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  #201  
Old 05-13-2019, 01:36 PM
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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.
I'd be all for such requirements, and I don't see any conflict between supporting such requirements and supporting this one.
  #202  
Old 05-13-2019, 01:44 PM
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I'd be all for such requirements, and I don't see any conflict between supporting such requirements and supporting this one.
Yes, but why is it that we find ourselves with a dog that is not barking?

Because the laws proposed are to help the cause of getting Trump out of office, only dressed up in either lesser or slightly more amounts of garb. The cause here isn't improving government ethics; the cause here is that Trump is unethical.
  #203  
Old 05-13-2019, 01:57 PM
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Yes, but why is it that we find ourselves with a dog that is not barking?

Because the laws proposed are to help the cause of getting Trump out of office, only dressed up in either lesser or slightly more amounts of garb. The cause here isn't improving government ethics; the cause here is that Trump is unethical.
Fine, this doesn't really dispute anything I've said.
  #204  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:13 PM
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The cause here isn't improving government ethics; the cause here is that Trump is unethical.
Only Trump, among all presidents and even candidates in the last 40 years, has provided probable cause of financial crimes. Laws aren't needed until they're needed, right?

Yes, the purpose is to improve government ethics. It does not help to claim it's personality-driven, implying it's just like the way his Democrat-hate is personality-driven, especially not when you also claim the probable cause exists. You're straining hard to be able to claim butbothsidesdoit, unfortunately the facts just don't support that.
  #205  
Old 05-13-2019, 02:24 PM
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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.
Are you really telling us that laws against stealing are not about punishing and deterring stealing? They're essentially just about manufacturing excuses to imprison people? If that's truly what you mean, then wow.
  #206  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:04 PM
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The new rules appear to only discriminate against those who do not wish to divulge their tax information to American voters and I don't believe they are a protected class.
  #207  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:11 PM
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The new rules appear to only discriminate against those who do not wish to divulge their tax information to American voters and I don't believe they are a protected class.
"protected class" and "a class of candidates" are two separate things. In the cite provided by Lord Feldon, the "class of candidates" are candidates who refused to pledge to support term limits. That's not a "protected class" in the non-discrimination normal usage of that phrase, but it was still an unconstitutional limit a state placed on federal candidates' (of a certain class) ballot access.
  #208  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:21 PM
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Felons are, in fact, prohibited from holding public office.
  #209  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:28 PM
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Because the laws proposed are to help the cause of getting Trump out of office, only dressed up in either lesser or slightly more amounts of garb.
This is false.

Keeping Trump off the ballot in California does nothing one way or the other to get Trump out of office.

The purpose of the law is to provide Trump an incentive to release his tax returns
  #210  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:38 PM
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This is false.

Keeping Trump off the ballot in California does nothing one way or the other to get Trump out of office.

The purpose of the law is to provide Trump an incentive to release his tax returns
I just think it's a good idea all around. Start with presidential candidates, see how that goes and then work down to Senators, Representatives, Governors and such.

There's way too much funny business going on, and Tax Return transparency might help keep crooks away.
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  #211  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:43 PM
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I just think it's a good idea all around. Start with presidential candidates, see how that goes and then work down to Senators, Representatives, Governors and such.

There's way too much funny business going on, and Tax Return transparency might help keep crooks away.
Would you still feel it was a good idea if it was not implemented until 2024 to avoid the appearance of targeting a particular candidate?
  #212  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:46 PM
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Would you still feel it was a good idea if it was not implemented until 2024 to avoid the appearance of targeting a particular candidate?
Sure. It would have been a good idea decades ago, and it will still be a good idea decades from now.
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  #213  
Old 05-13-2019, 04:35 PM
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Felons are, in fact, prohibited from holding public office.
Certainly not the position taken in an analysis of the issue by the Congressional Research Service.

Per the Congressional Research Service report for Congress entitled Congressional Candidacy, Incarceration, and the Constitution’s Inhabitancy Qualification

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The issue of whether one is permitted to run for and hold office in the House of Representatives either after a felony conviction, and/or while incarcerated in prison, specifically involves a question of the qualifications, or disqualifications, to be a Representative in Congress. There are three, and only three “positive” qualifications for Representative in Congress set out in the United States Constitution: (1) age (25 years); (2) citizenship (7 years); and (3) inhabitancy (one must be an “inhabitant” of the State from which chosen “when elected”).

