State Sen. Leland Yee said at a San Francisco news conference today that threatening messages sent to his office via fax, text message and email need to stop, and that the messages have made him disappointed in the country.
“I thought our country and our community were a lot better than this,” Yee, D-San Francisco, said at an afternoon news conference in the Hiram Johnson building at 455 Golden Gate Ave.
He received a fax from an unknown sender today, which made racist comments and called Yee a Marxist.
“Rush Limbaugh will kick your Chink ass and expose you for the fool you are,” part of the memo said.
Yee and state Assemblyman Paul Fong, D-Cupertino, previously demanded an apology from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who mimicked the president of China on his Jan. 19 show.
Limbaugh was describing a Fox News broadcast that had faulty translation of a speech given by Chinese President Hu Jintao when for almost 20 seconds he spoke gibberish Chinese.
“Normally they translate every couple of words, but Hu Jintao was just going chin chong, chin chong cha…” Limbaugh said before continuing to mimic the language.
At today’s news conference, Yee said, “I thought we could end this by just having someone apologize.
“To see, and to hear, and to receive these kinds of horrible statements and racist threats is truly angering.”
Officials aren’t sure where the messages came from, but detectives interviewed Yee on Jan. 10 to find out if the threats were connected to those sent to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Yee, D-San Francisco, received calls from sheriff’s detectives in Pima County, Ariz., where Giffords was among 19 people shot at a political event outside a Safeway store the morning of Jan. 8. Six people died in the shooting, but Giffords, believed to have been the target, survived.
Detectives looked at threats sent to Yee in April 2010, when the state senator revealed that officials at California State University, Stanislaus shredded documents related to Sarah Palin’s contract fees as a keynote speaker.
During the incident, students dug through a trash bin outside a campus administration building and found a shredded contract with a speaker who required first-class air travel from Anchorage, Alaska.
Yee chided the university in news reports, and in response, several voice, text and graphic threats were sent to his office.
“Good thing you run in San Francisco ’cause you’d never make it anywhere else,” said a sign-off to a voicemail that was preceded by substantial anti-homosexual comments.
No one has been arrested for threats made against Yee, which spokesman Adam Keigwin said have been made for more than six years.
In one of the office’s most notable incidents, calls to Yee’s office said the senator was a “dead man” if he showed up to a 2005 news conference on violent video game legislation.
Keigwin received racist text messages again referencing violent video game legislation in 2009. Officers tracked down the person who made the threats and issued a warning, but no arrest was made, Keigwin said.
Yee said he hasn’t changed his routine because of the threats, but officials are taking the messages more seriously because of how frequent they are.
“I will continue to go out in the community and talk about issues,” he said.
Saul Sugarman, Bay City News