Monday, October 17, 2011

Right Wing Assemblywoman Involved in Sarah Palin Flap Helps Ed Lee with Anti-Leland Yee “Robo Calls” Stanislaus Assemblywoman uses her campaign funds to falsely attack Senator Yee

SAN FRANCISCO – An ultra-conservative Assemblywoman who once bragged about her 0% rating from the Sierra Club and who was involved in the cover-up of Sarah Palin’s speaking fee at CSU Stanislaus is using her campaign funds to finance negative and false “robo calls” against Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco).
“San Franciscans have a right to know who is behind these negative attacks, and in this case it’s yet another Republican helping Ed Lee,” said Jim Stearns, Yee’s campaign manager. “It is almost unbelievable that a Republican involved in the Palin cover-up would be attacking Leland Yee on this issue, when he has one of the best records in California on transparency and open government.”
In the robo call, Assemblywoman Kristen Olsen (R-Modesto) falsely attacks Senator Yee for not releasing his office budget; however, Yee’s office budget has long been public and has been released on numerous occasions. In fact, Yee’s office budget currently has a surplus of over $65,000.
Olsen was the public relation’s director for California State University Stanislaus when the university failed to release the speaking contract of Sarah Palin last year, and lost a public records lawsuit filed by Californians Aware. Last week, while Yee was earning the Phil Burton Badge of Courage Award from the Sierra Club, Olsen bragged on twitter that she received a 0% rating from the environmental organization.
Yee has a long record of fighting for transparency in government. Yee has authored dozens of laws to protect whistleblowers, allow greater public access to government documents, ensure speech rights, and increase accountability of public officials.
For these and other efforts, he has received several awards, including the Beacon Award from the First Amendment Coalition, Freedom of Information Award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Californians Aware dubbed Yee “Senator Sunshine.”
“San Francisco’s gain would be a loss to the Legislature of its most consistent and effective champion of what we call public forum law—not just government transparency, but also whistleblower protection and the rights of professional and student journalists,” said Terry Francke, General Counsel of Californians Aware.
“Ralph M. Brown, Bill Bagley and Quentin Kopp achieved undeniable milestones of legislation favorable to open government, but none of them had such a comprehensive record of advancement for all the components relevant to CalAware’s stated mission: ‘Helping citizens, officials and journalists keep Californians aware of public issues, by supporting and defending open government, an inquiring press, and a citizenry free to exchange facts and opinions,’” said Francke.
Yee has released a detailed “Independent City Hall” plan designed to strengthen ethics laws and increase transparency, which can be read at

Yee is the only candidate who is endorsed by all of the following - San Francisco Teachers, California Nurses, SF Firefighters, Sierra Club, SF Labor Council, SEIU, AFSCME, and the SF Building and Construction Trades Council.
Yee immigrated to San Francisco at the age of 3. His father, a veteran, served in the US Army and the Merchant Marine, and his mother was a local seamstress. Yee graduated from the University of California – Berkeley, then earned a Ph.D. in Child Psychology, and later served in various mental health and school settings. He and his wife, Maxine, have raised four children who all attended San Francisco public schools. Yee has served in the State Legislature, Board of Supervisors and Board of Education.
Contact: Anthony Thomas (415) 829-7302 to volunteer or contribute to Leland Yee's campaign.

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