The race for California Governor between Republican candidates Neel Kashkari and Tim Donnelly just got dirtier. Kashkari’s release of a campaign mailer this week falsely and inaccurately likens his fellow Republican Donnelley to Governor Jerry Brown, whom both men are trying to unseat.
The ad is titled “Tim Donnelly & Jerry Brown: A crazy train of irresponsible spending.” Part of the ad mailed out this week by Kashkari’s camp reads, “Tim Donnelly is just another wasteful spender like Gerry Brown,” yoking him to Brown’s embattled $67 billion high-speed rail project. This is an attempt to trash Donnelly with flawed and misleading statements, according to the Sacramento Bee. At one point, the ad even says “Donnelly is a wreck… “
Contrary to the ad’s claims, Donnelly is one of the legislature’s most conservative members and, like his feisty opponent Kashkari, opposes the controversial transportation project Brown has been touting. He has even said he will cancel it if elected. Furthermore, Donnelly has regularly criticized Governor Brown’s budgetary proposals.
While another part of Kashkari’s ad pointing to Donnelly’s outstanding campaign debt is true – Donnelly’s camp has reported outstanding debts exceeding cash on hand – Kashkari’s next criticism of Donnelly’s campaign expenditures is riddled with misleading overtones. Kashkari’s ad lets voters know that Donnelly’s camp has spent money “on inappropriate things like clothing, jewelry, flowers – and $7,300 to a company called ‘Love 2 the Moon,’ the Bee notes.
The law gives wide range and latitude for candidates in their campaign spending, thus canceling out Kashkari’s attempt to smear Donnelly with his expenditures.
UPDATE: Aaron McLear, speaking for the Kashkari campaign, responds:
The piece shows why Tim Donnelly is not a fiscal conservative. Aside from opposing property rights with his support for redevelopment, Donnelly has failed to pay his taxes, bankrupted two companies, and had a property foreclosed on. He has taken $85,000 in tax-free per diem and accepted a free car when most legislators in his class declined that perk. His campaign is in debt and in previous campaigns he spent money on jewelry, women’s clothing, and a “new-age consultant” with a company called “Love 2 the Moon.” These all are facts backed up at timdonnellyfacts.com, which also was printed on the mailer.