Kashkari goes homeless for knowledge and votes

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Screengrab: California gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari spent a week trying to learn what it’s like to be homeless.


Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for governor, has been taking a low profile of late… really low!

In an editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal, Kashkari says he just finished spending a week living as a homeless person to better understand the struggles facing many Californians despite improvement in the state economy.

Kashkari is a multimillionaire who lives in Laguna Beach. But he says he took a Greyhound bus from L.A. to Fresno on July 21st with only $40 in his pocket and a backpack with a change of clothes and a toothbrush.

“Over the next seven days, I walked mile after mile in 100-degree heat searching for a job. I offered to do anything: wash dishes, sweep floors, pack boxes, cook meals, anything. I went to dozens of businesses in search of work but wasn’t able to get any. In seven days, I didn’t see a single “Help Wanted” sign, but I did see plenty of signs that fast-food outlets now accept food stamps.”

Kashkari wasn’t all alone, though. A pair of camera operators tagged along. They produced a 10-minute video of the experience, part of which aired on during an interview today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show.

Kashkari is facing an uphill battle in his bid to unseat Gov. Jerry Brown. Some recent polls give Brown anywhere between a 19 percent and 24 percent lead over Kashkari among likely voters.