Talk radio host Larry Elder filed a lawsuit in the Sacramento County Superior Court Monday, challenging a decision by Secretary of State Shirley Weber and other officials who did not include him on the initial list of 41 recall candidates released during the weekend.
The Secretary of State’s office announced earlier this week that Elder had not been on the list due to his tax returns over the last 5 years, a recently added requirement for all Gubernatorial candidates, being redacted in some way, shape, or form.
Elder responded that he had sent in redacted tax forms, but in addition to complete non-redacted forms that met candidacy requirements.
“We filed redacted AND unreacted returns–over 200 pages of 5 years of tax returns,” tweeted Elder on Monday. “So they are saying either the redacted version or the unreacted version was ‘incomplete.’”
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
The situation grew increasingly urgent on Monday, as the final candidate list due out Wednesday continued to not update to include him. Without his name as an official candidate, ballots, which are to be printed soon due to by-mail elections starting up in mid-August, would not carry his name on them.
With no alternative, Elder filed suit on Monday.
“I’ve filed a lawsuit against CA Sec. State Shirley Weber to compel her office to place me on the ballot,” tweeted Elder late Monday. “I’ve complied with everything the law requires of me to run in this recall election against Gavin Newsom.”
I’ve filed a lawsuit against CA Sec. State Shirley Weber to compel her office to place me on the ballot. I’ve complied with everything the law requires of me to run in this recall election against Gavin Newsom.
Learn more and read the suit at my website.https://t.co/bdONlndYPU
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) July 20, 2021
Elder sues Weber
On his website, Elder went into detail on the lawsuit. Specifically, Elder noted that Secretary Weber has the duty to fix any redaction errors and chose not to without notifying him of any issues until late Sunday, failing to tell him of any specific objections in the process. Elder also reiterated that he had filed every piece of paper needed, and that the Secretary of State’s decision to disqualify him is unconstitutional because it violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution, as Governor Gavin Newsom did not have to comply with the same disclosures. He also pointed out that his disqualification violated the rights of California voters who supported him, as Weber denying Elder’s supporters the right to vote for the candidate choice amounts to voter suppression.
“We’ve complied with everything the secretary of state has required of us,” said Elder on Monday. “The politicians in Sacramento know I’m the only candidate who can beat Gavin Newsom. They are afraid, and they are using whatever shenanigans they can to try to trip me up. It won’t work.
“I provided all tax returns as required, totaling over 300 pages. Frankly, this action by the Secretary of State is not simply unfair and absurd but a dangerous and unconstitutional precedent. I am waging a legal battle to run as the candidate for Californians who are tired of the partisanship and entrenched interests of Sacramento. I fully expect to be on the final certified list of candidates.”
Other major recall candidates who are coming in with ample funds, name recognition, or a significant amount of support were confirmed as candidates on Sunday, including former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, 2018 Gubernatorial candidate John Cox, former Congressman Doug Ose, former Olympian and reality TV show entertainer Caitlyn Jenner, Board of Equalization member Ted Gaines, and Assemblyman Kevin Kiley (R-Rocklin).
To join them, Elder has only a matter of days now to get back on the ballot.
“The certified list of candidates comes out tomorrow, or is supposed to,” explained former lobbyist Harry Schultz to the Globe on Tuesday. “Elder’s lawsuit threatens to possibly delay ballot printing. Election officials there have had to take notice and are likely now scrambling to see for sure if it is all on the level again. He had threatened to sue, they did nothing, now he sued. He needs to get back on the ballot before printing happens, which is why he acted very quickly.”
“A lawsuit is the last thing the Secretary of State’s office wanted right now, but it looks like they got it.”
Secretary of State Weber has not commented on the issue as of Tuesday morning. A decision over including Elder on the ballot will likely come soon due to the urgency of the suit.
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