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Arizona asks Hawaii to verify Obama’s birthplace

I hate to write articles like this because the only source I have for it is the tabloid web site WorldNetDaily, known for misleading stories, lack of fact checking,  out of context quotations, and outright lies. So take this with a grain of salt.

Photo of Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of StateArizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett is reported to have written in an email to some constituents that he has inquired about President Obama’s birthplace and is awaiting an answer from the State of Hawaii. He is certainly entitled to do that under Hawaii law §338-18 (g)(2):

(g)  The department shall not issue a verification in lieu of a certified copy of any such record, or any part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant requesting a verification is:

(2)  A governmental agency or organization who for a legitimate government purpose maintains and needs to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities;

Given press releases all over the State Department of Health’s web site, it seems rather silly to ask, but Bennett is certainly entitled.

What is interesting, however, is what else Bennett reportedly wrote:

if Hawaii can’t or won’t provide verification of the president’s birth certificate, I will not put his name on the ballot

Given the law in Hawaii, I expect them to reply, verifying the information that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. If they don’t and Bennett says he will omit Obama from the ballot, then I would expect to see an Obama v. Bennett lawsuit and this one will not be dismissed. I cannot envision the long form PDF coming into play, nor would the birthers get to adjudicate “natural born citizen.”

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88 Responses to Arizona asks Hawaii to verify Obama’s birthplace

  1. avatar
    realist May 17, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    At most, they’d receive a verification. If the do it’ll be due to courtesy. Under the circumstances described, there is no provision of 338-18 which permits them to respond.

    (g)(2) as you post above, is not appropriate. There is no “official government list” Bennett/State of AZ needs to update which pertains to Obama’s BC.

    (g)(3), as proposed by some, also does not fit.

  2. avatar
    Bob May 17, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    I believe this whole story is based on a private email some Birther claimed to have gotten.

  3. avatar
    y_p_w May 17, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    I could imagine an expansive interpretation might allow them to apply g(3). Maybe even g(5). If it ever came down to it, almost any attorney involved in a court fight could probably use g(4)

    (3) A governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks confirmation of a certified copy of any such record submitted in support of or information provided about a vital event relating to any such record and contained in an official application made in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities by an individual seeking employment with, entrance to, or the services or products of the agency or organization;

    (4) A private or government attorney who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record which was acquired during the course of or for purposes of legal proceedings; or

    (5) An individual employed, endorsed, or sponsored by a governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record in preparation of reports or publications by the agency or organization for research or educational purposes.

  4. avatar
    sfjeff May 17, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    I already see that Birthers are celebrating….but I see nothing but good coming from this.

    What are the possibilities?

    A) The State of Hawaii does respond and confirms that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii- Ken Bennett then acknowledges that the evidence shows that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, which would be official recognition in AZ that Barack Obama is a natural born citizen
    B) The State of Hawaii responds, but Bennett doesnt accept Hawaii’s response, and then he(as Secretary of State) is sued, probably by the Democratic Party. Upon presentation of the certified birth certificate any judge would rule against the Secretary of State- and then we would have a court case that would be more definitive than any before.
    C) My favorite possibility is the State of Hawaii responding publicly by referring to their online press release- which would still result in one of the above situations.

    Oh and by the way- I for one would prefer this be settled in court. Nothing would help Obama more than having photo’s of the pastey white Arizona Secretary of State refusing the black candidate on the ballot, while requiring no proof from the white candidate.

    I am not saying that Bennett is racist- I am saying it would look racist to every black and latino voter in America. And that would only drive those voters more firmly to Obama.

  5. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2012 at 11:34 am #

    A ballot is an official list. And if not (g)(2) then (g)(5).

    realist: (g)(2) as you post above, is not appropriate. There is no “official government list” Bennett/State of AZ needs to update which pertains to Obama’s BC.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    I updated the story, probably after you read it, to include this information. It does sound like the typical politician pandering to the birthers. Maybe HuffPo or PolitiFact will check out the story.