It is now well-settled that these three qualifications for office in the Constitution are the exclusive qualifications for Congress (and are not merely “minimum” qualifications), and that they are fixed and may not be supplemented by Congress nor by any State unilaterally. Specifically, there is no qualification in the Constitution that one not be a convicted felon (nor a “disqualification” for offenses other than in the 14th Amendment for certain treasonous conduct by those who have taken an oath of office). Similarly, there is no qualification in the Constitution that a person, when elected to Congress, not be in prison. Furthermore, no State could permissibly implement such additional qualifications for federal office through election laws or ballot procedures. The Framers of the Constitution intentionally implemented a representative scheme whereby significant discretion is given and deference provided to the judgment and choice of the people as to whom they wish to have represent them in Congress. In this respect, the adage of the French political philosopher Joseph de Maistre might apply: “Every nation has the government it deserves.”
  #214  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:37 PM
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Well, looks like California is diving head first into this idea to keep Trump off the ballot.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/don...turns-n1036286

I suspect this will age about as well as Harry Reid's decision to go nuclear in the Senate
  #215  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:58 PM
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I think the CA thing is a bad idea if one presumes that we live in a reasonably well-functioning democratic (small d) system. But if one is one of the opinion that this is generally bullshit, and we're in a political no-holds-barred knife fight, then this makes sense.

I used to believe the former pretty solidly; I'm no longer nearly as confident. We'll see. Very possibly unconstitutional, in my unprofessional opinion, but I don't think that really matters much any more -- what matters is which judges see it. More and more I think we're in a system that rewards whoever can successfully bypass and maneuver around the law, rather than whether what they do is actually in accordance with the law.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 07-30-2019 at 05:03 PM.
  #216  
Old 07-30-2019, 05:18 PM
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The California law only requires tax returns to be on the primary ballot, not the general election ballot. That might be enough to avoid constitutional issues, since primaries are an invention of political parties and aren't mentioned in the Constitution.
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  #217  
Old 07-30-2019, 05:22 PM
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All I can say is if Kamala Harris wins the nomination, I hope she has her original birth certificate.
  #218  
Old 07-30-2019, 05:50 PM
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I think I'll run in the Republican primary here in California. If I win, I can go to the convention and make fart sounds on a bull horn whenever Trump speaks. Then I'll offer him my delegates if he agrees to sit in the corner and behave until the convention is over.
  #219  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:20 AM
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I think the CA thing is a bad idea if one presumes that we live in a reasonably well-functioning democratic (small d) system. But if one is one of the opinion that this is generally bullshit, and we're in a political no-holds-barred knife fight, then this makes sense.

I used to believe the former pretty solidly; I'm no longer nearly as confident. We'll see. Very possibly unconstitutional, in my unprofessional opinion, but I don't think that really matters much any more -- what matters is which judges see it. More and more I think we're in a system that rewards whoever can successfully bypass and maneuver around the law, rather than whether what they do is actually in accordance with the law.
I agree that it’s a bad idea, but for different reasons. It doesn’t matter I’m this particular case whether a judge finds the law unconstitutional. An election where Trump was otherwise going to win California without this law would probably be a beating the likes of which we haven’t seen since Reagan vs. Mondale in 1984.

What really matters is how voters, legislatures, and governors in swing states see this law. This basically provides a reason to start a ballot access arms race. Next up might be a law in Wisconsin or Arizona or Georgia that in order to be on the ballot you have to be pro life.

ETA. In case it isn’t clear, I’m imagining a law that applied to candidates for all races, not just the POTUS election.

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 07-31-2019 at 06:23 AM.
  #220  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:36 AM
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I agree that it’s a bad idea, but for different reasons. It doesn’t matter I’m this particular case whether a judge finds the law unconstitutional. An election where Trump was otherwise going to win California without this law would probably be a beating the likes of which we haven’t seen since Reagan vs. Mondale in 1984.

What really matters is how voters, legislatures, and governors in swing states see this law. This basically provides a reason to start a ballot access arms race. Next up might be a law in Wisconsin or Arizona or Georgia that in order to be on the ballot you have to be pro life.

ETA. In case it isn’t clear, I’m imagining a law that applied to candidates for all races, not just the POTUS election.
This is very possible. But we might as well test this in court to see if this stuff is going to be deemed as allowable. If so, at least we'll understand how broken our system truly is, and it will be more widely apparent to all.
  #221  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:38 AM
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I agree that it’s a bad idea, but for different reasons. It doesn’t matter I’m this particular case whether a judge finds the law unconstitutional. An election where Trump was otherwise going to win California without this law would probably be a beating the likes of which we haven’t seen since Reagan vs. Mondale in 1984.

