GRANDMA UPHOLDS THE YEE FAMILY NAME

Print Friendly

 

Posticker Sig revised
Last week, this column downplayed the impact of State Senator Leland Yee’s legal troubles (he pleaded innocent) on Betty Yee’s campaign for State Controller, especially in light of her rival and Assembly Speaker John Perez’s potential ethical issues and the contagion of the Yee-Wright-Calderon scandals (See below and “Potstickers” on 4/3/14 at tinyurl.com/ll666ck). Although Betty Yee’s consultant isn’t worried (see below) her campaign e-blasted a fundraising appeal with a personal endorsement from Betty’s grandmother,– a day after “Grammy Soo’s” 91st birthday on April 7.  The first paragraph of the appeal downplayed the indictment of Leland Yee on Betty’s candidacy and noted he had “no [family] relation” to her…“Leland cannot sully the Yee family name…The Chinese community and beyond know that my daughter Betty Yee bears her name proudly…Leland cannot bring you down,” said her grandmother, highlighting her granddaughter’s “reputation for honesty”…
State Board of Equalization member Betty Yee

State Board of Equalization member Betty Yee

 

 

 

 
FIRST NAME BASIS: Nevertheless, keep an eye on how Betty Yee fares where voter confusion with indicted State Leland Yee’s surname could make a difference. Watching closely how Betty does is San Francisco District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee. Theory is some voters thought Yee, 64, was the same Leland Yee, 65, on the ballot since 1986 (he lost his first race for school board) in the West of Twin Peaks, Lake Merced, St. Francis Woods and Forest Hill neighborhoods. Besides sharing the same surname, Norman and Leland served on the school board and are among the most senior (age and service – 25 years for Leland, 19 for Norman) members of the SF elected political community. Norman Yee faces re-election in 2016 while Leland Yee is defending his stay as state senator until his term ends in December 2014 and use his campaign account balances to defend himself against the feds for alleged bribery and arms dealing charges. Will voters see a lot of “Norman” signs and less “Yee” signs to distance himself from the disgraced State Senator? Strategists will have to contemplate that after Norman barely won by 132 votes over labor leader and commissioner FX Crowley in 2012…
 
HELLO LARRY: Betty Yee’s consultant isn’t overly concerned about a backlash for sharing Leland Yee’s surname. Parke Skelton oddly said, “If [Betty] was a senator named Larry Yee, I’d be more concerned” in the San Jose Mercury on April 6. The Pasadena consultant either committed a political Freudian Slip or knew Larry (fortunately not indicted among the 29) as a long time protégé of Leland Yee’s – representing him on the SF Democratic County Central Committee, president of a local Democratic Club and active with the Communications Workers of America
PUTTING GRANDMA OUT OF WORK: Not just mom and pop grocery stores, but Supervisor Eric Mar and other legislators could put the hurt on those ubiquitous San Francisco Chinese grandmas (po doi, the Chinese Cantonese version of Russian babushka) fishing out recyclable and redeemable soda cans and bottles from gutters and trash bins. If you ever want a case of the willies, just have one of them give what blogger Beth Spotswood called a “side eye” stare (see “Potstickers” 3/6/14 at tinyurl.com/pkx8ygm) at Mar’s legislation and ballot measure which will not only crimp soda purchases in the name of health but also bottle and can redemptions so the city could collect two cents per ounce of sugary soda…SUGAR FIX: The backfire is who’s going to stop obese or diabetic prone kids and adults from smuggling out sugar packets from fast foods stores like McDonald’s (where Mar tried to legislate Happy Meals out of existence) to enhance unsweetened and thereby untaxed sodas…
On March 24th, a town hall meeting took place in Morrissey Hall of St. Mary’s Medical Center to discuss a two-cent tax per fluid ounce on soda and sugary drinks. Speakers included Supervisors Eric Mar and Scott Wiener.

On March 24th, a town hall meeting took place in Morrissey Hall of St. Mary’s Medical Center to discuss a two-cent tax per fluid ounce on soda and sugary drinks. Speakers included Supervisors Eric Mar and Scott Wiener.

ETHICS ENCOURAGES COMPETITION: Effect of suspended State Senators Yee, Ron Calderon and Rod Wright indicted for totally separate charges. California state legislators have been facing more competitive races under the top two and open primary system (June and November elections) and newly reapportioned districts drawn by an independent state commission after the 2010 US Census. Prior to these 2012 changes, legislators could have easily survived the fall out from major scandals since they ran with token or no opposition from basically political party-drawn districts that protected incumbents….
GOP’S BEST FRIEND: Indicted State Senator Yee still has friends, albeit California and national Republicans won’t admit it. As long as he holds out thru to the end of his term in December, he’ll give the GOP fodder on affirmative action and good government. Yee, along with State Senators Ted Lieu and Carol Liu, reacting to their Chinese American constituencies had single handedly killed a senate constitutional amendment to allow for affirmative action in state university admissions which Senate Democrats tried to revive under a Proposition 209 environment. Although California APAs have a Democratic plurality in the state (36% Democrat, 25% GOP) compared to all voters (44% Dem, 29% Rep), they have a high percentage of voters non-aligned with any party (36%) compared to all California voters (23%) according to Political Data Inc. With Yee derailed as a messenger, the Democratic caucus has a major challenge of accommodating anti-affirmative action Chinese American Democrats versus pro-affirmative action Democrats, including other APAs, Latinos and African Americans. It’s a major wedge issue that then GOP California Governor Pete Wilson exploited in 1996 for a White House run at the expense of the long-term viability of California and national Republicans. While trying to down play wedge issues like marriage equality, undocumented immigration, the GOP hired San Francisco ex-pat Stephen Fong last year for GOP APA outreach in the months after Barack Obama trounced White House Republican nominee Mitt Romney among Latinos, Asians, LGBT and women voters in 2012. The APA outreach is further reinforced with SF GOP Chair and California Republican Party Vice Chair Harmeet Dhillon, a Sikh American in line to be CRP Chair…It’s shaping up to be a major tug-of-war in the Democratic big circus tent with the GOP fueling it further with corruption by three state senators who happen to be Asian, African and Latino American…
MISS ME?: Email Samson Wong at potsticker@prodigy.net and  follow him at Twitter @SFPotstickers…

About the Author

Veteran columnist has appeared in up to 450,000 households weekly in the SF Independent, Examiner (2000-04) and AsianWeek since 1996. As Editor-in-Chief (2003-07), AsianWeek and Samson received wide recognition from the California Legislature, New American Media, League of Women Voters, GLAAD, Organization of Chinese Americans, SPUR and APA civic groups. Thru the SF Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections, SF Elections Task Force and Chinese American Voters Education Committee, Wong helped boost APA influence from 25,000 in the 1980s to over 50,000 voters by the early 1990s.