Things That Matter

President Trump Would Rather Sue California Than Release His Tax Returns

With just months to spare before the 2020 election, California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that would require presidential candidates to publicly release the last five years of their taxes in order to be eligible to take up space on the state primary ballot. The move turns what had been largely accepted tradition into law. In 2016, Trump was the first to refuse to release his tax returns in nearly half a century. The Presidential Tax Transparency and Accountability Act is the latest move by the Democratic party to force Trump’s hand in revealing his tax returns.

One week later, Trump filed a lawsuit against the state of California to challenge the law as adding an “unconstitutional qualification” to the pre-determined qualifications for the presidency.

Newsom tweeted directly at Trump saying, “There’s an easy fix Mr. President – release your tax returns as you promised.”

Credit: @GavinNewsom / Twitter

“Follow the precedent of every president since 1973,” he concluded. 

“These are extraordinary times and states have a legal and moral duty to do everything in their power to ensure leaders seeking the highest offices meet minimal standards and to restore public confidence,” Newsom said in a statement after signing the bill.

The measure is meant to create transparency around a candidate’s “influence from domestic and foreign business interest.”

Credit: @mindyanns / Twitter

During Trump’s campaign, he had cited an IRS audit as the reason he couldn’t release his taxes. Law experts have called the excuse “hogwash” and just a pitiful attempt to dodge accountability. Trump sold himself to Americans as a self-made billionaire. He should want to back up that claim. In the years since investigative journalists at The New York Times have tried to drudge up some semblance of the truth. It’s appeared that Trump has filed for bankruptcy numerous times, raising suspicions of either tax evasion or a highly aggrandized account of his own wealth.

Former Democratic California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a similar bill in 2017, as a “slippery slope” toward unprecedented asks of candidates.

Credit: @MyDesert / Twitter

“Today we require tax returns, but what would be next?” Brown had asked. “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?”

The constitutionality of Newsom’s bill will likely be decided in the Supreme Court.

Credit: @CarmenChambers / Twitter

Legal expert Rick Hasen of UC Irvine has similar concerns to Gov. Brown. If the state law is constitutional, “we might see a race to the bottom whereby other states enact ballot access requirements, such as a requirement for candidates to produce a birth certificate, which could affect which candidates can run in which states,” he told CNN.

Trump’s attorneys have been blocking access to his tax returns at all access points in recent weeks.

Credit: @ShellE719 / Twitter

House Democrats have filed for a release of his tax returns from Trump’s companies’ banks, his accounting firm and from members of his family. His legal team is hard at work to make sure Trump’s tax returns never see the light of day. 

Of course, Trump has tweeted his opposition to California’s new law, making Twitter the vehicle for civil discourse.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

He followed up the above tweet with a claim of “Just more of the record setting Presidential Harassment. Don’t feel badly, New York State is far worse!” Guess Trump never learned that #PresidentialHarassment for many sounds more like “grab ’em by the pussy.”

Californians are taking to Twitter to remind Trump that he didn’t care about Californian Republicans when the state was on fire.

Credit: @mmpadellan / Twitter

“Since when did YOU give a d*** about California? You told them to go rake,” comments one Twitter user. Many voters have a deep-seated mistrust of Trump after Russia interfered in the 2016 election that granted Trump the presidency. Under most other employment laws, Trump likely would have been fired for sexual harassment, ethnic discrimination and more. This user simply wants to see Trump held accountable to the same standards as previous presidents.

Others are taking the opportunity to call Congress to #ImpeachDonaldTrumpNOW.

Credit: @Terileeh2 / Twitter

If you pay your taxes, there’s really nothing to hide. America wants to know what Trump is trying to hide from the American people. If we’re all paying taxes that he’s circumvented, it makes it difficult to trust that he will understand the value and worth of our dollars. You can’t cheat the system and then be trusted to run it.

The Republican National Committee and Republican Party of California have filed a similar lawsuit against California.

Credit: @Trump_2020KAG / Twitter

They say the bill takes away voting rights from Trump’s supporters. We’ll see whether the judge believes that it’s actually Trump who is taking away voting rights from Trump supporters by withholding his tax returns or not. 