    There are a lot of “ifs” that have to line up in order for this story to amount to anything.

    Bob: I believe this whole story is based on a private email some Birther claimed to have gotten.

  7. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 17, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I updated the story, probably after you read it, to include this information. It does sound like the typical politician pandering to the birthers.

    That would be because Bennett is a pretty typlical politician….especially for Arizona.

    He is thinking of running for Governor and before being elected Secretary of State he served in the legislature and on the board of education….all elected posts.for more than 20 years.

    He is also a life long member of the Mormon church which could create some conflict questions as it regards who gets on the Arizona ballot.

    Bottom line: Too many “ifs” for this to go anywhere but it speaks volumes about birthers and Arizona politics.

  8. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    In the unlikely event the story is true, then I assume Mr Bennett as a fair and balanced individual who wouldn’t want to be accused of being a partisan hack, has also written to the Ontario Ministry of Health to verify whether Mitt Romney was indeed born in Windsor, Ontario, right across the river from his parents’ residence in Detroit, with easy access by bridge and tunnel (or driving across the ice in winter as bootleggers used to do during Prohibition).

    For that matter, if it is now the official policy of the State of Ariizona to demand verification of birth for all candidates (a policy apparently made without the public hearings and comment period required for such policies) this should apply to ALL candidates of ALL parties, should it not?

  9. avatar
    Lupin May 17, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    Is it possible than he is simply covering his pasty *ss vis vis the lunatic fringe?

    “See, I asked? And I got this press release, so my hands are tied…”

  10. avatar
    bob j May 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: . It does sound like the typical politician pandering to the birthers

    This is what scares me about the country I love. How can Boehner say ” I can’t tell people what to think.”

    Why are birthers a group to be pandered to?

  11. avatar
    Mary Brown May 17, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    As a Mormon he should know that the President of his church went to the White House and presented the President with a record of his geneology. The Mormon Church is noted for its geneological research, which helps members with decisions regarding the baptism of deceased ancestors. They are not fools and never would come to the White House and to the President unless they were sure he was born in Hawaii. They have also presented other Presidents with their records.

  12. avatar
    y_p_w May 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    Something smells fishy. Bennett has been quoted as saying that he was already satisified that Obama was born in Honolulu and that he was troubled by the requirement in an Arizona bill requring a “long form birth certificate” for Presidential candidates to appear on the ballot.

    Arizona’s presidential citizenship bill worries Bennett
    http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/politics/article_7d8bf3dc-2b41-11e0-bfbe-001cc4c03286.html?mode=story

  13. avatar
    Daniel May 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    A lot of the birthers are actually hoping for Hawaii to come back and state that all details of the BC are correct, because they still think that courts have ruled that you need 2 citizen parents and therefore, since Obama’s father is listed right there on the BC….

    The birthers actually think getting verification form Hawaii will help their case….

    I am at a loss to understand how people so blind can still find each other to breed.

  14. avatar
    Majority Will May 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    Daniel: I am at a loss to understand how people so blind can still find each other to breed.

    Alcohol.

  15. avatar
    Bob May 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm #

    I don’t know if “pandering” applies. It’s more like smiling, nodding, and slowly backing away from a moldy-smelling, deranged nut who approaches you at the bus stop.

  16. avatar
    Tarrant May 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    There is nothing in such an email that would be privileged; there is no reason WND cannot or should no publish the actual words and text rather than a “WND report” of what happened.

    However, if he does ask, I would expect Hawaii to reply “Yes, we verify”, and I’d expect him to then say “Under FFAC, I accept their word lacking evidence of birth anywhere else.”

  17. avatar
    y_p_w May 17, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Tarrant: However, if he does ask, I would expect Hawaii to reply “Yes, we verify”, and I’d expect him to then say “Under FFAC, I accept their word lacking evidence of birth anywhere else.”

