Kashkari debunks ‘California Comeback’

Kashkari debunks ‘California Comeback’

Is California Back

By spending a week down and out in Fresno, Neel Kashkari has made the state’s sky-high poverty rate a central issue in the governor’s race, and in the process, debunked Gov. Jerry Brown’s myth of a “California Comeback.”

Last week, the Republican gubernatorial nominee hopped on a Greyhound bus headed for Fresno with just $40 in his pocket and the goal of drawing attention to the other California, where nearly 9 million people live in poverty.

“I wanted to see firsthand what that comeback looks like for many Californians,” Kashkari writes in a powerful opinion piece featured in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. “With only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a change of clothes and a toothbrush, I planned to find a job and earn enough money to get by.”

“I am an able-bodied 41-year-old,” the former Treasury official wrote. “Surely I could find some work.”

But Kashkari, who has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, was unable to find work and, after five days, turned to a local homeless shelter for food.

“I offered to do anything: wash dishes, sweep floors, pack boxes, cook meals, anything,” Kashkari said of his experience. “In seven days, I didn’t see a single ‘Help Wanted’ sign, but I did see plenty of signs that fast-food outlets now accept food stamps.”

Jerry Brown’s myth of the California Comeback

Neel Kashkari Down and OutThe unconventional campaign move, which was documented by two videographers, debunks the central theme of Brown’s re-election campaign: that he’s led a remarkable comeback of the eighth largest economy in the world.

“‘California Comeback!’ is the favorite slogan of Gov. Jerry Brown and other Sacramento politicians cheering a temporary budget surplus provided by a roaring stock market,” Kashkari said. “But California also has the highest poverty rate in America at 24 percent and I wanted to see first-hand what life is really like for many of our friends and neighbors.”

In March 2013, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman admonished the rest of the country to follow Brown’s “Lessons From a Comeback,” which included a round of tax increases approved by voters in 2012. Brown formally picked up that theme in this year’s State of the State address, in which he officially declared the state’s “comeback” — a message quickly repeated by the state’s mainstream media.

“Jerry Brown, California’s comeback king,” the Los Angeles Times proclaimed, following the governor’s speech. “California is back. And like it or not, that’s in no small measure because of Jerry Brown.”

24 percent poverty rate – worst in nation

The Republican candidate’s homeless challenge mirrors similar efforts by Democratic politicians to highlight the problems facing working families. United States Senator Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, kicked off his political career by living in “some of Newark’s roughest neighborhoods.”  Earlier this month, Ted Strickland, the former Democratic Governor of Ohio, spent a week living on minimum wage.

“I know I’ll never be able to truly walk in the shoes of a minimum wage worker,” the Democrat wrote in Politico Magazine, “but experiencing just some of the decisions this income requires on a daily basis is enough to understand that we need to do better for these hardworking families.

With a 20-point lead in the latest opinion polls, Brown has largely ignored Kashkari — most recently telling reporters that he might not bother to debate his opponent.

“I haven’t made up my mind,” Brown told reporters accompanying him on his trip to Mexico.

By borrowing a page from Democrats’ playbook, Kashkari elevates the issue of poverty to a major topic in the gubernatorial campaign.

“Jerry Brown is ducking,” Kashkari said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” saying that the most recent campaign move was intended to “force a conversation” about the state’s 24 percent poverty rate — the worst in the nation.

Not first time Kashkari has raised issue of poverty

This isn’t the first time that Kashkari has pressed Brown on poverty. During the exploratory phase of his campaign, Kashkari spent a night in a homeless shelter and worked the fields picking produce. In January, Kashkari attempted to raise the issue, but struggled to capture the media’s attention.

“Gov. Brown may claim a California comeback, but the truth is that he has forgotten the millions of California families who are struggling,” Kashkari said in response to the governor’s State of the State address. “Twenty-four percent of our fellow Californians live in poverty. Yet how many times did the governor mention poverty in his 17-minute address? Not once. That is outrageous.”

But don’t expect the Capitol establishment to recognize Kashkari’s repeated attempts to change the image of the California Republican Party.

“Kashkari has not for one minute shown an interest in re-branding his party,” CalBuzz bloggers Phil Trounstine and Jerry Roberts wrote on Monday.


Write a comment
  1. Donkey
    Donkey 31 July, 2014, 15:42

    The only ones that are making a comeback are the RAGWUs feeding trolls that work in government! 🙂

    Reply this comment
  2. Queeg
    Queeg 31 July, 2014, 19:12

    LA has never been governed since Mayor Yorty.

    It is a decayed relic of the aerospace golden era….. Farmers Market is a crusty tattered mess. Venice reminds one of a geriatric hippie ghetto. Santa Monica is a traffic blob run by neophyte Socialists. Hollywood is great for security guard watching. West La is full of vulnerable, daft Prius whackos….

