Big political corruption arrest in California

Thomas Lifson
There are encouraging signs that the very corrupt Democrat political machine in the California state legislature may be finally getting exposed, indicted, and, God willing, destroyed.  The state of California is a corrupt banana republic, run by Democrats, and spending a yearly budget in excess of a hundred billion dollars a year. Evidently, the FBI and federal prosecutors have taken notice, and the arrest last month of powerful Democrat state Senator Ron Calderon was this morning followed by the indictment and arrest of another Democrat powerhouse, state Senator Leland Yee.

Details are so far sketchy, as the arrest just took place. NBC Bay Area reports:

California State Senator Leland Yee has been arrested on bribery and corruption charges as part of several arrests made by the FBI Wednesday morning during a sting, sources have told NBC Bay Area.

Officers from the California Highway Patrol and Sergeant at Arms are at Yee's office in Sacramento, according to KCRA.

Ace reporter Vic Lee at ABC’s KGO TV adds:

A series of search warrants are being executed by the FBI across the Bay Area this morning. ABC7 News has learned they are making numerous arrests in a widespread sweep involving suspected gang members.

One of the searches is taking place at the San Francisco Chinatown office of the Gee King Tong Free Masons and is linked to the arrest this morning of Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow.

Chow is a very well-known underworld figure in the Bay Area, a kind of celebrity gangster who has been the subject of television documentaries on the History Channel and elsewhere.  Wikipedia summarizes:

Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, born Kwok Cheung (Chinese: 周國祥) in 1959 in Hong Kong,[1] is a Chinese American former triad member who once was the second-highest-ranking member of the American branch of the Hong Kong-based triad Wo Hop To.[2] Before his association with Wo Hop To, he was the leader of the Hop Sing Boys, a San Francisco Chinatown street gang that has been described as "enforcers for the Hop Sing Tong",[3] where he was present at the Golden Dragon massacre in 1977.[1]

First convicted in 1978 for robbery in Chinatown, San Francisco. Chow received 11 years of which he did 7 years and 4 months. He was released in 1985. In 1986 Chow was charged with 28 counts of assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, mayhem, ex con with fire arms he then served 3 years in prison and was released in 1989. In 1992 Chow was arrested for racketeering which was then separated into two separate trials. The first for gun trafficking and the second for prostitution, drug, money laundering, illegal gambling operations, arson, hire for murder and assault. Convicted in 1995, Chow was sentenced to 24 years on six counts of gun-trafficking.[2] When Peter Chong was captured, Chow cooperated with authorities and testified against his former boss in Wo Hop To and was released after serving 11 years of his sentence. He cooperated and turned state witness as his former boss and partner had thrown him under the bus and also hired away his defense attorney. In 1996 Chow was tried again for racketeering of which he received 38 counts however there was a hung jury and 4 counts were dropped.

Since his release in 2003 Raymond Chow has not been given his visa back or given witness protection by the government as part of his plea agreement. He has worn a monitor on his ankle for almost 10 years since his release and is not allowed to make any money. He has not committed any crime and vows to lead a crime free life.[4][5] He now professes to live a law-abiding life, and is currently the head of Hung Moon Ghee Kong Tong, a fraternal association in San Francisco sometimes referred to as the Chinese Freemasons.[1]

For those not familiar with it, the Golden Dragon massacre featured the machine-gunning of rival gang members and unrelated diners at a popular San Francisco Chinatown restaurant. Having dined there myself, the massacre hit me like a ton of bricks.

Both Yee and Calderon are part of the political machine of Darrell Steinberg, president pro tem of the California State Senate, and the most powerful man in state government. In my opinion, Steinberg is at the heart of the rot affecting California government. My hopes and prayers are that Yee and Calderon can be squeezed so that they turn on and implicate Steinberg, who is the real kingpin.

Update: It should be noted that Yee had been runnng for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State, which would put him in chrage of voting, among other responsibilites.

Upadte from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Sources told The Chronicle that the predawn, multiagency raids stemmed from a shooting about five years ago.

No details were immediately released by the FBI. Yee's chief of staff was not immediately available for comment.

Local television cameras showed Yee being led away in handcuffs from his home and being placed in a waiting car that later arrived at the federal building in San Francisco, which houses the FBI and district courtrooms. (snip)

This isn't Yee's first brush with the law. In 2000, Yee was arrested in Hawaii on suspicion of boosting an $8.09 bottle of suntan oil by putting it in the front of his shorts.

A year earlier, Lee was pulled over twice by San Francisco police officer who suspected him of cruising the Mission District in search of prostitutes. In both cases, police questioned Yee at the scene of the stops on South Van Ness Avenue and let him go on his way.

Yee, who championed putting a lid on massage parlors around the city, confirmed the stops, but said that in both cases he was the victim of mistaken identity.