What really matters is how voters, legislatures, and governors in swing states see this law. This basically provides a reason to start a ballot access arms race. Next up might be a law in Wisconsin or Arizona or Georgia that in order to be on the ballot you have to be pro life.

ETA. In case it isn’t clear, I’m imagining a law that applied to candidates for all races, not just the POTUS election.
More likely, I'm thinking of things like poll taxes or literacy tests in the Old South or requirements that statewide office holders have to win a majority of legislative districts if they don't get 50% (I believe the Mississippi Constitution of 1890 enacted this law, and it's still on the books). Remember that the Supreme Court has basically told Blacks in particular that they're on their own now when it comes to voting rights.
  #222  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:01 AM
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I think I'll run in the Republican primary here in California. If I win, I can go to the convention and make fart sounds on a bull horn whenever Trump speaks. Then I'll offer him my delegates if he agrees to sit in the corner and behave until the convention is over.
First of all, note that California is not allowed to have a winner-take-all primary this year, as it is being held before March 15.

Second, what makes you think the party won't pull a stunt similar to 2012, where only the votes for one candidate (Mitt Romney, back then) will be "confirmed" during the roll call?
"California, 172 votes" (three for each of the 53 Congressional districts, plus ten statewide, plus three superdelegates)
"California casts 100 votes for Guizot, and 72 for President Donald Trump"
"California, 72 votes for Donald Trump. Connecticut..."
  #223  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:16 AM
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I think the CA thing is a bad idea if one presumes that we live in a reasonably well-functioning democratic (small d) system. But if one is one of the opinion that this is generally bullshit, and we're in a political no-holds-barred knife fight, then this makes sense.

I used to believe the former pretty solidly; I'm no longer nearly as confident. We'll see. Very possibly unconstitutional, in my unprofessional opinion, but I don't think that really matters much any more -- what matters is which judges see it. More and more I think we're in a system that rewards whoever can successfully bypass and maneuver around the law, rather than whether what they do is actually in accordance with the law.
This is essentially a ends-justifies-the-means mentality. With this sort of logic, anyone can justify almost anything. It does absolutely nothing to take the nation back on a better path.
  #224  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:18 AM
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This is essentially a ends-justifies-the-means mentality. With this sort of logic, anyone can justify almost anything. It does absolutely nothing to take the nation back on a better path.
This is how things are in a broken political system. I'm not certain we're there, but I'm worried that we might be heading in that direction, if we're not there already. In a broken system, there are no rules except what people can get away with. I'm not going to put my head in the sand and pretend our system is just fine the way it is.
  #225  
Old 07-31-2019, 05:30 PM
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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 about a requirement that a candidate be a Republican, or pledge to support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade? It doesn't keep anyone off the ballot, all they have to do is comply with the ballot access law.
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Old 07-31-2019, 05:38 PM
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The problem with this sort of always-catching-up-from-one-step-behind approach is that a future Trump-like candidate might have no difficulty whatsoever releasing his tax returns. He might be someone with nothing financially dodgy.

But then he'll have his unique issues, and then Democrats will propose a new law to address future candidates of his kind, except that, then, the next new candidate won't have any problem with that.

Last edited by Velocity; 07-31-2019 at 05:39 PM.
  #227  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:01 PM
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This law was yet another bad idea coming out of California. Hopefully it will be promptly declared unconstitutional.
  #228  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:03 PM
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How about a requirement that a candidate be a Republican, or pledge to support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade? It doesn't keep anyone off the ballot, all they have to do is comply with the ballot access law.
We'll see. Our system may be sufficiently broken that this could be in our future.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:24 PM
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Even if it succeeds, it will backfire. Imagine the general election campaign where Trump can go all out and talk about how the entire state of California won't even allow people to vote for him. When the Dems talk about voter disenfranchisement, they will have denied all of the Republicans in the entire state their ability to vote for their preferred candidate for President. The optics will be incredible.

So keep going Dems. Nominate Warren and keep fighting for these laws. New York next!
  #230  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:27 PM
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Even if it succeeds, it will backfire. Imagine the general election campaign where Trump can go all out and talk about how the entire state of California won't even allow people to vote for him. When the Dems talk about voter disenfranchisement, they will have denied all of the Republicans in the entire state their ability to vote for their preferred candidate for President. The optics will be incredible.

