More than three years ahead of the next presidential election, Donald Trump has likely already lost California and all of its 55 electoral votes as the State Assembly there has passed legislation that requires presidential candidates to release their tax returns.
If the candidate fails to do so, he or she won’t be allowed to appear on the California ballot.
“President Trump’s blatant disregard for the tradition of releasing tax returns is dangerous to our democracy,” said California State Sen. Mike McGuire in a statement. “For decades, every President has put their personal beliefs aside and put our country first and released their returns.”
McGuire said the bill “helps to reestablish desperately needed transparency in the White House.”
As The Hill reported on Thursday, “The bill would require all presidential candidates to release the last 5 years of their tax returns in order to appear on the California ballot.”
Once released, the documents would appear on the California Secretary of State’s website.
If the bill clears the next two hurdles – approval by the State Senate and a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown – it will become law.
If it does, it stands to reason that Trump won’t be on the ballot come November 2020, especially as it has become increasingly evident that Trump won’t release his tax returns.
Trump was already likely to lose California even if his name does appear on the ballot, but it’s never a good sign when the biggest electoral prize is removed from the map three years in advance.