Capitol Alert

Neel Kashkari now says drug test idea 'was a joke'

LOS ANGELES – Republican gubernatorial candidate Neel Kashkari insisted Friday he was joking when on a talk radio show he proposed mandatory drug tests for all California legislators and statewide officeholders earlier in the day.

“It was a joke,” Kashkari said in a brief interview after arriving at the California Republican Party’s fall convention here. “It was 6 a.m., I’m trying to entertain people.”

Early Friday morning, while guest hosting the Mark Larson Show on KCBQ 1170 AM in San Diego, Kashkari said, “I think we should drug test legislators.”

“Every statewide officeholder and everyone in the Assembly and the Senate, why don’t we just have an annual mandatory drug test?” he said.

His comments got coverage from several news websites and drew derisive comments from lawmakers.

Less than 12 hours later, he was saying something different. As he prepared to moderate a panel discussion on the convention’s opening day, Kashkari said he wasn’t serious about the drug tests.

Then he suggested – also kidding – IQ tests for lawmakers, instead.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee