Governor’s race: Kashkari launches campaign on jobs and education

Governor’s race: Kashkari launches campaign on jobs and education

Republican Neel Kashkari launched his campaign for governor on Tuesday, promising that, if elected, he’ll focus on two issues: jobs and education.

The former assistant U.S. treasury secretary, who is best known for his role in the controversial 2008 Wall Street bailout, criticized Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown for a record that has left millions of Californians unemployed and in poverty.

“Jobs and education. Jobs and education. That’s my platform, ” Kashkari said in a keynote address to the Sacramento Business Review at Sacramento State University. “Our schools, employment rate, and small business climate are ranked near the bottom, and we have the highest poverty rate in the country. The status quo our leaders defend is absolutely devastating for millions of our neighbors.”

California: Home to nation’s highest poverty rate

Kashkari has never held public office and spent 2013 making the usual rounds meeting with the state’s prominent political leaders, elected officials and donors. But it’s his unconventional focus on poor and working class Californians left behind in the economic reovery that has many Republicans excited about Kashkari’s prospects.

“I’ve spent the last year talking with Californians about the challenges facing families, communities and small businesses across the state to determine how I can help give others the same opportunities America has given my family,” said Kashkari, who has spent a night in a homeless shelter and days with farm workers. “Today, the gift of a good education and the opportunity it creates are out of reach for millions of struggling Californians.”

Kashkari has repeatedly pointed to the state’s poverty rate, the country’s highest, as evidence of Brown’s failed record. In November, Brown downplayed the state’s record poverty rate in an interview on National Public Radio’s, “All Things Considered.”

“California is a magnet,” said Brown, a former Jesuit seminarian. “People come here from all over the world — close by from Mexico and Central America and further out from Asia and the Middle East. So California beckons and people come. And then, of course, a lot of people who arrive are not that skilled and they take lower paying jobs, and that reflects itself in the economic distribution.”

Brown added, “So, yeah, it’s there. But it’s really the flip side of California’s incredible attractiveness and prosperity.”

Some political analysts say Brown’s overly rosy picture could be his biggest vulnerability in 2014.

“Californians think the state’s economy is stuck in neutral and that the prospects for future economic growth are dim at best,” writes Bloomberg columnist Lanhee Chen, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. “And if he continues to ignore Californians’ interest in real plans to improve the jobs picture, Brown may find himself fighting for his political life later this year.”

Kashkari’s unique authenticity

Kaskari’s authentic style has distinguished him from previous GOP statewide candidates.  

“Kashkari is packaging Republican issues in a way that’s designed to appeal to people who wouldn’t normally vote for Republicans,” observes UT San Diego columnist Steven Greenhut, who was impressed by Kashkari’s passion in a recent interview.

The son of immigrants from India, Kashkari grew up in Akron, Ohio, before attending the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Kashkari to the Department of Treasury, where he helped write legislation to address the 2008 financial crisis. It’s Kashkari’s role as an architect of the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program, a $700 billion bailout to Wall Street bankers, that has already become a central criticism of his candidacy.

Donnelly, Brown united in attack on TARP

A spokeswoman for conservative Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks, a Republican also running for governor, welcomed Kashkari to the race with a jab at his record as “the bailout chief.”

“Neel Kashkari was responsible for taking nearly $1 trillion of taxpayer money and giving it to his cronies in the banking industry,” said Jennifer Kerns, manager and spokeswoman for the Donnelly campaign. “We’ll be educating voters about the impact that Mr. Kashkari’s policies have had on Californians. There isn’t a ‘tarp’ big enough to hide his record.”

Donnelly’s criticism was echoed by a similar attack from Brown’s campaign — perhaps the only issue on which the Tea Party favorite agrees with the incumbent Democrat.

“He was a banker at Goldman Sachs, and then his one public policy act was to hand $700 billion to Wall Street banks,” Dan Newman, an advisor to Brown, told Capitol Public Radio. “So it’s hard to imagine how that makes one qualified to be governor of California.”

While his opponents believe he is vulnerable on the issue, Kashkari doesn’t think so. The Kashkari campaign is quick to point out that the Wall Street bailout program recouped all the money spent and earned a $13 billion profit for taxpayers.

“If we could break the back of the worst economic crisis our country has faced in 80 years, then I know we can break the back of the crisis that is destroying opportunity for California families and kids,” Kashkari said in a statement.”If we could get Republicans and Democrats to work together in Washington, D.C., then I know we can get them to work together in Sacramento.”

Brown big favorite to win reelection

Last week, the GOP primary field winnowed as former Lt. Governor Abel Maldonado suspended his campaign. No matter which Republican candidate makes the November run-off, he is unlikely to defeat the Democratic incumbent. According to a Field Poll in December, Brown enjoys a 58 percent approval rating. By comparison, Brown’s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, left office with an approval rating of just 22 percent.

