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  #151  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:32 PM
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Would Donald somehow be prevented or physically unable to comply with these requirements? Do they discriminate against him in any way? Can his pudgy fingers not operate a fax machine?
  #152  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:34 PM
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Would Donald somehow be prevented or physically unable to comply with these requirements? Do they discriminate against him in any way? Can his pudgy fingers not operate a fax machine?
Exactly. That's why it's bullshit to claim that this is an attempt to keep him off the ballot. No it's not -- this is no more onerous (and probably less so) than a requirement that one fill out an application, pay the $50 application fee, and get 1000 signatures. It's a mundane thing that anyone can do rather easily.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:45 PM
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That's not the point. The point is that a state probably cannot constitutionally add ballot qualifications, and that it's bad policy to do so even if it could.
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  #154  
Old 05-10-2019, 12:54 PM
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That's not the point. The point is that a state probably cannot constitutionally add ballot qualifications, and that it's bad policy to do so even if it could.
I guess we'll see, but I don't think it's the federal government that decides things like applications forms and fees, signature requirements, and the like. If states can say "you must have 1000 signatures", why can't a state say "you must provide your tax returns"?
  #155  
Old 05-10-2019, 01:02 PM
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I guess we'll see, but I don't think it's the federal government that decides things like applications forms and fees, signature requirements, and the like. If states can say "you must have 1000 signatures", why can't a state say "you must provide your tax returns"?
You might consider reading the relevant SCOTUS decisions on this matter. You'd probably find the answers there.
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:05 PM
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You might consider reading the relevant SCOTUS decisions on this matter. You'd probably find the answers there.
Thanks for all those links! What a helpful post!
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:36 PM
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Thanks for all those links! What a helpful post!
If I had the faintest of hopes that he'd actually read them, I would have provided some.
  #158  
Old 05-10-2019, 01:48 PM
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If I had the faintest of hopes that he'd actually read them, I would have provided some.
How about showing them to the rest of us?
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Old 05-10-2019, 01:57 PM
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You might consider reading the relevant SCOTUS decisions on this matter. You'd probably find the answers there.
Very little to go on regarding the relevant law being litigated in the Supreme Court, chances are that even the hope that the supreme court hacks will side with the president is in doubt.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/batt...ry?id=62211401
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Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow in the nonpartisan Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and a tax lawyer with 25 years' experience, said the law is stacked against the president and in favor of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass.

For Mnuchin to say just 'No,' I'm sure he'd say he's there to protect the privacy of every American, but that's B.S.

According to Section 6103(f) of the federal tax code, an obscure, nearly hundred-year-old provision Neal cited in making his request, the Treasury Secretary "shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request."

Rosenthal said the law couldn't be clearer.

"As a lawyer, this is a pretty easy question to litigate," he said. "Chairman Neal has the authority to obtain this information through this provision, which is unambiguous in its use of the word 'shall.'"

The key question, Rosenthal added, is whether Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has any legal basis to refuse Neal's request.

"I think the administration's strategy," Rosenthal continued, "is to run out the clock and try to get past the election, but the question is, is there any legitimate legal basis to resist? And how long will the legal process take?"

"For Mnuchin to say just 'No,' I'm sure he'd say he's there to protect the privacy of every American, but that's B.S.," said Rosenthal. "Congress is there to have oversight of the executive branch, and President Trump is the most important player in the executive branch."

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  #160  
Old 05-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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I like how another poster's laziness is somehow my fault.
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  #161  
Old 05-10-2019, 03:30 PM
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  #162  
Old 05-10-2019, 03:31 PM
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I like how another poster's laziness is somehow my fault.
I think he called you both untrustworthy and illiterate. Clearly, both of those flaws are evidence of your lack of personal responsibility. At least he had juuuuuuust enough energy to chastise you, with some idea that you'd read it.

(By the way, remember when conservatives talked about "personal responsibility?" The term seems to have vanished in the era of Trumpism. I hadn't really noticed that before.)
  #163  
Old 05-11-2019, 05:59 AM
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How about showing them to the rest of us?
How about reading the thread? As already discussed there is Supreme Court case on point that states cannot, in the guise of ballot access regulations, impose stricter qualifications for federal office than what is specified int eh constitution. Though that case dealt with qualifications for congressional office there is nothing in the court's ruling that would make it not apply to the presidency.

If that is too much to ask, try this or this.
  #164  
Old 05-11-2019, 06:11 AM
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How about reading the thread? As already discussed there is Supreme Court case on point that states cannot, in the guise of ballot access regulations, impose stricter qualifications for federal office than what is specified int eh constitution. Though that case dealt with qualifications for congressional office there is nothing in the court's ruling that would make it not apply to the presidency.

If that is too much to ask, try this or this.
The Constitution does not impose qualifications like "must get 1000 signatures" or "must fill out an application form and pay a fee", yet those requirements are ubiquitous. Why would submitting tax returns, which anyone can do (unlike a religious test), and which isn't discriminatory against anyone, be different?

I'm not saying that I know that the tax requirements are Constitutional -- maybe they aren't. But I don't think this has been shown.

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  #165  
Old 05-11-2019, 08:11 AM
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I think he called you both untrustworthy and illiterate. ...
I'm pretty confident I did not call him either of those.
  #166  
Old 05-12-2019, 02:45 AM
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The Constitution does not impose qualifications like "must get 1000 signatures" or "must fill out an application form and pay a fee", yet those requirements are ubiquitous. Why would submitting tax returns, which anyone can do (unlike a religious test), and which isn't discriminatory against anyone, be different?

I'm not saying that I know that the tax requirements are Constitutional -- maybe they aren't. But I don't think this has been shown.
In US Term Limits v Thornton the court specifically rejected the argument that changes to ballot access of the sort at issue was a permissible power of the state to regulate "times, places, and manner" of elections.

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  #167  
Old 05-12-2019, 05:27 AM
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In US Term Limits v Thornton the court specifically rejected the argument that changes to ballot access of the sort at issue was a permissible power of the state to regulate "times, places, and manner" of elections.
That was an actual restriction, that made some people ineligible for the ballot. The proposal in question doesn't restrict anyone, since anyone can turn in their tax returns.
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  #168  
Old 05-12-2019, 06:18 AM
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Just read the case. Really. You're grasping at straws here.

The court categorically shot down the idea that the states or congress can change the qualifications for federal office with anything short of a constitutional amendment. The court rejected the idea that substantive ballot access restrictions are permissible to exclude certain categories of candidates.
  #169  
Old 05-12-2019, 06:36 AM
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Requirements for petitions, filing deadlines, etc., are for the betterment of the election system itself. The election runs more smoothly if there aren't a thousand frivolous candidates and there's a central authority that knows what names to put on the ballot. Even then, states occasionally get slapped down for having requirements that are too onerous.

Requiring disclosure of a tax return in exchange for ballot access offers no comparable benefit. Nothing about Donald Trump's tax return had any bearing on the administration and tabulation of the election in 2016. The benefit, if there is any, is in the quality of the candidate. The goal is to have a president who has disclosed his tax returns rather than one who has not.

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  #170  
Old 05-12-2019, 06:38 AM
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Just read the case. Really. You're grasping at straws here.

The court categorically shot down the idea that the states or congress can change the qualifications for federal office with anything short of a constitutional amendment. The court rejected the idea that substantive ballot access restrictions are permissible to exclude certain categories of candidates.
This isn't a "ballot access restriction". It doesn't exclude anyone.

IANAL, of course. So we'll see what the court says. But this seems quite different to me.

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  #171  
Old 05-12-2019, 07:45 AM
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This isn't a "ballot access restriction". It doesn't exclude anyone.

IANAL, of course. So we'll see what the court says. But this seems quite different to me.
So did you ever read Thornton? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:59 PM
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This isn't a "ballot access restriction". It doesn't exclude anyone.

IANAL, of course. So we'll see what the court says. But this seems quite different to me.
Fighting ignorance is taking longer than I thought.

And for the record Thornton was decided by what is generally referred to by the liberal wing of the court. So this means you are hoping the conservative majority with Thomas, Alito and the rest carry the day now?

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  #173  
Old 05-12-2019, 03:06 PM
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Fighting ignorance is taking longer than I thought.

And for the record Thornton was decided by what is generally referred to by the liberal wing of the court. So this means you are hoping the conservative majority with Thomas, Alito and the rest carry the day now?
Okay, I'll just take your word for it and ignore my own thoughts, since your certainty is obviously so incredibly mighty and powerful that it has penetrated my thick, inferior attempt at rationality. Kudos to you for being so brilliant and superior!

