Kashkari attacks Donnelly in mailer

Kashkari attacks Donnelly in mailer
Laguna Beach resident Neel Kashkari, who is running for governor, speaks to the Orange County Log Cabin Republicans club meeting May 19. (Scott Smeltzer / Coastline Pilot)

GOP gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari is out with a new train-themed mailer that attacks Republican front-runner Tim Donnelly as a “wasteful spender” who is akin to Democratic incumbent Gov. Jerry Brown.

Echoing themes in Kashkari’s television ad and first mailer, the new two-page color flier touts Kashkari as a “a political outsider with real world experience” who will stop the high-speed rail plan. It features a picture of an ax and a toy train, and notes Kashkari’s endorsements by big-name Republicans such as 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney and former Gov. Pete Wilson.

On the flip side, black-and-white photos of his two rivals appear above a headline that says, "Tim Donnelly & Jerry Brown. A Crazy Train of Irresponsible Spending."

After criticizing Brown's tenure in Sacramento, notably his support of a  high-speed rail, the mailer turns to Donnelly.

"Tim Donnelly is a wreck," the mailer says, alleging that he did not pay taxes or his mortgage, that his campaign is in debt and that "his shady campaign finance practices have triggered an investigation by the state's top corruption watchdog … Tim Donnelly is Just Another Wasteful Spender Like Jerry Brown."

Donnelly did have an unpaid tax lien on a business, but it was cleared earlier this year. He lost a property in South Carolina to foreclosure. Donnelly's political activities were investigated by state elections officials, in one instance because he failed to meet deadlines for filing financial disclosure reports, and in another instance because a complaint was filed by a Kashkari supporter.

The mailer says Donnelly spent campaign contributions on inappropriate expenses, and alleges that he "gamed the system" to receive tax-free income and a $32,000 car. Many legislators receive the same per-diem that Donnelly accepted and took part in a state car lease program until it was scrapped in 2011.

Donnelly, asked to comment on the mailer, pointed to polling that shows he leads Kashkari among GOP voters.

"The people are speaking for me," he said.