Everyone knows that Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is going to crush his Republican challenger, Neel Kashkari, in the November election, probably by 20 percentage points or more. But Kashkari had an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s a class act and that even in defeat, he could display intelligence, grace and poise enough to be taken seriously in some future political endeavor.
Until he released his 30-second TV spot titled “Betrayal,” in which Kashkari “saves” a drowning boy who Brown, cruelly, was allowing to die by siding with teachers and abandoning good little children.
“Jerry Brown betrayed ours kids to protect his donors,” Kashkari tells the viewer, while the little boy he has just pulled from the pool sits dully at his side, apparently gasping for air.
Have You No Decency, Sir? It is a truly disgusting ad. If Kashkari had children – which he doesn’t – he would not possibly have allowed his ad maker – Todd Harris – to come up with such a disturbing and exploitative commercial. It’s hard to believe that any parent watching this ad would be persuaded to support Kashkari, who appears willing to risk a child’s life to make his point.
“I wanted the most powerful image I could to let people know about Jerry Brown’s betrayal,” Kashkari said last week in a radio interview on KQED’s “Forum.” “What’s more shocking — a 30-second television ad or the fact the governor of California is fighting kids in court who’ve asked him for a good education?”
Or a candidate for governor who’s unapologetic about making and airing a commercial showing a child drowning?
Too bad. First he went ballistic at Calbuzz and now he’s shown himself to be without a shred of common decency. And we were hoping that a Republican who does not cling to the right wing’s dogma on abortion, immigration, gay marriage, etc. would show it’s possible to run a dignified campaign for governor in California and do at least as well as Dan Lungren or Meg Whitman.
But the “Betrayal” ad is so repulsive, it’s likely to drive Kashkari’s vote down further – even with Jerry Brown refusing to spend a smidgen of the $23 million or so he’s bankrolled for this campaign.
Way over the line.