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Debate Coverage: Brown, Kashkari Square Off

Pool photo / AP

Pool photo / AP

9:45 p.m. -- California's Tesla Disappointment Sparks Debate Exchange
By: Ben Adler

Electric car maker Tesla’s announcement that it will build a battery factory in Nevada drew a sharp exchange in Thursday night’s California gubernatorial debate.

Republican challenger Neel Kashkari said Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown did not do nearly enough for Tesla – or other companies that have picked other states over California.

“Gov. Brown frequently says, well, businesses come and go. It’s not businesses coming and going. It’s Tesla. It’s Toyota. It’s Schwab. It’s Nestle. On and on – and they’re all going,” Kashkari said.

The governor defended California’s efforts to lure the battery factory and added that Tesla has chosen to build its electric cars at a Bay Area manufacturing plant.

“It’s pretty clear what happened. We fought hard for Tesla, but Tesla wanted a massive cash up-front payment that I don’t think would be fair to the taxpayers of California,” said Brown.

The Brown administration and lawmakers from both parties pulled the plug last week on a bill that would have given Tesla tax incentives to build its factory in California.


9:15 p.m. -- Brown, Kashkari Square Off In Lone Debate
By: Ben Adler

The two candidates for governor of California have met for what appears to be their one-and-only debate of the fall campaign.

Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown declared he’s led California’s financial and economic turnaround and deserves a record fourth term in office.

“Four years ago, when I went to Sacramento, the place was in a shambles. We were being termed a failed state, just like Greece. That’s not the case anymore. The majority of people in California feel we’re on the right track,” Brown said. 

Republican challenger Neel Kashkari pointed to California ranking 46th in education and first in poverty as proof Brown should be replaced.

“I don’t think we’re back. I think we can be back. We can make big changes. I don’t settle for incrementalism. We have to make big changes. I’ve got the plans and the experience to do it, and I’m asking for your vote,” Kashkari said. 

The candidates aggressively attacked each other throughout the debate. Kashkari criticized Brown’s policies and the governor took shots at Kashkari’s role in the federal government’s bank bailout program.

Brown also made news by saying he will “probably” sign the statewide plastic bag ban bill that’s now on his desk.

7:30 p.m. -- Brown slammed over Tesla in California debate

(AP) -- Gov. Jerry Brown's long-shot Republican challenger blasted him for failing to do enough to land a Tesla battery plant during the only scheduled debate of this year's governor's race.

Thursday's debate came the same day that Tesla and Nevada's governor announced that the California-born electric car maker would build its factory near Reno.

California was one of five states trying to lure the plant and its 6,500 manufacturing jobs.

GOP candidate Neel Kashkari cited it as an example of the Brown administration's failure to improve California's business climate, which is routinely cited as among the worst in the nation.

He said Brown "hasn't done the work."

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Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

AP -- 5 p.m. Gov. Jerry Brownand his Republican challenger are meeting tonight for what is likely to be their only gubernatorial debate this election season.

A new Field Poll finds Brown has a lead of 16 percentage points among likely voters over former U.S. Treasury official Neel Kashkari. Kashkari has made poverty and inequality centerpieces of his campaign.


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The scene outside the debate venue. Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler provided a preview of the debate here.

Check this Storify for more information.

Watch Live: CalChannel

Click on the button below to listen to the debate live on Capital Public Radio:


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