Letters to the Editor: California’s anti-Trump tax law is Putin-level election meddling

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who recently signed a law requiring presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, outside his Capitol office in Sacramento on July 12.
(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

To the editor: As a Democrat, I am distressed that my party has joined Republicans in erecting barriers to voting. (“California’s bill requiring candidates to show their tax returns is partisan and counterproductive,” editorial, July 30)

If people want to vote for a candidate despite a flaw -- be it financial opaqueness or any other -- by what right should the state stop them?

In 2016, the new California election law requiring any candidate to release five years of tax returns in order to appear on the primary ballot would have erased more than 1.6 million votes cast for Donald Trump. Had Russian hackers erased this many votes, would we consider the election legitimate?


Ilya Shlyakhter, Allston, Mass.


To the editor: This is another exercise in futility by the Democrats in Sacramento. California is facing challenges of biblical proportions to be wasting time in this sort of symbolic legislative work.

Anyone with a basic understanding of the Constitution will know that this bill will be laughed out of any court. There is this fundamental principle of federalism in which the states can’t alter or amend the U.S. Constitution. There is a process in place as to how the Constitution can be amended, and California can use its 53 representatives in the House to start the process.

Of course, the other way to deal with Trump if he is refusing to disclose his returns is to vote him out.

Chamba Sanchez, Los Angeles


To the editor: The new California election law is a “hyperpartisan” slap at President Trump, The Times decries. You betcha -- our hyperpartisan president deserves it.


Trump’s unprecedented refusal to disclose his financial records should have disqualified him from running for the highest office in the land the last time.

And given his incessant insults and policy slights directed at the Golden State, it’s only poetic and political justice that we are the first state to return the favor, with a perfectly reasonable measure that ought to serve as a model for other states.

Vincent Brook, Los Angeles


To the editor: The idea of opening the Pandora’s box of giving 50 states the option to devise 50 different ways of keeping anyone off the ballot reminded me of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s skill in keeping candidates of opposing parties off the ballot in his country’s elections.

Democrats of California, let’s keep the pro-Putin Trump on the ballot and vote him out of office instead of perverting the democratic process by crafting Putinesque regulations to keep him off the ballot in the first place.

Janet Weaver, Huntington Beach