BY PAUL LEBOWITZ
WON Staff Writer
Yesterday Republican California State Senators issued a letter of support for embattled Fish and Game Commission president Dan Richards. Authored by Tom Harman, Hunting Beach and signed by ten other senate Republicans, the letter called the attack on Richards "a modern day witch hunt" waged by "animal rights activists."
"The concerns of a few in Sacramento lead them to believe the laws enacted in California should be followed nationwide. If they are in fact adamantly opposed to specific legal activities in other states, we believe they should petition Congress to enact federal law on that issue," the Harman letter continued.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Democratic assemblyman Ben Hueso, author of the letter demanding Richards' resignation, told the San Francisco Chronicle that a resolution for his forced removal is under consideration. It could be on the assembly floor by next Thursday.
Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, is typical of state pols who continue to misunderstand or misrepresent the role of the Fish and Game Commission. Lieu told the Chronicle that Richards should be held to a higher standard because the commission is "charged with managing the laws against the killing of mountain lions."
Although the commission is responsible for wildlife conservation, they do so through management actions such as setting hunting and fishing seasons and limits. The mountain lion moratorium is the result of the state initiative process depriving the commission of its traditional role.
Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee used a blow torch to cut through the political rhetoric. "Richards appears to be guilty only of offending the sensibilities of the legislature, whatever they may be... This is the same legislature that didn't react when one of its members was caught by police with a prostitute in his car... or when another crashed her state-issued car while driving recklessly, injuring two people... That didn't respond when a member was nailed for shoplifting, or another carried a loaded pistol into an airport security checkpoint," he wrote.