    I think we’ve gone over this before, but there are specific requirements for “nonjudicial records” to be “proved” under the Full Faith and Credit Clause. The FF&CC mentions that Congress regulates the method in which states must “prove” records. I looked it up, and apparently the law (since the 1940s) is that records must be additionally certified by a judge, the Governor, or the Secretary of State. Hawaii has a certification system that would seem to meet this requirement, but they make it sound as if it’s only for foreign use of Hawaii docs. However, if someone insists that they need it for FF&CC application, I’m sure they would provide it just the same.

    http://hawaii.gov/ltgov/office/apostilles

    It’s a lot of steps: 1) Get the certified from the Hawaii DOH and request an original signature from the state registrar ($10 for the first copy, $4 for additional copies). 2) Get the record notarized in Hawaii by a Notary (up to $5). 3) Submit to the First Circuit for verification of the notary’s commission ($3 fee). 4) Sign an application and forward it to the Lt Governor’s office ($1 fee).

    Of course the FF&CC doesn’t necessarily have to be invoked. Most government agencies simply accept certain records as a matter of business. It only applies for state to state transactions, so FF&CC doesn’t apply to federal birth records (and there are several forms that the State Dept issues). It wouldn’t apply to the Federal Government accepting state records.

  18. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    Tarrant: However, if he does ask, I would expect Hawaii to reply “Yes, we verify”, and I’d expect him to then say “Under FFAC, I accept their word lacking evidence of birth anywhere else.”

    If Bennett were honest (and not playing the voters like a cheap fiddle. Also see: Arpaio) he would simply refer people to the Hawaii Department of Health’s own website where they have been answering the same question for almost four years.

    http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/obama.html

  19. avatar
    jayHG May 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Bennett may have asked, but I guarantee that the words “i will not put his name on the ballot” are no where in there.

  20. avatar
    realist May 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    y_p_w:
    I could imagine an expansive interpretation might allow them to apply g(3).Maybe even g(5).If it ever came down to it, almost any attorney involved in a court fight could probably use g(4)

    (3)A governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks confirmation of a certified copy of any such record submitted in support of or information provided about a vital event relating to any such record and contained in an official application made in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities by an individual seeking employment with, entrance to, or the services or products of the agency or organization;

    (4)A private or government attorney who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record which was acquired during the course of or for purposes of legal proceedings; or

    (5)An individual employed, endorsed, or sponsored by a governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record in preparation of reports or publications by the agency or organization for research or educational purposes.

    jayHG… re: (3) Not appropriate. See: “by an individual seeking employment with, entrance to, or the services or products of the agency or organization;”

    Re: (4) Not appropriate. See: “which was acquired during the course of or for purposes of legal proceedings” The BC has not been acquired by SoS for any legal proceedings.

    Re: (5) Not appropriate. See: for research or educational purposes.

  21. avatar
    realist May 17, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    V_P_ w

    “but they make it sound as if it’s only for foreign use of Hawaii docs.”

    AZ is a “foreign” jurisdiction to HI.

    However, the FF&CC would be applied, as AZ would have to accept HI’s BC just as it has to accept their driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, contracts, etc.

    Just curious, but you mention “federal birth records.” What is a federal birth record?

  22. avatar
    realist May 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    A ballot is an official list. And if not (g)(2) then (g)(5).

    Bennett does not need to maintain or update any official list by verifying Obama’s BC which is not part of any governmental anything in AZ or any other state. Reference AZ election law. There’s no requirement for any documentation other than the declaration for the general election. Obama’s nor anyone else’s BC is pertinent to the list of candidates.

    In addition, if he asks for verification for Obama he damn well better ask for each and every candidate. That is setting aside the fact that doing so is not in concert with either AZ or federal law.

    We’ll apparently disagree on this one, but just sayin’.

  23. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    As far as I know, no paper birth certificate has been submitted to Arizona (or any other state) by any candidate. In effect, THAT is how the State of Hawaii shows that a person was born in Hawaii. Are we now substituting letters for birth certificates? If Mr Bennett wants to get into this game, then the way to proceed is to get the legislature to pass a law requiring candidates to show birth certificates. Since they didn’t (or rather, since the Governor vetoed it and they failed to override), there is no authority for such a request, whether formal or informal.

