The game is on

Mar 9, 2012

State Fish and Game President Dan Richards may be removed from his leadership role, following complaints about his hunting and killing of a mountain lion in Idaho, where it's legal. Hunting mountain lions has been illegal in California for decades. The push against Richards, who also faces a state ethics complaint because he got that $6,800 hunting trip as a gift, is gathering momentum.


From the Mercury News' Paul Rogers, who broke the original story: "But hours after the largely pro-hunting crowd left, in a little-noticed move, Richards' fellow commissioners sprung a parliamentary trap. By a 4-1 tally, they voted to change the way the commission -- which sets rules for hunting, fishing and endangered species in California -- chooses its president."


"The vote placed an item on the commission's May 23 agenda that would repeal the current rules and allow the panel to remove Richards as president when it meets in Monterey that day."


"If the rule change is successful, Richards would stay on the commission. But his influence as president -- a role that allows him to set the agenda, speak for the commission and run its meetings -- would be taken away."


But with all this attention on cougar hunting, the real problems of the Capitol are getting ignored by the media -- according to the media.


From the OC Register's Brian Joseph: "Ever since news of Dan Richards‘ hunting trip came to light in late February, the Watchdog has been patiently waiting for the story to burn itself out.  But after three weeks of intense scrutiny, the story doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. News organizations, state policy makers and callers to legislative offices continue debating this only-in-California controversy."


"The latest development: about 60 people spoke in Richards’ defense at a commission hearing in Riverside on Wednesday, backing the beleaguered commissioner as animal rights groups and environmentalists continue to call for his head. This was after leader of the Senate called Richards a “jackass” and 40 Democratic Assembly members and the lieutenant governor called for his resignation."


A woman who is the lead court challenger of President Obama's health care reform package has had her own health care bills paid by the government -- an irony not lost on those closely watching the Supreme Court case.


From the LAT's David G. Savage: "But court records reveal that Brown and her husband filed for bankruptcy last fall with $4,500 in unpaid medical bills. Those bills could change Brown from a symbol of proud independence into an example of exactly the problem the healthcare law was intended to address."

"The central issue before the Supreme Court is whether the government can require people to buy health insurance. Under the law, those who fail to buy insurance after 2014 could face a fine of up to $700...."


"This is so ironic," Jane Perkins, a health law expert in North Carolina, said of Brown's situation. "It just shows that all Americans inevitably have a need for healthcare. Somebody has paid for her healthcare costs. And she is now among the 62% whose personal bankruptcy was attributable in part to medical bills."


An $8 billion federal program to build linkages between local businesses and schools is drawing the attention of California's community colleges. About a fourth of the nation's community college students live in California, and any infusion of money couldn't come at a better time. The Chronicle's Jessica Philipps tells the tale.


"The proposal comes as the state's community colleges face a $149 million deficit, which is forcing difficult cuts in a system that serves 2.9 million Californians on more than 100 campuses."


"One of the contributing factors of the recession is that work is becoming higher-skilled in large part due to the application of computer technology," said Rock Pfotenhauer, chair of the Bay Area Community College Consortium and a dean at Cabrillo College near Santa Cruz."

Dozens of advertisers have pulled their accounts from right-wing talk jock Rush Limbaugh, and one of the first to do so was Sleep Train, which has been allied with Limbaugh since his days in Sacramento at KFBK. But now Sleep Train wants to take him back -- and Limbaugh is having none of it.


From the Bee's Dale Kasler: " Sleep Train stopped advertising on the show last Friday, becoming one of the first sponsors to drop Limbaugh. The company's decision came two days after Limbaugh called a Georgetown University law student a "slut" and a "prostitute" over her stance on health insurance coverage for contraception."

Fender, the iconic California guitar maker -- okay, its corporate headquarters is in Arizona now -- is poised to seek $200 million in an initial public stock offering. Fender told the SEC that it wants to use the money to pay down debt and acquire other businesses.
From the LAT's W. J. Hennigan: "Although its corporate headquarters are now in Scottsdale, Ariz., the company was founded in Fullerton and makes its American Standard Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars at a 3-acre manufacturing plant in Corona. The last step in Fender's quality-control process involves an experienced musician playing every note on a finished guitar before the instrument is sent to a dealer."

"The California connection goes back to the company’s late founder, Clarence Leonidas Fender, who opened a Fullerton radio shop during the Depression and tinkered with amps and electric guitars on the side. And the company makes most of its amplifiers and entry-level Fender-brand guitars in Ensenada."