Will President Trump Be Kicked Off the 2020 New Jersey Presidential Ballot?

Will President Trump Be Kicked Off the 2020 New Jersey Presidential Ballot?

President Trump in MAGA Hat

The leftists never quit. Today, WFSB, channel 3, reports that the New Jersey State Senate has passed a bill requiring Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates to disclose tax returns for the previous 5 years. From the article,

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — President Donald Trump could miss out on being on the 2020 ballot in New Jersey if he doesn’t disclose his tax returns under a bill now advancing.
The Democratic-led state Senate passed legislation Thursday inspired by the Republican president’s failure to disclose his tax returns.

The measure requires presidential and vice presidential candidates to release five years of federal tax returns in order to appear on the state’s Presidential & Vice Presidential ballots.

Trump broke with decades of tradition by refusing to release his income tax filings during his 2016 campaign. He said it was because he is being audited.

This is typical leftist noise that takes advantage of many folks’ who have little or no real financial expertise. Candidates for federal office, elected or appointed, are already required to file Federal Financial Disclosure documents. This also applies to certain senior military officers, mostly in senior command positions, or those involved with acquisition or contracting operations.

These documents are far more detailed than any personal tax return. I know. I’ve had to fill out a few Federal Financial Disclosure documents and definitely more than a few 1040’s. The FFD is much more of a pain in the 4th Point Of Contact than a 1040 ever was. I won’t show you my FFD, but you can see President Trump’s 2016 filing here.

Not noted by WSFB, but picked up by New Jersey Spotlight.com,

The measure would also prohibit Electoral College electors from voting for any candidate who did not comply with the disclosure requirement.

This is an interesting legal twist. New Jersey is likely on shaky legal ground by attempting to bar a constitutionally qualified president from the ballot. From the United States Constitution

No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.

Pretty clear cut and also a pretty clear loser in court. Here’s where it gets interesting. Except as noted thusly,

no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector,

The Electors shall meet in their respective states, and vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, one of whom, at least, shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves; they shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice-President,

Other than as stated above, there are virtually no constitutional restrictions as to how the states may close their electors, nor are there any restrictions as to who the electors may or must vote for.

In short, keeping President Trump off the ballot because of a political jab masquerading as serious law, is probably unconstitutional. Directing state selected electors in who or who not to choose, I’m not so sure. I’d sure like to her from folks out there who actually have a JD.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

Follow him on Twitter: @MikeFor10394583

You can find his other Red State work here.



NEW: Justin Fairfax Accusers Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson to Testify Before Virginia House Committee

NEW: Justin Fairfax Accusers Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson to Testify Before Virginia House Committee

NEW: Justin Fairfax Accusers Vanessa Tyson and Meredith Watson to Testify Before Virginia House Committee

Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax

A Virginia Republican announced Friday that two of Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax’s accusers will testify to the state’s judiciary committee in April when the legislature is back in session.

Dr. Vanessa Tyson, one of Justin Fairfax’s accusers, blasted the Virginia General Assembly in a statement Thursday for their failure to act regarding her allegations of sexual assault against the Lt. Governor.

While lawmakers in both parties have responded with words of concern, they have utterly failed to act and have stood idly by as Lt. Governor Fairfax has impugned Dr. Tyson’s actions as being politically motivated; verbally attacked Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson; [and] threatened to file criminal charges against Dr. Tyson if she pursues criminal charges against him. … It now appears that the Virginia General Assembly lacks the political courage to establish a process by which Dr. Tyson and Ms. Watson’s serious allegations of sexual violence suffered at the hands of Lt. Governor Fairfax will be fully investigated. We ask the members of the Virginia General Assembly to consider what message such inaction sends to victims of sexual assault and rape, the statement from Dr. Tyson’s attorney said.

In response, Delegate Rob Bell, chairman of the House Courts of Justice Committee announced the panel will take action before the committee adjourns this weekend, reported Fox News.

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“Today, the Courts of Justice Committee will schedule a meeting,” Bell said on the House floor. “We will invite Dr. Vanessa Tyson and Ms. Meredith Watson to testify. We will also be inviting Lt. Gov. Fairfax to testify to give all parties a chance to be heard.”


Dr. Vanessa Tyson was the first woman to come forward and claim Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted her at a DNC convention in Boston in 2004.

