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California’s Republican nominee for governor says he went homeless for one week and could not find a job in an effort to discredit claims that the state has seen an economic comeback under Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

In a video released on his campaign website, Neel Kashkari documented the week he spent on the streets this month in Fresno with just $40, a change of clothes and a toothbrush. The multimillionaire investment banker said he was unable to find 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,” Kashkari wrote in a Wall Street Journal op/ed.

Brown has trumpeted a “California Comeback,” which has turned the $25.4 billion deficit he inherited in 2011 into a surplus. California’s unemployment rate has dropped dramatically but still remains one of the highest in the country after being hit harder than most places by the recession.

Kashkari, who trails Brown by double digits, said the state’s 24 percent poverty rate shows state leaders “willfully ignore millions” living in poverty.


-- Andrew Rafferty