 

There are encouraging signs that the very corrupt Democrat political machine in the California state legislature may be finally getting exposed, indicted, and, God willing, destroyed.  The state of California is a corrupt banana republic, run by Democrats, and spending a yearly budget in excess of a hundred billion dollars a year. Evidently, the FBI and federal prosecutors have taken notice, and the arrest last month of powerful Democrat state Senator Ron Calderon was this morning followed by the indictment and arrest of another Democrat powerhouse, state Senator Leland Yee.

Details are so far sketchy, as the arrest just took place. NBC Bay Area reports:

California State Senator Leland Yee has been arrested on bribery and corruption charges as part of several arrests made by the FBI Wednesday morning during a sting, sources have told NBC Bay Area.

Officers from the California Highway Patrol and Sergeant at Arms are at Yee's office in Sacramento, according to KCRA.

Ace reporter Vic Lee at ABC’s KGO TV adds:

A series of search warrants are being executed by the FBI across the Bay Area this morning. ABC7 News has learned they are making numerous arrests in a widespread sweep involving suspected gang members.

One of the searches is taking place at the San Francisco Chinatown office of the Gee King Tong Free Masons and is linked to the arrest this morning of Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow.

Chow is a very well-known underworld figure in the Bay Area, a kind of celebrity gangster who has been the subject of television documentaries on the History Channel and elsewhere.  Wikipedia summarizes:

Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, born Kwok Cheung (Chinese: 周國祥) in 1959 in Hong Kong,[1] is a Chinese American former triad member who once was the second-highest-ranking member of the American branch of the Hong Kong-based triad Wo Hop To.[2] Before his association with Wo Hop To, he was the leader of the Hop Sing Boys, a San Francisco Chinatown street gang that has been described as "enforcers for the Hop Sing Tong",[3] where he was present at the Golden Dragon massacre in 1977.[1]

First convicted in 1978 for robbery in Chinatown, San Francisco. Chow received 11 years of which he did 7 years and 4 months. He was released in 1985. In 1986 Chow was charged with 28 counts of assault with a deadly weapon, attempted murder, mayhem, ex con with fire arms he then served 3 years in prison and was released in 1989. In 1992 Chow was arrested for racketeering which was then separated into two separate trials. The first for gun trafficking and the second for prostitution, drug, money laundering, illegal gambling operations, arson, hire for murder and assault. Convicted in 1995, Chow was sentenced to 24 years on six counts of gun-trafficking.[2] When Peter Chong was captured, Chow cooperated with authorities and testified against his former boss in Wo Hop To and was released after serving 11 years of his sentence. He cooperated and turned state witness as his former boss and partner had thrown him under the bus and also hired away his defense attorney. In 1996 Chow was tried again for racketeering of which he received 38 counts however there was a hung jury and 4 counts were dropped.

Since his release in 2003 Raymond Chow has not been given his visa back or given witness protection by the government as part of his plea agreement. He has worn a monitor on his ankle for almost 10 years since his release and is not allowed to make any money. He has not committed any crime and vows to lead a crime free life.[4][5] He now professes to live a law-abiding life, and is currently the head of Hung Moon Ghee Kong Tong, a fraternal association in San Francisco sometimes referred to as the Chinese Freemasons.[1]

For those not familiar with it, the Golden Dragon massacre featured the machine-gunning of rival gang members and unrelated diners at a popular San Francisco Chinatown restaurant. Having dined there myself, the massacre hit me like a ton of bricks.

Both Yee and Calderon are part of the political machine of Darrell Steinberg, president pro tem of the California State Senate, and the most powerful man in state government. In my opinion, Steinberg is at the heart of the rot affecting California government. My hopes and prayers are that Yee and Calderon can be squeezed so that they turn on and implicate Steinberg, who is the real kingpin.

Update: It should be noted that Yee had been runnng for the Democratic nomination for Secretary of State, which would put him in chrage of voting, among other responsibilites.

Upadte from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Sources told The Chronicle that the predawn, multiagency raids stemmed from a shooting about five years ago.

No details were immediately released by the FBI. Yee's chief of staff was not immediately available for comment.

Local television cameras showed Yee being led away in handcuffs from his home and being placed in a waiting car that later arrived at the federal building in San Francisco, which houses the FBI and district courtrooms. (snip)

This isn't Yee's first brush with the law. In 2000, Yee was arrested in Hawaii on suspicion of boosting an $8.09 bottle of suntan oil by putting it in the front of his shorts.

A year earlier, Lee was pulled over twice by San Francisco police officer who suspected him of cruising the Mission District in search of prostitutes. In both cases, police questioned Yee at the scene of the stops on South Van Ness Avenue and let him go on his way.

Yee, who championed putting a lid on massage parlors around the city, confirmed the stops, but said that in both cases he was the victim of mistaken identity.