California Dems cook-up strategy to deflect Leland Yee scandal

With one Democrat state senator convicted and two more under indictment, the California Democratic Party calls to mind a slogan Nancy Pelosi used to great effect back in the day when Jack Abramoff was a household name: “culture of corruption.”

The specter of a highly visible gun control advocate caught attempting to supply machine guns and shoulder-fired rockets to (apparently) drug gangs may not rate coverage by CNN, but it has been irresistibly big news in the state of California.

Obviously, an excuse has to be created, and it hasn’t taken the corruptocrats in Sacramento very long. It was the lack of public campaign financing that did forced an idealistic crusader into something he would otherwise never have done. Jim Miller of the Sacramento Bee reports on the Democrats’ rationalization:

The 137-page FBI affidavit against Yee and more than 20 other defendants says the San Francisco Democrat’s focus on retiring a $70,000 campaign debt from his unsuccessful 2011 mayor’s race and raising money for his 2014 candidacy for secretary of state led him to accept bribes in return for official favors and arrange overseas weapons deals. (snip)

Money is a never-ending concern of politicians facing campaign costs that run into the six and seven figures. State records showed that, since 2001, Yee has pulled in contributions from across the donor spectrum, ranging from labor unions and small businesses to tribes with casinos and major financial firms. (snip)

“It is legal, it is accepted, and it in fact is necessary for people running for office and for incumbents to raise money from interests and to later vote on measures that those interests have before the Legislature,” Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, said Friday. “Might this be a moment and a moment to once again discuss public financing of campaigns or other measures that remove the reality of the present system? I hope so.”

As always with the Dems, the answer is more government spending, not simply insisting on honesty in public officials.