Experts Expound

Experts Expound: Should Dan Richards Step Down?

Question:  Dan Richards, the head of the state Fish and Game Commission, is under pressure to resign because he bagged a mountain lion in Idaho, where hunting cougars is legal. Should he step down?

This has nothing to do with whether the hunt with legal, and everything to do with an incredible case of bad judgment from Richards (who, like Gary Coleman, ran in the 2003 governors recall and got about 310 votes). It’s akin to the head of CHP visiting the Mustang Ranch in Nevada, posing with a prostitute, sending the picture to Capitol Weekly, and then saying he’s happy Nevada allows legalized prostitution.

Why should he step down? If the head of the Gambling Control Board went to Las Vegas and played a game that wasn’t legal in California would anyone care?  No. And it’s interesting that Lite Guv Newsom – a man known for schtumpfing his best pal’s wife – is the one calling out the Commissioner for his lack of ‘values.’  Really?

Not even close. Regardless of what someone might think of hunting as a sport, he was in a place where killing cougars is a LEGAL activity. If you got a beef, take it up with Idaho not Dan Richards.

The guy is a hunter; his role is to set policy for hunters in CA and abide by the laws governing hunters; he abided by Idaho law when hunting there—I don’t like guns and I wouldn’t own one and can’t see myself shooting an animal, but is he to resign because some people are morally offended? Too bad….he should stay on the commission.    

I don’t know what’s worse: Somebody who kills mountain lions for sport or somebody – an important public official, in fact – who is so tone deaf that he doesn’t realize the impact of his own actions on his own official role. Just because Idaho says it’s legal doesn’t mean there are no consequences – especially when you have a big smile for the photographer.

Let the spin doctors sort it out, since they will anyway. Richards did nothing illegal. It’s all the about the appearance of reality, not reality itself, and if the pressure from members of the Legislature or others gets too intense, he’ll be shoving off. Otherwise, he may go back to next year’s hunt – and good luck to him.

What happens in Idaho stays in Idaho.

No.  He did not violate the law.  If the new standard for losing an office is one indiscretion then I can name some legislators that should pack up their offices.

On what legal or moral grounds should he resign? Because an urban liberal who’s probably never even seen a Mt. Lion  is upset that the Director engaged in lawful conduct 1,000 miles away? The willful ignorance and gross intolerance on display by Jared Huffman and his nanny-state enablers is nauseating but hardly surprising. Huffman wants the Director to “face the music.” As the saying goes: “For Shame,” Jared Huffman.

Absolutely he should get lost. A game regulator who is charged with enforcing California hunting laws should not travel to another state in order to do what would be illegal under our own laws. No brainer.

Heck no. It isn’t the Department of Fish and Fluffy Things That Should Never Be Killed.

Actually, I think my fellow Democrats are looking a little silly here. He hunted a species that’s legal to hunt in a state where it’s legal to hunt it. So what’s the big deal? Killing wild animals is not my idea of a good time, but you can’t tell a guy to resign because his legal outdoor recreational preferences are different from your own. 

Absolutely not! He participated in a legal, regulated activity. This bullying by special interest groups needs to stop. 

In all organizations, tone at the top is what sets the culture. Fish and game is dedicated to preserving the environment and enforcing the law. I think he has damaged the trust level of his staff and the environmental constituency that is a big part of the fish and game community. He needs to address it openly   It is not necessarily a resignation but certainly a discussion is warranted

Absolutely not.  He did not break the law.  He might have used poor judgement but so did Tim Donelley, Nadia Lockyer and a host of others.

No way. He followed the laws of Idaho. Maybe he shouldn’t have had such a big grin …

People whose opinions we sought: Andrew Acosta, A.G. Block, Mark Bogetich, Barry Brokaw, J Dale Debber, Peter DeMarco, Mike Donovan, Kathy Fairbanks, Rex Frazier, Ken Gibson, Evan Goldberg, Deborah Gonzalez, Sandy Harrison, Bob Hertzberg, Jason Kinney, Greg Lucas, Mike Madrid, Nicole Mahrt, Steve Maviglio,  Adam Mendelsohn, Barbara O’Connor, Kassy Perry, Jack Pitney, Adam Probolsky, Tony Quinn, Matt Rexroad, Matt Ross, Roger Salazar, Dan Schnur, Will Shuck, Ray Sotero, Garry South, Kevin Spillane,  Angie Wei.

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