Leland Yee Shows Hand While Playing Political Card - NBC Bay Area

Leland Yee Shows Hand While Playing Political Card

Phonebook waste law dead in the water, senator blames AT&T



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    State Senator Leland Yee has been laying off the University of California administration lately, instead focusing on issues dear to San Franciscans.

    State Senator Leland Yee has won plenty of political points thanks to his crusade against the California State University, Stanislaus Foundation hiring former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin to speak at a fundraiser and keeping the fee secret for weeks.

    It's the kind of move that will likely ensure his re-election to the state senate this year, but Yee is widely considered to have his eye on a different prize -- Room 200 at San Francisco City Hall. The mayor's office.

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    A recent bill Yee sponsored to make phone book delivery opt-in instead of opt-out, which was intended to reduce the massive waste since few people still use phonebooks, won't make it to a vote.

    But he still gets the environmentalist street cred that will endear him to San Francisco voters for sponsoring the bill in the first place.  And blaming AT&T for being the heavy in a city full of frustrated iPhone owners? Genius.

    How else might Yee be planning to win support? By helping an aide win an election to the Democratic County Central Committee, which doles out the party's local San Francisco endorsements.

    Of the $20,800 raised for a campaign by Yee field representative Melissa Apuya, 93 percent came in the form of two checks from the Yee For Senate campaign committee.

    All of which means Yee remains a front-runner to become mayor of San Francisco in 2012, even if his campaign is officially unofficial.

    Jackson West figures Mayor Gavin Newsom will end up lieutenant governor, and can't wait to see who the Board of Supervisors picks to be the incumbent in the 2011 race.


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