Watchdog: Accountability

SF Chron: Critics howl over lobbyist walking Gov. Jerry Brown's dog

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Politics,Around the Web,newsgatherr,California,Lobbying,Ethics,Accountability,Animals,Jerry Brown
(www.sfgate.com) Value of dog-walkingGun rights and hunting groups in California are exploring filing a complaint about Fearing with the state's Fair Political Practices Commission, Kerns said. Sutter's social media presence (he also has a Facebook page) documents the prominent part he has played with Fearing to attract attention for causes dear to her and the governor. The animal-rights advocate shepherded Sutter on the road last year as a volunteer campaigner for Proposition 30, the governor's pet tax-increase measure, which Fearing's group said was critical to future state funding for animal-protection measures. Last year Sutter and Fearing joined the governor, actor Pierce Brosnan and animal rights activist and TV dog trainer Cesar Millan to push for California's Pet Lover's license plate. Fearing also enlisted Sutter and Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who starred in the Oscar-winning film "The Artist," in a successful campaign to urge the governor to sign a bill against dog-hunting of bears and bobcats. Ethics experts suggest that although the Humane Society head may be a dedicated animal lover, her closeness to the key canine merits a closer look. With Fearing being the first dog's frequent walker, "there are services being provided, and those services have monetary value" that should be reported as lobbying under campaign finance law, she said.

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