Thursday, July 11, 2019

Even Jerry Brown vetoed this dumb California bill, and Gavin Newsom should too



Gov. Gavin Newsom must decide soon whether he will uphold the Constitution or intentionally violate his oath of office. Newsom has been handed a bill from the California General Assembly that would require any candidate for the presidency to release the last five years of tax returns in order to be eligible for the primary ballot in California.

The dilemma for Newsom shouldn’t be difficult. The bill is overtly unconstitutional and signing it would mean Newsom hates President Trump more than he values fidelity to his own office and the people he represents.

Democrats have sought every way possible to coerce and cajole Trump into releasing his tax returns when they know full well they have no legal basis, and this latest bid in California (and several other states) is yet another attempt to hijack the government process for partisan interests.

...Notably, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed an identical bill in 2017, recognizing how ridiculously petulant the effort was, saying, “This bill is a response to President Trump’s refusal to release his returns during the last election.” Brown laid out a very clear and solid case in his veto memo for the dangers of legislating with such a narrow partisan goal:
“While I recognize the political attractiveness — even the merits — of getting President Trump’s tax returns, I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner. First, it may not be constitutional. Second, it sets a “slippery slope” precedent. Today we require tax returns, but what would be next? Five years of health records? A certified birth certificate? High school report cards? And will these requirements vary depending on which political party is in power?

“A qualified candidate’s ability to appear on the ballot is fundamental to our democratic system. For that reason, I hesitate to start down a road that will might lead to an ever escalating set of differing state requirements for presidential elections.”