GOP candidate for governor of California went to the city of Fresno to spend a week homeless and made this video about his experience. B.S. or commendable?
The video documented the GOP candidate, Neel Kashkari, roaming the town with a five o'clock shadow, the bare necessities in search of a job and ended with Kashkari's findings: He couldn't even spot a "help wanted" sign, let alone land gainful employment.
Kashkari wrote in his journal that he took a Greyhound bus from Los Angeles to Fresno on July 21 with "only $40 in my pocket (and no credit cards), a backpack, a change of clothes and a toothbrush." He said he planned to find a job. "I am an able-bodied 41-year-old. Surely I could find some work."
Kashari is a former investment banker who ran the federal government's bank bailout after the 2008 crash during the last days of the Bush Administration.
Kashkari was accompanied by two videographers, whose camera work was visible to the people with whom Kashkari spoke, who produced a 10-minute video. The footage shows a scruffy Kashkari saying, "This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life."
"'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 wrote in an essay on the Wall Street Journal's website last week. "But California also has the highest poverty rate in America at 24%. Is California really back?"
Kashkari trails incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown by 20 points in the polls and by roughly $20 million in campaign cash.
Kashkari said his goal was simple: to shine a spotlight on the travails of average Californians still being squeezed by a struggling economy.
Then came the fundraising payoff: $250,000 in the days immediately following the video release. He has also gotten a lot of media attention.
Critics argue that both Draper and Kashkari, a former investment banker who ran the federal government's bank bailout after the 2008 crash, are millionaire attention seekers interested mainly in earning cocktail party talking points.
But she faulted the "silly execution" of his video, in which he is seen walking into mom-and-pop shops looking for work.
A Democratic critic of the video faulted what she called "the silly execution" of the effort. "His approach of saying 'I just got into town and I need money soon' is not the best pitch for job hunting,' voters may wonder if his approach to job creation will be as weak as his approach to job hunting."
One comment at the video site caught my eye: "Zillionaire investment banker pretends to care about the poor. In a surprising twist, he advocates lower taxes on zillionaire investment bankers as a way to improve conditions for the poor."
Cross-posted at: All-len-All, Daily Kos, PlanetPOV, Yabberz