Patterico's Pontifications


California Law requires Presidential Primary Candidates to release Tax Returns

Filed under: Government,Law,Politics — DRJ @ 7:19 am

[Headline from DRJ]

California Requires Trump to Release Tax Returns for Spot on Primary Ballot

President’s lawyer threatens court challenge, calling new law unconstitutional

California will require presidential candidates to hand over their tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary-election ballot, setting up a likely legal conflict with President Trump over his continued refusal to disclose any tax documents.

Under a law signed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, candidates must turn over five years of tax returns at least 98 days before the March 3 primary. The state would then release a redacted version of the documents.

The Constitution sets forth the requirements to be President that are based on age, citizenship and residency but laws do allow states to establish rules to limit ballot access, such as requiring filing fees and gathering signatures. In addition, this law only applies to the primary election, not the general election.


28 Responses to “California Law requires Presidential Primary Candidates to release Tax Returns”

  1. It’s just a law. They can change it back any time they please.

    PTw (e093e4)

  2. RESOLVED, at this duly constituted meeting of the California Regular Republican Party State Central Committee that
    WHEREAS the Democrats who are in power are f%^&ing with our Republican Presidential primary; and
    WHEREAS we ain’t gonna let ‘me do that even if some so-called judges do;
    THEREFORE, for the upcoming Presidential election we will choose delegates to the Republican National Convention by caucus.
    FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution shall be known as “The ‘F@#$ You, Newsom!” Resolution”.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Even if everything is terrible, California can still troll Presnit Troll. We may be going to hell, but at least there’s a chuckle on the way down.

    Jamie (cd2753)

  4. PTw, I agree. They should just call it the Trump Tax Return law, although laws have a way of sticking around once passed.

    DRJ (15874d)

  5. If it hurts anyone at all, it will be the Democratic primary contenders. It’s meaningless as far as Trump is concerned since he has no primary challengers.

    nk (dbc370)

  6. Um… how is this not a “Bill of Attainder”???

    whembly (51f28e)

  7. Um … when was being a taxpayer at all a requirement to run for public office? See also the 24th Amendment.

    nk (dbc370)

  8. 6. *YAWN* We haven’t been following the constitution since at least 1913, maybe even earlier. If the pitchforks and torches haven’t come out by now, don’t hold your breath that they’ll come out in Cali over this little non-starter.

    Gryph (08c844)

  9. 7. cf. my comment #8

    Gryph (08c844)

  10. “In addition, this law only applies to the primary election, not the general election.”

    If you don’t win the primary, can you still get on the ballot for the general?

    harkin (92ce59)

  11. Popehat on Twitter:

    California’s tax return bill demonstrates that Democrats see democracy as a partisan game. Republicans would never use ballot eligibility as a political weapon.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  12. “If you don’t win the primary, can you still get on the ballot for the general?

    Oh, I don’t know, harkin. Have you ever seen a presidential candidate who was on the ballot in the general election in a state in which he did not win his party’s primary?
    Yes. The general election is not affected, and likely because it would open up a whole different can of worms if they tried it.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. If you don’t win the primary, can you still get on the ballot for the general?

    harkin (92ce59) — 7/31/2019 @ 10:19 am

    I don’t know what the rules are in California but I think major party nominees are on the ballot in every state. The test is what percentage of the general election vote the prior party nominees got.

    DRJ (15874d)

  14. Citizenship has always been a required for public officer. Has being a taxpayer ever?

    nk (dbc370)

  15. “Citizenship has always been a required for public officer. Has being a taxpayer ever?”

    A complete coincidence that Arizona passes a birther bill during Obama’s tenure.

    I think the California law is dumb pandering, but it’s unclear to me how it makes being a taxpayer a requirement.

    (c) The requirement in subdivision (a) does not apply to any year in which the candidate was not required to file the candidate’s income tax return with the Internal Revenue Service.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  16. Ha, ha, ha! Of course that makes it rational!

    nk (dbc370)

  17. California’s “jungle primary” system does not apply to presidential primaries/elections.

    Dave (1bb933)

  18. I’m curious how they intend to get by US Term Limits v. Thornton.

    I also think this is a tactical disaster for the Democrats. Imagine the following scenario:

    * trump wins the EV but loses the popular vote again
    * trump opponents try to argue that trump is *morally* illegitimate because the people actually chose someone else
    * trump’s supporters respond that this was rigged and trump never stood a chance because he wasn’t even on the ballot in the most populated state, due to skullduggery from his opponents

    anyone whose mind isn’t already made up, if there are any such people, will be persuaded by the trump supporters on this one.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  19. This is governed by Elections Code Division 6, and the basic idea is that the qualified political parties just get their electors placed on the ballot, as determined by the parties.

    Presidential primaries don’t work like any other primary.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  20. Taking out the knee jerk “oh noes the Dems did a thing! It MUST be bad! Because Dems!” is it actually a bad idea to require a candidate release their taxes? Obviously it isn’t super convenient for them and could be awkward, but IMO it’s helpful to know if a candidate is lying about their finances or has been a tax cheat. It also could be interesting for those of us who are normal people to see where there are, um, extreme? advantages that the top tax bracket routinely takes advantage of. OTOH, it obviously is also a privacy violation.

    Nic (896fdf)

  21. I want their report cards and discipline records from high school, personally. As the twig is bent, so the tree will grow, you know.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. @21 as someone who has worked with an ton of students, not really. Lots of people screw up in HS and then grow up into excellent and responsible people.

    Nic (896fdf)

  23. (and vise versa)

    Nic (896fdf)

  24. didn’t we see this McCain Feingold, when McCain was foolish enough (and frankly broke enough) Obama broke his pledge, and crushed him with 6/1 funding advantage, they will never abide by a law they apply to others,

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. We can see immediately if they do or not, since the Dems have a primary at the same time.

    Nic (896fdf)

  26. “they will never abide by a law they apply to others”

    For the last 50? years, every candidate has supplied tax returns.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  27. 1. Since the requirements for president are defined in the US Constitution, this is federal and not to be given to the states.

    2. It does violate the California constitution which basically says if the person is in the national election they must be put on the ballot and therefore should be overturned immediately.

    This is just more TDS.

    Tanny O'Haley (8a06bc)

  28. This really does not affect Trump anywhere near as much, if at all, as it affects the Democrat primary contenders.

    You know, there are dirty tricks in political party in-fighting too. Whom, do you suppose, the California legislature are going after and whom are they trying to help? Out to get the millionaires — Warren, Biden, Sanders — and help Harris?

    nk (dbc370)

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