State Bill to Force Presidential Candidates to Reveal Taxes Vetoed by Gov. Brown

October 17, 2017 19:00 pm · 30 comments

A bill co-authored by two state senators from the Bay Area that would have required presidential candidates to release years of income tax returns in order to be the state’s primary ballot was vetoed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Brown wrote in a message explaining his reason for the veto that the bill was in response to President Donald Trump’s refusal to disclose his tax returns during his campaign for president.

“While I recognize the political attractiveness — even the merits — of getting President Trump’s tax returns, I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner,” Brown wrote.

He said it may not be constitutional and could lead to a “slippery slope” in which lawmakers might start requiring health records, a certified birth certificate or even high school report cards.

He also asked whether requirements would vary depending on which political party is in power.

Sens. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg, authored the bill, which would have required presidential candidates to release the last five years of income tax returns.

The returns would have been available to the public on the secretary of state’s website.

Wiener said in a statement that he was disappointed that Brown vetoed the bill.

“The American public deserves transparency and accountability when selecting their president,” Wiener said. “Voters are entitled to tax information about whether candidates have financial conflicts of interest that could undermine their ability to govern ethically and effectively.”

He vowed that the veto won’t stop him and McGuire from working toward more transparency from future presidential candidates.

anontwo October 17, 2017 at 7:22 PM

Don’t you just hate it when “Dad” Brown goes all logical and mature. Okay, “Dad” your right this time.

Pac islander October 17, 2017 at 7:25 PM

Lol. He just doesn’t want it to slippery slope into California politicians having to publicize their taxes.

Not that sheep will change his minds anyways. Too much guilt.

Growerofgreen October 17, 2017 at 7:45 PM


I don’t like Brown at all, but this is one great veto!

Voters are not entitled to ANYONES tax information!

mrs. cleaver October 17, 2017 at 7:51 PM

hasn’t everything always been judged from the merits of our labor , why wouldn’t they require it . transparency they say but it’s always smoke screens after they take office regardless of party

we need a party that represents change of the time we live in NOW

Badge1104 October 17, 2017 at 8:06 PM

He’s probably more worried about Democrats having to turn over their financial papers more than anything else. Because there you will find tremendous corruption like the Clinton Foundation…. only on a smaller scale. I’d love to look into the finances of our local Representatives like Mark DeDsulnier or Eric Swalwell to see which left-wing billionaire has bought them out

Superstitious Aloysius October 17, 2017 at 8:12 PM

A candidate’s tax return would provide no information regarding financial conflicts of interest anyway.

Original G October 17, 2017 at 8:33 PM

Bill was another example of the lack of mature adult supervision in CA state legislature which has way too much time in session.

Texas state legislature meets for just 140 calendar days beginning on second Tuesday of January only in years ending in an odd number as put forth in Texas Constitution. Only Governor of Texas can call the Legislature into a special session.

If CA were to adopt the same plan amount of stupid spewing from state legislature would be greatly reduced.

Forsythe October 17, 2017 at 8:49 PM

@Badge 1104. Good point. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier was quick to accuse President Trump of colluding with the Russians. And, for over a year, Democrats have tried to sell the idea that,

a) Russia meddled in our election, and,
b) that Hillary Clinton lost as a result.

. . . Which brings us to this revelation (today–October 17, 2017) in The

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

The Democrats don’t want anyone following the money too closely.

Yogurt October 17, 2017 at 9:25 PM

All these people do shady things with money. Stop acting like anyone is 100% clean

And btw it’s already been proven that Russia meddled heavily in the 2016 election. Hillary lost because lots of reasons and if you actually listens to what Democrats say, they say it wasn’t just he Russians but they certainly had a heavy hand in it.

I don’t get why people act like it isn’t a big deal that they did this. It’s not a political agenda it’s an anti American agenda

Cpl Punishment October 17, 2017 at 9:58 PM

Well done, Gov. Brown! Why am I terrified of your successor?

Michael Langley October 17, 2017 at 10:32 PM

I agree that individual states trying to add requirements to allow candidates to run for president is likely unconstitutional and Gov Brown prevented a long court case that would eventually come to naught.

Original G, in 1988 I did some research on the transition of the California Legislature from part time to full time. You are correct that the number of bills introduced greatly increased. If my memory is correct, it increased by about two and a half times. The number of bills that actually passed and signed by the Governor increased, but not by such a large amount. Two elements were at work. Yes, the more time in Sacramento allowed our representatives to sponsor more, not always better, bills. Also, California was growing tremendously and more regulations/laws are sometimes needed. A combination of waste and wisdom.

Finally, if you actually follow the weirdness that takes place in the Texas legislature, you might hesitate using them as an example for good government. They can do more damage in their short regular sessions and in their special sessions than the cumbersome California legislators do in their extended mischief.

Dawg October 17, 2017 at 10:47 PM

Well whad’ya know, Moonbeam did something smart.

