Last week, California animal activists were convulsing with anger after they learned their very own president of the state Fish and Game Commission traveled to Idaho to shoot and kill a mountain lion without being shamed.
But grief is all Dan Richards has gotten since his hunting vacation in Idaho, where he proudly shot this mountain lion pictured at right. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the first political figure in the state to ask the happy hunter to resign from his post. Newsom -- who last week admitted his government position was kinda pointless -- made use of his time and penned a letter to Richards today, telling him that he clearly cannot serve as the president of Fish and Game Commission while being such an avid hunter of mountain lions -- anywhere.
But his missive wasn't completely political. Newsom then confessed that his request of Richards is also personal.
As you may know, my father Judge William Newsom is a long-time mountain lion advocate and past president of the Mountain Lion Preservation Foundation. Additionally, I have personally worked for the protection of these majestic animals and their habitat.
"While not in California at the time, your actions call into question whether you can live up to the calling of your office," Newsom writes. "As is stated on the Commission's website, your actions should be in the "best interest of the resource and truly reflect the wishes and needs of the people."
In 1972, then California Gov. Ronald Regan signed legislation banning the sport of hunting mountain lions for five years. That ban was twice renewed before the voters passed Proposition 117 in 1990, which officially made it illegal to hunt mountain lions in the state.
"I'm sure I needn't remind you of the many challenged facing California and the important work ahead for the Commission. Your presence on the Commission is a distraction from those important issues," Newsom wrote.
No word on whether Richards will dump his post and move to Idaho. Incidentally, Newsom did applaud the commissioner for not doing anything illegal while visiting the potato state.
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