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kashkarikfbk.jpgWhen Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly challenged rival Neel Kashkari to an "old-fashioned debate" at the California Republican Party convention in March, the invitation was immediately dismissed by Kashkari and party leadership.

It seems the second time's the charm for this political showdown, as Kashkari and Donnelly will square off in a live 90-minute debate at 5 p.m. on The John and Ken Show, a popular conservative talk radio program on KFI-AM in Los Angeles.

Though Donnelly maintains a significant lead in the polls, Kashakari has turned up the heat in recent weeks, announcing a series of high-profile endorsements and pouring $1 million of his own money into his campaign. The two camps also came to very public blows last week over some Donnelly social media posts linking Kashkari to Sharia law, which sets the stage for a very interesting discussion when the candidates finally meet up tonight.

VIDEO: After decades of fighting over Proposition 13, this week's compromise was a surprising step forward, Dan Walters says.

GREEN MONEY: Last month, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg unveiled a proposal to dedicate California's "cap-and-trade" funds to affordable housing, mass transit and high-speed rail. Today, he will be joined by state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, and Oakland Mayor Jean Quan at noon at the MacArthur BART Station in Oakland to further discuss the plan and its potential benefits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

POT SHOTS: Could California follow Colorado's lead and legalize marijuana? The Sacramento Bee's pot expert Peter Hecht, author of the new book Weed Land, discusses the changing political, legal, economic and social dynamics of marijuana policy, noon at the UC Center Sacramento on K Street.

BLOOD DRIVE: Capitol employees who want to do a quick bit of good and don't get too squeamish at the sight of a needle can head to the blood drive from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the fish pond in Capitol Park, sponsored by Capitol Health Services.

PHOTO: Neel Kashkari prepares for an interview at KFBK radio in Sacramento on Feb. 19, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders



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