Brown and Kashkari challenge each other in Gubernatorial Debate

State Hornet Staff

Neel Kashkari made his presence known as a candidate for governor of California after incumbent Jerry Brown accepted his proposal for a one-hour debate.

Reporters from the Los Angeles Times, Telemundo 52 and The California Channel asked both candidates their stance on California’s drought, the high-speed rail, education and job growth, while Sacramento Bureau Chief for KQED John Myers moderated.

Myers believed no one gained a major advantage in this political race, tweeting “My view: both guys got some base hits, made a little news. No home runs, but few debates ever have ‘em.”

Kashkari being the lesser-known candidate, challenged Gov. Brown on education, an issue he’s been criticized for. He pointed out California’s low rank in public schools compared to the rest of the country.

“You should be ashamed of yourself, governor,” Kashkari said. “I’m going to fight for the kids!”

Gov. Brown attributed the passing of Proposition 30 under his administration, which raised income tax and prevented further budget cuts in education, to have helped catapult California as the eighth wealthiest economy in the world.

“With Prop. 30, California is acting where we’re needed most,” Gov. Brown said.

Dunia Elvir, news anchor for Telemundo 52, said the governor agreeing to this event was a plus for Kashkari, considering no one knew his face prior to the debate.

Elvir represented Latino viewers on the panel. She said she was surprised they both agreed upon issues regarding jobs and education.

Despite these similarities, Elvir questioned the issue of undocumented students and said she wished there was more time to talk about immigration issues, like the Dream Loan Act or undocumented graduates.

“The first wave of Dreamers are graduating right now. What’s going to happen to these students graduating that are still not legal to work?” Elvir said. “They’re ready to go in and be part of the work and they can’t – they won’t be able to.”

Gov. Brown repeatedly mentioned how 1.4 million jobs have been created since the Great Recession each time Kashkari criticized his ability to produce work for people in California.

He also said a bullet train costing approximately $70 million would generate jobs, while Kashkari said his alternative solution for jobs is working towards water conservation, which would be a smaller cost than the train.

Kashkari said the burden of funding high-speed rail would fall on taxpayers, referring to Brown’s project as the “crazy train”.

Adam Scow, Director of Food & Water Watch, joined activist group Californians Against Fracking to call on both candidates to protect water being wasted by off-coast oil excavation.

“We’re in a terrible drought, yet we have oil companies polluting and destroying our precious water through fracking. It’s irresponsible, it’s not good for water. It’s not good for our energy policy. We want fracking banned. So we’re here to let Jerry Brown and Kashkari know that this has to be stopped.”

Scow said Gov. Brown has taken up to $2 million from oil companies that clouded his judgement on fracking.

“At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words and Gov. Brown is actually making our climate problems worse by allowing fracking, allowing oil companies to expand refineries in the bay area and in Los Angeles,” Scow said.

Scow said the governor could attempt to end an extraction of oil and receive a majority of peoples’ support.

“Gov. Brown has the support of the people of California,” Scow said. “It’s a question of courage and doing the right thing.”

Activist Carl Burton is in favor of Kashkari, believing he is more in line with his beliefs, particularly in jobs and education. He said he does not like Gov. Brown’s idea of a high-speed train and halting freeway expansion.

Burton protested with his group chanting slogans like, “If it’s Brown, flush it down”.