GOP Candidate Luring Event Attendees With Gas Money

With polls showing California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in an extremely comfortable lead for re-election, GOP challenger Neel Kashkari is giving away money Wednesday afternoon to supporters who participate in a campaign event denouncing Brown’s support for a high-speed rail project.

In tweets and fundraising emails, Kashkari promised $25 gas vouchers to the first 100 people who smash a toy train at a Mobil gas station in Burbank, starting at 4:30 p.m. PST.

In a statement in the San Francisco Chronicle, Kashkari’s campaign spokeswoman Mary Sarah Kinner held that the event was not a “rally” and explained the message behind the gimmick.

“Tomorrow afternoon’s event is not a rally,” she said. “Neel is offering drivers who smash a toy train $25 toward a tank of gas as part of his larger effort to underscore the point that Jerry Brown is increasing the cost of gas to pay for the bullet train.”

Brown’s plan to build a $68 billion high-speed bullet train linking San Francisco and Los Angeles has encountered some legal hurdles. Earlier this month, the project’s opponents made a bid for the California Supreme Court to review two lower court rulings it overturned that would have blocked $8.6 billion in voter-approved bonds for construction.

Kashkari, a first-time candidate and former official in the U.S. Treasury Department who helped lead the federal bank bailout, came in second to Brown in the state's open primary in June. The two will face off again in November, but polls show Brown has a solid command of the vote.

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