The “Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act,” by state Senator Mike McGuire, aims to force President Trump to release his tax returns as a condition of appearing on the ballot in 2020. Republicans argue that the measure is unconstitutional, but it could enlighten Californians to some lingering election issues.
As Bryan Anderson reports in the Sacramento Bee, the Act “would require Trump to file the last five years of his tax returns with the Secretary of State to get his name on the 2020 primary ballot. The information would then be published online, with contact information, Social Security numbers and medical information redacted from the public.” The record of California’s Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, raises questions about his suitability for the task.
After the 2016 election, Padilla refused to cooperate with a federal probe of election fraud. Padilla said in a statement he would “not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.”
Back in 2015, Padilla told the Los Angeles Times, “At the latest, for the 2018 election cycle, I expect millions of new voters on the rolls in the state of California,” with “new voters” code for ineligible voters. True to form, by March, 2018, more than one million “undocumented” immigrants received driver’s licenses from the state Department of Motor Vehicles, which automatically registered them to vote under the “Motor Voter” program. Padilla said the DMV kept “firewalls” in place but didn’t explain how they worked, or how many ineligible voters the firewalls had blocked.
Last September, the DMV sent out 23,000 “erroneous” voter registrations they blamed on “technical errors.” Padilla proclaimed himself “extremely disappointed and deeply frustrated” but legitimate voters could believe he was delighted. The odds are strong that illegals made up most if not all of the newly registered voters but Padilla wasn’t saying how many made it to the polls in November.
Apart from registering voters, which it was not created to do, the DMV has being doing a poor job at its regularly appointed tasks. Lines are long and mistakes are many, but legislators have barred independent state auditor Elaine Howle from conducting an investigation.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, just signed legislation spending $98 million on health care for people illegally present in the United States. Newsom responded to criticism from the president by saying he wants California to be “the most un-Trump” state in the nation.
On the other hand after recent earthquakes near Ridgecrest as one headline proclaimed, “After Earthquakes, California Governor Seeks Federal Aid.” The president told Gov. Newsom he would provide “whatever you need,” and the governor told reporters, “we don’t agree on everything but one area where there’s no politics, and we worked extraordinarily well together, is on emergency response and recovery, and increasing that emergency preparedness.”
As economist Lawrence McQuillan noted in the Orange County Register, the Trump administration is easing regulations on forest thinning to prevent wildfires. Gov. Gavin Newsom “is quietly taking similar actions, an admission that environmental mandates are fueling catastrophic wildfires.”
Meanwhile, as California Globe’s Katy Grimes recently noted, “Constitutional integrity trumps what lawmakers want or wish. Gov. Jerry Brown had it right when he said, ‘I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner. First, it may not be constitutional. Second, it sets a ‘slippery slope’ precedent. 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?'”