Eight men in sombreros played mariachi tunes Friday to warm up a lunch-hour crowd for Gov.
A while later, Brown's Republican challenger,
It was the first time since the June 3 primary that both gubernatorial rivals had made high-profile appearances in Southern California on the same day. It highlighted Brown's advantage in a contest in which demographics are strongly in his favor.
Brown's visit came a few hours after he signed a state budget that he portrayed as a model of fiscal discipline, an approach he has used to gain support, polls show, across a wide spectrum of voters.
It also stressed his overwhelming advantage among Latinos, a crucial voting bloc. A poll last month by The Times and USC's Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences found that 59% of Latinos backed Brown in the June 3 primary and 6% supported Kashkari.
At the El Pueblo de Los Angeles historical monument, Brown listened to young children sing "America the Beautiful" in Spanish. State Senate leader Kevin de León of Los Angeles and other legislators lauded his signing of bills to give driver's licenses to immigrants in the country illegally and to ensure overtime for domestic workers.
Brown reminded the crowd of his marches with farmworkers in the 1960s and suggested that California's steps on immigration would eventually serve as a model for Washington.
"They're dysfunctional," he said. "They're polarized. They're fighting. But the spirit of California is going to spread east.... We'll get not only a driver's license bill. We'll get a citizenship bill."
For his part, Kashkari, an assistant U.S. Treasury secretary under President Bush, joined a few of Washington's partisan squabbles on his KFI-AM radio gig. He faulted Obama for "huge foreign policy blunders," such as announcing in advance when
"It's a pretty good signal to our enemies to hang on a little bit longer," Kashkari told listeners.
Kashkari also hammered the Obama administration over the loss of Internal Revenue Service emails sought by congressional investigators, the subject of a fierce confrontation Friday between IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Rep.
"I'm with Congressman Ryan on this," Kashkari said. He recalled learning at the
"It smells awfully fishy to me," Kashkari said.
Kashkari, who is trying to win over the many Republicans who backed his more conservative opponent
What that will mean, Kashkari argued, is higher gas prices for consumers.
"Your gas prices are going to go up to fund Jerry Brown's crazy train," he said.
He also told the rush-hour listeners that he resents spending $100 to fill the tank of his sport utility vehicle. "It really ticks me off," he said.