You have to hand it California's legislators. When it comes to all-out, nanny-state hysteria, they are simply without equal. After Dan Richards, Chairman of the California Fish and Game Commission successfully went mountain lion hunting in Idaho; then had his photo posted on the Western Outdoor News website with his trophy lion, these scions of all that is good, right and moral went into one of their patented hissy fits.
Forty legislators (all Democrats) have sent Walters a letter telling him he should resign. The letter says "Your actions raise serious questions about whether you respect the laws of the people of California, and whether you are fit to adequately enforce those laws."
Seriously, guys, are you serious? This is the same gang of legislators that has effectively run California's finances into the ground while passing enough dopey feel-good, eyewash legislation to keep succeeding legislators (and litigators) busy for the next millennium trying to restore some sort of fiscal sanity.
The photo that started a firestorm. Courtesy Western Outdoor News.
But Richards' trip to another Idaho has, as they say, "offended the sensibilities" of these forty moral stackpoles of the people.
Remember, the hunt was completely legal.
I'm certain they've also called for the resignation of all the members of the State Assembly who have ever traveled to Las Vegas or Reno to go gambling (or gamboling with the occasional lady or gentleman of the evening). Not to mention the legislator who said she had a brain tumor that made her shoplift, or the Lieutenant Governor who had a little error in his personal moral compass.
If the same standard of scrutiny this gang of 40 moral compasses applied to Richards, a guy who went hunting-legally, were applied to the all government officials, the Assembly of California (and most others) would dismiss for the lack of a quorum (not to be confused with a Quram - we wouldn't want to offend anyone).
Here's my bottom line: this is still (ostensibly) a free country. What Dan Richards did was legal, licensed and sanctioned in Idaho - by the people of that state. He is a lifelong hunter and, according to our contacts at WON, was fulfilling a longtime hunting dream.
Richards tenure with the California Fish and Game Commission has no record of impropriety. He's taken heat for all sorts of issues, including a recent blast from fellow hunters for allowing the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to exert their anti-hunting influence in Fish and Game affairs. That goes with the job.
Now, he's dealing with a gaggle of legislators who aren't a group of well-meaning dunderheads bemoaning the fate of a mountain lion. He's fighting for his career while a group of cold-blooded political mutants are trying to score political points with their constituencies. Those constituents may be the well-meaning dunderheads in this farce.
Richards is getting a very raw deal...but it's politics, not wildlife management. Politics is never about doing what's best for man nor beast, it's only about winning.