Dr. Tyson says after she was assaulted by Justin Fairfax, she “suffered from both deep humiliation and shame,” a common thing women experience after a traumatic sexual assault.

“I did not speak about it for years, and I (like most survivors) suppressed those memories and emotions as a necessary means to continue my studies, and to pursue my goal of building a successful career as an academic,” Dr. Tyson said in a statement.

A couple weeks ago, a second woman came forward and accused Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

The accuser, a woman named Meredith Watson, requested the resignation of Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax through her attorney Nancy Erika Smith, alleging Fairfax raped her in college in the year 2000.

According to the statement released by Nancy Erika Smith, Meredith Watson has contemporaneous witnesses, fellow classmates at Duke University, who provided statements corroborating Ms. Watson’s claims Fairfax raped her.

Justin Fairfax admitted to having encounters with both women, however, he maintains everything was consensual.


Former VP Spiro Agnew in 1980 asked Saudi leader for money to fight U.S. ‘Zionists’

Former VP Spiro Agnew in 1980 asked Saudi leader for money to fight U.S. ‘Zionists’

The late Vice President Spiro Agnew requested money in 1980 from Saudi Arabia to “continue to fight” against U.S. Zionists.

Agnew, who served for three years under Richard Nixon before resigning in 1973 in a corruption scandal from his time as the governor of Maryland in the 1960s, wrote to Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, then crown prince of Saudi Arabia, saying “I need desperately your financial support,” MSNBC  reported Thursday.

>> This excellent Watergate documentary is a guide to ousting a madman president

“You highness is already familiar with the unrelenting Zionist efforts to destroy me,” Agnew wrote, adding that Elliot Richardson, who was attorney general when Agnew was vice president, “attacked” him because Agnew “could not be trusted to act properly in the Middle East.”

The reason, he also wrote, “was that the Zionists in the United States knew that I would never agree to the continuance of the unfair and disastrous favoring of Israel and they had to get me out of office there so that I would not succeed Nixon.”

Since 1974, “The Zionists have orchestrated a well-organized attack on me” through lawsuits, Agnew said, “to bleed me of my resources to continue my effort to inform the American people of their control of the media and other influential sectors of American society.”

Agnew, who died in 1996, resigned amid revelations that he had engaged in corruption while governor and did not contest his conviction. But in his letter to the prince, he said the Zionists “framed” him.


Montana House Passes Preemption Bill

Montana House Passes Preemption Bill

The idea behind preemption, at least in part, is that preemption laws create a unified framework of gun laws so that those traveling in the state don’t find themselves breaking some gun law every time they stop for gas. The idea is to keep people from getting stupid with gun laws so that folks don’t become criminals by accident.

It’s pretty straightforward.

Right now, that idea is being put to the test in Pittsburgh, but the reasoning still stands.

Now, Montana is taking steps to make sure it has that same unified framework of gun laws. State legislators took the first big step by passing a bill in the House.

The Montana House on Thursday passed two bills seeking to prohibit local governments from passing strict gun ordinances.

Republican Rep. Matt Regier said his bills are a response to Missoula city ordinances that require background checks for private gun sales and ban weapons in certain public buildings, parks, places of public assembly and polling sites.

Regier argued Wednesday that local governments cannot regulate the concealed carrying of weapons and said his bills would prevent a patchwork of gun restrictions that could cause confusion.

“This bill will clarify our rights as Montana citizens and clarify the power of local authorities,” Regier said.

The first bill passed the House on a 57-42 vote and a second bill, a backup that calls for a referendum on the issue to be placed on the ballot, passed 56-43. The bills now go to the Senate.

The measure follows Missoula passing a background check bill. The state attorney general argued that the city didn’t have the authority, but a judge disagreed.

By passing a preemption law, that eradicates Missoula’s background check requirement.

Which is fine because only an idiot would believe such a thing would work.

Democrats argue that the bill would prevent localities from passing “common sense” gun control measures. Considering their idea of “common sense,” that’s probably a feature, not a bug.

The truth is, the Second Amendment’s text is clear. “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the people’s right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

But I get that anti-gunners don’t buy that argument, so I’ll also point out that local background check ordinances are ridiculously easy to evade even if you want to comply with the letter of the law. A transaction a foot past the city limits doesn’t fall under their jurisdiction, for example. Couple that with the fact that criminals will still get guns and you can see how little such a law will accomplish.

