California Secretary of State Shirley Weber on Saturday released the official state list of the 41 candidates who filed the required paperwork to run in the September 14th recall election. Noticeably absent was Larry Elder‘s name, the Globe reported Monday.
The Globe contacted elections Attorney Mark Meuser Monday about the letter Larry Elder received (below) from Secretary Weber. Meuser referred to California Elections Code 8903, section (b), and indicated that the statute on tax returns says the Secretary of State can prepare a new version of the tax return with only the redactions permitted by that subdivision, but cannot remove a candidate.
Elder is fighting back. He noted on Twitter that “the Secretary of State could have made the supposedly required redaction(s), but elected not to. We’re trying to ascertain the details.” He also said “that Gov. Gavin Newsom has not turned over his tax returns, and also violates the equal protection clause of Art. I, § 7, of the California Constitution not to require Governor Gavin Newsom to comply with the same tax return disclosure requirement.”
And Elder announced Monday that if the Secretary of State’s decision is not reversed, he will sue.
If the Secretary of State's decision is not reversed, we will see them in court.
–Larry Elder https://t.co/mnvU6s5Wid
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) July 19, 2021
Attorney Meuser took it a step further on Facebook:
Question, is California’s Secretary of State involved in voter suppression by exercising political power not granted to her by California law and using this fictitious power to remove candidates from the 2021 California Gubernatorial Recall Election?
Right now I am seeing more voter suppression coming out of the actions of the California Secretary of State than any law that requires a voter to show an ID before they vote.
Meuser also suggested that SOS Weber may be using race as a barrier given that two of the candidates left off the list of candidates to replace Gov. Newsom are black Republicans:
“Is the current Secretary of State a racists in that she is using the color of someone’s skin to determine if they qualify to run for California governor? If so, this is a major constitutional violation. We know that both Larry Elder and Major Williams have been left off the ballot for California Governor?
Larry Elder has shown the letter that he has received from the Secretary of State saying that the reason he is being left off the ballot is because he did not properly redact this tax returns. However, is that the true reason or is there a racist reason?
California election law does not give the Secretary of State permission to remove candidates from the ballot for failing to properly redact their tax returns. The law states that if the candidate does not properly redact their tax returns, the Secretary of State can prepare her own copy of the redacted tax returns. The California Secretary of State seems to be expanding her powers under the law by giving herself authority that she clearly does not have.
I have not heard a reason why Major Williams is not on the ballot as he has not publicly shared the letter he received from the Secretary of State.
That being said, since the Secretary of State seems to be making up the law to remove Larry Elder from the ballot, I am wondering whether she is doing the same thing to Major Williams also? This is causing me to wonder if her new imaginary powers are only being used against candidates that go against her political party’s narrative regarding race.”
We filed redacted AND unreacted returns–over 200 pages of 5 years of tax returns.
So they are saying either the redacted version or the unreacted version was “incomplete.”
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) July 19, 2021
A couple of people replied to Meuser that Major Williams said his campaign was “sabotaged,” and isn’t experiencing the same as Elder. Meuser said, “After I posted this I got a call from Major and he explained that his situation was different than the Larry Elder situation.”
There were nearly 80 candidates who filed papers to run for Governor in the recall election, but the list is down to 41.
The official list of recall election candidates will be released by the Secretary of State on July 21.