Due to a new bill that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on Tuesday, President Donald Trump could be removed from the primary ballot in California for the 2020 election. Because the new law requires presidential candidates to release at least five years of their tax returns, Trump – who is unlikely to do so – will probably be removed from the ballot in one of the country’s largest states.
This is a rich and ironic proposition coming from the Democrats, who can’t go a day without accusing Republicans of gerrymandering, voter suppression, and all manner of ugly sins against democracy. Apparently voter fraud goes down best when it is simply right out there in the open.
California is the first state to require presidential candidates to release their tax information, though lawmakers in at least 25 states have introduced similar legislation since Trump won the presidency. Although not required to do so, Trump was the first presidential candidate in more than 40 years not to release his taxes, and he has continued to refuse to reveal them as president.
The law is likely to face legal challenges. Newsom said his state is “well within its constitutional right,” but critics of the tax-return disclosure effort say the Constitution sets out requirements to be president and states cannot add new ones.
Despite a flurry of bill introductions, few states are likely to follow California. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed similar legislation last year. He questioned whether the law was constitutional and expressed concern it could instigate a “slippery slope” for what states could require candidates to reveal.
In a statement, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said that former Gov. Brown was quite correct in vetoing the earlier measure.
“It’s unconstitutional,” he said, “and it opens up the possibility for states to load up more requirements on candidates in future elections. What’s next, five years of health records?”
Only if Trump refuses to provide them.
In his remarks after signing the bill, Newsom attempted to make it sound as if this were a high-minded war for transparency rather than the obvious Anti-Trump nonsense that it is.
“As one of the largest economies in the world and home to one in nine Americans eligible to vote, California has a special responsibility to require this information of presidential and gubernatorial candidates,” Newsom said. “These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards, and to restore public confidence. The disclosure required by this bill will shed light on conflicts of interest, self-dealing, or influence from domestic and foreign business interest.”
Keep pandering to the Resistance, California Democrats. Your hypocrisy is just too delicious to forgo.