The Chronicle’s endorsement for California controller
By The Chronicle Editorial Board
October 21, 2022
Lanhee Chen, a policy expert at the Hoover Institution at Stanford, is a throwback fiscal conservative in the vein of Mitt Romney, who has promised an “audit a day” to keep tabs on state programs that are spending big bucks but don’t seem to be, in his view, working — such as those surrounding homelessness. He also favors reworking the controller’s website to offer you a clearer window into how your tax dollars are being spent.
Chen is smart and polished. And the idea of electing a sensible Republican as an aggressive check on government waste in a Democratic-run state offers a surface-level appeal.
If California were a country, its budget would make it the world’s fifth-largest economy. Despite this, the homelessness crisis is growing, urban areas face massive housing shortages and more than a third of Californians live in or near poverty. It’s clear we need better oversight over our spending and a critical review of the status quo.
But when faced with these two candidates in November, we’re putting the priority on accountability. Chen is our pick.