Dan Richards, former president of the California Fish and Game Commission (“former” as per a commission vote this afternoon), killed and ate a mountain lion in Idaho last winter.

“I'm glad it's legal,” he told Western Outdoor News at the time. He sent the conservative site a giant photo of himself grinning ear to ear, holding up a 110-pound cat like a kid would a stuffed panda at a pop-up carnival.

And later, his nail-in-coffin remark to L.A. radio hosts John and Ken: “It doesn't taste like chicken. The closest thing is pork loin. It's a white meat. It's really good.”

Needless to say, he was immediately attacked by every shade of the left — from animal-rights crazies to some of the Legislature's most mainstream Democrats. “This originates from the enviro-terrorists,” Richards told the San Jose Mercury News. (And in some cases, the comments over at Western Outdoor News did get a little terroristy. “This Red Neck should be killed on site!!!!”; “Wish he had frozen to death in the frezing cold in Idaho”; “Hope you die in misery”; etc.)

So, although Fish and Game commissioners haven't explained specifically why they decided to vote Richards down from his throne today, it was clearly a symbolic move to kill the human who killed the beast.

“The president of the commission should be someone who has the confidence of a majority of his peers,” Mike Sutton, vice president, told the Mercury News leading up to the vote.

Richards was playing the feisty right-wing ideologue at the beginning of this battle, but he has since became strangely resigned to his ousting.

He looked on as the commission changed its own internal election policy in May so that they might replace Richards. And today, a Fish and Game Commission spokesman tells us that Richards himself took part in the unanimous vote to elect Commissioner Jim Kellogg as his replacement.

The ex-prez, appointed by Arnold Schwarzenegger (surprise, surprise) in 2008, will remain on the commission until his term ends in six months. But from there, he tells the Mercury News: “I think there is a zero chance that Jerry Brown will appoint me, so it doesn't matter what I think. He has his hands full with shoplifters and other thugs in the Legislature.”

Pretty morbid, right? Let this be a lesson for all trigger-happy Republicans who dare to dream of swimming against California's blue tide: We'll eat your grin for dinner.

[@simone_electra / swilson@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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