In a spirited but “fun” debate last night, Californians got to see the candidates for governor flex their political muscles and declare whether or not and why the California economy was in a comeback.
Governor Jerry Brown touted the number of jobs gained in recent years (1.3 million), reaching job levels not seen since the beginning of the Great Recession. After being called a failed state and “Greece” four years ago, California is now back and “taking care of water, workers’ compensation, we have a rainy day fund” commented Brown. Republican candidate Neel Kashari jabbed back saying the state’s job market is ranked 44th and California is number 1 in the nation in poverty ranking.
Tesla was a topic that was sure to come up, with Kashari claiming it was one of Brown’s great failures while Brown said California fought hard, but that the electric car maker was asking for too much upfront in order to locate a new battery factory in California.
With the water bond deal done and on the November ballot as Proposition 1, both candidates made the issue a prominent talking point, especially with the controversial Delta twin tunnel project still under discussion:
“I’m telling you the way we protect the water in the middle of California and in the south, while balancing what is right for the north and the water rights of the Northern California rights-holders, it’s going to take something like the Proposition 1 that will be on your ballot and, by the way, I hope people will vote for Proposition 1, the water bond,” said Brown.
“When I look at a big engineering project that’s way over budget and way over-delayed I have real concerns about mismanagement,” said Kashkari, referring to the tunnel project. “I’m not going to plow ahead with $25 to $50 billion into the tunnels. We’re going to put a brake on it, study it and make sure we get it right.”
Political pundits will argue over style points and who got the best jabs in, but the economy and jobs were the biggest issues looming over the fight. Take a look at what was happening on social media during the debate, despite some intense competition from the NFL’s kickoff night: