In his first TV ad of the general election, Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari accuses Gov. Jerry Brown of abandoning needy students in failing California schools and uses imagery that depicts a child nearly drowning before he is rescued by Kashkari.
The ad, which began airing statewide on Tuesday, is related to a Los Angeles County Superior Court ruling that found California's teacher tenure laws unconstitutional because they deprive some poor and minority children of a quality education.
"Every kid in every neighborhood deserves a good education and a chance for a better life," Kashkari says in the spot. "Jerry Brown betrayed our kids to protect his donors. When I'm governor, I'll fight for kids, not against them."
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The governor's administration has appealed the ruling and Republicans have accused him and other Democrats of siding with the powerful California Teachers Association, which gives millions to Democrats.
Brown campaign spokesman Dan Newman did not immediately respond to a request for comment but called the ad "sad and desperate" on his Twitter account.
Brown pushed for a state law that rewrites the education funding system to send more money into schools with the highest proportion of needy students.
Kashkari's campaign hopes to run the ad through the Nov. 4 election, but he reported having just $680,000 in the bank as of Sept. 30. Kashkari has since raised another $200,000.
Brown, who has nearly $30 million in two campaign accounts he controls, began airing ads last week in support of two November ballot initiatives but not directly promoting his candidacy.