The Senate of Washington State passed a bill this week in an attempt to drop President Trump from its 2020 presidential ballot.
Senators voted by a margin of 28-21 to approve the bill that would require anyone who runs in the state’s presidential primary election to release five years of tax returns.
The state’s attorney general and solicitor told Washington State lawmakers in a letter they believed the proposal would pass constitutional standards. They wrote, “The disclosure requirement you propose is likely Constitutional, but would definitely be challenged in court.”
Senator Patty Kuderer (D), a sponsor of the bill, told CBS News, “Although releasing tax returns has been the norm for about the last 40 years in presidential elections, unfortunately, we’ve seen that norm broken.”
Republicans in the Washington Senate decried the bill, saying it attempted to impose state standards on a federal election. Senator Hans Zeiger warned his colleagues, “We’re on really risky ground when we’re trying to place conditions on a federal election.”
Since the 2016 primaries, similar legislation has been introduced in at least 30 states. Up till now, none have been enacted and most have died in committee.
The closest any state has come to passing such a requirement was New Jersey in 2017. Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill.
With a new governor, Democrat Phil Murphy, that state’s legislators have resurrected their bill. It would deny candidates for president and vice president a place on the ballot unless they make their tax returns public.
Democratic lawmakers seeking a way to force President Trump to submit information about his personal finances introduced these partisan state bills. These obvious efforts to unseat President Trump in the 2020 election have ignited a national debate over the appropriateness and constitutionality of such a law.
New Jersey state senator, Loretta Weinberg (D) who sponsored the bill said, “It is so obvious with this president that had voters known some of what seem to be his business interests, he may not have been elected president.”
Such bills have gained traction due to Democrat’s obsession with proving what they hoped Special Counsel Robert Mueller would confirm. Yesterday’s news that Mueller’s report offered no such confirmation, guarantees more such bills will be headed for the Supreme Court in the months to come.
Liberal Governor Jerry Brown of California, who has admitted publicly to hating President Trump, gave the most scathing rebuke of such legislation in 2017. He wrote in vetoing a similar measure in his state, “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?”
John Carborne, an attorney who specializes in election law at the Ridgewood firm Carbone & Faasse observed all these efforts are nothing more than political pandering.
We agree with Carborne that the senators of Washington and New Jersey are no different from “Alabama Democrats during the Civil War: What can we do to get Lincoln?”
Now it’s Democrats in the deep blue states of the Northeast and the west coast saying, “What can we do to get Trump.”
Democrats who now control the House of Representatives in our nation’s capital are reported to be studying a hundred-year-old provision in the tax code in an effort to gain access to President Trump’s tax returns and make them public.
Representative Bill Pascrell Jr (D-NJ) most recently introduced legislation that would require presidents and presidential candidates to release their ten most recent federal income tax returns.
Democrat’s in these state’s attempts to ensure voters can’t return Trump to the White House don’t fool their Republican counterparts.
New Jersey Republican state senator Joe Pennacchio is seeking to amend the state’s bill to make it apply to not only presidential candidates but all gubernatorial, state Senate and Assembly candidates. He said, “What’s good for the goose is what’s good for the gander. If this really is about making sure voters are well-informed, then common sense dictates that S-119 should apply to all of us.”
Proving all they care about is keeping Donald Trump off the 2020 ballot, Democrats blocked the amendments.