After a year of COVID lockdowns and Zoom school, Ric Grenell says millions of Californians are tired of being controlled, tired of the political lockdowns and restrictions, and really tired of having their kids forced to sit in front of computer screens for 6-8 hours a day instead of attending school in person.
The California Globe talked Monday with former Ambassador to Germany, former Director of National Intelligence, Richard “Ric” Grenell, who lives in California and has proposed a long term plan to “Fix California.” A real plan to revamp state politics. It’s not a window-dressing fix, or a blow-up-the-boxes fix. “Fix California is committed to pursuing longterm solutions that advance conservative ideas and causes throughout the state,” Grenell says.
Grenell is also talked about as a potential candidate for California Governor since the recall election against current Gov. Gavin Newsom qualified for the ballot. While the recall might oust Newsom from office, it will take a massive effort to realign California’s politics, which is Grenell’s focus.
“I’m telling our donors when I meet with them that this is not a sexy, quick fix like one hyped-up statewide race,” Grenell said recently. “This is a four-year campaign to fix California and to do the long-term reforms that we know we need.”
“The left’s stranglehold on our state has decimated industries, families, and our way of life. In order to restore the promise of the Golden State, we must do the hard work now,” Grenell said.
Noting that California has historically been a pioneer in so many areas, Grenell says, “we can be the first state in the country to say ‘progressive policies didn’t work.'”
As for fixing what ails California, Grenell said he watched closely as Stacey Abrams came up with a 4-year plan to “fix” Georgia. “We thought at the time, ‘oh c’mon man,'” Grenell said. “But, we must understand her vision of 4-years… and now we have two Democratic Senators from Georgia!” he said. “I want to do to California what she did to Georgia.”
Grenell’s Fix California starts with a three-part plan: Secure elections, Advocate for California, Engage With Voters.
Fix #1: Grenell said California has to have massive voter reform. “We are suing every county to clean up the voter rolls,” he said. “Fix California is committed to holding state and county election officials accountable and establishing a better process that protects every vote. We need to dig deep on voter integrity, as well,” he added. “Voter ID – if you’re against it, you’re a cheater,” Grenell said. “We need to say, ‘Don’t Cheat.'”
Fix #2: “We are going through top counties and working our way down for voter outreach, to people not currently engaged, not currently registered,” Grenell said. There are currently 22 million registered voters in California according to the California Secretary of State.
Fix California reports that many hardworking Californians are not registering to vote. “We are committed to registering and engaging a new, diverse coalition of pro-freedom Californians around issues and causes that will improve the lives of every resident.”
Fix #3: “Fix California is researching ways to expand school choice asking, ‘Do you want the money spent on your child in public education to follow your child to whatever school you choose?'” Grenell said. He explained that this would erase the divide between “government schools” and other schools – private, religious and charter schools. “It would force all of our schools into capitalism through choice and competition,” Grenell said. “Capitalism has improved the lives of millions of people around the world. We have to utilize it in education.”
California public schools aren’t fully reopening, with high schoolers attending in-person school two days a week for only 3.5 hours, and most schools still using a hybrid blend of in-person and online class time. The California Teachers Association union has been fighting to keep schools closed, and students online in Zoom school.
Grenell said that Gov. Gavin Newsom completely missed a very important issue with families trying to Zoom school their kids from home during the last 15 months. “If a family has three kids, they probably don’t have three computers,” Grenell said. “Parents have to balance which kid gets the computer during class time.”
“This is from a politician who never missed a paycheck,” Grenell said. “And his kids have been in in-person learning since last year.”
“Newsom never missed a paycheck, nor did the media, bloviating about how you should stay home,” Grenell added. “They were making decisions without feeling the pain.”
Grenell said a lot of Californians are frustrated, and it is bipartisan frustration. Democrats’ and Republicans’ kids are doing Zoom school from home. Democrats and Republicans lost their jobs. Democrats’ and Republicans’ businesses were forced to close because they were deemed “non-essential.” Grenell added that “Fix California” will also be seeking out frustrated decline-to-state “No Party Preference” voters, which make up 24% of all California registered voters, and disaffected Democrat voters.
Grenell is concerned that the California electorate may get duped into thinking that necessary changes will be immediate with the recall election, which is why he’s looking at long term solutions and the long game.
“Right now in California, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is limited to the ultra wealthy, the ultra powerful… or those who can afford to move to another state. I am not moving, I am fighting back,” Grenell says.