Common name: Political Hack

Scientific name: Lobbyist gladhandus

Illustration By Conrad Garcia

Identifying characteristics: A hyper species, the Lobbyist gladhandus is among the most well-heeled of all the Sacramento natives. Universally known for their extended hands, brown noses and ready smiles, members of this species can also be identified by their colorful plumage—unusually (for Sacramento) well-tailored fine Italian suits and leather loafers with tassels. They are often seen at Nordstrom’s half-yearly sale. Gladhanduses are born communicators. In fact, many can be found much of the time squawking into a cell phone, casually discussing legislation that might make or break other species’ lives. But for all its personal charm, the Lobbyist gladhandus can be bought, and is thusly known to indiscriminately mate with whomever has the most cash—in the process, feathering its own nest extravagantly, while leaving its waste to the rest of us. A member of the same family, the California Condor, was a particularly voracious carrion eater and was almost hunted to extinction following the Willie Brown era.

Migration patterns: Most members of this gladhandus group tend to stalk the hallways and committee rooms of the Capitol Building. It’s their hunting pattern—they find a member of the Assembly or Senate, circle them like a vulture and in one fell swoop grab on with their talons, then regurgitate their sales pitch—that distinguishes them. The gladhandus only leaves the Capitol and surrounding area to sleep—but not before a dusk migration to a nearby barstool at Simon’s or Brannan’s, where it will further hunt for prey with the help of company credit cards.

Habitat: A mystery to many. Members of the gladhandus are rarely seen outside their natural environment of the Capitol in full plumage. They are believed to nest in upscale neighborhoods like Land Park, East Sacramento or even Granite Bay—no one knows for sure. Some believe they turn into bats and hang upside down in Midtown belfries until dawn.

Diet: Beef. They dine at places like the Esquire Grill and eat huge, thick cuts of prime rib, New York strip or Tri-tip, and gulp down martinis. Interestingly, Lobbyist gladhanduses are also known for their propensity toward pork, which they gather in abundance for their corporate superiors.

Bureaucratus minor