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Brown sends dog to Yuba City for Prop. 30 support
No pony, but there was definitely a dog show of sorts on Thursday in Yuba City with the state's first dog making the rounds — and gobbling his share of dog treats — to rally Democrats for November.
Sutter Brown, the Pembroke Welsh corgi with as much bipartisan support as virtually anything in Sacramento, was using his charms to convince volunteers to bark up a storm for Proposition 30, the main electoral focus for his owner, Gov. Jerry Brown.
"It's sort of an idea out of the box," said Betty Knorr, 76, as Sutter trotted quickly from person to person, posting for photos and hoping for a crunchy treat in equal measure. "I think it's ingenious."
Sutter, accompanied by Proposition 30 campaign volunteer Jennifer Fearing, is on a 30-city tour to encourage volunteers to get out the vote for the measure, which would temporarily raise income taxes on wealthy state residents and add a quarter-cent sales tax to close California's budget deficit.
Fearing said Sutter, with more than 4,000 Twitter followers, was a light-hearted choice to visit Democratic Party offices in cities statewide, including the one on Live Oak Boulevard. "You tell me, do they seem pleased to see Sutter?" she said with a grin as about a dozen party volunteers cooed over the 9-year-old canine. "We're calling him a 'furrogate' for the governor."
But the need to build support for Proposition 30 is serious, Fearing said, noting some polls released this week show the measure falling below the critical 50 percent mark for support.
Before Sutter's arrival, Yuba County Superintendent of Schools Scotia Holmes Sanchez said the message she hoped volunteers took away would be how critical Proposition 30's passage would be to boost education spending.
"We need to put some money back into colleges and into our classrooms," she said.
But a spokesman for the Yuba County Republican Party said later that voters should remember Proposition 30 has a definite bite to go with its bark.
"Proposition 30 is going to raise taxes on everyone," said Buck Weckman, a Brownsville resident. "Right now, all the residents in the state are tapped out."
California's budget problems aren't a matter of not enough money, but too much spending, he said.
And better choices by legislators would mean more money for schools without reaching into taxpayer pockets, Weckman added.
But the politics and finances seemed to matter little to Sutter, who barked upon his entrance, then focused on treats and barking for more treats during his visit until Fearing had to slow down the fussing, lest she get in trouble for bringing an overfed dog back to the governor.
Part of the visit included Sutter receiving bones — he couldn't do much with keys — to the county, naturally in blue, along with a basket full of other treats.
Between Sutter County's name and the goodwill, Fearing said, Sutter the dog couldn't have found a better reception.
"We may never see him again," she said, as Sutter dove collar-deep into the gift basket.