Daily Beast Omits Leland Yee's Party Affiliation, Gun Control Hypocrisy Angle
In a 72-word Cheat Sheet item on their website today, Daily Beast editors failed to note California Democratic State Senator Leland Yee's party affiliation nor the fact that the alleged gun-running politician was an outspoken advocate of more gun-control laws.
To be fair, the Associated Press article that the Cheat Sheet item linked to mentioned both facts, but casual readers of the Daily Beast's news digest who failed to follow the link would have remained ignored to them:
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SAN FRANCISCO — A California state senator who authored gun control legislation asked for campaign donations in exchange for introducing an undercover FBI agent to an arms trafficker, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.
The allegations against State Sen. Leland Yee were outlined in an FBI affidavit in support of a criminal complaint. The affidavit accuses Yee of conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and to illegally import firearms. He was arrested Wednesday.
Yee is also accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and cash payments to provide introductions, help a client get a contract and influence legislation. He or members of his campaign staff accepted at least $42,800 in cash or campaign contributions from undercover FBI agents in exchange for carrying out the agents’ specific requests, the court documents allege.
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 acquiring them from a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to bringing them to the United States, according to the affidavit by FBI Special Agent Emmanuel V. Pascua.
He was unhappy with his life and told the agent he wanted to hide out in the Philippines, according to the affidavit.
“There’s a part of me that wants to be like you,” he told the undercover agent, according to the affidavit. “You know how I’m going to be like you? Just be a free agent there.”
Yee is the third Democratic senator to face charges this year. Sen. Rod Wright was convicted of perjury and voter fraud for lying about his legal residence in Los Angeles County, and Sen. Ron Calderon has been indicted on federal corruption charges. Wright and Calderon are taking a voluntary leave of absence, with pay, although Republicans have called for them to be suspended or expelled from the Legislature.