Capitol Alert

‘Pee on 53’ – Brown invokes Sutter against measure on Delta tunnels

Sutter Brown is introduced to public in 2011

Here's a video of first dog Sutter Brown as he's introduced to the public by Anne Gust Brown in 2011. Gov. Brown's office announced on Oct. 11, 2016, that Sutter was critically ill.
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Here's a video of first dog Sutter Brown as he's introduced to the public by Anne Gust Brown in 2011. Gov. Brown's office announced on Oct. 11, 2016, that Sutter was critically ill.

After undergoing emergency surgery to remove life-threatening masses, Gov. Jerry Brown’s beloved corgi has again been called into service.

Sutter, having recently returned home following the cancer diagnosis, was at Brown’s side when he campaigned for a 2012 sales and income tax hike, Proposition 30. At the Capitol, amid tense budget negotiations, the pooch appeared on playing cards urging over-exuberant legislators to exercise some fiscal restraint, dispensing such wisdom as “bark if you hate deficits!” and “always keep a bone buried in the back yard.”

Along with softening Brown’s image, Sutter’s celebrity has helped imbue the wonky, numbers-heavy topics with a sense of whimsy.

Brown, now campaigning heavily against Proposition 53, a ballot initiative funded by wealthy Stockton-area farmer Dean Cortopassi that could imperil the governor’s high-speed rail and Delta water tunnel projects, told a breakfast audience that he’s again consulted Sutter, who since coming home from the vet hospital has gotten “frisky.”

“I asked Sutter ... and he had a little sign,” Brown said at the event hosted by former San Francisco Mayor and Assembly Speaker Willie Brown.

“He said, ‘Pee on 53.’”

The initiative, which would require a public vote on revenue bonds of more than $2 billion dollars, has been a primary target for Brown in the closing weeks of the campaign, along with his bid to change parole rules, Proposition 57.

Last week, Brown appeared in a new statewide TV ad taped at the governor’s mansion arguing Proposition 53 will hamstring local control, increase the cost of critical infrastructure and is the motivation of a single wealthy family. The fourth-term governor also recorded robocalls against the measure, calling it “a dangerous deception” and contending it would raise the cost of roads, bridges and hospitals.

Cortopassi has said he is disappointed with Brown, who he’s accused of trying to “silence voters.”

Christopher Cadelago: 916-326-5538, @ccadelago

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