California Recall

Judge orders elections officials to place Larry Elder on Calif. recall ballot

A Sacramento County Judge ordered California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber to include Los Angeles-based radio host Larry Elder on the 2021 recall ballot after questions over his compliance with a state tax return disclosure law.

Elder, who filed to run for Governor in the Sept. 14 recall election on Friday, was disqualified by Weber’s office after she claimed he failed to comply with the state’s new tax return disclosure requirements enacted for direct primary elections.

In a ruling on Wednesday, ahead of Weber’s certification deadline for the qualified list of candidates, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Laurie M. Earl ruled against Weber and ordered Elder be included on the recall ballot.

“I don’t find that the recall election is a direct primary election ballot,” she said, concluding oral argument. “I don’t find that Election Code section 8902 applies.”

The code section is the governing law regarding disclosure of five-years of tax returns in order to qualify and have a candidate’s name displayed on a “direct primary election” ballot.

Earl, however, went one step further – potentially changing the interpretation and execution of the tax return requirement moving forward in future statewide recall efforts.

“By reaching that finding, I don’t find that Mr. Elder was required to file tax returns at all.”

Shortly after the ruling, Elder celebrated the legal victory over Weber’s office.

This story will be updated.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.