CA Legislature Now Determining Which Presidential Candidates You Can Vote For

What’s in President Trump’s tax returns?  It’s a mystery that has stumped cable television pundits since he refused to release them during the 2016 campaign.  At times, the furor has been so high that I’m surprised that Matlock or Jessica Fletcher were not called out of retirement to investigate.

Democrats in Congress are dying to know and are fighting with the President and his lawyers over a congressional subpoena issued earlier this year.

Now enter the California Legislature.  Not content to dictate how you run your business, raise your kids, or what care you drive, they now want to dictate what presidential candidates you can vote for on the California ballot.

Last week, lawmakers passed the “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act” (Senate Bill 27, by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg) to require presidential candidates to send the state 5 years of tax returns to qualify for California’s primary.  The Secretary of State would be required to post the returns online.  The Sacramento Bee reports that Gov. Newsom is expected to soon sign the measure into law.

What are the qualifications to run for President?

Article 2, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution says that “no person except a natural born citizen . . . shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person have been eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.”

No mention of tax returns.  Since the Constitution sets the qualifications for President, not the states, it’s likely SB 27 would be tossed out in court.

In a press release, Sen. Scott Weiner, the bill’s joint author, said that, “voters should have confidence that their President is working for them and not to enrich himself or herself.”

It’s a fact that presidents from both parties – including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton – made money from serving as the nation’s chief executive.  Once out of office, presidents routinely make millions of dollars writing books, giving speeches around the world, and serving on corporate boards.

As the Bee noted, former Gov. Jerry Brown refused to release any of his tax returns during his most recent stint as governor.  Did Weiner lack confidence that Brown was not working for the people of California and only to enrich himself?  Probably not.

Brown also vetoed a prior version of this bill two years ago.  He wrote in his veto message that this effort would “start down a road that well might lead to an ever escalating set of differing state requirements for presidential candidates.”

It also has no bearing on who the GOP will pick as their presidential standard bearer.  The Republican Party could cancel the presidential primary and pick convention delegates by caucus instead.  Also, Trump will appear on California’s general election ballot as the Republican Party nominee, regardless of whether he discloses his tax returns.

At the end of the day, it’s up to voters to decide if a candidate’s finances are disqualifying.

Every voter has their own individual checklist when deciding on a presidential candidate.  Some may be interested in their position on taxes, while others are interested in where they stand on foreign policy.   And yes, some may be interested in reviewing a candidate’s tax returns.

California voters can weigh the facts and decide for themselves.  They certainly don’t need meddlesome state lawmakers getting in the way when choosing America’s next president.

Tim Anaya is the Pacific Research Institute’s communications director.

This article was originally published by the Pacific Research Institute


  1. Red Piper says

    Time to burn Sacramento to the ground and start over!

    Note to CA state politicians and yes, you too Governor- you are the absolute worst legislature that ever existed in the US and yet you still strive to be worse!! What is wrong with you people???

    We need a yellow vest activity with tons of tar, feathers and lots of very large pitchforks! These people are not working for us and we need to fix it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW….

  2. Red Piper says

    Moderators can stop all the comments they want from being posted, but no matter what you do – if these legislators continue with their anti-American activities, sooner or later the people of Ca will wake from their slumber, and they will be very angry.

    Every one of them need to be fired for incompetence. What we really need is a Texas style legislature where they meet for 8 weeks every 2 years. Yes, that’s right, they’re not allowed to spend their every waking moment trying to dream up ways to terrorize citizens.

    Soon, there won’t be any real American citizens left in California, just illegals that are on the take. What will you do, Sacramento, when you have no makers left to pay for all the crap you’re giving away to the takers??? Sacramento SUCKS!!!!!

  3. TheRandyGuy says

    In Term Limits v. Thornton, the SC held that states are prohibited from attaching conditions to a candidate for office outside what the Constitution mandates. There is no way any court will uphold what these fools are doing. I cannot wait to leave this state.

  4. Red Piper, after you burn Sacto to the ground, I will come along, sow salt over everything, and plow it under. Hopefully NOTHING will ever grow there again!

  5. Margaret says

    Please have an actual person proofread each of your articles. This article had “care” instead of “car”.

  6. showandtell says

    This is meant to suppress votes for other candidates.
    The other stuff that these bastards have done to screw up voter integrity is NOT ENOUGH, right? They want shut you up further and won’t be happy until you are completely muzzled. But they won’t be happy then, either.

