SF Weekly: SF Mayoral Candidate Leland Yee Can’t Erase His Past

The latest issue of the San Francisco Weekly has a scathing cover story on San Francisco mayoral candidate — and current California Senator — Leland Yee reviewing Yee’s past questionable dealings and behavior over his thirty years as a public servant, politician and member of the community. I’ve seen Yee at a few political events, but don’t really know the man; he seems like the type that gets late to an event and leaves early to be seen – but that could describe a lot of politicians whose schedules are packed tight. But Yee has given me the wrong vibe at times and seeing him portrayed as “sketchy” definitely did not surprise me.

SF Weekly’s story covers Yee’s major past indiscretions or accusations:

  • Stopped twice in the Mission District’s hooker-row area by police for allegedly soliciting prostitutes
  • Being caught shoplifting sun tan oil lotion while vacationing in Hawaii
  • Accused of cooking the books at a non-profit where he was an administrator
  • Being in the pocket of his campaign donors
  • Lying about where he lived to send his kids to a better school within San Francisco

While this sounds like many politicians you know and nothing new, I’ve only heard bad things from those who have had to deal with Yee in a variety of capacities, from a constituent who asked Yee to address an issue directly under his former professional expertise and current role as a legislator to sitting politicians. I think the reporter best sums up Yee’s overall challenge in running for mayor of San Francisco by these words:

“Leland Yee is a political lifer who has served on the school board, the Board of Supervisors, in the state Assembly, and now in the state Senate, where he represents the Eighth District. He has built a public facade of earnest goodness that, if it were as much his essence as it is his veneer, would make him Sacramento’s top Eagle Scout. But during that time, Yee has produced a series of possible ethical breaches so numerous and bizarre that voters might feel compelled to seek out extraordinary accomplishments to balance out his weird record.”

That doesn’t sound like an extraordinary legislator or leader to me. He definitely seems to support and change his stances on the issues at his convenience – but I guess many politicians who have been in office for many years might be prone to that. If I were living in San Francisco, I would not vote for him, based on people I trust who know him a whole lot better than I do, but also because I already think there is a better candidate for me. That said, this is one of the most negative stories I’ve read about a local and state politician.

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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