Keeping in mind that state Sen. Leland Yee hasn’t been convicted of anything yet, but also keeping in mind that he’s been charged with accepting bribes and offering to help import illegal firearms … well, make of this what you will.
From Orange County’s Voice of OC:
When state Sen. Leland Yee showed up at the Voice of OC offices last December to talk about his run for secretary of state on a platform of transparency and accountability, no one in the room could have imagined what lay in his future just three months away….Yee walked in to Voice of OC’s downtown Santa Ana office alone on the night of Dec. 2 without any handlers or assistants and talked about the nexus between money and politics..
Here’s a video of that interview, with transcript underneath.
Question: What’s your sense of the balance between money and politics?
Answer: “I just think that we’ve got to bite the bullet and take money out of it. Because money just simply corrupts.”
Yee then talks about the need for public financing.
“If we are going to have a good government, an open government, a transparent government, a government that is accountable to the people, the people is going to have to fund that.”
And the second video.
Question: What’s your sense of why we see such little transparency?
Answer: “I think there’s that old adage, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s just human nature. After a while, you kind of feel that you deserve, you know, all the perks of office, because you’ve suffered so much, you’ve given up so much. You should have all of those kinds of trappings. And then, you know, I served for a long time, and I know this stuff, so I don’t have to explain it to you, I don’t have to tell you that. You should just believe me and trust me. And I guess I kind of grew up in an era when that was not the norm, that’s not the way in which people behave. And you have to be open and you have to be transparent and you have to be accountable.”
Go ahead. Say something snarky. We’re not gonna do it.
Meanwhile, in other EverythingGate news: as reported by the Chronicle, the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein is distancing the senator from a note she sent to a community group congratulating Raymond Chow, among others, for “outstanding accomplishments for ex-offenders.”
“Sen. Feinstein did not ‘honor’ Mr. Chow,” a Feinstein spokesman wrote to the Chron after the paper published reports mentioning the praise from officials that Chow has received for getting his life back together. Before his most recent run-in with the law, that is. “She often writes congratulatory messages on behalf of California organizations,” the spokesman said.