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  #174  
Old 05-12-2019, 07:21 PM
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Fear Itself, maybe you missed Velocity's point? Imagine a situation where Trump wins all the same states he won last time and was barred from the ballot from every state he lost. He would still win the EC but would lose the popular vote massively.

Back to OP, I find it unlikely this will actually become a requirement in any states. Looks like posturing to get him to release his taxes, like he promised to do over and over again. I'm opposed to this kind of gamesmanship in general, whoever's doing it.

asahi, just curious what kind of stumbling blocks you think Ohio or Wisconsin could put in the way of a Democratic candidate that they couldn't meet, but a Republican one could.
They've already done it. I had a friend living in Cleveland in 2000. The Republican government moved bunches of ballot boxes from black neighborhoods to rural areas where they weren't needed. The result was that blacks were waiting up to 4 hours to vote and many gave up.

As mentioned above, you don't actually vote for president; only a slate of electors. There is nothing to stop a state legislature from appointing the electors and skipping the election.

That said, I really dislike this move. We should be trying to enhance democracy, not try to prevent voting like one part wants.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:33 PM
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We should be trying to enhance democracy, not try to prevent voting like one part wants.
They're not trying to take Trump off the ballot, they're trying to make him release his tax returns.
  #176  
Old 05-12-2019, 09:18 PM
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They've already done it. I had a friend living in Cleveland in 2000. The Republican government moved bunches of ballot boxes from black neighborhoods to rural areas where they weren't needed. The result was that blacks were waiting up to 4 hours to vote and many gave up.

As mentioned above, you don't actually vote for president; only a slate of electors. There is nothing to stop a state legislature from appointing the electors and skipping the election.

That said, I really dislike this move. We should be trying to enhance democracy, not try to prevent voting like one part wants.
There are rural areas in Cleveland? I know Detroit is going to pasture, hadn't heard of it happening in Cleveland.
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  #177  
Old 05-12-2019, 11:06 PM
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That was an actual restriction, that made some people ineligible for the ballot. The proposal in question doesn't restrict anyone, since anyone can turn in their tax returns.
Anyone can swear an affirmation about their beliefs in God too, right?

To argue this isn't a ballot access restriction is ludicrous. There is no meaningful difference between what is being proposed about tax returns and simply leaving off the other party from the ballot all together.

We could easily every state with single party control of the legislature having only one party to vote for in any statewide election. Would that be ballot access, or declaring a particular party like anyone could do?
  #178  
Old 05-13-2019, 04:45 AM
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Anyone can swear an affirmation about their beliefs in God too, right?
I don't think this can be forced without violating the 1st Amendment.

Quote:
To argue this isn't a ballot access restriction is ludicrous. There is no meaningful difference between what is being proposed about tax returns and simply leaving off the other party from the ballot all together.

We could easily every state with single party control of the legislature having only one party to vote for in any statewide election. Would that be ballot access, or declaring a particular party like anyone could do?
Somewhere between "anyone and everyone who wants to gets on the ballot" and "one party access" are things like "collect X number of sigs, fill out an application form, pay a fee, etc." which are ubiquitous and obviously allowed. I think "tax returns too!" is much closer to those allowed requirements than anything tyrannical or oppressive that actually would stop any serious candidate or harm public access. But we'll see in the courts, I presume.
  #179  
Old 05-13-2019, 06:49 AM
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Why just the president? Whatever analysis used for that position can be used for any statewide offices such as senator or governor. Who wants those out of state big money people controlling our capitol?
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  #180  
Old 05-13-2019, 07:58 AM
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I think "tax returns too!" is much closer to those allowed requirements than anything tyrannical or oppressive that actually would stop any serious candidate or harm public access.
Except that the proposed laws are being examined for the precise purpose of keeping the current President off of the ballot.

I admit, you might be using the term "serious candidate" in the weasel-wordy sort of way that means "candidate who isn't a clown" (which Trump clearly is) as opposed to "candidate who has a chance of winning" (which Trump unfortunately does have).
  #181  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:04 AM
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Except that the proposed laws are being examined for the precise purpose of keeping the current President off of the ballot.

