Let’s do a little negative campaigning here – Neel Kashkari has endorsed Prop 2, the formula on reserve and debt payback, so Gov. Brown’s supporters should know the measure is clearly a payoff to creditors and Neel’s buddies on Wall Street!
Oh wait, Gov. Brown is running in support of measure too.
The politics (though not just the politics) of Prop 2 are screwy, as Democrats embrace a formula that prioritizes reserves and debt over reinvestment in key programs. So Kashkari’s support of the measure, unjustifiable on its questionable merits, makes no sense politically. Prop 2 would seem to offer him an opportunity to point out the hollowness of the supposed fix of the budget – Brown is still relying on the same formulas and gimmicks that create the California disease.
Kashkari is also running as savior of drowning kids, so why support a measure that doesn’t put schools first. Kashkari could easily make hay out of the measure’s limits on school district reserves. Those limits demonstrate that it isn’t really about rainy day reserve. And those limits are there because of the powerful California Teachers Association, a Kashkari target.
It’s always hard to admit you are wrong, but Kashkari would be on the right side – on the politics and the policy – if he announced he had changed his mind and was opposing Prop 2. He also might create a badly needed debate about what the measure really is.