More importantly, it means that someone traveling to Missoula to sell a gun to someone won’t find themselves arrested because they didn’t know it was illegal to do so.

That’s what preemption is meant to do and why it’s so important. The fact that Missoula did pass such a law is all the evidence in the world that it’s important.

Now it’s time for this bill to go to the Senate, get passed there and signed by the governor, and for Montanans to put this silly chapter in their history behind them.


TMZ: FBI sources tapping brakes on Chicago PD’s claims regarding Smollett threat letter

TMZ: FBI sources tapping brakes on Chicago PD’s claims regarding Smollett threat letter

Did Chicago police superintendent Eddie Johnson get out a little ahead of his skis in his press conference yesterday? The police gathered an impressive amount of evidence in their investigation, as documented in the bond proffer presented at Jussie Smollett’s arraignment yesterday. The local case is strong enough to impress Don Lemon and get him thinking that police might not be framing Smollett.

But what about the feds? Johnson asserted in the presser that Smollett had manufactured an earlier threat letter mailed to Empire‘s production offices, which contained a white powder identified later as crushed ibuprofen. Johnson said that the FBI had picked up that part of the investigation, but the proffer also stated as fact that the letter was a Smollett production:

Today, however, TMZ reports that the FBI has not yet reached that conclusion. They are still examining the letter and the envelope, as well as cut-up magazines seized by police in a search warrant in the apartment of the Osundairo brothers. The brothers themselves have not yet admitted to participating in the letter, however, and that may mean that Johnson’s conclusion was premature, at the least:

Federal law enforcement sources tell us they’re still investigating the letter and have drawn no conclusions. Both federal and state law enforcement sources say the operating theory was that the 2 brothers — Abel and Ola Osundairo — may have mailed the letter because, when cops raided their apartment and seized magazines, there were pages missing.

We’re told authorities are trying to determine if the pages have the lettering found in the letter. They’re also checking the postage stamp against the stamps found in the brothers’ apartment. As we reported, the brothers deny sending the letter.

Obviously, if the brothers sent the letter, it comes back to Jussie — because they would have done it at his behest — but as one federal law enforcement source tells TMZ, “I think he [Johnson] went too far. We’re not there yet.”

The two brothers don’t have any criminal liability on the hoax attack, which itself was not a crime. Smollett filed the false police report, not the Osundairos. However, if they participated in sending the threat letter, they do have potential exposure to felony federal prosecution under the same statutes that would apply to Smollett. The Prosecutors might cut them a deal to testify if they took part in that hoax, but until they cooperate on that (assuming, of course, that there’s any crime on which to cooperate), they may have trouble making that stick to Smollett.

Yesterday at Law & Crime, Matt Naham sounded skeptical that the feds would bother prosecuting Smollett at all over the letter:

Jussie Smollett is already in deep trouble, but could he also have opened himself up to federal charges? Many on social media seem to think so, but is this a realistic expectation? We explain. …

A second accusation has left observers wondering if the current charge could be the least of Smollett’s problems. Police said that Smollett sent himself a racist and homophobic letter while on the set of Empire. They also alleged that Smollett was upset about his salary. … Previous reporting from CBS 2 Chicago linked the letter to the larger alleged scheme and indicated that it was, indeed, mailed. …

This raised the question of whether Smollett could face federal charges. … What does fraud mean? Take it away, 18 U.S.C § 1341.

It’s possible, I suppose, that feds could make a case for mail fraud, but that’s not what they’re likely try. Why do all that work to prove the mens rea for fraud when federal statutes already carry five-year penalties for sending threats via the mail, and hoaxes as well? The relevant statutes in this instance doesn’t include 18 USC 1341, but 18 USC 876 and 18 USC 1038. There’s no need to make a complicated case on motive when dealing with threats and hoaxes; prosecutors only need to prove that the accused sent them via the mail or was part of a conspiracy to do so.

First, though, they have to get enough evidence to file those charges. They’re not there yet, TMZ’s sources say, but they wouldn’t be bothering to investigate this further if they had no plans to prosecute it later.