I admit, you might be using the term "serious candidate" in the weasel-wordy sort of way that means "candidate who isn't a clown" (which Trump clearly is) as opposed to "candidate who has a chance of winning" (which Trump unfortunately does have).
The "precise purpose" is to force Trump (and future candidates) to release their returns, not to keep anyone off the ballot.
  #182  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:28 AM
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The "precise purpose" is to force Trump (and future candidates) to release their returns, not to keep anyone off the ballot.
Since the whole issue is focused on Trump, it's impossible to believe that this is not about Trump. I mean, how much of a sucker do these states think we are?

Quote:
Proponents of the bills, such as the one passed by the Washington state Senate this week, say they are aimed at increasing transparency and returning to the “norm” of candidates releasing their financial records. But Democratic lawmakers behind the some of the legislation have admitted they are also very much about Trump, which raises legal and political questions about how far states can — or should — go in regulating who appears on their ballot, especially in a hyperpartisan climate.
Link.
I mean, when even Jerry Brown vetoes a proposal while calling it "politically attractive," of course this isn't just about transparency.
  #183  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:33 AM
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The "precise purpose" is to force Trump (and future candidates) to release their returns, not to keep anyone off the ballot.
More specifically, it's to keep tax frauds and financial criminals out of office. If that is an issue for Trump, in a way that has not been an issue for any other candidate in the last 40 years, anyone objecting to it needs to take it up with Trump.
  #184  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:35 AM
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The "precise purpose" is to force Trump (and future candidates) to release their returns, not to keep anyone off the ballot.
How is forcing candidates to release their tax returns part of the "manner" of the election?
  #185  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:46 AM
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Since the whole issue is focused on Trump, it's impossible to believe that this is not about Trump.
I agree. Of course this is about Trump. IANAL, but I don't think that's enough for it to be struck down. We'll see if some other part of it is.
  #186  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:51 AM
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But we'll see in the courts, I presume.
Only if a state actually enacts one of these bills.

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More specifically, it's to keep tax frauds and financial criminals out of office.
If a state is stupid enough to openly use this as a rationale for the bill, I don't think it will be a long or complicated case.

States may not use their limited authority to regulate the manner of federal elections to "dictate electoral outcomes [or] favor or disfavor a class of candidates" (cite).

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  #187  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:19 AM
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Felons are ineligible to hold office. Are you declaring people under investigation (either criminal or Congressional or both) for felonies to be "a class of candidates"?
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Old 05-13-2019, 09:47 AM
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Felons are ineligible to hold office. Are you declaring people under investigation (either criminal or Congressional or both) for felonies to be "a class of candidates"?
There's this dusty old idea in this country of a presumption of innocence. "Under investigation" is not the same as convicted (a fact for which HRC ought to be especially grateful).
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:05 AM
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Your comment about HRC should, out of honesty, have noted that there was zero evidence to support any of that. Refusal to provide tax returns is an act of concealment of evidence, which is evidence in itself.

Of course, if defense of Trump, no matter what he does, really is reflexive for someone, there's no point in engaging that person.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:08 AM
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There's this dusty old idea in this country of a presumption of innocence. "Under investigation" is not the same as convicted (a fact for which HRC ought to be especially grateful).
"Ain't got enough to convict me!" as a rallying cry for Republicans?
I like it.

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  #191  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:11 AM
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Your comment about HRC should, out of honesty, have noted that there was zero evidence to support any of that. ...
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"Ain't got enough to convict me!" as a rallying cry for Republicans?
I like it.
I'm dying of laughter over here.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:14 AM
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Of course, if defense of Trump, no matter what he does, really is reflexive for someone, there's no point in engaging that person.
Point taken.
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Old 05-13-2019, 10:38 AM
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Lock him up! Lock him up!
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Old 05-13-2019, 11:43 AM
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The "precise purpose" is to force Trump (and future candidates) to release their returns, not to keep anyone off the ballot.
And the result of taking this action would be to keep someone off the ballot. It's really weird contortions to be able to say that this isn't about keeping anyone off the ballot. That is precisely the consequence of this proposal.

