California Gov. Gavin Newsom has reportedly decided to sign a controversial bill requiring that all presidential candidates publish their tax returns to appear on the state’s primary ballot.
The bill is targeted at President Donald Trump, who has not published his tax returns.
According to Yashar Ali, who broke the story in his newsletter, Newsom decided to sign the bill into law by the Tuesday deadline — even though he had been expected not to do so.
As Breitbart News noted on Sunday:
The bill, SB 27, passed both houses of the California state legislature earlier this month, thanks in part to Democrats’ super-majority in each. It now awaits Newsom’s signature. Analysts describe it as a political “freebie” for Newsom — but it could be declared unconstitutional, and it could jeopardize the few areas in which Trump has cooperated with Newsom’s administration.
The move is likely to lose in court, and will jeopardize California’s precarious relationship with the Trump administration.
Though the Golden State has often sued the Trump administration over its policies, California is also dependent on federal aid in a number of areas. Earlier this year, Trump canceled nearly $1 billion of funds for California’s now-defunct high-speed rail project, which Newsom had still hoped to use despite canceling the project.
Newsom shared his own tax returns during the 2018 race for governor. Ali notes that Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, did not publish his tax returns.
California’s new law will largely be symbolic.
It will not matter if Trump does not appear on the California primary ballot, because he will still appear on the ballot in the general election. California exempts the presidential primary from its usual “jungle primary” process, in which only the top two candidates advance to the general election, regardless of party.
The bill could, however, inspire other Democrat-governed states to do the same. It will almost certainly boost Newsom’s national profile as well.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.