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Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns may lead to a California GOP wipeout in 2020 election

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Republican leaders in California are in a panic that Donald Trump’s continuing refusal to make his tax returns public could cost the party what few seats they hold in a state that has few GOP officeholders to begin with.

According to a report from Politico, should a bill Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed that forces gubernatorial and presidential candidates to release financial information and their tax returns in order to be on the ballot be upheld by the courts, it could cripple the hopes of Republican office-seekers.

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The report notes that Trump’s absence on the primary ballot in what is expected to be a high-turnout election could depress turnout which, in turn, would affect Republicans who are on the ballot.

At issue is California’s primary system that places the top two vote-getters on the general election ballot regardless of party. As has been the case in elections since the rules were changed in 2010, voters were given a choice between two Democratic candidates in a state that has seen the GOP virtually disappear as a political force.

This has newly elected Republican Party Chair Jessica Patterson in a panic.

“We all know that the top of the ticket generally dictates the turnout,” she explained to POLITICO. “If the Democrats have a huge intensity — which they likely will, because our primary is so early — and Republicans don’t have their likely nominee to turn out to vote for, this could really affect our legislative and congressional races, where two Democrats could end up in the general.”

Noting that, even if Donald Trump was on the ticket he would have virtually zero chance of landing California’s 55 electoral votes, Republicans are still dismayed that the new bill will cripple any chance of a comeback in the state.

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“Even if it clears the courts, the measure is unlikely to have much effect on the presidential contest, given Trump’s radioactivity for much of the California electorate,” Politico reports. “But there are competitive state legislative and congressional races across the state. Patterson said the law appears to directly try to engineer outcomes favorable to Democrats by applying to primary elections in which Republicans can fall outside the top two if they suffer low turnout.”

With Patterson complaining that it looks like Democrats pushed through the tax return bill specifically to hurt all Republicans, a Democratic lawmaker pushed back at the accusation.

“State Sen. Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), the bill’s author, rejected Patterson’s claim as ‘blatantly false,’ countering that the law applies to both parties and gives Trump a route to the ballot,” Politico reports. “Four Democratic presidential candidates would currently not be eligible to make California’s primary ballots, McGuire noted. ‘This is about equal opportunity transparency,’ McGuire said.”

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“This does have enough potential impact that it could impact primaries by boxing out a Republican here and there,” political consultant Paul Mitchell said, adding GOP voters may elect to “boycott” the primary in protest.

“It’s like drawing to an inside straight, but it’s a not-trivial likelihood,” he added.

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2020 Election

RNC chair attacks ‘progressive liberal’ Pete Buttigieg – says Trump would beat him for lack of foreign policy experience

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Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel is targeting Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, apparently seeing his rise in the polls as a threat to President Donald Trump.

McDaniel Thursday told reporters at a breakfast meeting the South Bend, Indiana mayor who currently is polling in first place in Iowa is not a moderate but a "progressive liberal," and insisted President Trump would beat him should he become the Democratic nominee, The Hill reports.

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2020 Election

Democrat debate exposes divides despite united front on Trump

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Divides between Democrats vying to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election were laid bare in a combative debate Wednesday, as the campaign's rising star Pete Buttigieg acknowledged he faced challenges in attracting black voters.

Buttigieg, the contest's youngest candidate who occupies the same moderate lane as frontrunner Joe Biden, offered a unifying message as a way to bring Democrats and Republicans toward a broad political middle.

Democrats can seize a majority on issues like immigration and guns "if we can galvanize, not polarize that majority," Buttigieg told the debate in Georgia.

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2020 Election

Democratic candidates demand investigation into toxic culture at NBC ahead of MSNBC debate

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Four Democratic candidates called on NBC’s parent company Comcast to launch an independent investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct at the network ahead of Wednesday’s presidential debate to be broadcast by MSNBC.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Cory Booker of New Jersey signed a letter calling the allegations of “sexual assault and harassment” by employees and “a cover-up by NBC’s management” deeply “troubling.” Instead of addressing the company, the senators issued their letter to Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez.

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