California Lawmakers Move To Require Candidates To Release Tax Returns

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Using President Donald Trump as a cautionary tale, California lawmakers are pressing legislation forward that would require tax transparency from potential candidates.

Ted Cruz points his finger at Donald Trump during a debate

One of the original shady things President Donald Trump did was not release his tax returns.

The move has remained a consistent source of frustration and anger for many politicians and their constituents, especially as the Trump administration raises new questions of corruption and potential treason weekly.

The Los Angeles Times reports that California lawmakers have decided that Trump will be the the last to pull this stunt and are working hard to pass legislation that will make it so any candidate wishing to be on the California primary ballot must release their tax returns.

The bill was approved after intense debate by the state Senate on Wednesday, and it now moves on to the state Assembly, reports the LA Times. Republicans claimed it was another attempt at revenge by Democrats over the 2016 election results, but the left insisted that this was not a bill created out of political pettiness but rather as an attempt to combat corruption.

"He's shaping international policy which could enrich himself, and the American public has no way to know," Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) said about the president during the Senate debate. "This legislation will help make transparency great again."

The legislation, originally submitted in December 2016, would make it mandatory for presidential candidates to submit copies of their income tax returns from the last five years to California election officials in order to be put on the state ballot.

In response, Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) attempted to amend the bill on the Senate floor Wednesday night with a stipulation that would require tax returns from state and legislative candidates, as well as a birtherism-inspired call for the birth certificates of presidential candidates, but both suggestions were shot down by Democrats. 

Reportedly analysis of the bill proves its constitutionality, however given the current political climate, it would certainly be challenged by Republicans if it becomes law. It would behoove supporters of the innovative legislation to prepare for a long battle ahead because the self-appointed "champions of state's rights" would most likely be outraged by a predominately liberal state exercising some degree of sovereignty. And that would be especially true if the progressive push spells trouble for a system that Republicans and their business ties are benefiting from.

Banner and thumbnail credit: Flickr user Fibonacci Blue

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