California's first dog helps raise money for budget deficit

April 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Gov. Jerry Brown's dog, Sutter, has become a celebrity here at the Capitol.

The 7-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi is now capitalizing on his popularity by selling his own line of merchandise: t-shirts, tote bags and other goodies emblazoned with his Twitter name @SutterBrown and $3 of each sale pays down the budget deficit -- yeah, the remaining $14 billion deficit.

"I confess. I'm kind of a super fan," said Jennifer Fearing.

Fearing likes Sutter so much she bought a hoodie and a coffee mug, the deficit just shrank by $6.

"I genuinely think it's a fun way to chip in to the budget, even though, let's be honest, its fumes compared to the big hole that we have," said Fearing.

The Brown administration says @SutterBrown accounts are unofficial, but all signs point to someone in the governor's inner circle. The governor himself denies being behind all the musings and marketing.

When asked if he tweets on Sutter Brown's behalf, Brown responded, "No, I'm not. I don't interfere with Sutter Brown's Twitter activities."

So far, the merchandise has netted the state almost $700, which the Finance Department won't refuse.

"The Chinese Philosopher Confucius once said: 'A journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step and I guess, it kind of applies here," said H.D. Palmer from the California Finance Department.

With or without Sutter, anyone can donate to help reduce the budget deficit. There's even a government code that allows it.

Janet Eidsness and her dog, Sushi, prefer to help the deficit with Sutter and is thrilled she can get a souvenir out of it.

"Absolutely, yeah, just covering their cost and whatever profits are made go to the deficit, more power to him. More power to Sutter Brown!" said Eidsness.

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