California is continuing its sacred duty as the rock that Donald Trump just can’t shake out of his shoe, and this time, it’s come for the tax returns.
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed a bill stipulating that any candidate running for president or governor of California must submit their income tax filings from the past five years. That information—with some redactions for personal info—will then be posted online to be enjoyed/scrutinized by all. Shouldn’t be a problem, unless you’ve got something to hide, hmm?
In his statement, Newsom made sure to remind all interested parties that the state wields quite a bit of influence. Per the Los Angeles Times:
“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 in a statement that accompanied his signature on the bill approved by the Legislature earlier this month. “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.”
The bill also includes an “urgency clause,” meaning it will apply to any candidates running for president in 2020 who would like to appear on California’s primary ballot. And while Trump wasn’t positioned to pick up the state’s electoral college votes anyway, it may well pave the way for other states to come up with their own esoteric rules for presidential candidates.
Regardless of its impact on his chances at reelection, the cadre of malevolent elves running Trump’s reelection campaign intend to fight back:
“The Constitution is clear on the qualifications for someone to serve as president and states cannot add additional requirements on their own,” said Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the president’s reelection campaign. “The bill also violates the 1st Amendment right of association, since California can’t tell political parties which candidates their members can or cannot vote for in a primary election.”
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Imagine getting this indignant about basic transparency. Of course, why would we expect anything else.