Prop. 13: No Easy Tweaks, No Matter How Well They Poll

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Second thoughts?
It's remarkable how giddy this state's more left-leaning voters -- and that'd be most of us -- get whenever even the most tepid announcement is made about rejiggering Proposition 13. 

The 1975 ballot initiative, which froze property tax rates at that year's level and only reassesses them upon sale or transfer of a structure, is a prime example of the law of unintended consequences. The state's school system was eviscerated and our roads have been left to fend for themselves. Students can't read well enough to decipher signs warning of crater-sized potholes. It's not a good look here in the Golden State. 

But, in yet another Waiting for Godot moment, those hoping to do away with the iniquitous law were pleased by a recent poll showing major support for tweaking Prop. 13. The vast majority of respondents would favor reassessing business properties upon sale or transfer akin to residential properties. 

There's a problem here, however. It's damn near impossible to keep track of this if the business involved doesn't want you to. And, oftentimes, they don't. 

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Michael Petrelis, Blogger Arrested Trying to Photograph Supe. Wiener's Wiener, Is Running for Supervisor

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Bill Wilson Photos
Gay activist/blogger and City Hall gadfly Michael Petrelis kicked off his campaign for District 8 Supervisor on Saturday, determined to unseat his nemesis Supervisor Scott Wiener.

If you recall, the duo made headlines a few years ago after Wiener got a restraining order against Petrelis who had shot and posted to his personal blog a photo of Wiener in the bathroom at City Hall. Apparently, Petrelis had been attempting to photograph the supervisor as he was using the urinal, but the shot ended up showing nothing more than Wiener grabbing his toothbrush and leaving the bathroom in a huff.

On Saturday, the always over-the-top Petrelis riffed off that controversy and decided to use the public toilet at Castro and Market streets as the backdrop for his campaign announcement.

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Leland Yee: Grand Jury Indicts Suspended Senator and 28 Other Defendants

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Yee surrounded by a scrum of reporters.
The U.S. government is ratcheting up its case against Senator Leland Yee, whose bribery and corruption charges left San Francisco voters dumb-struck last Wednesday.

Yee was apprehended along with 28 other defendants including famed Chinatown gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, political consultant Keith Jackson, and sports agent Marlon Sullivan.

The suspects had allegedly formed a vast crime web that took years for federal agents to unravel, and ultimately produced a 137-page criminal complaint. It describes a litany of charges that could send the defendants to jail for decades, including money laundering, conspiracy to sell drugs, and murder-for-hire; Yee was popped for public corruption and attempting to broker illegal firearms deals. Fellow senators voted to suspend him with pay two days later.

And now a federal grand jury returned the indictment to solidify those charges, giving the feds a more airtight case.

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Did SF Archdiocese Put Nancy Pelosi on Probation From Communion in the Catholic Church?

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SF Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, seen here in a lovely pink top, doesn't think gays should marry.

This week, Right Wing News reported that San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone indicated Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi shouldn't receive Holy Communion anymore, because of her positions deviate from the teachings of the church.

As you recall, the Archbishop drew the ire of the LGBT community when he assumed office in part because he was a strong supporter of Prop 8, the now-defeated gay marriage ban.

So now is the Archbishop really looking to "excommunicate" Pelosi?

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Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Talks About Gun Control to a Packed Audience in Oakland

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Gabrielle Giffords
A packed house of enthusiastic admirers filled the Paramount Theater in downtown Oakland last night to greet former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly.

Giffords became a national symbol for gun control when she was shot in the head on Jan. 8, 2011 outside a Safeway store in her Tuscon area district. It was to be the first of her "Congress on Your Corner" gatherings of the year. Shooter Jared Lee Loughner killed six that day, and injured 19, including the Congresswoman. Daniel Hernandez Jr, one of Giffords' interns, applied immediate first aid on the Congresswoman and is credited with saving her life.

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Leland Yee: Politician Not Busted for Type of Corruption Charges Everyone Anticipated He'd Be Busted For

Categories: Politics
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Jim Herd
Don't look behind you, Leland. Something might be gaining on you. 
As the impact of L'affaire Leland Yee continues to wash over San Francisco and its denizens, a number of popular themes have solidified. 

A State Senator hoodwinked into brokering an arms deal for Filipino jihadis; a gangster named "Shrimp Boy" with a predilection for gangsterism and having himself photographed with anybody and everybody; a political consultant, his son, and the son's sports agent buddy providing firearms for marijuana-tending thugs and stumbling into a murder-for-hire conspiracy: This is movie shit. 

