Republican policy guru wants to end California’s ‘one-party monopoly’

chain, a Fellow at the Hoover Institute Who guided the policy agenda for the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio and was health policy adviser on former President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign, is starting his 2022 bid for state comptroller on Tuesday.

Seeking an office he accepts is decidedly victorious, a four-degree academic from Harvard is determined to convince California voters that the Democrats’ one-party rule is leading to “policy sclerosis.” . It’s focusing its campaign on accountability and its desire to drive “creativity in thinking” when it comes to California’s biggest problems—including homelessness, water issues and the rising cost of living.

“Everyone’s political interests are intertwined in Sacramento, so there’s no one to hold anyone accountable,” Chen said in a recent interview in Los Angeles, about an hour from the Roland Heights suburb. , where he grew up as a devoted Lakers and Dodgers. fan. “If you’re a member of a one-party monopoly in Sacramento, your incentive is to please other Democrats and that creates a situation where you don’t dig any deeper.”

Chen is entering the race early and, so far, does not face competition from any other major Republican. Democrat Malia Cohen, who serves on the State Board of Equalization, has also announced a bid for the controller.

Chen says he will use the power of the Comptroller’s Office to figure out why California is directing tens of billions of dollars toward homelessness, for example, “yet it’s in big cities like LA and San Francisco.” not improving.” He wants to conduct a thorough audit of how the state is using its Medicaid dollars and is eager to investigate how the state’s Department of Employment Development paid $30 billion. fraudulent claims.

“I don’t look at this campaign through an ideological lens; I look at it through the lens of merit. Basic competency,” he said, noting that the controller not only has independent state governments, but also local Power to initiate audit. Governments if state money is involved. “I think people will look at my background as someone who spent a lot of time thinking about solving big problems and moving forward on that.”

Chen is aware of the tough challenge that exists for any California Republican running for statewide office, given the state’s ideological makeup. But he notes that California has a model among GOP candidates who have been successful in recent congressional elections in tough districts, including U.S. Representatives Mike Garcia, Young Kim and Michelle Steele. They won, in part, he argues, because they represent different life experiences and backgrounds, and he wants to be part of that conversation as the sons of Taiwanese immigrants.

Chen’s father came to the US in the 1970s to complete his medical training as a doctor; And his mother earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where his father was a doctor.

The family eventually moved to Rowland Heights with “dreams of a nice house, a backyard and great weather,” he said. Their parents’ experience helped shape Chen’s view that there should be a “path to legalization” for immigrants, which they define as “a form of legal status” where they are no longer living in the shadows. and are “able to participate fully in society.”

Chen believes that one of the problems facing statewide GOP candidates in recent years is that they are not “perfect messengers,” because they did not represent the diversity of California and “the people of California.” of the types that can be related to.”

“We should be able to pursue creative ideas that respect centre-right conservative values ​​or priorities, but that are consistent with where we live and where we are,” he said.

Chen said he would vote to recall Newsom in the September 14 election, although he has not decided which Republican candidate he will support.

He slammed former President Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine Americans’ confidence in the 2020 election: “Joe Biden was elected, and he is.” But with a smile, he sidestepped the question of whether he voted for Trump, who is extremely unpopular in California: “I’m looking forward, I’m not looking back.”


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