 26 people ensnared in a five-year federal investigation that targeted Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, a notorious Chinatown gangster who had claimed to have gone straight, officials said.

The charging docs read like something straight out of Hollywood. Shrimp Boy the Chinatown gangster, and Sen. Yee with an AKA of Uncle Leland.  If you’re not willing to read the long ass thing, here’s the NYT summary:

Mr. Yee discussed helping the agent get weapons worth $500,000 to $2.5 million, including shoulder fired automatic weapons and missiles, and took him through the entire process of getting them from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to the United States, according to the affidavit. It said he was unhappy with his life and wanted to hide out in the Philippines. The affidavit said Mr. Yee, 65, sought to dig himself out of a $70,000 debt incurred during a failed 2001 San Francisco mayoral bid.

I await the dropping of more proverbial shoes of more politicos who got a little too caught up in trying to get money out of Chinatown.

[SF Chronicle: Sen. Yee Arrested in Corruption Case]

Ahh, our alt-weekly adds this reminder:

Yee, a longtime San Francisco politician, was arrested 14 years ago in Hawaii on suspicion of shoplifting a bottle of Tropical Blend Tan Magnifier Oil from a store. Before that, Yee was pulled over by San Francisco police who accused him of soliciting prostitutes on two different occasions in the city’s Mission District. Yee denied all of this, telling SF Weekly: “They presume that people are driving around there looking for prostitutes, but there are people who use that street to go home.”

Ho ho ho! What is wrong with people?

The Big News here is the devastating Oso mudslide. I’m getting a firmer grip on logging effects. I knew the ecological connection between the two, but I never saw it.

I’m moving from LOGGING SUCKS! FIND A DIFFERENT JOB to I’m just like those who said that if Katrina victims had simply evacuated, they would have been safe.

Our meh political news is some Spokane congresscritter commingling funds. De riguer.

@SanFranLefty: To go home at 5 miles an hour with the window rolled down, I suppose.

What kind of a cool gangster name is “Shrimp Boy”? That sucks.

@JNOV: Logging may have contributed, but that place has been a known mudslide area for generations. I’d place my blame money on real-estate developers.

@Tommmcatt Au Gros Sel: Even worse: Shrimp Boy was nicknamed by his grandmother.

@SanFranLefty: C’mon Lefty, like me you must be feeling a little civic pride in this scandal. Sure we get our share of political scandals but pretty bush league stuff in general. I mean… Ed Jew and Chris Daly pretending to live in the City while they served as Supervisor? Ross Mirkarimi bruising his Venezuelan firecracker’s arm when he grabbed her? Gavin Newsom boinking his Chief of Staff’s wife? Sure it’s entertaining, but really – we got nothin…

How can we ever be considered a major metropolis without some heavy duty world class corruption? Don’t get me wrong. I’m a realist. I don’t expect us to match up to Chicago, New York, New Jersey or New Orleans, but it’s like our pols aren’t even trying.

Now Leland Yee – this one has some meat on the bones. Bribery, gun-running, extortion, prostitution and murder for hire. Now we’re talking. I’ll be holding my head a little higher as I walk around town today.

Yeah. We’re bad.

DC’s mayor may soon (though not soon enough for Tuesday’s all-important primary) be indicted for his campaign shenanigans with a crooked businessman who asked to be called Uncle Earl.

BREAKING SPORTS NEWS: Go here to sign up for the second-chance NCAA pool. The deadline is in less than two hours, so get moving!

@libertarian tool: Yeah, this is good for you guys. All we’ve had in LA recently is the tax assessor selling favors and our former mayor, Smiley mcZipperdown, boffing an assortment of TV reporters who were “covering” him. Not major league stuff.



Tree needs to step it up here.

Add: Tree felled by Dayton, so no Elite 8 matchup with UCLA.

@Mistress Cynica: Sigh. Me too. I really wanted to try for a bracket where I get zero points. A perfect epic fail. Statistically – should be just as hard as a perfect winning bracket.

@mellbell: I just got home, did I miss it? Why are you doing it on Fox’s website? What happened to Yahoo?

@libertarian tool: I totally have civic pride. I’d say this is DC or New Orleans level of political corruption. I don’t think it’s possible to reach Chicago or NY/NJ levels.

During my interminable five hour drive home up 99 and 5 tonight, I realized that I should have given this post the headline of “Lawmakers, Guns, and Money” in honor of Warren Zevon.