So keep going Dems. Nominate Warren and keep fighting for these laws. New York next!
Or he could just, you know, provide his tax returns. That seems like a pretty damn easy retort for the Democratic nominee. "Quit whining and provide your damn taxes!"
  #231  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:31 PM
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Or he could just, you know, provide his tax returns. That seems like a pretty damn easy retort for the Democratic nominee. "Quit whining and provide your damn taxes!"
Nothing in the Constitution says he has to. If that is a disqualifier for you then you do not have to vote for him. But you would deny anyone for whom that is not an issue the right to vote for him. That's horrific.
  #232  
Old 07-31-2019, 06:35 PM
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Nothing in the Constitution says he has to. If that is a disqualifier for you then you do not have to vote for him. But you would deny anyone for whom that is not an issue the right to vote for him. That's horrific.
This is a trivial concern in a broken system. If our system is not broken, perhaps this will be ruled unconstitutional. If it's broken, then perhaps it's what will keep Trump from rendering our system irreparable for a generation. In any case, it's a political knife fight. Whoever can get away with the most wins, it seems to me. I have no interest in hobbling the Democrats' ability to fight dirty when the other team has been doing so for years.
  #233  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:10 PM
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Imagine the general election campaign where Trump can go all out and talk about how the entire state of California won't even allow people to vote for him.
I'm still not a fan, but if the law takes effect, it will have already come and gone by the general election campaign. The version that was passed is only about the primary.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 07-31-2019 at 08:12 PM.
  #234  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:20 PM
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Or he could just, you know, provide his tax returns. That seems like a pretty damn easy retort for the Democratic nominee. "Quit whining and provide your damn taxes!"
I agree that candidates shouldn't have anything to hide, but the fact is that the American voters didn't punish Trump for not releasing his tax returns. If the voters were not sufficiently outraged at Trump's not releasing his returns, then that's on us, and that's not a problem California's legislature should spend time trying to correct.
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:27 PM
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I'm still not a fan, but if the law takes effect, it will have already come and gone by the general election campaign. The version that was passed is only about the primary.
If President Trump doesn't appear on the primary ballot, and that causes him to lose the primary, does that affect whether he appears on the general election ballot?

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 07-31-2019 at 08:27 PM.
  #236  
Old 08-01-2019, 02:44 AM
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If President Trump doesn't appear on the primary ballot, and that causes him to lose the primary, does that affect whether he appears on the general election ballot?
It could, if:
A) He was already at risk of losing.
B) The RNC inexplicably rolled over and accepted the exclusion of the sitting president from the selection process for the largest(?) tranche of delegates.
C) Trump's California delegates would have secured him the nomination.

But otherwise, candidates are on the ballot in states where they lost the primary all the time.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 08-01-2019 at 02:47 AM.
  #237  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:35 AM
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I agree that candidates shouldn't have anything to hide, but the fact is that the American voters didn't punish Trump for not releasing his tax returns. If the voters were not sufficiently outraged at Trump's not releasing his returns, then that's on us, and that's not a problem California's legislature should spend time trying to correct.
Trump is everyone's problem. I have trouble chiding anyone for any non-violent efforts to help get him out of office. If the courts find it's unconstitutional, oh well.
  #238  
Old 08-01-2019, 08:49 AM
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If President Trump doesn't appear on the primary ballot, and that causes him to lose the primary, does that affect whether he appears on the general election ballot?
The people on the GE ballot are slates of electors pledged to a certain candidate, not the candidates themselves, even if they may be listed that way for clarity.
  #239  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:49 AM
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How about a requirement that a candidate be a Republican, or pledge to support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade? It doesn't keep anyone off the ballot, all they have to do is comply with the ballot access law.
Do you understand the difference between "Must comply with basic financial disclosure requirements" and "Must hold and advocate specific policy positions"? Because we already require the former for a lot of government positions. This would just be more of the same.

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Nothing in the Constitution says he has to. If that is a disqualifier for you then you do not have to vote for him. But you would deny anyone for whom that is not an issue the right to vote for him. That's horrific.
Do you understand the difference between "criteria required to be President" and "criteria required to appear on a state ballot"? Because the Constitution doesn't say anything about collecting signatures or paying fees or filling out forms either, but candidates are already required to do that now (criteria differing by state).

That said - and Trump-specific motivations aside - while I feel that there is value in openness and transparency in candidates' financial dealings where those dealings could present conflicts of interest with the offices they hold, I would need something a little more specific than "We just want to root around in people's tax returns just in case". What's in the tax returns that isn't already provided that is relevant here? Make that case and I may be convinced.

