July 20, 2021



The Secretary of State is not releasing Governor Gavin Newsom’s tax returns — even as she is trying to exclude conservative radio host Larry Elder from the upcoming recall election because of supposedly incomplete tax returns.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced a preliminary list of 41 candidates that excluded Elder. Elder revealed yesterday that he had been told he failed to submit complete tax returns, though he said he had done so. He is planning to sue Weber to compel his inclusion on the final list of candidates when it is released on Wednesday, July 21.

In contrast, Weber said Monday that Gov. Newsom’s tax returns would not be available to the general public because he is not technically considered a “candidate” in the September recall, since he is the officer who is subject to the recall vote.

The San Jose Mercury News reported:

Secretary of State Shirley Weber’s office has posted the tax returns of the 41 people vying to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in the September recall election, giving voters a peek at how everyone from reality star Caitlyn Jenner to former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer make their money. So why aren’t the sitting governor’s tax returns among them?

The governor is not considered a “candidate,” so the new requirement to cough up five years of returns does not apply. Newsom’s campaign team said he had submitted his returns anyway, but a spokeswoman for Weber, a Newsom appointee, said Monday that because the returns weren’t required, the office wouldn’t review or release them. That has some Newsom critics and recall supporters crying foul.

A spokesperson for Newsom’s campaign did not respond to a request Monday for copies of the documents.

“For a guy who spent a lot of time bashing Donald Trump, his excuse is rather Trump-y,” said Bill Whalen, a Hoover Institution research fellow of the lack of 2020 returns, referring to the former president’s repeated refusal to hand over his documents while they were under audit.

California’s law requiring candidates to show their tax returns is the outcome of an effort to force then-President Donald Trump to show his tax returns to qualify for the presidential ballot in 2020. The law was thrown out by the courts for the presidential election but a similar requirement remains in place for gubernatorial candidates.

In the Sep. 14 recall, voters will first be asked whether Newsom should be retained, then asked who should replace him, other than Newsom himself.