In the meantime, Trump supporters will have to plan on writing his name in the box.

READ: President Trump Is Fighting With Governor Gavin Newsom Over Undocumented Immigrants Getting Healthcare

Trump Tried To Bully Kamala Harris And She Clapped Back In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

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Trump Tried To Bully Kamala Harris And She Clapped Back In The Most Hilarious Way Possible

Kamala Harris / Instagram

P1: Kamala Harris may be out of the race, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to stay quiet. On Tuesday, the former Democratic Presidential Nominee clapped back on Instagram to a tweet Trump had aimed at her. The tough-as-nails former prosecutor has never been one to mince words when it comes to confronting bullies and haters. Who could forget that epic showdown she had with the snarky college student who asked her about gun control? But this time, Harris’s wrath is aimed at a more powerful for: the president. 

After announcing the suspension of her 2020 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, Trump took to Twitter to lob a gloating comments Harris’s way. “Too bad,” he said. “We will miss you Kamala!”. Harris, for her part, wasted no time showing the president who’s boss. “Don’t worry, Mr. President,” she replied. “I’ll see you at your trial.”

Naturally, the internet exploded in glee over Harris’s quick-witted response.

As of Thursday, Harris’s viral tweet has racked up over 186,000 retweets, 44,000 comments and a whopping one million likes. Supporters and fans alike commented on her post with compliments like:”Best tweet ever” and “Omg the shade”. So, although many are disappointed that the once-front runner nominee of the Democratic primary will no longer be on the ballot, many are at least comforted by knowing that she has retained her trademark sense of humor

What’s not a laughing matter, however, is the trial that Harris was referring to. After Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the the House had “no choice” but to move forward with articles of impeachment, the House Judiciary Committee announced that its next impeachment hearing will be on December 9th. This comes after the The House Judiciary Committee released a 300-page report that detailed the relationship between Trump and Ukraine. So, as of now, Trump is on track to be the third president in the history of the United States to be impeached. 

The House has concluded that Trump, in the words of Pelosi, has “abused his power for his own personal political benefit at the expense of our national security by withholding military aid and a crucial Oval Office meeting in exchange for an announcement of an investigation into his political rival”. The political rival was Vice President Joe Biden, whom Trump viewed as a threat to his upcoming presidential campaign. 

Although Harris’s clap-back was funny, her withdrawal is still a loss for the presidential nominee pool that now falls woefully short on candidates of color. 

Harris, with her stellar resume, has long been a shining star in the Democratic Party. Not only was she both the first African-American and first woman to serve as California’s Attorney General, but she was also first South Asian-American and second African-American woman to serve in the Senate in US history. In other words: she is well-qualified to take on any job she tackles.

Both presidential candidates Cory Booker and Julian Castro blame the Democratic National Committee for not throwing their support behind candidates of color in the same way they do with white candidates. As of now, the DNC’s lineup of debate participants (and therefore more publicity), are all white: Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. “What message is that sending, that we heralded the most diverse field in our history, and now we’re seeing people like her dropping out of this campaign?” Booker told Politico. “Voters did not determine her destiny.” 

As for now, it’s nice to get some comfort from Harris’s unparalled talent at confronting bullies.

When Americans are forced to deal with realities as depressing as the 2020 campaign, you can’t blame them from grasping onto what little entertainment is presented to them.

This Twitter user thinks that Harris’s comeback was step above the usual “shade” throwing.

We’ll remember this description for later. 

This person believes that Harris should win an award for her clap-back.

We would love to be able to hand her a medal for this shade. 

This person kindly pointed out whose tweet had the more likes and retweets–despite Trump having 67 million followers compared to Harris’s 3 million followers.

You might even venture to think that Harris’s followers are more passionate than Trump’s. Hmm…

This man is a man of few words, but we concur with his sentiment

As always, we stan a queen. And Kamala Harris is definitely one of them. We’re pretty sure she’ll continue to serve the American people for a long time to come. 