Phoenix October 18, 2017 at 6:24 AM

Can you imagine the corruption that would be revealed if they opened the books on Jerry Brown or Feinstein, Pelosi, Willie Brown, Newsom, Boxer or Harris to just name a few? Brown’s just covering for his own party members and himself.

Fred P. October 18, 2017 at 6:52 AM

I’m in favor of this – ONLY IF ALL candidates for all offices publish their tax returns.

Otherwise, it’s nothing more than a couple of sore losers.

Forsythe October 18, 2017 at 6:56 AM

@Yogurt, the problem is that the Democrats tried to use a fake Russian dossier as the basis to de-legitimize the election of President Trump. Congressman Mark DeSaulnier actually issued press releases condemning President Trump. He also skipped the Inauguration.

The Democrats have shown themselves to be sore losers. But they have also moved to the hard left. Radicals don’t believe in rules.

SmileWC October 18, 2017 at 7:40 AM

Good decision. Turning over your taxes should not be a prerequisite to any job. IRS takes care of auditing people if there’s any question. And if’ there’s a bigger problem, I’m sure someone working at the IRS would be happy to be the New York Times “undisclosed source.”

Badge1104 October 18, 2017 at 7:51 AM

You’ll notice also that the article said “certified” birth certificate. That would have disqualified Obama from running.

Ed W October 18, 2017 at 8:01 AM

Keep in mind….Jerry Brown also refused to release his tax returns when he ran for governor….there was no way he could sign that bill. Interesting that everyone has forgotten that and didn’t make that a huge issue when he ran or won.

RANDOM TASK October 18, 2017 at 8:09 AM

and the hypocrite dems strike again ….president has to divulge but not the dems …..hypocrite brown says While I recognize the political attractiveness — even the merits — of getting President Trump’s tax returns, I worry about the political perils of individual states seeking to regulate presidential elections in this manner,” Brown wrote. AND YET THAT IS EXACTLEY WHAT THE DEMS ARE DOING RIGHT NOW TO THE PREZ ….THE FACT THAT THE LEMMINGS ARE IN RAGE MODE TRYING TO STOMP THEIR FEET AT EVERYTHING THE PREZ DOES AND YET THEIR TRANSPERANCEY IS CLOUDED WITH FOUDATION MONEY FROM RUSSIA AND ARAB NATIONS WHOM ALL HAVE CONNECTIONS TO HILLARY AND HER STINT AS SECRETARY OF SCAMMING AMERICA ……..LETS SEE YOUR BOOKS HILLARY …..THE FEDS ARE RADING THEM RIGHT NOW ……..ENJOY

It makes sense to me October 18, 2017 at 8:13 AM

Mark any thoughts on this subject, I can not think on my own.

Concord Resident October 18, 2017 at 9:03 AM

Maybe Brown is going to run for President in 2020 and he does not want to turn over his records!!! just a thought!!!

On the other hand I agree with Brown…. WOW did I just say that!!!!

Anonymous October 18, 2017 at 9:16 AM

I wouldn’t worry about seeing Desaulniers tax returns. He is ,after a lifetime , impoverished. I voted for him to keep him off welfare.and to read his press releases. They are always amusing.

anon October 18, 2017 at 9:22 AM

I’m more worried about how current politicians often entered office with no real wealth and no business success track record. Yet, somehow when they leave, they are quite wealthy and involved in multiple windfall business ventures shortly afterward. I’m not sure tax returns would help with this scenario, but if the media still did their job, this is something they should dig into. Too much real work for them though.

Cellophane October 18, 2017 at 9:36 AM

I can’t help but wonder that if the bill had read that democrats would not have to show their tax returns but republicans and independents would, that the bill would have been signed.

If Moonbeam decides to run for POTUS I believe he’d not want his tax returns made public.

FAA October 18, 2017 at 11:01 AM

Holy crap, I am amazed that he did something I agree with. Now just stop the money pit bullet train and twin tunnels for water and people might take him seriously.

Rollo Tomasi October 18, 2017 at 12:26 PM

@ FAA 25:

And walk away from his legacy that multiple generations of CA taxpayers will pay for? Please…

Hugh October 18, 2017 at 12:26 PM

#6 kudos to you for spelling Aloysius right, that’s a tough one.

Johnny Ringo October 18, 2017 at 12:48 PM

At Anon #23:
Bingo! I have often thought about running for office on that very platform. I want my turn at that piece of the pie. Go in broke, come out set for life. Healthcare (non-Obama), Pension (not Social Security) and legalized insider trading. Not to mention cash and prizes from ‘campaign contributions’

JustSayin2 October 18, 2017 at 8:25 PM

Who cares? Brown is a jerk. So glad his term is up. Vote Republican for Gov.

NunYa October 19, 2017 at 4:24 AM

Anything Wiener wants must be be bad!

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