Endorsement: Lanhee Chen for controller because California needs an independent fiscal watchdog
By The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board
September 20, 2022
The selection should boil down to this: Do you want the position to be held by someone who’s in tight with the officials who run state government? Or would you rather see it occupied by someone with the independence and skills to examine why state spending has not yielded better results?
We believe the latter is the better choice, which is why we endorsed Lanhee Chen in the June primary election and why we urge a vote for him on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Chen’s focus is on the controller’s power to audit government spending. He pledges to scrutinize the biggest categories of spending and rate programs based on their effectiveness. This is an urgently needed service in a state that has a record of poor performance despite its soaring $300-billion budget. During the last several years of strong revenue, California pumped billions more into education, healthcare and alleviating homelessness. Yet too few students can read at grade level, too many Medi-Cal patients can’t see a doctor and too many people sleep on the streets.
Californians deserve more clarity on why the state has not produced better results with its recent windfalls. A focused and independent controller can help point the way toward changes that will make spending more effective at addressing the state’s pressing problems.
Cohen is positioned to work well with the Democrats who run the state. But we believe that California needs a controller who has more independence. That’s why Chen is the better choice in this race.