Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari on Monday challenged Gov. Jerry Brown to five formal debates and five town-hall meetings before November’s election, taking a page from Brown’s own campaign playbook.
Kashkari wants Brown to meet him for a debate and a town-hall meeting in each of five regions: the Bay Area, Sacramento, the Central Valley, Los Angeles and San Diego.
“The day after the June 2010 primary election you challenged your Republican opponent to 10 debates,” Kashkari wrote in his letter to Brown. “You said then that we must ‘tell people how we’ll manage their tax dollars, how we’ll hold down taxes, how we’ll make government work better and more efficiently, how we’ll fix our schools and how we’ll create jobs.’ I couldn’t agree more with those sentiments, which are as true today as they were four years ago.”
“Although you continually proclaim a ‘California comeback,’ the truth is that millions of families across the state are being left behind by the status quo you defend,” Kashkari wrote. “Governor, our state is ranked 46th in education, 47th in jobs, and 1st in poverty. In fact, your ‘California comeback’ has ignored the millions of Californians who are looking for work and whose children are stuck in failing schools. That you believe the status quo is acceptable underscores the need for a rigorous debate about the future of our state.”
Kashkari asked for a response by Friday “so we may begin the planning process.”
Brown campaign consulant Dan Newman said Monday afternoon that “we’ll certainly consider debating, providing we can work out the scheduling and details to offer something substantive and worthwhile to voters.”
Brown, seeking an unprecedented fourth term as California’s governor, got 54.4 percent of the vote in last week’s top-two primary. Kashkari, a former Treasury Department official from Laguna Beach, finished second with 19.4 percent, beating out tea party favorite Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, who had 14.8 percent.
Read the full text of Kashkari’s letter, after the jump…
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