Julian Castro Says Kamala Harris Dropped Out Because Of An Unfair Media That Covers People Of Color Differently

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Julian Castro Says Kamala Harris Dropped Out Because Of An Unfair Media That Covers People Of Color Differently

Hope Howard / Getty

Kamala Harris is the most recent candidate to drop out of the presidential race, demonstrating that candidates of color have struggled to gain the same attention as their white counterparts. Cory Booker and Julian Castro have each made public pleas for donations when their campaigns nearly shuttered due to a lack of funds.

Castro released a video and spoke to BuzzFeed to defend Harris following three major news outlet’s exposés on her campaign. The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development suggested that candidates of color are held to different standards by the media and their campaigns suffer because of it. 

Julian Castro says the media doesn’t treat candidates of color the same.

“The way the media has treated [Kamala Harris] has been something else. The way they’ve held her to a different standard, a double standard has been grossly unfair and unfortunate,” Castro said in a Twitter video. 

Following Kamala Harris’ decision to drop out of the presidential campaign, Julian Castro released a statement praising her campaign and suggesting it suffered because she was a woman of color.

“To me, they held her to a different standard, a double standard, to other campaigns. And I don’t know if it impacted her decision to withdraw from the race or not, but I’m sure it didn’t help,” Castro told BuzzFeed News

Castro’s campaign has similarly struggled to gain momentum in the race. A lack of support disqualified Castro from participating in the most recent debate. Moreover, his campaign nearly ended before a public ask for more donations to fund its continuation.

Castro suggested the media tried to smear Harris’ campaign.

“I was disappointed by the treatment her campaign got especially during the last seven days, when you had the Washington Post, New York Times, and Politico writing very gossipy-sounding big articles trashing the campaign,” Castro said.

The articles Castro referenced suggest Harris’ campaign struggled financially, was poorly managed and lacked direction. The pieces largely rely on anonymous sources who were campaign insiders.

“[Campaign manager Juan] Rodriguez faced criticism inside the campaign over his handling of finances and other issues. Multiple people affiliated with the campaign said its financial difficulties had forced recent cutbacks in advertising, travel and staffing,” according to the Washington Post

Over a dozen anonymous staffers told Politico Harris’ sister Maya Harris too often took the lead which only added insult to injury to Rodriguez’s poor leadership. A constant restructuring of positions, then later on layoffs, left campaigners feeling directionless. 

“Everybody has had to consolidate. Everybody has had to make cuts. And people are pissed. They see a void. They want to push someone out,” an aide told Politico.” And I understand that. But the root cause of all of this is that no one was empowered really to make the decisions and make them fast and make them decisively.”

However, Castro was critical of the sources used in the three articles and painted them as salacious attempts to takedown Harris. 

“Sourcing in journalism, just because somebody is willing to talk doesn’t mean that reflects a reality or that necessarily gives it front-page coverage in your publication,” Castro said. “Donald Trump was very willing to talk to journalists in 2015 and ‘16 and because of that journalists gave him a lot of coverage. There has to be more responsibility in the profession than that.”

Castro wants the DNC to reconsider the threshold to qualify for debates because candidates of color don’t get a fair shake from the press. 

Harris was able to qualify for the next debate while Castro was not. The debates required candidates to fundraise an increasing monetary goal, along with polling at a certain number in order to participate. If Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang fail to qualify there may not be any candidates of color at the debate, while there will be at least one low-polling billionaire that many believe bought his way into the election. 

“I hope that the DNC will reevaluate its threshold,” Castro told BuzzFeeed. “What it’s resulting in is a lack of diversity on the debate stage. It’s also clear that some have been able to potentially buy their way on stage. I don’t think that was the original intention with putting thresholds like this in place, but we need to make sure that voters have the opportunity to hear from a range of candidates.”

Castro said the DNC and media prioritize white candidates and white voters. He has been critical of the fact that Democratic primaries favor states with disproportionately high white populations. 

“I actually believe that in addition to the white working class in the Midwest, we also need to be able to appeal to diverse communities in Detroit, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee if we want to win Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin,” he said.