However, I do think Trump should release his tax returns - not because he's legally obligated to but because he openly promised to and it'd be nice if the orange fuck would do at least one thing he promised.
  #240  
Old 08-01-2019, 10:54 AM
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Do you understand the difference between "Must comply with basic financial disclosure requirements" and "Must hold and advocate specific policy positions"? Because we already require the former for a lot of government positions. This would just be more of the same.
Of course. For most government positions, the hiring authority needs to know if the candidate can be bribed or blackmailed, or will be excessively tempted by access to taxpayer money. Financial disclosures (mostly) answer those concerns. Why would the voters, the hiring authority for presidents, not be entitled to the same information and the same confidence when they make their hiring decision?
  #241  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:20 AM
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Of course. For most government positions, the hiring authority needs to know if the candidate can be bribed or blackmailed, or will be excessively tempted by access to taxpayer money. Financial disclosures (mostly) answer those concerns. Why would the voters, the hiring authority for presidents, not be entitled to the same information and the same confidence when they make their hiring decision?
I think you're overlooking something in this argument -- the President makes financial disclosures, but this one hasn't released tax returns.
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Old 08-01-2019, 11:23 AM
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Of course. For most government positions, the hiring authority needs to know if the candidate can be bribed or blackmailed, or will be excessively tempted by access to taxpayer money. Financial disclosures (mostly) answer those concerns. Why would the voters, the hiring authority for presidents, not be entitled to the same information and the same confidence when they make their hiring decision?
The voters are "the hiring authority" for all sorts of positions. Should they all have to release their tax returns to the public?
  #243  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:28 AM
ElvisL1ves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
I think you're overlooking something in this argument -- the President makes financial disclosures, but this one hasn't released tax returns.
I'm clarifying for the confused UltraVires why he should have to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
The voters are "the hiring authority" for all sorts of positions.
Only elected ones. For others, the authority is, properly, delegated. Glad to help.

Last edited by ElvisL1ves; 08-01-2019 at 11:30 AM.
  #244  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:30 AM
Gyrate is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
The voters are "the hiring authority" for all sorts of positions. Should they all have to release their tax returns to the public?
Requiring financial disclosures is reasonable for certain positions - particularly high level ones - where significant conflicts of interest could arise. This is not a condition that applies to the vast majority of elected positions.
  #245  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:39 AM
UltraVires is offline
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I really wish you guys would read the cases cited earlier, especially the Thornton case, before you keep arguing the same "but what about filing fees!" lines. States can have these administrative requirements so that only serious candidates are listed and the ballot is not 100 pages long. That is the only permissible reason.

Yes, it may be very desirable to have a candidate for Congress who will only serve so many terms, or a presidential candidate who releases his tax returns, but the cases are clear that these substantive requirements cannot be added to those listed in the Constitution. The requirements in the Constitution are exclusive.
  #246  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:43 AM
ElvisL1ves is offline
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Those are requirements to hold an office, not to get on the ballot for it.

You're welcome.
  #247  
Old 08-01-2019, 12:50 PM
HurricaneDitka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Those are requirements to hold an office, not to get on the ballot for it.

You're welcome.
You failed hard here. Wikipedia says:

Quote:
Amendment 73 to the Arkansas Constitution denied ballot access to any federal Congressional candidate having already served three terms in the U.S. House or two terms in the U.S. Senate. However, such a candidate was not barred from being written-in and winning by that method.
(emphasis mine)
  #248  
Old 08-01-2019, 01:05 PM
UltraVires is offline
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Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Those are requirements to hold an office, not to get on the ballot for it.

You're welcome.
Again, please read the damn cases. Thornton says that denying ballot access is effectively the same thing as so vanishingly few write-in candidates will win.

At least be correct if you are going to be snarky.
  #249  
Old 08-01-2019, 01:38 PM
YamatoTwinkie is offline
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Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
How about a requirement that a candidate be a Republican, or pledge to support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade? It doesn't keep anyone off the ballot, all they have to do is comply with the ballot access law.
For statewide elections (Governor, US Senator, President), I'm fine with that. In your example I don't think it's good policy (whereas basic financial disclosure for major elected office holders is good policy), but at least if 51% of the voters prefer candidate A, who is barred from the ballot for (insert stupid reason here), the natural recourse is for those same 51% of voters to get very angry and vote out the same state legislators that put the law into effect.
  #250  
Old 08-01-2019, 01:50 PM
HurricaneDitka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
For statewide elections (Governor, US Senator, President), I'm fine with that. In your example I don't think it's good policy (whereas basic financial disclosure for major elected office holders is good policy), but at least if 51% of the voters prefer candidate A, who is barred from the ballot for (insert stupid reason here), the natural recourse is for those same 51% of voters to get very angry and vote out the same state legislators that put the law into effect.
President Trump has already provided "basic financial disclosure"(s). You realize this, right? Here is 2017's and 2018's.
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