Bill requiring Trump to release taxes to make CA ballot reaches Newsom’s desk

When Gov. Gavin Newsom got back from his vacation last week, awaiting him was a bill that some see as a principled attempt to force President Donald Trump to be transparent about his personal finances and that others – including California’s last governor – see as partisan meddling that could haunt elections across the nation going forward.

Senate Bill 27 was enrolled and sent to the governor’s office on July 15 after passing the Assembly 29-10 and the Senate 57-17 along party lines. Newsom has until July 30 to act on it. Introduced by Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, and Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, it would require presidential and gubernatorial candidates to release their most recent five years of tax returns as a prerequisite for appearing on the California ballot.

McGuire and Wiener reject the characterization that it is an attempt to punish Trump, who has famously feuded with California officials via the media and in court since he began his presidential campaign in 2015. Instead, they say it is an attempt to preserve democratic norms by ensuring that voters know about candidates’ financial entanglements before they become U.S. president or governor of the nation’s richest, most populous state.

It’s unclear, however, whether the measure is constitutional. Some attorneys say the Constitution has long enshrined states’ rights, including partial sovereignty, on many fronts. But the U.S. Supreme Court has held that a state cannot add additional qualifications for candidates for federal office. California’s legislative counsel cited this history in a 2017 opinion raising doubts about whether Trump could be compelled to release his taxes as a precondition of getting on the Golden State’s ballot.

Brown vetoed similar bill, cited bad precedent

In vetoing similar legislation in 2017, Brown not only questioned its constitutionality, he worried about the precedent it would set in his veto message.

“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?” he wrote. California’s enactment would start the U.S. “down a road that well might lead to an ever escalating set of differing state requirements for presidential candidates.”

There is a recent precedent for a state seeking to limit a sitting president’s access to the ballot. In 2011, the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature responded to unsupported, much-ridiculed claims that President Barack Obama was born in Kenya or Indonesia by passing a measure requiring that presidential candidates provide birth certificates before they could be placed on subsequent presidential ballots. The validity of the birth certificates would have been determined by the Arizona secretary of state.

But GOP Gov. Jan Brewer, a former Arizona secretary of state, vetoed the bill. “I do not support designating one person as the gatekeeper to the ballot for a candidate, which could lead to arbitrary or politically motivated decisions,” she said.

Axios reported last month that lawmakers in 25 states have introduced bills linking ballot eligibility to presidential candidates releasing their tax returns. The Nexis news database shows California to be the only state that has sent such a measure to the governor. The most progress elsewhere appears to be in Rhode Island and Maryland, where the state Senates have given their approval to such legislation.

This article was originally published by


  1. Daniel Wright says

    In the end this won’t matter. Trump is the POTUS and the Ca. primary is moot. If he isn’t on the Ca. primary ballot it is no loss. He will still be on the general election ballot which the Dem will win. Newsom and the Ca. Dems are just blowing smoke.

  2. None of them are willing to be transparent with California voters.
    I’d love to see tax returns of every California candidate, new and seeking re-election.
    But, they know they cheat, and steal from tax payers, so they won’t do it.
    I’m betting that Trump plays by the rules but the likes of California Democrats not so much.
    California Democrats incubating tyranny and revolution.

  3. How far reaching will the exposure of the pedophiles reach, will many associated with pedophiles? Foundations/corrupt judges/D.C./Hollywood/World Leaders? Let’s see how empathetic parents feel afterward.

  4. Cali-Wit-Flit says

    Like California’s jungle primary, this is just another way of voter suppression.

  5. Just one attack after another on the constitutional rights of American citizens to ” be presumed innocent until proved guilty “. The president does not have to answer to the communist California Government and is under no obligation to PROVE HIS INNOCENCE to them. I keep waiting for the day that the FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES show up in the middle of the night and arrest Newsom , Peelosi , and the rest of the Communists for SEDITION AND TREASON and California can return to an American state.
    From the sword of—————-

  6. Vacation! He has not worked long enough.
    This is unconstitutional and thus will be overruled .

  7. For the sake of transparency, fairness, and a level playing field, I would require all candidates for all positions show their tax records to the same standard, with no special treatment.

  8. Dntgiveup says

    This moron and the rest of the moron CA politicians can’t take away a persons voting rights. What the h$&@ is wrong with liberal land CA I think the water is polluted or they’ve been using bad drugs.

  9. Patricia Smith says

    Nothing is more private than a governmental required report of one’s income. The only possible use seems to be vindictive . . .

  10. JLSeagull says

    Komrade McGuire started out with some potential even for a Dimowit. Unfortunately he has morphed into just another run of the mill socialist puke. And we are stuck with him for another three years. Recall anyone?

  11. Is there a “Recall Newsom” petition under way? How do I find it and sign?

    • showandtell says

      The website is
      Spread the word!

      Dr. James Veltmeyer, the La Jolla physician who is heading up the first formal Gov Newsom recall effort, spoke about it recently on John and Ken, KFI-AM 640.
      (Interview begins at 93:15 mark and is about 10 mins long)

    • Damocles says

      Anziani — I belong to a group through FB that is called Recall Gavin Newsom . They submitted the correct amount of signatures but were refused the ballet right stating that some of the signatures ( as many as two per page , out of hundreds of thousands ) MAY not have been authentic so they had to start all over again and that is what they are currently doing. There is also a petition to send to AG Barr that I have but I cannot attach it here on this post. Try going to Facebook and look up the forum , it is a closed forum but you can join if you make a request.
      From the sword of ——–

  12. Skeptical says

    “Bill requiring Trump to release taxes to make CA ballot reaches Newsom’s desk”.
    HEY! How about the consequence of California’s voting results being voided due to excessive and unconstitutional requirements for federal office holders. Governor Grating Nuisance (Soros must have had a hand in his election) had better think hard before knee-jerking this one.

  13. Gotta Gedada Displace says

    Please post here any known info on (1) supporting a lawsuit against this UNconstitutional infringement on VOTING RIGHTS and (2) Disinfecting our Governor’s office (recall, etc) from this tyrannical B&*tard that crept into it without even a Candidate Statement. CA has already annulled my Electoral Vote by signing the National Popular Vote Compact, and I can’t assume that enough IDIOTS in other states won’t boost the tally enough to put it into effect !

  14. California resident and this is JUST another way for the Socialist NAZI democrates to keep and always stay in power. DEMWITS don’t care if they HAVE TO FIX elections to keep their UNION thugs in power. This state is so fucked up it is not funny….VOTE REPUBLICAN PEOPLE..

  15. marco lopez says

    Let’s all flood newsom’s office with emails letting him know how ridiculous this is. Isn’t this a waste of time, resources and money? And now the Trump administration has to sue CA. More waste. Isn’t this fiscally irresponsible? Let these morons in CA know. And your local congress person.

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