The GOP candidate for governor in California apparently spent a week posing as a homeless, jobless man to look for a job in Fresno. His campaign produced a video documenting his travails and has released it on YouTube. Along with the video, the multibillionaire Laguna Beach resident also published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal elucidating his intention this morning.
The video shows an unkempt Kashkari getting off a Greyhound bus in Fresno with $40 to spend for the week and striking out looking for work. He ended up sleeping on park benches and in a homeless shelter.
“I was committed to finding a job. It was my top priority, but halfway through the week my priority was forced to change: I barely had any money left and needed to find food. Fortunately, kindhearted homeless residents in Fresno pointed me to a shelter, Poverello House, which provides services to the homeless. I had no choice but to join the hundreds of men, women and families who go to the shelter for food. As the shelter did not have any beds for me I slept on the streets all six nights. I had only one shower during that time,” Kashkari wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
Kashkari has made combating poverty and job creation a central plank in his campaign. How effective is this latest campaign move? Does it potentially turn away voters? Does his intention come across?
Lisa Gritzner, President of Cerrell Associates, a public affairs and political consulting firm in Los Angeles