This is early in the story. The Birthers.org have published an article making some serious allegations against the Democratic party, and Convention Chairwoman Nancy Pelosi in particular.
The gist of the claim is that there is a standard certification that the Democratic party sends to state election officials for their candidates for President and Vice-President. After Obama’s selection as the Party’s candidate these certifications were duly signed an notarized. So far so good. But they claim that none of them were actually sent out because the Democratic party officials (and Pelosi in particular) knew that Obama was not eligible. Unwilling to perjure themselves, they sent out an altered version that omits this key phrase:
and that the following candidates for President and Vice President of the United States are legally qualified to serve under the provisions of the United States Constitution
TheBirthers.org makes this claim:
The version which is absent any certification of constitutional standing for the office of President is the version that was filed with every state in the country, and the one used by the DNC to elect Barack Obama President.
The question arises, is the certification customized for each state? The exemplar that TheBirthers provide is stamped as received by the South Carolina Election Commission. South Carolina law Section 7-13-350 discusses the required certification and has this to say:
Political parties nominating candidates by primary or convention must verify the qualifications of those candidates prior to certification to the authority charged by law with preparing the ballot. The written certification required by this section must contain a statement that each candidate certified meets, or will meet by the time of the general election, or as otherwise required by law, the qualifications for the office for which he has filed. Any candidate who does not, or will not by the time of the general election, or as otherwise required by law, meet the qualifications for the office for which he has filed shall not be nominated and certified, and such candidate’s name shall not be placed on a general, special, or municipal election ballot.
Therefore: the DNC Certification image TheBirthers.org shows would not meet the requirements of South Carolina law.
So what do we know exactly?
The grander claim made by TheBirthers.org, that the abbreviated certification was sent to “every state”, is blatantly false; they lied about it. A copy of the certificate filed in Hawaii has been happily residing on this web site since last February 23, 2009, and it says that Barack Obama is eligible. [Here is one case at least where in Hawaii we get to look at the “long form”.]
One might reach the conclusion that the SC Certification on TheBirthers.org web site is a fake and this was my original reaction, though I felt uneasy that anyone would forge a document that would be so easy to check out with the SC Election Commission and if fake, be exposed.
Finally, a commenter here suggested that the required certification was provided separately by the South Carolina Democratic party, which they indeed did and it may be that the DNC document is authentic, but being misrepresented. Another commenter provided a copy lacking the eligibility language in a Washington state court filing. So the evidence as it stands now suggests different versions for different states and that the SC version is authentic.
In any case, I stick by the headline from my February article: Pelosi swears: Obama is eligible.
As I said at the outset, this is early in the story. One thing is sure: you can’t trust birthers.