Capitol Alert

Kashkari offers scholarship for TV ad

Neel Kashkari, the long-shot Republican candidate for governor, is looking for a few good ads.

Apparently inspired by Frito-Lay’s “Crash the Super Bowl” consumer advertising contests, Kashkari, holding a bag of Doritos and addressing the camera in an online video Wednesday, said he will give a $25,000 scholarship to the college student who cuts him the best ad.

“Now your ad might make the case why I’d make a terrific next governor of California, or your ad might make the case of why we just need a change of leadership in Sacramento,” Kashkari says in the video. “Either of those will do.”

It remains unclear if Kashkari will be able to raise enough money to put any advertising on TV. The former U.S. Treasury Department official ended the first half of the year with just less than $200,000 in cash on hand and debts of about $164,000, though he has raised slightly more than $600,000 since then.

Gov. Jerry Brown, meanwhile, holds more than $22 million in his re-election account, and he is far ahead of Kashkari in public opinion polls.

Kashkari’s campaign said the candidate will donate his own money to the campaign to cover the cost of the scholarship.