The astounding story of Leland Yee.
In recent years, the notorious Chinatown gang leader has been telling groups of troubled youths to resist a life of crime while touting his awards from politicians, including U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who praised him in July 2012 "for his tenacity and willingness to give back to the community and working 'in the trenches' as a change agent."
Despite his pronouncements of being reformed, Chow remained very much at the heart of a criminal network, according to an affidavit by FBI Special Agent Emmanuel Pascua. . . .
Chow holds a "supreme authority" position in the Triad, an international Chinese organized crime group; heads the Hop Sing Boys, a San Francisco street gang; and serves as the "dragon head," or leader, of the Ghee Kung Tong, a Chinese brotherhood that allegedly provided cover for criminal operations after Chow took over in 2006, according to the affidavit.
Yee told an FBI agent to give him a shopping list of guns:"Senator Yee asked [the agent] to provide an inventory list of desired weapons [...] [The agent] told Yee he would deliver $2,000,000 cash."
Yee could arrange [for] some serious firepower: "[The agent] asked about shoulder fired automatic weapons. Senator Yee responded by saying the automatic weapons are the equivalent to the "M16" Automatic Service Weapon [...] [The agent] asked about the availability of shoulder fire missiles or rockets. Senator Yee responded 'I told him about the rockets and things like that.'"
Yee took personal responsibility for delivering the weapons:"Senator Yee said, 'We're interested' in arranging the weapons deal [...] and said of the arms dealer, 'He's going to rely on me, because ultimately it's going to be me.' [The agent] stated he would compensate Yee for brokering the relationship and arms deal."
Yee was in it for the cash: "Senator Yee said, 'Do I think we can make some money? I think we can make some money. Do I think we can get the good [sic]? I think we can get the goods.'"
Yee masterminded a complex scheme to import illegal weapons: "Keith Jackson [a political consultant who worked as Yee's fundraiser] told [an agent] that Senator Yee had a contact who deals in arms trafficking. This purported arms dealer was later identified. Jackson requested [a campaign donation] on behalf of Senator Yee, for Senator Yee to facilitate a meeting with arms dealer with the intent of [the agent] to purportedly purchase a large number of weapons to be imported through the Port of Newark, New Jersey. During a meeting [...] Senator Yee discussed certain details of the specific types of weapons [the agent] was interested in buying and importing."
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), whom Republicans view as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the Senate, is leading the effort, and is joined by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), both of whom are facing difficult reelection races in 2014.
Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Angus King (I-Maine) are also on board with the legislation. . . .
The first bill from the group of Democrats would add a new, cheaper option, a copper plan, to ObamaCare's existing menu of platinum, gold, silver and bronze plans. The bill also seeks to spur competition in the marketplaces by restoring funding to nonprofit healthcare co-ops.
The second bill would expand tax credits to small businesses. It would also expand the option for voluntary healthcare coverage from employers with 50 or fewer workers to employers with 100 or fewer.
The third bill would allow consumers to enroll directly through insurers and other Web-based entities besides HealthCare.gov.
The Braley campaign misspelled a couple of basic Iowa-farm-related words--detasseling and baling--in its press release defending the U.S. Senate candidate's street cred with farms and farmers.
A sharp-eyed Des Moines Register editor noticed that the news release said: "Bruce grew up in rural Iowa and worked on Iowa farms, detassling corn and bailing hay."