UPDATE: Before using Republican attempts to make Barack Obama “prove” his citizenship as a foil, Republicans in the Colorado legislature might want to re-read Senate Concurrent Resolution 11-003, requiring “any person elected to public office in the state of Colorado to provide proof of citizenship along with the oath of office.” If they have any questions, they can direct them to co-sponsor Sen. Kevin Grantham.
As the Colorado Independent’s Marianne Goodland reports, Democrats in the Colorado House have introduced legislation directly addressing the hot potato of President Donald Trump’s tax returns–the refusal by Trump to disclose them having emerged as a major point of dispute as questions swirl about Trump’s loyalties and liabilities:
Two days after an estimated 7,000 people took to Denver’s Civic Center Park to demand that President Donald Trump release his tax returns, a House committee okayed a bill to require presidential candidates to make their returns public.
The measure, which is sponsored by Democratic Reps. Edie Hooten of Boulder and Chris Hansen of Denver, would require both presidential and vice-presidential candidates to submit the most recent five years of tax returns. Those who don’t submit those documents won’t appear on Colorado’s presidential election ballot, under the bill.
At least eight other states are working on similar legislation to require those tax returns, Hooten said; six are states carried by Trump in the 2016 election. In other states, although not Colorado, the legislation is referred to as the Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public Act, or TRUMP Act. [Pols emphasis]
We assume that the decision to not go with the “TRUMP Act” as the title of the legislation in Colorado was in hope of persuading a few Republicans to place principle ahead of partisanship and help pass it. Presidential candidates disclosing their financial history has routine for the last 40 years, after all, and it won’t be long before the shoe is on the other proverbial foot. But as the Denver Post’s Brian Eason reports, Republicans couldn’t get past the fact that the legislation was inevitably a response to a fellow Republican’s actions:
Suzanne Staiert, the deputy secretary of state, told lawmakers that in the past, the U.S. Supreme Court has resisted state-level efforts to impose new qualifications on candidates for federal office — except for things such as petition-gathering or filing fees designed to deter insincere candidates.
National legal experts have opined on both sides of the issue in recent weeks as similar efforts have proliferated. So if nothing else, Staiert said, lawmakers should expect the measure to be challenged in court if it became law…
A number of Republicans Monday said they favor transparency, but fear that the bill would only attract such a lawsuit. And, they added, despite Democrats’ insistence that it shouldn’t be a partisan issue, the measure appeared to blatantly target a particular Republican candidate.
Rep. Susan Beckman, R-Littleton, recalled Republicans across the country mounting a similar effort to require candidate birth certificate disclosures while Barack Obama was president, in response to debunked questions about his citizenship. [Pols emphasis]
We’d say there’s a very large difference on the merits between requiring financial disclosure from a presidential candidate and the racist campaign to make Barack Obama “prove” his citizenship–which persisted for years after Obama did just that. In fact, that absurd comparison from a Republican lawmaker is an offensive reminder of the double standard Obama was subjected to for his entire presidency.
It will be even more absurd when Colorado Senate Republicans kill this bill.