Leland Yee & Supporters Respond; News Coverage of Anthony Wiener …

by on June 10, 2011

To the Editor:

While Paul Hogarth’s blatant disregard for facts in today’s blog post doesn’t deserve a reply, my respect for your readers requires a response.

As he has done in the past, Paul makes a broad claim about my record and backs it up with almost nothing. His claim in this instance is to try to sully my ten‑year environmental record in Sacramento by criticizing my vote on SB 833. He fails to note that Christine Kehoe, the local State Senator and one of the most liberal voices in the Senate, took the same position that I did. The local Board of Supervisors opposed the bill too — because SB 833 was about protecting gambling interests, not the interests of the community.

But that single vote is not really the issue. Paul knows very well that over my ten years in Sacramento I have taken literally hundreds of votes on the environment, and that my overall record is one of the best in the State.

If Paul bothered to look, he would find that I was one of only two State Senators to receive a 100% rating from Clean Water Action, Sierra Club and the California League of Conservation Voters for the entire 2010 legislative session. That is an objective analysis by the top environmental groups in the state on their official scorecards of the most important environmental votes of the year – a more reliable source, I would think, than the one offered by Beyond Chron.

Paul also mentions in passing an 8-year-old vote on a bill by State Senator Leno regarding SROs by way of challenging my entire tenant voting record in Sacramento. How convenient it is to ignore, for example, the vote I took just last week supporting another Leno bill (SB 184) that’s critical for affordable housing in San Francisco, and the dozens of others I have taken on behalf of tenants in Sacramento—in fact, of every legislative priority listed on the Tenants Together website, which goes back to 2008, I’ve been with them 13 times out of 14. That includes major protections for tenants during foreclosures, including empowerment to contest illegal evictions; property tax assistance for low-income elderly and disabled folks; making permanent the 60-day notice (rather than 30) to tenants in no-fault evictions; and a bill I authored to protect victims of domestic violence from evictions.

Paul is right to urge your readers to review the record before they vote. They should just make sure they review the entire record, not just the bits and pieces he would like them to see.

Leland Yee
State Senator


To the Editor:

Gee, I work on legislation in Sacramento as well as being a local environmental activist, and I have to tell you that Senator Yee does have a good reputation among Sacramento environmentalists – in fact he received perfect scores on all three environmental legislative scorecards last session. It’s unfortunate that the Senator chose to cast a vote against this one bill after receiving the Sierra Club endorsement ‑‑ but the bill received overwhelming support and didn’t need his vote.

However, I’m more interested in his aye votes on two other environmental priority bills that barely made it out of the Senate with the minimum 21 votes – SB 568, which bans foam food containers in CA, (full disclosure, it’s sponsored by the organization I work for, Clean Water Action) and SB580, which protects state parkland from being hijacked for incompatible uses. His vote was critical on both of these bills, as it was not for SB833. (Oh, yes, you cited the wrong bill number in your article.)

As a water advocate, I particularly appreciated the Senator’s strong opposition to the bad water bond that was approved by the Legislature in 2009 (it’s currently on the 2012 ballot), and for which he was pretty strongly castigated by Senate leadershipI think future articles citing the Senator’s environmental record in Sacramento should include a bit more research – and maybe an interview with at least one environmentalist who works there.

Jennifer Clary
San Francisco


To the Editor:

Sadly, the old adage “no News is good news” does not prevail anymore. Today, important news is hard to find! Charlie Sheen, Anthony Weiner the latest winner of Dancing with the Stars lead off too many so called news programs. When I have time, I watch C-SPAN to find out what’s happening in Congress or the Senate. 50 years ago the tabloid stories that appeared in Confidential Magazine, or the National Inquire are now the norm. I prefer getting my news on the WWW. along with Beyondchron and a few other sites that deliver information other than B.S.!

Jerry Pritikin
Chicago


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