The liberal bully network strikes again (Updated)
The President of the California Fish and Game Commission, Daniel W. Richards, stirred up a row last week when he posted a picture of himself on a hunting web site with a mountain lion he had legally shot in Idaho, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Since Mountain lion hunting is illegal in California, and the Commission oversees those regulations, California's lieutenant governor, state assembly Democrats, and the Humane Society have called for Mr. Richard's resignation:
"Your actions have raised serious questions about whether you respect the laws of the people of California and whether you are fit to adequately enforce those laws,'' Assemblyman Ben Hueso (D-Logan Heights) wrote in a letter signed by 40 Democrats in the state Assembly.
Par for the course for California liberals, but Mr. Richards' response may be a lesson in standing up to the liberal bully network.
In a letter to Assemblyman Hueso, with a copy to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, Mr. Richards sticks to his guns:
Do you really think a California commissioner is actually obligated to follow California laws across these United States? Really?
... my 100 percent legal activity outside of California, or anyone else's for that matter, is none of your business...
Under your standards all Californians who enjoy gaming in Nevada are somehow ethically challenged as true Californians and should be removed from any official position. My guess is the legislative chambers might look a little barren should that logic prevail...
... I will continue to hunt and fish wherever I please, as I have always done, ethically, licensed and proudly associating with true conservationists...
... There is ZERO chance I would consider resigning my position as President of the California Fish and Game Commission. [emphasis in the original]
Mr. Richards was not yet finished. He countered his critics who called it a trophy hunt by explaining in a radio interview that he ate the meat for dinner - "It's like a pork loin. It's white meat and it's really good," Richards said. "In frontier times, it was a delicacy."
Richards, a Republican, went on to accuse his Humane Society critics of "having an agenda to outlaw hunting and fishing nationwide and of trying to infiltrate the Department of Fish and Game," as reported in a Times update.
Mr. Richards has invited a counterattack from his opponents. A San Jose Mercury News column indicates that the state Legislature, with strong Democrat majorities, could remove Mr. Richards from his position with a simple majority vote, possibly "within a few days," which could result for the first time in an environmentalist majority on the five-member commission.
The Mercury News analysis describes the bigger picture, with 80 percent of Californians now living in urban areas:
It's the latest example of a cultural shift afoot in America's most populous state -- a profound change involving urban and rural, old and young, red and blue -- in which the traditional political power of hunters and fishermen is in steady decline while environmentalists and animal rights groups have grown in influence.
Since 1970, the number of people with hunting licenses in California has fallen 61 percent, to just 268,000 last year, even as the state population has doubled.
Mr. Richards, for his part, said in his radio interview that he didn't know his mountain lion photo "would lead to anything like this," but it looks like the environmental bully network may try to use the incident to stage a palace coup at California Fish and Game.
As a reader has pointed out, and the New York Times and others have reported, an ethics violation has been filed by a "former California Democratic official" alleging that Mr. Richards accepted part of the $6,800 cost of the mountain lion hunt as a gift, in violation of California law limiting gifts to public officials to $420 per year. The complaint also alleges that the gift was not reported within the required 30 day time period.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission is required by law to "look at the evidence and do a preliminary assessment" before deciding on a full investigation of the matter, according to reports.
It appears that Mr. Richards may have even more trouble on his hands than he bargained for.