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HesperiaStar.com
  • Kashkari's bid for attention is paying off

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  • If you believe Neel Kashkari has zero chance to beat Jerry Brown in November in the race for California’s top political post, we agree with you. And so, we’re certain, do Democrats from all walks of life, at all levels, in this state and elsewhere.
    So why, you ask, are Democrats up in arms over his bid to attract attention and even gain a little name recognition? In case you missed it, the Republican gubernatorial hopeful stepped off a bus in downtown Fresno on July 21 with $40 in his pocket planning to spend the next week job hunting while living on the streets. The “stunt,” as Democrats are calling it, went public Thursday, when he posted a video of his foray into the underbelly of California’s jobless community and the Wall Street Journal published a Kashkari commentary on its op-ed page.
    It goes without saying he didn’t find work — Fresno’s unemployment picture is about the same as the rest of the state’s, which is anemic — and would have gone hungry without resorting to the kindness of some charity providers.
    We suppose the left is upset because, despite the bragging they’ve been doing over the state’s modestly improved economic status recently, there are still great swaths of unemployed all over California. Including especially the Inland Empire and the Victor Valley, where, as the Riverside Press Enterprise editorialized last week, 1 in 5 Inland Empire residents live in poverty, leading the 25 highest-population metropolitan areas. And while California overall experienced a decline in unemployment from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent in the Inland Empire, it rose between May and June to 8.4 percent.
    We suspect there was even more to Kashkari’s motivation than simply name recognition. Perhaps he was trying to shake up the state’s media in general, which has largely bought into Brown’s assertion that the state’s economy is in the middle of a robust recovery.
    If it were, one would think Kashkari would have gotten at least a nibble from prospective employers. The fact that he didn’t, and had to rely on charity for food, says what Brown is peddling is politics, not real life.
    One thing is certain about this whole episode, which is that Kashkari got more media attention than a week’s worth of paid television commercials in all of California’s major media markets. And all for 40 bucks and some free meals.
    Whatever else you may say about Kashkari’s bid for attention, you have to admit it’s one of the most imaginative campaign efforts we’ve seen in these parts for years.
    Maybe there’s going to be a real race for governor after all. 

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