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SeaWorld's stock may be down on Wall Street, but it definitely appears to be up with Democratic Governor Jerry Brown.

After repeated battering by animal-rights advocates over the issue of orca captivity, the marine-animal emporium on Mission Bay went to war against detractors and hired a pricey Sacramento lobbying outfit this spring to fend off passage of state legislation to ban whale shows at the park.

Then Brown included SeaWorld's marketing vice president Marilyn Hannes on his three-day trade-promoting trip to Mexico to visit with president Enrique Peña Nieto late last month.

Now, according to an August 20 disclosure filing with the California Secretary of State's Office, Brown has received a $25,000 reelection campaign contribution made by the Orlando, Florida-based operation August 19.

Brown didn't take a public position on the SeaWorld bill, authored by Santa Monica Democratic assemblyman Richard Bloom, but it was obvious to many capitol observers that he wasn't exactly rooting for its passage.

"Some party leaders, perhaps even those on Gov. Jerry Brown’s team, did not want to hand Republicans a jobs issue in an election year," reported U-T San Diego’s Michael Gardner in a post-mortem on Bloom's legislation, which was shelved by the Assembly's Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee in April.

Whether jobs or more personal financial considerations played a part in Brown's reticence to get involved, SeaWorld's full-court press included paying its Sacramento-based contract lobbyist, Montgomery Consulting, LLC., $40,000 during the second quarter of this year, according to a disclosure report filed by the company July 30.

The influence-peddling boutique is run by Pete Montgomery, who used to be government-affairs chief for oil giant BP North America and was chief of staff for former Republican senator Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz.

In addition to its Sacramento spending, during 2013 SeaWorld spent $600,000 for lobbying activities connected with the Animal Welfare, Marine Mammal Protection and Endangered Species Acts, according to the website Odwyerpr.com.

As first reported here in March, SeaWorld gave heavily to local congressmembers of both parties and has backed the Republican Lincoln Club with $15,000 for its battle against city-worker pensions, among other local political contributions.

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Comments

monaghan Aug. 20, 2014 @ 12:29 p.m.

Hard to know who to love less -- ever-pragmatic Governor Jerry Brown who always manages to tailor his political positions to suit his big-money friends or the exploitive Sea World operation that gets its marketing director on the Gov's big-deal Mexican trade trip.

Looking on the bright side, maybe Brown was hoping Sea World would decamp to Mexico where ethical treatment of animals is a low priority. (For evidence, see any Mexican zoo or the film "Amores Perros.")

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danfogel Aug. 20, 2014 @ 12:59 p.m.

Hey, PETA just bought another 55 shares of SeaWorld stock. I think they now own a whopping 135 shares. Said Lindsay Rajt, PETA activist, "By buying more stock in SeaWorld, we can continue to push executives toward the only humane solution for the orcas captive and that is relocating them to the coastal sanctuaries." Won't be long before they are in control.

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Visduh Aug. 20, 2014 @ 5:58 p.m.

That's a riot! If they want to use SeaWorld annual meetings and such things as a forum to draw attention, one share is as good as a million shares for getting to attend, and usually to speak and/or ask questions. In the 50's and 60's, folks who did that repeatedly were called gadflies. I'm pressed to think of a single instance where those people changed the direction of corporate America.

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Founder Aug. 21, 2014 @ 12:27 p.m.

Gov. Brown AGAIN fails the vast majority of the public he serves by caving into Big Business, just like he and other elected Officials have done with the CPUC investigation into the San Onofre multi-billion debacle caused by SCE.

Our elected Officials need to start promoting for all of US instead of just themselves and their big donors.

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danfogel Aug. 21, 2014 @ 1:15 p.m.

founder/captd then perhaps you should vote for the other guy in the election.

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Founder Aug. 21, 2014 @ 3:21 p.m.

Care to guess what Brown's election winning percentage will be?

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danfogel Aug. 21, 2014 @ 4:37 p.m.

As I recently wrote on another thread, a few weeks ago, Brown led in the polls with about a 55-30 advantage. At that point, and really even now, he hasn't done much campaigning. He has roughly $23 million in campaign funds and I read the other day, that even after spending $2 million of his own, Kashncari is down to less than $1 million. Brown received almost 55% of all votes in the primary and Kashncari less than 20%. I think Brown receiving 60% of the vote is not out of the question. I think everyone will get the picture after the Brown and Kashncari debate. Final answer, Brown wins, for better or worse, by a margin of 25-35 percent.

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