In addition to the major party candidates, author Luis Rodriguez and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan are candidates representing the Green and Peace & Freedom Parties, respectively.

This will be the first gubernatorial campaign under the state’s new Top Two rules. Although candidates can identify themselves with a party, they don’t have to. The June primary will reduce the field to just two candidates for the November ballot. Assuming Brown gains one slot, the second slot will be fought over by Kashkari, Donnelly, Rodriguez, Sheehan and other potential candidates.


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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 22 January, 2014, 19:43

    This joker is a former Goldman Sach’s man who was Henry Paulson’s waterboy and oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) that promoted corporate welfare to the tune of more than $800B and rewarded a bunch of white collar thugs who brought down the world’s economy. lol.

    So here we go again. Another choice of Frankenstein vs. Dracula for governor! lol.

    Keep voting.

    Keep writing and calling your state representatives.

    Keep believing in the system.

    Keep consenting.

    Most importantly, keep paying your taxes and get them in by the due date!!!!

    Government works for YOU!!! LOL!!!!!

    Reply this comment
  2. Skippingdog
    Skippingdog 22 January, 2014, 23:04

    It’s always amusing to see who the next sacrificial lamb with deep pockets the Republicans will pick to carry their soiled and heavily tattered banner in California.

    Since even Whitman’s wealth couldn’t buy her the last election, I’ll mainly be interested in just how large a political thumpin’ this guy gets. Meg reportedly spent over $145 million on her campaign, and only finished behind Jerry Brown by about 1.3 million votes and something on the order of 13% behind in the vote count.

    I’m betting this bleeder loses by closer to 20%, since neither he nor the Republicans are going to throw away anywhere near the money Whitman did.

    Reply this comment
    • Dyspeptic
      Dyspeptic 23 January, 2014, 08:54

      “neither he nor the Republicans are going to throw away anywhere near the money Whitman did.”

      And neither will throw away anywhere near the money the California legislature does on a daily basis. But as long as some of it ends up in your pocket it’s all good isn’t it Skippy? Now go run along and find an unarmed homeless man to assault.

      Reply this comment
      • SkippingDog
        SkippingDog 23 January, 2014, 10:25

        The legislature doesn’t put a cent into my pocket, Dys. How come you Republicans can’t come up with a sane and rational candidate?

        Reply this comment
        • Dyspeptic
          Dyspeptic 23 January, 2014, 10:39

          That’s really lame Skippy. If you had a clue or an ounce of intellectual integrity you would know that hanging the partisan label on me is brain dead. Do you actually read the comments at CWD?

          Reply this comment
          • LetitCollapse
            LetitCollapse 23 January, 2014, 11:15

            Don’t pay attention, dys. These folks are true propogandists.

  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 23 January, 2014, 00:09

    This state is on it’s last leg. With all the entitlement programs and leeches dependent on a free ride it’s going to self-destruct. They can’t withdraw the entitlements or there’d be mass riots. Their only option is to tax you more to pay for it all. lol. Tax you into the poorhouse with the rest of ’em. lol. And when the next meltdown hits that’ll be it. Poof.

    It’s got nothing to do with republican/democrat. They’ve created that facade to entertain and appease you. To fool you into believing that you have a choice! LOL. The illusion is that government operates by virtue of your consent. LOL. And they’ve dumbed down society to such an extent that the majority still believe it! LOL.

    Anytime you start to think you have a voice in government go watch the George Carlin “It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it” video. He’ll set you straight.

    Reply this comment
    • Dyspeptic
      Dyspeptic 23 January, 2014, 09:30

      Carlin had it right. He was cynical enough to understand human nature and see through the barrage of B.S. the Oligarch Media spews.

      Reply this comment
  4. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 23 January, 2014, 09:25

    Mr. Kashkari has so many strikes against him he’s out of an inning before he even gets into the batters box.

    Strike # 1 – He’s a Goldman Sachs crony capitalist
    Strike # 2 – Hank Paulson’s right hand man
    Strike # 3 – The architect of the TARP swindle
    Strike # 4 – He’s a made member of the Bush family New World Order Crime Syndicate
    Strike # 5 – He worked for the money grubbers over at PIMCO
    Strike # 6 – He looks like the spawn of Dr. Evil and a cue ball
    Strike # 7 – No one outside of the Oligarch Club knows who he is
    Strike # 8 – If Crusty The Brown dies before election day the brain dead voters of Crazyfornia would re-elect him anyway
    Strike # 9 – If this guy isn’t a CIA asset then I will eat Ted Steele’s panties (ugh, I just creeped myself out).