    Who goes there?

    Reply this comment
  3. ECK
    ECK 31 July, 2014, 23:29

    Of course Jerry “the Clown” thinks things are just peachy or rosy, he’s never had a productive job in his whole life. He’s been on the public tit most of it. He’s no idea how the real world operates.

    Victor David Hansen has written extensively on the sharp contrast between the coastal elite, leftist, ruling class and the rest of Californians.

    I don’t think Kashkari has much of a chance and will get no support from the effete CA Republican establishment, but I’m voting for him.

    Reply this comment
  4. Queeg
    Queeg 1 August, 2014, 10:01


    The guy is flawed beyond belief….a globalist supporting slave master…….have you scruples or are you goose stepping by reflexes….

    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 1 August, 2014, 15:26

    Donkey says
    The only ones that are making a comeback are the RAGWUs feeding trolls that work in government!
    Guess your Govt working trough feeding son made the right choice!!! Good for him

    Reply this comment
  6. Michael H.
    Michael H. 1 August, 2014, 16:44

    California is awash in poverty. With Kashkari as Governor we can give a tax cut to the very wealthy and just watch Oakland turn around.

    Reply this comment
  7. Bob m
    Bob m 2 August, 2014, 07:16

    Better we continue the program were on now (taxing, expanding pub sector unions, redistribution, large useless govt projects) because it’s working so well for the state. Last one out, please turn off the lights….

    Reply this comment
  8. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 2 August, 2014, 09:21

    Resistance is futile.

    Reply this comment
  9. Tesla_x
    Tesla_x 2 August, 2014, 12:12

    It seems no one mentions the billionaires who funded the ESA based attacks by the NRDC on our state water supply for the past several years, intentionally forcing precious reserves for both farming and residents to flow out the San Francisco Bay.

    A few very rich and destructive bay area environmental fanatics are responsible this.

    Nrdc was central to instigating the severity of the drought by pushing the use of critical state water supplies for the saving of a common fish.



    Note the billionaires who fund the nrdc and supporting NGOs.


    What do they gain by coordinating the destruction of farming communities in the Central Valley?

    Packard, Hewlett, Schmidt, Simons, many others.

    They fund the ‘green at all costs’ crowd and fanatical carbon agendas, and are core to many environmental, ipcc, and EPA ‘mandates’

    What else are they doing?

    They are also front and center trying to destroy the oil and gas revolution here in Kalifornia.
    Their anti fracking propaganda efforts directly threaten 500,000 jobs that could come from this industry over the next 10 years.

    They are core to the gross manipulation of our increasingly endangered economy, food supply and energy infrastructure.

    Kalifornia is on the front lines for the damage their agendas have inflicted on WATER, JOBS, energy costs, food prices and the rising unemployment and underemployment rates.

    All the while, their interests rake in millions on green incentives and tax breaks, further redistributing the wealth of a shrinking middle class.

    Look into the funding report above.

    There is plenty to analyze.

    Reply this comment
  10. NTHEOC
    NTHEOC 2 August, 2014, 17:16

    So this dude grabs a camara and goes to Fresno to pretend like he’s homeless???? Lol!!!!!! Could these repubs get any more desperate. Why even try ? Brown is going to whip him and then it’s time for potus!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply this comment
    • S Moderation Douglas
      S Moderation Douglas 2 August, 2014, 17:32

      “With only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a change of clothes and a toothbrush, I planned to find a job and earn enough money to get by.”

      AND my own personal camera crew. LOL!!!

      Reply this comment
  11. Ariel Galvao
    Ariel Galvao 2 August, 2014, 19:47

    Well done! I just like to ask you to – if elected – don’t forget what you experienced and (REALLY) do something instead blah, blah, blah…
    I’m tired about politics who give large smiles, shake hands, hold babies during a campaign and them… disappear… GL!

    Reply this comment
  12. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 2 August, 2014, 22:18

    This stunt makes me like Cashcarry more (or dislike less) and he makes a valid point.
    What I can’t get over are his Goldman Sachs bona fides, his close ties to uber kreep Hank Paulson, his role in the 2008 bailout debacle, and the fact that he is basically a Wall Street carpetbagger.
    Unemployment could be reduced to ZERO % immediately if we bite the bullet and go soviet. Establish a ‘Federal Department of Full Employment’, require BY LAW that all job openings must be filled through said department, GUARANTEE employment to ALL, within 72 hours of registration, even if its just pushing a broom somewhere. This can be done. Right now HR departments are mere bastions of extreme cronyism-get rid of them…..

    Reply this comment
  13. T Mind of Ted Your God
    T Mind of Ted Your God 3 August, 2014, 07:25


    He IS Hank P— he’s his best friend–soulmate–mentor— yikes—— all non 1% Republibaggers are the useful idiots of their slow revolution.

    Reply this comment

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