Neel Kahskari: Fall Guy for Establishment Republicans

Editorialviagra 60mg times;”>By Stephen Frank

medications times;”>Some of my conservative friends will be upset with this editorial. It is a defense of Neel Kashkari—the man, not the novice politician. First who is Neel Kashkari? As best as can be told, before he ran for Governor he had never helped a political campaign, written policy articles on pensions, agriculture, public safety. As a private citizen until his run for office he never expressed opinions on the High Speed Rail, the California pension crisis, any ballot measures. Neel Kashkari was like 99% of Californians, not interested or involved.

As a Republican there is no record, until his race for Governor of attending or helping any County Central Committee, volunteer GOP club or involved in any California causes or issues. As a citizen of the State there is no record of his involvement, donations or leadership in any Chamber of Commerce, local charity or fund raising for a hospital or children’s event. Neel Kashkari was too involved in Washington and finance to be involved in community, charitable or political events in California. That is not noted as a negative to the man—he was living his life, keeping a job, trying to be himself—he was not a participant in California life, other than his own needs.

At some point Tim Donnelly decided to run for Governor and though he had little money, had lots of grassroots support and name ID. It was known that we would have low voter turnout in June, so it would be easier for the consistent conservative Assemblyman Tim Donnelly to be in the top two of the primary and go on to the November election against the confused Governor Brown. Donnelly talked about issues, had been involved in public policy debates, folks knew where he stood on the issues—like it or not. Kashkari, on the other hand did not exist—no record of position, policies or involvement—not merely a clean slate—he had no slate. Except that he ran TARP and gave away hundreds of billions of dollars to crony capitalists under both Bush and Obama.

Even TARP was not really a leadership position. He was following the policy and orders of Bush and Obama, he was really just an administrator. Yet, the GOP Establishment was scared that a Republican, one with views and a record, would run against Jerry Brown. When the goal is to end political parties, having a partisan conservative Republican on the November ballot harms the end game—ending of political parties in California.

Somehow, the Establishment GOP found Kashkari. Meetings were held and promises made to help fund his campaign. He had a net worth of $6 million at the start of the campaign, in total he gave his campaign $3 million—for a finance man a really dumb investment. But, in the primary the Establishment raised enough money, made Kashkari seem credible and spent the time smearing and denouncing Donnelly for his views—like obeying immigration laws, reforming the pension system and cutting taxes. These views are not, according to the “Establishment” Republican or mainstream views—they are radical. So, Donnelly had to go and Neel was the one person without baggage, since he literally had done nothing, said nothing, wrote or spoke about nothing.

Neel Kashkari became the immediate FALL GUY for the rich Republican Establishment.

Though the Establishment raised money and promoted him in the primary, they did nothing in the General Election—no money, no support except for slaps on the back with the words, “Go get’m tiger!”

How bad was the Kashkari General Election run? How much did the Establishment ignore him? In the General Election conservative candidate for Lt. Governor, Ron Nehring, endorsed Kashkari for election. But Establishment November Candidates Ashley Swearingen for Controller and Pete Peterson, candidate for Secretary of State REFUSED to endorse Kashkari. The rich Establishment used Kashkari to kill off a conservative for Governor, now needed to get rid of Kashkari—they knew he had no idea what he was doing, no understanding of the inter-relationship of issues, literally had not formulated values and principles to guide him. He was like a freshman in College, looking at everything and finding nothing. His heart was in the right place, he head still had nothing in it.

How much did the rich Establishment want to ignore Neel Kashkari for the General Election, The Los Angeles Times reported this about the September California Republican Party convention:

“But party leaders omitted Kashkari from a flier promoting the convention. It featured photos of Swearengin, Paul and U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield). McCarthy was the headline speaker Saturday night; Kashkari was relegated to lower-profile proceedings Sunday morning.” See story here. 

Worse, instead of letting speak at the Saturday lunch or dinner—a tradition that goes back decades—they relegated him to speak at 9:00am on Sunday, with few listening to him in the audience. I was present for this event.

Truly evidence of Neel Kashkari being the naïve fall guy for the rich GOP Establishment—Used, abused and then thrown away. Like their attitude about activists and conservatives. As long as you do as you are told, support their candidates, you are allowed to participate. Otherwise, you are relegated to the back rows, if even allowed in the building. In the end, these very folks that claim conservatives are divisive, are the divisive leaders of the Party.

If Neel Kashkari really wants to be involved in the political process, he needs new friends. He needs real friends—and first he needs to know who he is, learn enough to get values and principles. He has talked about running for the soon to be open Senate seat of Barbara Boxer. But why, what does he offer? Neel has to know that conservatives do not like or trust him. He also knows his “friends” used him—having no desire to elect him to office, just used him to defeat someone else. Is he willing to be used again?

And, over the past couple of weeks he has called several GOP leaders seeing if they would support him in a run for California Republican Party Treasurer. In his lifetime it appears he was NEVER a member of the California Republican Party. Now, only because he was on the General Election ballot, is he a member. Is he setting himself up to be a fall guy once again?

I like Neel Kashkari. It is my belief that everybody should get involved in public policy and politics, in large and small ways. But you need to be smart enough to know who you are and what you want. A man with the abilities of Neel Kashkari does not need to be the Fall Guy for the rich and controlling. Neel is able to be his own man, stand and fall on that. Maybe he will find out that the hundreds of billions he gave away to the bankers came from the poor and middle class.

Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank


Stephen Frank: Is the the publisher and editor of the California Political News and Views.  Mr. Frank speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows and is a full time political consultant.

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One Response to Neel Kahskari: Fall Guy for Establishment Republicans

  1. Citizen Reporter January 5, 2015 at 11:28 am

    This Goldman Sachs elitist misappropriated hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer TARP money. Steve Frank makes him seem like a slightly confused, benevolent Joe Six-Pak, when he’s a major criminal, so it shouldn’t be just “Conservatives” upset.


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