It's not every day you see a political ad that should come with a trigger warning. But hand it to Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for governor, for doing whatever it takes to get noticed.
His new ad, "Betrayal," opens with disturbing images of a child drowning in a pool. Kashkari yanks the child out, and then — as the traumatized kid sits with a towel wrapped around him — delivers a campaign pitch.
"Jerry Brown betrayed our kids to protect his donors," Kashkari says in the spot. "When I'm governor, I'll fight for kids, not against them."
Kashkari is referring to the Vergara ruling, which held that the state's teacher tenure laws are unconstitutional, and which Brown opposes.
Gov. Brown's campaign manager responded quickly on Twitter:
Some early reactions I’ve heard to Kashkari’s “drowning child" ad: insensitive, offensive, sad, desperate, exploitive, sick….— Dan Newman (@DanNewmanSCN) October 13, 2014
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Here's the ad so you can judge for yourself.
WARNING: If you're a Republican, this ad may bring up traumatic memories of previous election defeats.
Perhaps the most shocking thing here is that Kashkari has enough money to run a TV ad statewide. According to his campaign, it starts running tomorrow.