Indo-American Businessman To Run For California Governor

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WASHINGTON – FormerIndo-American U.S. Treasuryofficial Neel Kashkari, architectof the bank bailout during the2008 financial crisis, plans torun for governor of Californiawith a pledge to create jobs andimprove public schools.”Today, the gift of a good educationand the opportunity itcreates are out of reach for millionsof strugglingCalifornians,” he said in akeynote speech Tuesday at the2014 Sacramento BusinessReview at California StateUniversity, Sacramento.”That’s why I’m running forgovernor: To create jobs andgive kids a quality education.Jobs and education. That’s it.That’s my platform,” saidKashkari, 40, a Republican,according to his website.But unseating DemocraticGovernor Jerry Brown Brown,”a popular Democratic incumbentwho is widely expected torun for re-election, will be anuphill battle for Kashkari, apolitical novice,” according SanJose Mercury NewsRight now, Kashkari’s onlyRepublican challenger isCalifornia assembly member,Tim Donnelly, a tea partyfavourite and staunch socialconservative.”In the coming weeks,Kashkari’s favourability amongthe state’s Republican and independentvoters will be tested, aswill his ability to raise enoughmoney to be competitive againstBrown, who has alreadyamassed a campaign war chestof $17 million,” Mercury Newssaid.Kashkari, a first-generationAmerican whose parents emigratedfrom India 50 years ago,was appointed to theDepartment of Treasury in2006 by then RepublicanPresident George W. Bush.”When the financial crisis erupted,he worked to bring togetherlawmakers from both parties towrite and pass landmark legislationto prevent widespread economiccollapse,” his websiteclaimed.”The programme he implementednot only has recoupedall the money spent, but also hasmade a $13 billion profit for taxpayersto date,” it said.”If we could get Republicansand Democrats to work togetherin Washington, D.C., then Iknow we can get them to worktogether in Sacramento,”Kashkari said citing his role inthe bank bailout .”If we could break the back ofthe worst economic crisis ourcountry has faced in 80 years,then I know we can break theback of the crisis that is destroyingopportunity for Californiafamilies and kids,” he said.Kashkari also named new membersof his campaign team,which includes political consultantswho advised Republicanpresidential candidates MittRomney and John McCain andformer California governorArnold Schwarzenegger.Kashkari grew up in a middleclasshousehold outside ofAkron, Ohio. After earningbachelor’s and master’s degreesin engineering at the Universityof Illinois, he moved toCalifornia in 1998 to work as adesign engineer at TRW inRedondo Beach.He later earned his master’s ofbusiness administration fromthe Wharton School at theUniversity of Pennsylvania andreturned to California to helpSilicon Valley entrepreneursraise capital to grow their companiesand create jobs.Kashkari, a multimillionairewho lives in Laguna Beach inOrange County, previouslyworked for Goldman Sachs.Last year, Kashkari quit his jobas an investment banking executiveand began travelling acrossthe state and mulling his run forgovernor, meeting with potentialdonors, community organizationsand regular Californians,according to Mercury News.