As evidence by the fact that Donald Trump not only got elected, but months into his presidency the American people still know nothing about where his financial interests lie, the bulk of the GOP thinks its no big deal if the U.S.’s top executives have interests that conflict with the good of the nation—possibly including even large debts to hostile governments. Count Sussex County’s own trio of GOP representatives to the State House among them.
State Sen. Steve Oroho and Assembly members Parker Space and Gail Phoebus on Thursday voted against a bill that would have mandated presidential and vice presidential candidates release their tax returns in order to appear on the New Jersey ballot.
The bill was hotly contested—mostly along party lines—and passed 48-26 in the assembly and 24-11 in the senate, also mostly along party lines.
The law would apply to Donald Trump if he were to run for reelection in 2020; Trump was a “casino tycoon” in Atlantic City and his finances could have not only a national but also a more local impact.
It has been sent to Gov. Chris Christie who, given his overt sycophancy toward Trump during the presidential campaign, is expected to veto it.
While Democrats insist that knowing the financial status of its chief executives—and especially any issues in which the well-being of the nation conflicts with their personal gain—GOP legislators decried the bill as overtly political and an unnecessary distraction from more important business. Assemblyman Jay Webber, a Republican from Morristown, suggested that candidates need only to meet stated Constitutional requirements, such as being a native born and at least 35 years old.
Should Christie sign the bill, or his veto be overridden, however, the law will likely wind up being challenged as to the legality of a state imposing such requirements.
If Sussex County’s trio of right-wing legislators have their way, however, this mandate for transparency will never see the light of day.