  7. Another direct violation of the Constitution and the rights of American Citizens. These Nazi Communists pretending to be Democrat lawmakers in California need to be arrested , charged and the appropriate sentencing be carried out.
    These enemies of humanity keep making accusations based on NO FACTS and then demand that the President and his staff PROVE THAT THEY ARE NOT GUILTY AF A CRIME. The opposite of the Constitution law that says the WE ARE INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY in a court of law.
    In no stretch of the imagination is making an unfounded accusation against an American Citizen a lawful reason to take actions against them because of said accusation and certainly not without proof and legal charges against them .
    The Communist Government of California have pushed far past any ” grey area ” of the law and are now acting as dictators and operating illegally as a separate and sovereign Communist government.
    LOCK THEM UP!!!!!!!!!!!
    From the sword of—–

  8. It is a travesty and my only hope is that the outside forces that be are able to facilitate a change from within California through Federal law and the court system through Judicial Watch. It may be slow, but I believe that the arm of the law will be sure. What is right is right; Do not lose sight of Critical Mass. Even for California, Critical mass will manifest — maybe not in your time, but in time. It is always darkest just before the light. Keep the faith, stay strong and spread the good words of common sense.

    • sweetsuzee says

      I live in CA, sorry to say, and there are very few intelligent enough to understand common sense. We are hard pressed for Pres. Trump to win again regardless of what some might say. Remember, he did NOT win the popular vote and since that time some states have changed their law regarding their Electoral Colleges with CA garnering the most. Couple that with the fact that we have some really psychotic people in the House who are very sad excuses for Representatives. I’m truly frightened about this nation’s future.

  9. Casual Observer says

    While you are at it, bring back the poll tax.

  10. Tyranny?
    A rogue left wing legislature opposed to freedom!
    Is it time for the Patriot to take what rightful belongs to him?
    To disobey the tyrant even if by force?
    California has already violated our Constitution and also corrupted the ballot box which is nothing but sham.
    Hating contemptible Democrats is getting easier.

  11. Ed Cuevas says

    California dem’s continue their overreach. President Trump will appear
    on the general ballot regardless. The California electorate may just
    give Sacramento the highway salute and vote Trump…now how you er.

  12. These fella’s are a bunch of drug store cowboys with tin badges.

  13. us citizen says

    Ca wants to take over your life and follow every step you take. Enough is enough. I am so sick of this left field insanity in this state. Recall Newsom! And bring back, the top person of EACH party to run.

    • American Girl says

      there needs to be a in depth investigation on Google’s and FAKEbooks influence and election meddling by censoring/banning Conservative/Republican Pro America Pro Trump OH YEAH and Christians the ones who pay the taxes for all the ILLEGAL ALIENS when their STEALING OUR INFORMATION in FACT WHY IS CA REVIEW USING GOOGLE ?? – Alex Jones – – as a CA native and a Disabled Veteran I can’t even get a break on my PG&E bill but they’ll support every ILLEGAL ALIEN coming here ! ever notice the evil Demorats/libt**ds never mention CHEM TRAILS when they bring up GLOBAL WARMING ? creating severe drought killing honey bee’s, and GOD knows what else besides U.S. and the UTILITY folks charge up the wazoo !!?? start making a STINK about it !! i cant even afford to move let alone find a place to rent ! and its my home state and I have to leave ??!! that just makes me want to stay and FIGHT !! I dont know what to do anymore check out the Constituitional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Assoc, and get involved make sure your local Law Enforcement has yoru back – I wish Sheriff Joe Arapaio was still in office Maricopa Co. that sob Obomba purposely had him removed because he posed a threat to this SPINELESS coward cesspool dwellers and ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION their such pussies they have to have ILLEGAL ALIENS come here and vote but thats just going to be a cover up for GOOGLE – FAKEbooks election meddling – tell Congress and President Trump you DEMAND to have Google/ – nazi Soros and that A.I. looking goon *uckerberg either shut down and have them arrested ! use and tell your friends ! I agree with “us citizen” above RECALL NUISANCE !! Nazi P. of PIZZAGATE’s nephew !! how conveinent !! ps she owns DEL MONTE foods – BOYCOTT that drunken witch !

  14. Such a bill would be a total waste of time for the Democrats as it would be swiftly held unconstitutional. Californians would vote it into law in a heartbeat because most of them only see to the end of their nose and not an inch farther.

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