I was up until 1:30 am reading all 136 pages of that affidavit. Kuh-kuh-kuhkrazy first 75 pages and then we get into the Uncle Leland drama. Dude was having a major mid-life crisis at the age of 65.

@Dodgerblue: Although I had Tree falling out after winning one game, so no biggy for me.

About the only reason to still read our local fishwrap is that they have a great Food and Wine section. Many of the illicit meetings detailed in the affidavit were at restaurants, so naturally they do a restaurant walking tour of the Leland Yee saga.

@SanFranLefty: Have you seen the phony Twitter feed @UncleLeland?

@Mistress Cynica and libertarian tool: Me, too.

@nojo: True. They shored up the hill, and people felt safe and became complacent. I need to learn more about WA geology. All I know is ocean, lakes, rivers, and mountains. Ranches and apple farms in what seems to be a pretty dry area. The Gorge. Wild horses, big ass round bales of hay. Maersk. Spokane.

The bus stops 2 blocks from my apt. When I got off the the bus, there were fluffy clouds and blue skies in the cardinal directions. 1/2 block from home, The Effin Mountain threw some buzz kill sideways rain on me. Mother of Waters for real.

Somewhere there’s a dam, and we seem to have a more than our share of serial killers.

Wikipedia, rife with typos, describes my town which has been going down the shitter since the train depots closed in 1987.

Auburn was originally incorporated as Slaughter, Washington after Lt. William Slaughter, who died in a skirmish [of course!] in 1855. At the time, the main hotel in town was called the “Slaughter House.” … [T]here was a grass-roots effort to name the high school “Slaughter High School” …

Yes, you know this area, but it’s different and interesting to me. I asked Steve if he thought I would stay here, and he replied, “It’s hard to say, because you’re unpredictable.” Antidepressants helped with the last winter, and I’m not close to being bored.

@JNOV: I don’t know Warshington that well — grandparents in Seattle, so a lot of trips up and down I-5 growing up. “Auburn” was just one of the signs along the way.

Major flood around Kelso in the Suxties — covered everything but the freeway lanes, where we were stuck for hours on a return trip.

It has been nice to hear Rachel pronounce “Snohomish” without effort, anyway.

@nojo: I have trouble with all the SamDammit words. I try to put emphasis on any “O” I see, and I usually do well. What kills me is that “Seattle” is not the name of the NDN for which it is named. His name was “Sealth” or “Seth.” I love telling my local friends that they’re a bunch of illiterate hicks.

@JNOV: It’s easier when you grow up with the Willamette River in town. Puts the rest in context.

In the second-chance pool, homofascist and I are currently tied (3 out of 4 correct), but my PPR (possible points remaining) is higher owing to Wisconsin’s win over Baylor.

@libertarian tool: Grateful for Lefty’s charming post but as a New Yorker am baffled how this could be termed a scandal. This is a pol getting the cops to write off $250,000 parking tickets for his girlfriend’s extended family level scandal. Sure it’s cute and all. Plus guns. That’s a plus. And I suppose we should be grateful his moniker wasn’t Shrimp Queen even though it is San Fransisco.

But where is the governor shutting down lanes on the most used bridge in the world to get even with a mayor who did not do his bidding and then rigging an ‘inquiry’ that totes exonerates him?

Where is the governor getting together with top Dem and Rep behind closed doors to hammer out a pork barrel giveaway state budget then bragging about the ‘transparency’ of the ‘process’?

Sometimes I think you’re not even trying.

@Benedick: I dunno, it’s not shutting down a bridge, but I’d say shoulder-fired missiles, murder for hire, Filipino Muslim resistance groups, coke deals, laundering millions of dollars, politicos selling access to state contracts, making deals in Vegas casinos and in shady Chinatown restaurants, and transporting hundreds of pounds of weed a week to the East Coast ain’t shabby…

@Dodgerblue: That quote always reminds me of one of my favorite film noir-ish spots in LA: The Chinatown Gate near the corner of Broadway and Cesar Chavez, which has this amazing architectural and cultural tension between the brashness of the scarlet and gold Gate and the imposing, ivory white City Hall tower, not to mention that El Pueblo de Los Angeles is only two blocks away.

@¡Andrew!: yes this, my architecture geek friend. Where’s blogenfreude when we need him for archi-geek-outs?

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