TRENTON-A bill approved by the legislature in the blue state of New Jersey that could have kept President Donald Trump off the ballot in the Garden State in 2020 if he doesn’t release his tax returns.
“This legislation would prohibit general election candidates for President and Vice-President from appearing on a ballot in New Jersey unless they file a copy of their federal income tax returns for the five most recent years with the Division of Elections and would also prohibit any elector from voting for President or Vice-President unless the candidate complies with the bill’s requirements. This is clearly unconstitutional. The United States Constitution sets the rules in this regard to prevent politics like this bill,” the governor told the senate on May 1st.
The Presidential release of tax returns is a relatively new practice in the history of the United States with President Richard Nixon. No law requires anyone running for office to release their tax returns.
“Unwilling to cope with the results of last November’s election, the Legislature introduced this unconstitutional bill as a form of therapy to deal with their disbelief at the 2016 election results, and to play politics to their base. Any claim to the contrary is belied by the press releases its supporters issued immediately upon its final passage and the plain language of the bill,” the Governor continued.
Tax returns are now an issue in the 2017 election to replace Governor Christie with Democrat millionaire Phil Murphy’s refusal to release his own tax returns. Murphy, in December held a brief viewing of his returns for reporters, but under the law aimed at Donald Trump, Murphy’s “viewing” would not have satisfied the law vetoed by the Governor.
Ocean County Governor’s favorite, Republican Joseph Rullo, an avid constitutionalist said Democrats should start worrying about fixing the problems before them and less on individuals’ income tax returns.
“The Democrats front runner hasn’t released his tax returns only allowing reporters a peek at a designated time,” Rullo said. “I will not release my tax return as a private citizen. The state has more worries than mine and Trumps tax returns like fixing New Jersey.”
Rullo has been a staunch supporter of Trump since his candidacy began and blasted the attempt by the Democrat majority legislation to use their office to make a political move against the President.
There is currently no law that requires any candidate for office to release his or her tax returns.