It was strictly “casual.”
It’s really Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank dressed in hunting gear tonight on MSNBC.
Thanks to a law introduced by State Rep. Charlie Geren (R) and passed last year, hunters in Texas are required to have an Upland Game Bird Stamp before hunting quail. According to an email ThinkProgress recieved from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokeswoman Lydia Salda±a, Cheney didn’t have one:
A check of TPWD license records indicated that while the Vice President had purchased a valid non-resident hunting license, he had not purchased the required upland game bird stamp.
In other words, Cheney was hunting illegally. Here’s Sec. 43.652 of the code he broke, according to the official accident report pictured above:
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), a person may not hunt a migratory or upland game bird in this state unless the person possesses the appropriate migratory or upland game bird stamp, as applicable, issued to the person by the department
Breaking the law constitutes a Class C violation of Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, meaning Cheney could:
* be fined $25-$500
* face automatic suspension or revocation of licenses for up to 5 years;
* forfeit hunting gear, including firearms, used to commit a violation.
But Cheney is getting off easy. Ms. Salda±a informs ThinkProgress that Cheney was issued a warning citation, which carries no fine or penalty.
UPDATE: Cheney’s office has responded. They claim it’s Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s fault that Cheney didn’t follow the law: Read more
National Review’s John Podhoretz stirred things at the Corner today when he said that the Cheney hunting accident was a “a very big deal,” and that it was “disturbing as well that there was a news blackout that lasted nearly a day about this serious incident.”
Podhoretz quickly came under fire from readers, most of whom claimed that Cheney didn’t need to make the incident public quickly because hunting accidents happen all the time:
E-mails are flying fast and furious, most of them criticizing me for living in a “concrete jungle” and not understanding that, hey, hunting accidents are very common, every hunter has been peppered with buckshot, the accident was probably Whittington’s fault, and that this is all a media frenzy and the last thing the Vice President need do is apologize or say anything.
Apparently Podhoretz has a lot of uninformed readers. From Editor & Publisher:
Doug Pike, an outdoors reporter at the Houston Chronicle…said his reporting since Sunday found that Texas had only 2.7 hunting accidents per 100,000 hunting licenses sold in 2005. “That is the lowest since 1966 when they started keeping records,” he said. “It is uncommon.”
It’s worth noting that Katharine Armstrong, who was with Cheney when the accident occured, has the same basic line. “This is something that happens from time to time. You know, I’ve been peppered pretty well myself,” she said. Sounds like someone’s been on too many hunting trips with Dick Cheney.
against warrantless domestic spying before they were for it.
Amount spent by the Bush administration on “public relations and media contracts” since 2003, according to the General Accounting Office.
CBS News reports that local law enforcement officials were prevented from interviewing Vice President Cheney after he accidentally shot a 78-year-old man during a hunting trip:
CBS News White House correspondent Peter Maer reports Texas authorities are complaining that the Secret Service barred them from speaking to Cheney after the incident. Kenedy County Texas Sheriffs Lt. Juan Guzman said deputies first learned of the shooting when an ambulance was called.
McClellan was asked about it at the press briefing but played dumb:
QUESTION: Scott, there’s a report coming out of a sheriff’s deputy there who said that he was prevented from interviewing the vice president by the Secret Service. Do you know anything about that? And is that appropriate?
MCCLELLAN: No, I don’t know anything about that. You have got to direct that to the Secret Service. My understanding was that Secret Service took the appropriate steps to inform law enforcement.
Of course, the question is not whether the Secret Service informed law enforcement, but whether law enforcement was permitted to speak with Cheney. As Talk Left notes, although the incident was an accident, it could constitute criminal negligence.
UPDATE: National Journal reports that, after initial resistance, Cheney was interviewed by law enforcement sometime on Sunday.
UPDATE II: At the breifing McClellan refuses to “speculate” as to whether the accidental shooting was a criminal offense: Read more
Last week the Tracy Press in California reported that in summer 2003, Rep. Richard Pombo rented an RV and took his family for “two weeks on vacation” — funded by $6436.38 of taxpayer money. House rules dictate “official travel may not be for personal”¦purposes.”
In recent days, Pombo has attempted to defend his 10-day, 5000-mile family vacation by saying that “there was no personal travel on this trip.” He stressed that at all his stops — from Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks to Mount Rushmore — he met with park officials on congressional business.
But many of the park officials Pombo claimed to have met, dispute the lawmaker’s claims:
The chief park naturalist at Sequoia and Kings Canyon, William Tweed, searched his records Friday and couldn’t find a sign of officials meeting with Pombo.
“I’m coming up with a blank,” Tweed said in an interview. “I do not personally remember him being here, (and that) is generally something we do recall. We pay attention, because congressmen are significant people for us.”
Joshua Tree National Park spokesman Joe Zarki, whose park was also on Pombo’s visitation list, likewise said Friday that “no one here at this point can say we met with Mr. Pombo.”
It’s probably a good thing: Pombo has proposed selling off 15 national parks if the Senate refused to allow drilling in the Alaska wildlife refuge.
The number of State Department employees, out of 34,000, who are rated fully fluent in Arabic.