Monday, April 16, 2012

Political Watchdog Agency Steps into Mountain Lion Kill Controversy

This is a tale of the many dangers of mountain lion hunting -- kind of. Okay; not really, but how often do I get to use the phrase "mountain lion hunting" in the first line of blog posts about California governance and politics?
Recently Dan Richards, the head of the Fish and Game Commission, apparently did what one would expect the head of that commission to do: go hunting. Richards did what hunters do best; he killed an animal. And not just any animal, a mountain lion.

"But isn't that illegal in California?" you may ask. Well, yes, informed reader, it is. However, it is legal in Idaho where Richards' hunting expedition occurred.

How did Richards get to Idaho? Who paid to get him there? Well, now we get to the part of our tale that leads us back to the main topic of my posts: governance and politics. Richards received the guided hunting trip as a gift. The gift was apparently worth almost $7,000. Richards has since paid for the cost of the trip, a decision that seemed to coincide with media coverage concerning his controversial excursion. His decision also came after a complaint was filed with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), California's political watchdog agency.

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