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California State senator Leland Yee leaves the Phillip Burton Federal Building after a court appearance on March 31, 2014 in San Francisco, California. State Senator Leland Yee appeared in federal court today for a second time after being arrested along with 25 others by F.B.I. agents last week on political corruption and firearms trafficking charges. Yee is free on a $500,000 unsecured bond.
Spurred by the federal indictment against embattled Sen. Leland Yee, the San Francisco Chronicle has launched a review of Yee’s voting record in the Legislature.
The paper finds more than 30 instances since 2003 in which Yee voted in favor of legislations that ran counter to his stated positions, and then got large contributions from companies and industries that benefited from his votes. They included chemical, oil and insurance companies.
But the paper says what Yee did isn’t technically illegal. It’s a violation only when there’s an agreement in place between a lawmaker and a campaign donor to trade votes for monetary or in-kind compensations.
Jessica Levinson, professor at Loyola Law School and vice president of the LA Ethics Commission