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Neel Kashkari Spent a Week Pretending to Be Homeless

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari in San Francisco on Friday, Feb. 28
California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari in San Francisco on Friday, Feb. 28Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

California Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari—a former investment banker who headed up the federal bank bailout, worked for investing giant Pimco, and now lives in a $10 million house in Newport Beach—spent a week on the streets of Fresno pretending to be homeless. Then he wrote about it for the Wall Street Journal.

In the polls, Kashkari’s running almost 20 points behind Governor Jerry Brown, who’s hoping to win a fourth term. Brown’s popular in part because he’s managed to start getting the state’s fiscal house in order. Kashkari’s piece and an accompanying 10-minute YouTube video documenting his journey, question the notion that California has bounced back from the recession: