What was California Fish and Game Commission President Dan Richards thinking?
In a state where residents twice voted to ban the hunting of mountain lions, there was Richards - the leader of the agency charged with enforcing California's hunting laws - in a picture with a mountain lion he had shot.
Now there are calls - from the state's lieutenant governor down to a wide-range of lesser, but no less enraged, Democratic politicians calling for Richards to resign from his position.
Imagine what the reaction would have been had Richards actually shot the cougar in California?
Richards shot the cat in Idaho - where hunting mountain lions is legal - during a hunting trip. Richards posted the picture on a hunting website where it now has become a hot issue in his state. Because it is illegal in California, some California Democrats think Richards, a Republican appointed to his post in 2008 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was morally bound to refrain from hunting the big cats even in states where it is legal.
Leading the charge is Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome, who as a former mayor of San Francisco helped make that city a better place by banning toys from McDonald's Happy Meals. Newsome feels Richards has thumbed his nose at Californians by participating in a legal hunt out of state.
"Is it appropriate for the chair of the commission that oversees the management and governance of our wildlife and our fisheries and natural resources to go to another state and do something he can't do in this state?" Newsome told a television station.
Richards, apparently doesn't feel the shame of his actions, nor does he share the opinion of many California Democrats that California laws - legally or morally - extend beyond California's borders. He has refused to step down.
Since Richards won't do the honorable thing and resign, ethics charges have now been filed against him because he paid for a bird hunt and not a mountain lion hunt. The owner of the property in Idaho where Richards killed the cat emphatically denies that charge and says Richards was his invited guest on the cat hunt.
California's Democratic politicians have made that state a financial basket case to the point where people are leaving by the droves every year. As one of Richards' defenders, Republican state Sen. Tom Harman said, "In the state of Idaho, it is perfectly legal to take down a mountain lion. After all, there are lots of states that don't follow California's lead on every issue."
That probably comes as a surprise to many Democrats of that state, who believe California's particular brand of insanity should ooze beyond its borders.