    Regarding Strike # 9, the recent O.C. Register puff piece on him indicates that he has a masters degree in mechanical engineering and an MBA. That’s all very nice but none of that gets you a V.P. corner office at Goldman and a job as Hank Paulson’s muppet killer. This guy has some very unexplored connections to some very powerful people/agencies. Inquiring minds need to know about that. It’s too bad the lapdog news media will resort to the usual antics of “Him Republican, him bad!”

    Reply this comment
  5. SkippingDog
    SkippingDog 23 January, 2014, 10:27

    On the other hand, the “Him Republican; Him Bad” approach is a reasonably good rule of thumb for most sane decision making by voters.

    Reply this comment
    • Dyspeptic
      Dyspeptic 23 January, 2014, 10:46

      Except most voters are like you Skippy, neither sane nor independent thinkers. A REAL journalists job is to present fact based accounts of current events and important political figures so the public can make up it’s own mind based upon reliable and relevant information.

      So go read the partisan stenographers over at The L.A. Slimes, San Jose Mercury Snooze or The Excremento Bee and keep pickling yourself in prog-bot propaganda if it makes you feel all smug and happy.

      Reply this comment
      • LetitCollapse
        LetitCollapse 23 January, 2014, 11:12

        Dys, most journalists in America are bought and sold like chattel today. They shine the boots for the highest bidder. There’s very little objectivity in American journalism in 2014. And that’s a HUGE red flag for our Republic. The media is the 2nd to the last line of defense against tyranny before the pitch forks and torches come out. So when the media betrays us we are left twisting in the wind.

        Even so-called conservative journalists stab us in the backs by only telling us half the story. Omissions in journalism are just as bad as outright lies, IMO. It all comes down to hiding the truth. Any journalist who hides the truth should find another profession.

        Reply this comment
  6. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 23 January, 2014, 11:02

    If somebody stuck a gun to my head and told me to vote for either Brown or Kashkari, as much as I despise Brown, he would get my vote. That just goes to show how far the Republican Party has fallen from grace, when they have to pump this clown as their lead candidate for the governor’s race. It reflects the VALUES that the Republican party represents today. And it’s disgraceful. As it stands I refuse to pinch my nose and vote for any political candidate. I’m not wired that way.

    Dyspeptic, at least you and I, as conservatives, are fully candid and do not mince words, even when it comes to conservative candidates. We tell it like it is and carry water for no one. These sissy democrats vote for anything with a (D) next to their names. If Corzine ran for gov of California instead of Brown all the liberals would be slobbering over him. LOL. They don’t care about values or ethics, as long as the big (D) is there!!! LOL!

    I respect your opinion because of this. You’re not a phony.

    Reply this comment
  7. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 23 January, 2014, 19:19

    LOOK OUT California, Cashcarry will make you nostalgic for Arnold! This supercreep RINO/Goldman operative is carpetbagging his way here for one purpose: to LOOT every dang thing that is not bolted to the ground! His singular achievement was insuring that Hank Paulson got a personal $220 million slice of the TARP money, along with lifetime immunity from prosecution and indemnity written into the Act itself! I also would vote for Brown over this looter/operative! I would vote for Rajneesh Bagwam or even Dianne Fienstein over him! Ronald Reagan he ain’t!

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 23 January, 2014, 22:03

      Bill, don’t forget that Hank Paulson didn’t pay a dime in capital gains taxes on about $500M in GS shares that he sold when he became Treasury Secretary. Another one of those perks that congress gifted to the privileged elite club members that’s not available to the peasants who roll the dice in the markets.

      Kashkari was a valued team player on Paulson’s team. Otherwise he would have never been appointed to oversee TARP.

      Pimco benefitted from the gov takeover of Fannie and Freddie. Then Kashkari got a job at Pimco in 2009 after he gave $800B to the ones who brought the markets down. lol. The 6 funds he subsequently managed underperformed – and he resigned in 2013. Now he wants to be our governor. lol.

      The fact that Kashkari has the blessing of the Republican party to run as the lead dog in the race for the governor’s seat is another huge stain on the GOP. What a joke. No wonder it’s a dying political party. I wonder what sort of closed door secret deals went on to make that happen?

      Reply this comment
      • Bill Gore
        Bill Gore 24 January, 2014, 08:59

        Good points, and remember that Paulson himself is hardcore environmentalist democrat..Cashcarry’s sudden interest in California reflects the fact that California government seems to have become the field of dreams for east coast operatives of every stripe, e.g. people like Jeff Morales (a disciple of Sen. Frank Lautenburg, I think), Cashcarry being a Wall Street operative. Love them or hate them, politicos like Brown, Fienstein, et. al. actually are Californians, and have lived in the state more than 6 months.

