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California Capitol corgi caretaker concerns critics

California Gov. Jerry Brown loves Sutter the corgi. But does the pooch influence politics, indirectly, through his dog walker? "The governor knows how to wag the dog, but the dog does not wag the governor," says Steve Glaser, a senior advisor to Brown.

Pictured here with First Lady Anne Gust Brown, Sutter has his own dedicated dog walker, a gal called Jennifer Fearing. But she's not just a dog walker, she also a registered lobbyist and the senior state director for the Humane Society of the United States. The problem, as another woman named Jennifer believes, is that Fearing is too successful:

Fearing scored a perfect 6-for-6 record this legislative season in getting bills signed by Brown, placing her in the ranks of Sacramento's most effective lobbyists.

Among the coups for the Humane Society was legislation banning lead ammunition that Fearing said endangered as many as 130 species in California. It was one of 11 bills signed by Brown out of the 18 that the Legislature passed to restrict guns or ammunition.

"The question needs to be asked," said Jennifer Kerns, spokeswoman for Free California, a gun-rights group that opposed the lead ammunition ban. "Is there a conflict of interest with such a close relationship between a lobbyist and a governor" - and his popular pet?


[Carla Marinucci for sfgate]

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