Well, Despite our earnest hopes that the Governor would stand with his conservation-oriented appointee to the Fish and Game Commission, it appears that he has throw Mr. Hanna under the proverbial bus. Much like Governor Schwarzenegger firing former Air Resources Board chairman Dr. Robert Sawyer for being too independent and committed to improving air quality, it appears that Judd Hanna's inclination to actually address critical conservation issues was too much for this Governor.
When push came to shove, the Governor sided with the National Rifle Association and crippled the Fish and Game Commission. This is particularly bad news for the California Condor - the Commission is discussing whether to restrict the use of lead bullets within the range of the condor, because the birds are eating the lead and getting seriously poisoned. Hanna has been an outspoken proponent for requiring non-lead ammunition within the range of the Condor.
The Governor currently has Assembly Bill 821 (Nava) sitting on his desk, awaiting his signature or veto. This bill would require non-lead ammo within the Condor's range. The Administration has previously indicated that this issue should be addressed at the Fish and Game Commission. Today's action dramatically reduces the likelihood that the Commission will take this overdue and appropriate action, and leaves the Condor stumbling, poisoned, toward extinction.
Perhaps the Governor thinks that putting the Condor on the Quarter is good enough - at least you'll be able to show your children the magnificent birds that used to live in California. But we had hoped that he would have stood behind his own good appointee...
That’s all I can think of when I see that 34 Republican legislators sent a letter to the Governor demanding the removal of a conservation-oriented Republican from the Fish and Game Commission. Their letter lacks any real, substantive reason for wanting the removal of Judd Hanna, and appears to be at the behest of the National Rifle Association, which adamantly opposes a proposal pending before the Commission to force the use of non-lead ammunition within the range of the California Condor.
Commissioner Hanna is a 66-year old, Harley riding, former fighter pilot, former developer, rice farming, Republican. And he’s a really nice, thoughtful, guy. Yet his support of removing lead from large-caliber ammo – at least within the range of the condor – apparently is enough to get him banished from the good-ole-boy club.
We strongly urge Governor Schwarzenegger not to be bullied by this group of anti-environmental extremists. As the Governor noted at his address to the GOP Convention last weekend, Republican Legislators need to come back into the mainstream. The majority of Republican voters support environmental protection, and are far closer to the positions of the Governor and Commissioner Hanna.
The Governor has established that he’s perfectly willing to buck his party when they are wrong. This is one of those times. The Governor appointed Judd Hanna, and should retain him. Capitulating to the demands of the Anti-Environment faction of the party would send exactly the wrong message.
Governor, you have tried to bring your party back in from the cold, and to reclaim the party of Teddy Roosevelt. Judd Hanna is cut from the same piece of cloth – he’s a Republican who believes in conservation. Please don’t throw him under the bus.
Thursday, September 13, 2007