Lion Killer Comments Will Sink Richards

Daniel Richards, former president, California Fish and Game Commission

Mountain lion hunts shouldn't have end zone dances.

But Dan Richards, unplugged and unmoored, seems to be performing one. And that's what is likely to cost him his job as chairman of the state's fish and game commission.

Richards came under fire for shooting (and eating) a mountain lion in Idaho, where such things are legal; in California, where he regulates this kind of hunting, it would be illegal.

Richards might well have survived the controversy if he had been cautious in his remarks. Instead, he seems to be stoking the controversy, perhaps with the goal of becoming better known.

He denounced mainstream animal protection groups, such as the Humane Society of the United States, as "eco-terrorists."

He threw out a lot of rhetoric red meat (and this guy knows his red meat) in a recent interview on a LA radio show.

Democrats, seeing him as vulnerable, could seize on these comments -- or press a complaint that his hunting trip to Idaho may have been an illegal gift.

Those comments -- not the kill -- probably will end with his removal from the commission. The question now is; is this what Richards wants? He would emerge from a dismissal as a well-known martyr for the rights of hunters. And that might make him a pretty decent candidate for elected office.

Of course, he would find it hard to run for office in California. Fortunately for him, Richards is more than willing to leave the state to satisfy his hunger.

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