        The theme of carpetbagging political looter operatives has become pervasive. I was shocked when new yorkers elected to the senate the fake non-resident Hillary Clinton after her patronizing and fake “listening’ campaign. Dumb down only benefits these jackals.

        The old California republican party, the party of Pat Brown, Pete Wilson and Ronald Reagan was supported by a long-gone electorate that was overall more sober and harder working than anyone alive today can fathom. A super creep like Cashcarry would not have been let in the door, and to even contemplate running for governor he would have had to pay some serious dues….

        Reply this comment
        • LetitCollapse
          LetitCollapse 24 January, 2014, 11:23

          Bill, totally agree with you about Hillary (What difference at this point does it make?) Clinton. Had she not married Bill she’d be chasing ambulances in Little Rock today. Goes directly from being the 1st lady to becoming a NY Senator then to Secretary of State!!! lol. Nice fast track, eh??? We have our Royal Families in America too! lol. I heard Jeb Bush may make a run for POTUS in 2016 too!!! lol He’s no better than GW. Cut from the same mold. With a population of over 300M people that’s the best America has to offer??? Oh, I forget. Rino Christie will save us if Bridgegate doesn’t take him down first!!! lol. One loser after another. All batting .000 at the plate!!! lol.

          Reply this comment
          • John Seiler
            John Seiler 24 January, 2014, 15:22

            “Had she not married Bill she’d be chasing ambulances in Little Rock today.”

            Hillary started out as a Goldwater Girl in 1964 in a Chicago suburg. So if she had met and married a conservative Republican instead of Bill, today she still would be running for president — but as a Reagan Republican!

  8. SeeSaw
    SeeSaw 24 January, 2014, 09:41

    He’s just here to carry water for the Republicans and gain name-recognition. He must know that he doesn’t stand a chance.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 24 January, 2014, 13:50

      Just like the average dimocrat must know that his or her party has run a once beautiful state right into the wall.

      There was a day not so long ago when a California resident could attend community college for free.

      In 1965 the top income tax bracket in Ca paid only 7%. Sales tax was only 3%.

      Ca was a prosperous state with a low poverty rate.

      Today? Ruined beyond repair. Thanks to the dims. Overrunned by illegals. Taxes through the roof. Massive army of gov workers all demanding bigger and bigger entitlements. The dims took a great state and turned it into a hellhole.

      Reply this comment
  9. bob
    bob 24 January, 2014, 11:22

    What a choice! A Goldman Suchs bankster puppet or the old Brown buzzard. Just pathetic.

    But really there is no choice. Kash-n-carry has no chance against old Brownie.

    Reply this comment
  10. bob
    bob 24 January, 2014, 11:25

    Plus Kash-n-carry looks like Dr. Evil. He has no chance against old Brownie.

    Reply this comment
  11. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 24 January, 2014, 11:30

    A while back I read that Brown was diagnosed with prostate cancer. If he’s going to run for reelection I think the public should have a right to know his gleason score and the results of his treatments. If NSA is allowed to tap our phones and read our emails and if the ObamaCare/Covered Ca websites are easily hacked revealing our medical histories, why shouldn’t we have access to the medical histories of those who force their will on us?

    Reply this comment
    • Bill Gore
      Bill Gore 24 January, 2014, 20:07

      The way I see it, if Cashcarry wins (not likely) then the Vampire Squid owns the keys to the world’s seventh largest economy. This is how they work these days: instead of buying candidates through contributions, they simply use operatives to seize control. There are now Vampire squidlets in charge of the central banks of Canada, the UK, governments around the world. The biggest prizes for the VS (Vampire Squid) in California would be the cash flow from the AB32 carbon taxes, oil royalties as soon as fracking is allowed on the mainland, and maybe privatize CALPERS while they’re at it. And the fearsome public employee unions? They will wimper like beaten pups to eat from VS’s slimy hand (tentacle?). IF Cashcarry loses (most likely) he will be appointed, in a spirit of bipartisanship, to numerous state commissions dealing with energy, transportation and banking, where he will relentlessly promote the VS agenda. Either way its win-win for the VS (cause they always win), and the dumb-as-dirt Republican lumpenproletariat will be left blinking in the hot sunlight as their state is vigorously looted, right down to the telephone poles.

      Reply this comment
  12. bob
    bob 24 January, 2014, 12:36

    “A while back I read that Brown was diagnosed with prostate cancer.”

    Brownie will live forever, just like Fidel Castro.

    Reply this comment
  13. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 25 January, 2014, 00:18

    Honorable Jerry Brown does a great job considering the diverse nature of California.

    He deseves a second term.

    Reply this comment
  14. billybs
    billybs 26 January, 2014, 16:32

    He is probably not taking any drink that Newsom brings to him.

    Reply this comment

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