Decades from now, audiences will laugh at the vintage 2014 costumes and hairstyles -- and Yee's windbreaker -- as the 2044 equivalent of Bradley Cooper portrays a dashing undercover FBI agent. 

Get the popcorn started. But the more salient theme for those of us who've lived here a while and hope to continue doing so pertains to Yee's political ascent. In short, these aren't the sort of corruption charges anyone expected him to get busted for. But Yee getting busted for corruption is a rabbit-out-of-a-rabbit-hutch moment.  

Yee has a well-earned reputation as a "human jukebox." You put the money in and it sings the song you want. Granted, it'd be a shock if you put money in the jukebox and guns and jihadis came out. But, if the voluminous criminal complaint underpinning the charges against Yee and 25 others is correct, he's simply transcended the legal, transactional role of a slick politician into a more lucrative and illegal version of the same game. 

He was, then, behaving like Leland Yee -- only more so. 



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Sen. Leland Yee's Alleged Medical Marijuana Bribe Didn't Pay Off

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A friend in weed, allegedly

Taking cash from a mob-connected pot dealer in exchange for favors is crooked. Taking cash from an undercover FBI agent posing as the mob in exchange for favors -- and then not following through with those favors -- is something else entirely.

Something only Sen. Leland Yee would do.

That appears to be what the disgraced lawmaker and allegedly corrupt official did on medical marijuana, according to the criminal complaint filed in federal court this week.


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Legislature to Vote on Suspending Sen. Leland Yee Today (Update)

Categories: Politics

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Leland Yee and a throng of reporters
Update 12:20 p.m.: The Senate voted 28-1 this morning to suspend Sen. Leland Yee upon his bribery and corruption charges. The dissenting vote came from Republican Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) who preferred expulsion to suspension. The Chron reports that the Senate also suspended Sen. Ron Calderon of Montebello, who has been charged with bribery and corruption, and Sen. Rod Wright of Baldwin Park, who was convicted earlier this year of eight counts perjury and voter fraud.

Immediately after the vote, Senator Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) issued a disappointed statement, calling the suspensions nothing more than a taxpayer-paid vacation.

Original Story: Sen. Leland Yee has yet to answer calls to resign from his position in the Legislature so lawmakers this morning are planning to vote on booting him out.

According to NBC News, senators are meeting in the Senate Chambers in Sacramento at 9 a.m., where they'll ask Yee one final time if he'll resign amid his bribery and corruption charges.

And if he says no, he will be suspended Senate pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg's Office told the news station.

See Also: Here Are Our Favorite Tweets About Leland Yee's Arrest

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Senator Bob Huff Introduces Resolution Calling for Leland Yee's Suspension

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The Senate shows Leland the door
Since Sen. Leland Yee is refusing to resign from the Senate, his fellow lawmakers have gone ahead and drawn up a resolution of their own calling for Yee's suspension from office.

Earlier today, Yee, who was arrested yesterday on bribery and gun trafficking charges, withdrew from the race for Secretary of State, but his attorney told reporters he was not leaving the Senate, despite calls from fellow pols asking for him to resign.

Not long after that, in continuation of the saga, Senate GOP leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) introduced Senate Resolution 37, asking lawmakers to suspend Yee.

The arrest has caused an uproar among political leaders on both party lines. Yesterday evening, Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), asked Yee to resign, saying: "Leave. Don't burden your colleagues and this great institution with your troubles. Leave."

Republicans and Democrats might not agree on much, but they're finding harmony on this particular issue. "We need to act decisively in order to begin restoring the public's trust," says Huff.

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Senator Darrell Steinberg to Leland Yee: Resign or Get Booted From the Senate (Update)

Categories: Politics

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Flickr/HeatherSails
Steinberg is waiting ...

Update 12:17 p.m.: Yee hasn't yet left the Senate, but he did just withdraw from the Secretary of State race, KGO is reporting.

In an expected move from Sacramento, State Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has called on Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) to resign from his position after he was arrested and charged with gun trafficking and bribery.

On Wednesday, Yee and 25 other people, including political consultant Keith Jackson and Chinatown gangster Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow were arrested in an early-morning raid that broke up an alleged crime ring involving drugs, guns, money laundering, and murder for hire.

According to NBC News, Steinberg, (D-Sacramento), had plenty to say about the charges, calling them "sickening," and "shocking and surreal." Afterward, he called on Yee to resign. "Leave. Don't burden your colleagues and this great institution with your troubles. Leave," Steinberg was quoted saying.

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