The Sacramento Bee reports that Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday he remains noncommittal about debating Republican Neel Kashkari, saying, “I haven’t made up my mind. I’m going to take that up later in the year, because we’ve got time.” Kashkari has publicly called for ten debates, pointedly copying the same request Brown made in 2001 of his rival Meg Whitman.
Brown explained to the Bee that “there were no incumbents in that race” and he made the request because he was at a financial disadvantage to Whitman, and so had to look for “alternate pathways to the voters.”
There is no such issue for Brown this year; he has a massive fundraising lead, and so with Kashkari bereft of funds and significantly behind in the polls, Kashkari has had to take to radio, guest hosting talk radio shows.
Anne Gust Brown, Brown’s wife and special counsel, protested Kashkari’s air time, saying, “This time Neel Kashkari has become a radio talk show host. And in fact we’re going to have to figure out how to rectify, how to overcome all of the free [publicity] he’s gotten.”
Brown has been visiting Mexico and ignoring Kashkari, eschewing campaigning, confident he can win his fourth term without ever facing Kashkari. He told reporters, “Generally the traditional domestic issues in California are most salient.”
He just won’t debate them with his opponent.