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California's first dog tackles budget deficit

April 2, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
California's first dog is doing his part to tackle the budget deficit.

Gov. Jerry Brown's dog, Sutter, has become a celebrity in Sacramento. The 7-year-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi is now capitalizing on his popularity by selling his own line of merchandise of t-shirts, tote bags and other goodies emblazoned with his Twitter name: @SutterBrown.

A portion of the state's budget deficit will be paid down with $3 of each sale.

"I confess. I'm kind of a super fan," said Jennifer Fearing, who bought a hooded sweatshirt and coffee mug, which means 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, it's fumes compared to the huge 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. Brown himself denies being behind all the musings and marketing.

"I don't interfere with Sutter's Twitter activities," Brown said.

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 1,000 miles begins with a single step.' It kind of applies here," said H.D. Palmer of the California Finance Department.

With Sutter or without, anyone can donate to help reduce the budget deficit.