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The Watercooler ~ California Corruption Open Thread

Online archives of three Dem state senators facing criminal charges deleted

In a move that will surely restore the public’s confidence (sarc here) and boost transparency in state government, the California State Senate scrubbed its website yesterday deleting the archives of fellow Dems in serious legal trouble:

As of April 5 at 7:00 PM, the websites of Democratic Senators Leland Yee of San Francisco, Ron Calderon of Montebello, and Rod Wright of Inglewood, all of whom have been placed on paid leave, no longer include any mention of the disgraced lawmakers.

The website removal is a devastating blow to journalists and members of the public, who will no longer be able to investigate past votes, bills and legislative connections of the disgraced lawmakers.

Looks like panic is setting in as authorities may not be done investigating the corruption and a serious inside cover-up is under way:

It remains unclear why the State Senate deleted the web archives of the disgraced Senators. However, several other California lawmakers have been cited in the ongoing public corruption cases involving Senators Yee and Calderon.

Incoming Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, has admitted that he was served with a subpoena in the Ron Calderon corruption case. De Leon, who is mentioned 49 times in the FBI’s 124-page complaint against Calderon, is believed to have arranged a $25,000 payment from the Latino Caucus to a nonprofit controlled by Ron Calderon’s brother, Tom.

Also, among others, a Republican may be implicated:

De Leon isn’t alone in having a motivation to wipe the online records of the State Senate. Last month, Senate Republican leader Bob Huff disclosed that he potentially met with an undercover FBI agent as a part of the Yee investigation.

In addition to pictures and video clips, the websites also contained substantial information detailing the Senators’ votes and known legislative ties, which could implicate other members of the Senate.

Hold onto your hopes for change in California, people. Looks like the corruption train just left the station and it may be a long (and for some, scary) and bumpy ride. (Perhaps Senator Leland Yee — facing the probability of spending many years in federal prison if convicted on all charges — is getting ready to talk so he can walk, and making his colleagues very nervous.)

The Watercooler is always an open thread.

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