Friday, August 22, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Brown called lazy, vulnerable

TomEliasW

By
From page A6 | March 18, 2014 |

Jerry Brown has been called a lot of things in his 45-year political career, from “Gov. Moonbeam” to “the old man,” but no one ever accused him of being a do-nothing dud of a politician. Until now.

Changing the state’s school-funding formula, balancing the budget after years of deficit, proposing a massive water transportation plan and spearheading a successful campaign for a tax increase were not enough to make Brown a busy man, says his most likely fall re-election rival.

“Brown is a caretaker governor,” charges Neel Kashkari, the leading Republican in some recent polls. “I’m telling you, he’s a status quo guy. I call him lazy and unwilling to make the major changes we need to bring California back from the Great Recession. All he does is nibble around the edges of problems.”

This unique criticism of Brown will be a major theme of Kashkari’s campaign against the 75-year-old Democrat. Kashkari, a former executive of the Goldman Sachs banking house, led the federal Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program for several months under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He takes much credit for rescuing the U.S. economy from disaster and is the early favorite over fellow Republicans Tim Donnelly and Andrew Blount in the June primary election.

For sure, Kashkari is a different sort of Republican candidate, perhaps one California voters will be ready to accept. The Ohio-born son of Indian immigrant parents, he didn’t get here until 1998, then left for more than three years’ work in Washington, D.C. So he’s only lived in California about 13 years, less than any serious candidate for governor in modern memory.

“If time in California were the criterion leading to a great governor, Brown would be great,” the intense, shaven-headed Kashkari said, seated in a San Fernando Valley coffee shop.

Kashkari is unlike other recent top Republican nominees: He’s not a billionaire, his net worth estimated at “only” about $5 million; he can’t write big checks to his campaign every time the bank account gets thin, a la Meg Whitman, Carly Fiorina, Arnold Schwarzenegger and William Simon.

“I won’t contribute anything,” he says. That would contrast enormously with Brown’s 2010 opponent, Silicon Valley executive Whitman, who spent more than 140 million of her own dollars without coming close.

“Brown is vulnerable,” Kashkari declares. “He wants to spend $67 billion on his crazytrain (Kashkari code for high-speed rail) and one poll I saw had only about 33 percent of voters wanting to re-elect him.” The same survey, however, found that 59 percent approve Brown’s job performance, an odd polling combination.

Kashkari says he’d pursue two main goals if elected: creating jobs and reviving California education. Asked how, he makes a major commitment to exploiting the state’s huge shale oil and gas reserves, without imposing a new drilling tax. He also would make a big push for less regulation of business, something Brown has tried, but not been able to push through the Legislature.

How would Kashkari operate as a Republican dealing with a large Democratic legislative majorities? He doesn’t explain in detail. But he insists that “I would bring a lot of companies back to California, not have them continue moving out of state,” also a theme of the previous three GOP candidates for governor. But he doesn’t detail how he’d help business cope with high housing costs that prevent many companies from recruiting out-of-state workers here.

He also insists he’d pursue development of new reservoirs to store water in wet years and prepare for dry ones, but does not say where he’d put them. “We need a large water bond on the fall ballot,” he says. “I blame Brown for lack of preparation for the drought.”

But in more than an hour discussing what he would do, there were no details on how he’d revive education, where California’s per-student spending is among the lowest in America.

Kashkari brings obvious energy to the campaign trail. But his big handicap also is obvious — voters don’t know him. Not one person in that coffee shop appeared to recognize him, despite his distinctive appearance.

Can Kashkari win in a state where Republicans are badly outnumbered and where he’s never run for any office, where he’s voted in barely half the elections during his time here? He says yes.

Brown doesn’t seem worried.

— Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at tdelias@aol.com

Comments

comments

.

News

DHS musicians back from summer in Italy

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
City to overhaul its sprinkler heads, other water-wasters

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

No easy task: History buffs still trying to save building

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Davis indecent-exposure suspect pleads no contest

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Not-guilty plea entered in Woodland homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Russian aid convoy reaches war-torn Luhansk

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Putah Creek Council appoints new executive director

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

Communitywide ice bucket challenge on Sunday

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Parents’ Night Out features Vacation Bible School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Afternoon tours of city wetlands resume Sept. 6

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Yolo County golf tournament enters fourth year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Saylor will meet constituents at Peet’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event will unveil mural celebrating food justice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Prunes take center stage at last agri-tour of the summer

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

In need of food? Apply for CalFresh

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Wolk bill would require reporting of water system leaks

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Writing couple stops at Davis bookstore

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Explorit: Final Blast show returns for second year

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A5

Record drought saps California honey production

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
World travelers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Seniors set to stroll through Arboretum

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

.

Forum

Weightlifters causing a racket

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Police are our friends, right?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Wage plan has a big flaw

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Bridging the digital divide with computational thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

No support for militarization

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
A better use for this vehicle

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

.

Sports

Watts likes what he’s seen in keen Aggie DB competition

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Watney and McIlroy struggle at start of The Barclays

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: B1

 
Light-hitting Cats fall

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Giants win nightcap in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Big West soccer coaches have high hopes for UCD men

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

Yolo Mambo to play free show

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
‘If I Stay’: Existential angst

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11

 
Davis Chinese Film Festival to kick off with 1994 favorite

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

Rock Band campers perform at E Street Plaza

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Natsoulas to host mural conference

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

.

Business

Car Care: Teenagers not driving safe cars, study shows

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
Car Care: Feeling the summer heat? Your car battery is too

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Three-wheeled Elio gets closer to going on sale

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, August 22, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6