Kiley told me Tuesday that as governor, he would work to root out the influence of wealthy interest groups in the Capitol and consider calling a special session of the Legislature to focus on education reform or housing affordability.
Kiley: “In the next couple of months … we have a real opportunity to focus, to deliberate as a state about our future and to ask why is it that we sacrifice the most in California and we get the least in return?”
Another Republican zeroing in on statewide office in California: Lanhee Chen, a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution and former policy adviser for big GOP figures including George W. Bush, Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio who also served on a bipartisan commission in the Obama administration. Chen on Tuesday announced plans to run for California state controller in 2022, when Democrat Betty Yee terms out. Though the GOP hasn’t won a statewide office in California since 2006, experts say Chen — the son of Taiwanese immigrants and a frequent guest on national talk shows — could help the party turn a new page as it seeks to define itself post-Trump. But Chen will still have to contend with the might of the California Democratic Party, which will likely throw its weight behind Malia Cohen, a member of the state Board of Equalization who plans to run for controller in 2022.
Chen: “It’s about making the case to people that we need a check and balance in Sacramento.” For controller, “you want someone who’s willing to call balls and strikes, who isn’t part of the one-party monopoly, who isn’t just there to look after everyone else’s political career.”
As California’s chief fiscal officer, the controller is responsible for overseeing the state’s money, auditing the use of state funds, paying state workers and serving on numerous financial oversight boards, among other duties.
Najee Ali, a Los Angeles community activist: “This has been the worst uptick in violence I’ve seen in my lifetime. … I’m someone who called for the realignment of resources, but we never called for the police to be removed from South LA.”
3.Will CA regulate debt settlement industry?
Though California is helping pandemic-stricken residents pay off rental and utilities debt, it hasn’t taken similar measures to neutralize personal debt racked up via credit cards and medical bills — and the Golden State’s largely unregulated debt settlement industry is expecting to see a 75% surge in account enrollment, CalMatters’ Erika Paz reports. Debt settlement companies promise to help reduce personal debt by negotiating with banks and credit card companies on the customer’s behalf, but advocates say protections are needed to prevent them from taking advantage of financially desperate Californians. State lawmakers are currently considering a bill that would increase regulation of the industry, reviving a perennial debate over whether alternative financial services — like payday loans, debt settlement and credit repair — are predators or a needed lifeline for Californians with little or poor credit.
We are dedicated to explaining how state government impacts our lives. Your support helps us produce journalism that makes a difference. Thank you!
A Message from our Sponsor
CalMatters columnist Dan Walters: The billionaire Koch brothers won a duel against California when the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a regulation aimed at forcing their nonprofit political group to reveal its donors.