In 1966, H. L. “Bill” Richardson, a successful advertising executive, was elected to the State Senate the same year Ronald Reagan was elected California’s Governor.
An avid big game hunter, having taken trophies in Africa, Alaska, California and most of the western states, Richardson was, because of his knowledge of the subject, chosen to be the Chairman of the Senate Fish and Game committee. He was also elected by his Republican colleagues to leadership as caucus chairman, a leadership post he held for many years. In the early 1960’s, before he entered the Senate, he wrote “Slightly to the Right,” a humorous book that taught conservatives how to debate their liberal friends. It became a conservative classic and sold over a 250,000 copies. While in the Senate he wrote another humorous novel, “What Makes You Think We Read The Bills?” It is used as a textbook in political science classes throughout California.
His most recent book, “Confrontational Politics,” gives the public a deep insight on how to understand and successfully fight the radical left. In the early 1970’s, the Senator became very aware of the inroads the radical left were making in politics worldwide, especially their attempts to disarm Americans. He became a life member of the NRA and, with their encouragement, authored the state preemption of firearms law which in 2009 resulted in overturning the recently enacted San Francisco handgun ban.
He was elected to the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association, where he served for over a decade.
In 1975, the radical left introduced legislation to ban all handguns in California. The bill had many co-authors and support from the main-stream media. Richardson quickly organized Gun Owners of California, launched a direct mail attack and defeated the legislation.
He then founded Gun Owners of America and focused his extensive political career on the preservation and protection of our Second Amendment rights.
During his 22 years in the CA Senate, Richardson showed that a determined application of confrontational politics could produce victories – big victories! While in office, Richardson organized multiple Political Action Committees [PACs] that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to fight the political left. One such committee was “Law and Order Campaign Committee.” LOCC led the charge to defeat Rose Bird and two other liberal members of the state Supreme Court. The three justices were defeated by over a million votes. LOCC then promoted the return of capital punishment. The legislation was opposed by the liberal leadership of both houses and Governor Jerry Brown. Using massive direct mail pressure, the bill passed both houses and was vetoed. LOCC didn’t give up. Using targeted direct mail and going on the attack, Governor Jerry Brown’s veto was overridden. In the 1990’s, Richardson combined his love of writing and extensive knowledge of American history to write two Western sagas --- beginning with “The Devil’s Eye.” It was followed by a sequel titled “The Shadows of Crazy Mountain.” He then wrote “Split Ticket,” a political comedy that could literally happen in crazy California. In 1988, after twenty two years in the Senate he decided to direct all of his attention to building GOA and GOC to the powers they now are. Next to the NRA, they are the largest pro-gun organizations in America with offices in Washington and California. Paul Weyrich, the founder of Free Congress Foundation said “If they [conservatives] are going to be effective, Richardson’s lessons need to be studied and applied.” Bill Richardson and Barbara, his wife of fifty-five years, have three children and seven grandchildren. They reside in the mountain foothills of Northern California.