HSUS Lobbyist Walks Governor’s Dog

FearingImagine if a lobbyist for teachers unions or for-profit colleges volunteered to tutor a governor’s kids. Or imagine if a lobbyist for the NFL was also the Pop Warner coach of the governor’s kid’s team. That would certainly give off the appearance of improper closeness between a lobbyist and an executive. And impropriety is certainly in the air following a complaint against Humane Society of the United States lobbyist Jennifer Fearing.

Fearing runs HSUS’s lobbying in California, and she’s also got a special role as a dog-walker for Governor Jerry Brown. This year, Brown has signed all six HSUS-backed bills that passed the state legislature. Coincidence, or undue influence?

Some hunting activists think the latter and are complaining about Fearing, alleging that her dog-walking amount to a “service” that should be declared as lobbying under state law.

So is there any merit? It’s a complaint worth considering, according to one expert:

Fearing is “a powerful person who wants something from the government,” said Jessica Levinson, an expert on law and governance issues and associate professor of law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

With her role in the dog’s life, “she has access to Gov. Brown,” Levinson said. “There are a variety of ways to exercise influence.”

Fearing replies thusly:

“I wouldn’t misuse that relationship,” she said.  “I deal with staff, and I go through the right channels.  I would like to believe that we live in a civilized society where you can do neighborly things like walking people’s dogs.”

Interestingly, advice on getting close to legislators is dished out in a lobbying guide prepared by HSUS itself. In a document titled “Basics of Lobbying Animal Protection Legislation at the State Level,” HSUS has the following tips for getting to legislators:

THROUGH THE BACK DOOR – Animal protection issues are usually not a top priority with legislators. If you can get to know an elected official because of another issue, take the opportunity. If you are affiliated with the PTA, a local business, civic group, or fighting a zoning battle, go out of your way to work with an official, Then when the time is appropriate, use that relationship to cultivate him/her on animal protection issues.

STAFF – Get to know the staff. If the staff likes you, you are more likely to get to know the legislator directly. Also provide assistance to the staff and have them think of you as a resource for those issues that come up on animals. Offer to do research.

So Fearing’s claim that she “wouldn’t misuse that relationship” of being merely a neighborly dog-walker seems especially weak given that HSUS itself has advised that their people use “back door” channels to attempt to gain influence over lawmakers. That appears to be just what Fearing has done here in getting close to the Governor.

The reason that states have ethics counsels is because it’s important to keep a close eye on lobbying activities. It’s important to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. We don’t know if Fearing violated any rules, but it sure does smell rotten.

Posted on 11/08/2013 at 11:30 am by Humane Watch Team.

Topics: Gov't, Lobbying, Politics

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  • WORSEKarma

    This cannot possibly be “Conflict of Interest” or “Crony Capitalism”, or even “illegal”, because an AR shill and a Democrat government official are doing it. Those things only happen when it’s conservative government officials, and “EVIL BIG OIL/BIG PHARMA/BIG FOOD/BIG AGRICULTURE (BOOOOGAAAA BOOOOOOGGGAAA!!!)”. And you’re a racist for even suggesting this is improper. So there. Neener Neener.

  • Social Justice

    My dad use to say ” it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck…… It’s a damn duck”

  • Rocky Church

    I wonder if one of those six bills she supported was ab1221 the bear hunting with dogs bill. That miraculously survived 3 committee no votes and got Orr promoted to finance committee chair man after he changed his no vote the day after it did not pass that committee vote. Hummmmm.

    • fearnot

      yes as someone who was standing the hallway the day the bill passed it was a horrible sight.. hundreds of anti 1221 people lined the hallways..we had the bill defeated until Pacelle, Fearing and a couple of others like Sen Steinberg and Ted Leiu ( both HSUS shills) passed us in the hallway went into a closed room and the deal was struck.. wonder who was “walking the dog” all the way to the bank that day? Meanwhile look who else is in big trouble .. he supported and co authored anohte HSUS bill:

      http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/11/6/steinberg-seeks-tostripcalderonofcommitteeassignments.html

      funny thing is.. Steinberg is the one asking him to step down.. oh what a tangled web…

  • djlangel

    Seems the Hunters are making accusations of the political practices that they have been guilty of for decades now, At every political level, they have implement their influence to completely control all Wildlife management for the minority of 2,4% of the public, who are Hunter’s, not the 97.6 %, most would not agree with Hunting at all.

    • WORSEKarma

      Your semi-literate spew, aside from being pure fiction, is wrong. I hope for your sake that you’re a paid H$U$ troll, because you clearly won’t ever be able to get honest work.

  • MisterCadet

    Face it, people. Jennifer Fearing isn’t just taking the Governor’s pooch out for a stroll, she’s on Pooper Scooper Patrol.

    Why is it that HSUS women always end up doing the dirty work? When they’re not pooping it, they’re shining it (hey, Sarah Barnett). And let’s not forget the countless millions HSUS has raked in off the work of their (mostly female) volunteers.

    Maybe that is why the above photo of Jennifer Fearing reminds me of Charles Manson’s brainwashed posse of lady killers. Wayne Pacelle couldn’t possibly be as demonic as Manson. Could he?

  • Sydney Reed

    Influence doesn’t always have to be so boldly stated, most people are persuaded by subtle or sometimes subconscious methods this has been proven effective with constant conditioning. I hate how contaminated California is with these Animal Rights Activists. They’re making pet ownership rules practically impossible without cutting corners.

  • cardnut

    California has a sorry history of improper relationships between animal rights’ groups lobbyists and elected officials. Must be the Hollywood proximity . . .

  • DaleT

    SB 1221 Bought and paid for by HSUS
    DATE PAYEE CONTEST POSITION PAYMENT TYPE AMOUNT
    10/05/2012 CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUPPORT MONETARY $10,000.00
    07/27/2012 Felipe Fuentes Reform CA Ballot Measure Committee ? SUPPORT MONETARY $2,000.00
    07/27/2012 PEREZ, JOHN STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON SUPPORT MONETARY $2,000.00
    07/27/2012 STEINBERG, DARRELL LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SUPPORT MONETARY $2,000.00
    08/02/2012 LIEU, TED STATE SENATOR SUPPORT MONETARY $1,500.00
    07/27/2012 FONG, PAUL STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON 22 SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 MA, FIONA BOARD OF EQUALIZATION MEMBER ? SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 HANCOCK, LONI STATE SENATOR SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 CHESBRO, WES STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 MENDOZA, TONY STATE SENATOR SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 ALLEN, MICHAEL STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 YAMADA STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 GORELL, JEFF STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 FLETCHER STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 BLUMENFIELD, BOB STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    07/27/2012 LARA STATE SENATOR SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    07/27/2012 SOLORIO STATE SENATOR SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00
    08/02/2012 HUESO, BEN STATE ASSEMBLY PERSON SUPPORT MONETARY $1,000.00