July 21, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Neel Kashkari to Run Against Jerry Brown for California Governor

Current CA Governor Jerry Brown will be running for a fourth term against GOP Candidate Neel Kashkari.
Current CA Governor Jerry Brown will be running for a fourth term against GOP Candidate Neel Kashkari.

Neel Kashkari held a slim lead over Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a fellow Republican, tonight in the race for the second spot on the November ballot for governor behind Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Kashkari had 17.8 percent and Donnelly had 14.7 percent with 30.8 percent of the precincts partially counted statewide, according to figures released by the Secretary of State’s Office.

Brown, who is seeking an unprecedented fourth term, led the field of 15 candidates with 55.4 percent. There were no other candidates with more than 3 percent of the vote.

This was the first gubernatorial election under the “top two” system adopted by voters in 2010. Candidates from all parties appeared on the primary ballot, with the top two advancing to the November election regardless of party.

The field consisted of six Republicans, two Democrats, five without a party preference and one each from the Green Party and Peace and Freedom Party.

Kashkari focused his campaign on two issues — creating jobs and improving education.

Donnelly called for eliminating government waste, reducing state spending; cutting taxes; increasing government efficiency; imposing a moratorium on all new regulations; and reversing Brown’s realignment plan, which has transferred inmates from state prisons to county jails and resulted in some early releases.

However, in the final weeks, the campaign was dominated by questions over Donnelly’s fitness as a candidate amid fears by Republican leaders that he would hurt the party’s other candidates on the November ballot.

Donnelly drew criticism from Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, for stating on his Facebook page on May 5 that Kashkari “supported the United States submitting to the Islamic, Shariah banking code in 2008 when he ran TARP,” a reference to the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

“This type of stupidity disqualifies Tim Donnelly from being fit to hold any office, anywhere,” Issa said. “Donnelly is no longer a viable option
for California voters.”

Donnelly based the claim on a 2008 Washington Times story about Kashkari attending a conference on Islamic finance.

Aaron McLear, a strategist for Kashkari, said last month the story was inaccurate.

“The U.S. Treasury Department regularly invites delegates from around the world to Washington to advocate for free market principles,” McLear said.

“The conference on Islamic finance was designed to explore how free market principles could work in Islamic countries. It had nothing to do with changing America’s legal or financial systems.”

Art Haynie, a strategist for the Donnelly campaign, told City News Service, “We’ve talked with multiple banking experts and banking attorneys who have told us their response to the story and the event is totally factually inaccurate and that it has absolutely nothing to do with free market principles (working) in Islamic countries.”

According to a program provided by Haynie, Kashkari was to provide five- to-10 minutes of welcoming remarks at “Islamic Finance 101,” a seminar hosted by the Department of Treasury in association with Harvard Law School’s Islamic Finance Project on Nov. 6, 2008, in Washington.

The seminar consisted of panels titled “Overview of Islamic Financial Instruments and Transactions” and “Evolution of the Market for Islamic Finance.”

Other participants included Samuel Hayes, a professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School, and Sarah Bell of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Another fellow Republican, former Gov. Pete Wilson, also criticized Donnelly for his “irresponsible personal behavior,” a reference to a 2012 no contest plea to misdemeanor gun charges for carrying a loaded gun into an airport.
In a letter to voters, Wilson wrote “Donnelly’s record, not California’s critical challenges — is what would inescapably become the focus of a Donnelly campaign,” if he were on the general election ballot.

“With Donnelly on the ballot, it would be a losing campaign, risking injury to our party and our state and to other Republican candidates, who deserve to win,” Wilson wrote.

Donnelly has characterized the incident as an honest mistake.

The son of immigrants from India, the 40-year-old Kashkari was raised in the Akron, Ohio, suburb of Stow and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois. He moved to California in 1998 and worked as a design engineer at TRW in Redondo Beach, developing technology for NASA space missions.

Kashkari returned to college and received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2002, then worked in the San Francisco office of the investment bank Goldman Sachs, eventually leading its information technology security practice.

Then-Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson hired Kashkari in 2006 as a special assistant on energy policy. He was appointed by then-President George W. Bush in 2007 as assistant secretary of the Treasury for international economics and development.

Kashkari was among several Paulson aides who wrote the legislation that created TARP, then oversaw it as interim assistant secretary of the Treasury for financial stability, a position he remained in during the initial months of the Obama administration.

Following his government service, Kashkari worked for the Newport Beach-based global investment management firm PIMCO, resigning last year to explore running for governor.

Donnelly, 48, was elected to the Assembly in 2010 and re-elected in 2012, representing a San Bernardino County district. He has authored legislation to designate every Feb. 1 as Freedom from Slavery Day and each January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

In 2005, Donnelly founded California’s largest chapter of the Minutemen, an effort by the public to monitor the border to discourage illegalimmigration.

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