Gubernatorial debate 2014: Brown vs. Kashkari

SACRAMENTO - California's one and only gubernatorial debate for 2014 is in the history books.

Republican challenger Neel Kashkari took on Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in a one hour debate that was broadcast live from The California Channel at 7 p.m. Thursday. The debate was sponsored by KQED Public Media, the Los Angeles Times, KVEA - 52, Los Angeles and The California Channel.

The fast-paced format led to a lively, sometimes intense, debate that etched clear differences between the two candidates. Here are some highlights from the debate:

Losing Tesla to Nevada and California's business climate

Kashkari: "Gov. Brown frequently says businesses come and go. It's not businesses coming and going. It's Tesla, it's Toyota, it's Schwab, it's Nestle, on and on and they're all going."

Brown: "We fought hard for Tesla, but Tesla wanted a massive cash upfront payment that I don't think would be fair to the taxpayers of California."

High-speed Rail

Kashkari: "Let's have something useful that can feed our state for the next several decades by investing in water in a real way, not just one little storage project like your water bond. And so it is the crazy train, and that's why even your Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsome has said this makes no sense."

Moderator John Myers asked, "Governor, is it the crazy train?

Brown replied, "No, I think he's more familiar with the gravy train back in Washington that paid out $30 billion in bonuses or at least sat silently while they happened. No, this train makes sense. Fifteen other countries have high speed rail."

Undocumented children crossing the U.S. border

Kashkari: "We can't simply solve all the world's problems with an open border. We need to have sensible immigration laws. We need to embrace immigrants. And then we need to enforce our laws and we need to take care of kids in California, Governor. They matter, too."

Brown: "I think they ought to get a decent hearing because they're coming from Honduras and El Salvador and Guatamala, where some of them are facing gangs and murder; and girls are being put into prostitution."

Are we better off now, than four years ago?

Brown: "We lost 1.4-million jobs. Since I've been elected, 1.3 million have come back to California."

Kashkari: "If I'm elected governor, my entire governorship (will focus on) building the middle class for you, for your family so you can live the life you want to live. I don't think we're back."

Was there a clear winner?

Ben Adler, Capitol Public Radio and News10 Political Contributor said, "We expected Neel Kashkari to come out tonight and be aggressive and he certainly was. The Governor also was aggressive, both in defending his record and in turning around some attacks on Kashkari."


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