The arrest of state Senator Leland Yee Wednesday on a host of corruption charges is the third in a series of incidents that have wiped-out the Democrats’ super majority in the state Senate and proves once again that too much power corrupts.
Yee, an advocate of stricter gun laws, was charged with gun-trafficking and corruption involving notorious San Francisco gangster Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow. Yee is also a candidate for state Secretary of State, but that campaign probably isn’t going anywhere now.
FBI agents raided Yee’s Capitol office, the second time in nine months they’ve seized the office of a Democratic state senator. Ron Calderon’s office was raided last June; he was indicted last month on federal corruption charges.
A third Democrat, Sen. Rod Wright, was found guilty of lying about where he lived, and has joined Calderon on a paid “leave of absence” while awaiting sentencing. (Since these were state charges, the FBI didn’t visit his office.)
This may not be all bad. The Democrats had a super majority of 27 votes in the state Senate until the conviction of Wright and the arrest of Calderon and Lee. Now they’ll have to work with Republicans on any measure that requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass the senate.
But these events show once again that Lord Acton was right when he observed that “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And politicians wonder why the public doesn’t trust them.