Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield ruffled feathers and was blasted by Republicans this week for describing a situation in which a hunter sits drinking a beer while hounds chase a bear or bobcat.
The Woodland Hills Democrat later apologized. The flap occurred during debate Wednesday on Senate Bill 1221, ultimately passed by the Assembly, to ban use of dogs in hunting bears or bobcats.
The fiercely contested bill includes exceptions for scientific research, responding to a nuisance, or defending crops or livestock.
In introducing SB 1221 on the floor, Blumenfield said current law creates situations in which hunters have little or nothing to do while the hounds chase their prey.
"While the hunter relaxes, perhaps opens a cold one, packs of dogs are released to chase the bears and bobcats to the point of exhaustion," Blumenfield said.
Republicans Linda Halderman, Dan Logue and Brian Jones bristled.
"You might as well have just said that my constituents are dumb rednecks," said Halderman, of Fresno.
Before the vote sending the bill back to the Senate for concurrence, he offered a mea culpa: "I do apologize for suggesting that hunting and alcohol are mixed."
The Assembly on Friday passed and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown legislation to bar law enforcement officers from detaining undocumented immigrants for federal authorities when released from criminal custody, unless they have a history of serious or violent crime. The 44-23 vote on Assembly Bill 1081, by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, was strictly along party lines.
"I don't get the vote changing thing in the #CALeg. It's a red button or a green button. How do so many get it wrong so many times?"
a policy advocate for California Common Cause, via Twitter
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