It's like passing a law that criminalizes stealing with prison as the consequence, and then claiming it's not about sending anyone to prison. Of course it is.
  #195  
Old 05-13-2019, 12:22 PM
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And the result of taking this action would be to keep someone off the ballot. It's really weird contortions to be able to say that this isn't about keeping anyone off the ballot. That is precisely the consequence of this proposal.
Why is that the consequence, and why are you certain of this? Why wouldn't Trump just meet the requirement?
  #196  
Old 05-13-2019, 12:40 PM
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And the result of taking this action would be to keep someone off the ballot. It's really weird contortions to be able to say that this isn't about keeping anyone off the ballot. That is precisely the consequence of this proposal.

It's like passing a law that criminalizes stealing with prison as the consequence, and then claiming it's not about sending anyone to prison. Of course it is.
No, it is about curtailing as much as possible a certain behaviour.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:50 PM
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No, it is about curtailing as much as possible a certain behaviour.
I disagree. Our side of the aisle is trying to make sure that Trump has as few days as possible left in the White House. That is a worthy goal.

One of his top vulnerabilities is his terrible business acumen, the almost-certain shady deals he has engaged in, and the real possibility that he pays almost no Federal taxes (and is very likely much, much less rich than he claims). His tax returns would shine a light on most of that, so Dems are trying to get them in order to make sure Trump isn't re-elected (and in a remote possibility, maybe even impeached).

I am just not buying that this issue has anything other to do than an attack on Trump (which he has earned, of course) to damage him and maybe hasten his departure. If it were about confidence in the electoral process generally, and an anti-corruption measure, I would suspect that the requirement to release tax returns and other financial disclosures would apply more broadly -- like, perhaps to governors, senators, etc. Instead, it's only about one office, which bolsters my conclusion that all of this is really about Trump.

I'm totally fine with attacking Trump on his tax evasion and lies about his wealth. This is also a case in which his hiding his taxes may in fact be more damaging than releasing them -- after all, if his vain nature compels him to cover up a tax return with no wrongdoing but modest income, we can all continue to speculate about his REAL reasons for not releasing his taxes. But let's not pretend that this issue is fundamentally about ethics reform for our general welfare; it is about reforming rules to defeat one particularly unethical person.
  #198  
Old 05-13-2019, 12:55 PM
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But let's not pretend that this issue is fundamentally about ethics reform for our general welfare; it is about reforming rules to defeat one particularly unethical person.
It's about Trump, but it's also about a broader issue -- codifying what until now had been standard but unwritten practice for presidential candidates. And that practice really was a good thing, that provided some benefit to our democracy. It's reasonable to want to codify such practices into law, as long as doing so doesn't violate any laws (which it may -- IANAL).

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-13-2019 at 12:55 PM.
  #199  
Old 05-13-2019, 01:00 PM
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Anyone can swear an affirmation about their beliefs in God too, right?
No, that would be discriminatory against someone who is affiliated with the non-dominant religion. To my understanding (unless Republicans have finally gotten their way without me noticing), tax cheat isn't a protected class.

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Since the whole issue is focused on Trump, it's impossible to believe that this is not about Trump. I mean, how much of a sucker do these states think we are?
Sure its about Trump in the same way that Bumpstock regulations were about Stephan Paddock. The election of Trump showed a flaw in the system that needed to be corrected.

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It's like passing a law that criminalizes stealing with prison as the consequence, and then claiming it's not about sending anyone to prison. Of course it is.
No it isn't. If passing such a law results in no stealing and therefore no one being sent to prison, it would be heralded as a huge success. So such a law isn't about sending prison, its about preventing stealing.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 05-13-2019 at 01:01 PM.
  #200  
Old 05-13-2019, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
It's about Trump, but it's also about a broader issue -- codifying what until now had been standard but unwritten practice for presidential candidates. And that practice really was a good thing, that provided some benefit to our democracy. It's reasonable to want to codify such practices into law, as long as doing so doesn't violate any laws (which it may -- IANAL).
In the larger scope of things, there's a much more serious ethical problem regarding elected officials: so-called "insider" trading among legislators who profit off of the policies they write or information they get as a result of their duties. Example.

If ethics were the issue, keeping these kleptocrats off the ballot absent some disclosure of their financial dealings would be a much more salubrious measure for the health of our democracy than a plan to attack one of Trump's weak spots. After all, there isn't even a fig leaf of tradition that Collins and his ilk are breaking; they are just getting away with it in plain sight. Literally everyone knows Trump isn't releasing his taxes.
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