    As for full faith and credit, that is moot until a paper birth certificate is shown and there is no provision in the law for that to be requested.

  24. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

    Consular report of US Birth Abroad — probably what John McCain has.

    realist: Just curious, but you mention “federal birth records.” What is a federal birth record?

  25. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 17, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Disagreement is no problem. Last time I checked, I was not admitted to practice law in Hawaii.

    I can’t see Hawaii delving into the details of Arizona election law to figure out whether the Arizona Secretary of State is required to verify eligibility. Bennett says, “hey, I am a government official and I need this information to carry out my official duties.” Who is Hawaii to tell the Arizona Secretary of State what his job is? 338-18 in general is a pretty loose standard for verifications in lieu.

    realist: We’ll apparently disagree on this one, but just sayin’.

  26. avatar
    y_p_w May 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    realist: V_P_ w“but they make it sound as if it’s only for foreign use of Hawaii docs.”AZ is a “foreign” jurisdiction to HI.However, the FF&CC would be applied, as AZ would have to accept HI’s BC just as it has to accept their driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, contracts, etc.Just curious, but you mention “federal birth records.” What is a federal birth record?

    Again – the Full Faith and Credit Clause sets up the authority for Congress to pass laws regulating how documents are “proved” in such a way that other states are compelled to accept them. I’ve posted the law before, but don’t recall the U.S.C. number. A “nonjudicial record” has to go through this procedure, which involves additional certification by a judge, the Governor, or the Secretary of State. Hawaii has no SoS, so the Lt. Governor fulfils those duties.

    As for a federal birth records, there is the Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the State Dept. The State Dept also issues birth certificates for births in the Panama Canal Zone. I think it might still be possible to get a Philippines birth certificate for when they were an unincorporated US territory. They have a set fee too. It’s $50 for any State Dept birth record.

    The Dept of Homeland Security issues birth certificates for American Samoa.

    In general I don’t believe states usually go about rejecting other states’ vital records as a matter of course. Apostilles/certifications by a SoS office are a pain. Most states don’t want to get into a reciprocity war with other states. I can’t imagine any state;s DMV turning down a Hawaii BC of the type that Obama’s campaign released in 2008. Of course that doesn’t stop stupid commentators from claiming that it “couldn’t even be used to get a driver license”.

  27. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    y_p_w: In general I don’t believe states usually go about rejecting other states’ vital records as a matter of course.

    But the proper procedure is for the applicant to provide his vital record from the appropriate state. When you go to DMV, YOU provide a birth certificate, they don’t phone or write the place you were born.

  28. avatar
    y_p_w May 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    realist: However, the FF&CC would be applied, as AZ would have to accept HI’s BC just as it has to accept their driver’s licenses, marriage licenses, contracts, etc.

    Again – they do this as a matter of course, but Full Faith and Credit is very specific that Congress sets up the rules on how to enforce it. For the most part it almost never comes up.

    Driver licenses aren’t subject to FF&C. States negotiate agreements with other states to honor each other’s licenses.

    I guess marriages are another story. You’re talking about two things – a governmental act (certifying the marriage) and a governmental record (the marriage certificate). There is also some controversy over it.

    Contracts law can be extremely complex. There are certain things that are unenforceable in certain states.

  29. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Anyone want to place a bet the entire story is b.s.? The Arizona SoS has NO legal authority to make such a request and I am willing to bet he did no such thing.

  30. avatar
    El Diablo Negro May 17, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Sorry this is OT, but they are dusting off Rev. Wright for this campaign. Billioniare Joe Ricketts is putting money into this smear. It did not work in 2008, but with enough capital and ads/commercials it can have an impact this election cycle. But its the same old guilt by associaction tactic.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/05/nyt-gop-donor-wants-to-resurrect-jeremiah-wright-attacks/1#.T7VQEVIsbp0

  31. avatar
    whalertly May 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    there would be no good case law from this, merely an explanation by every federal court that the FF&CC gives AZ no choice in this manner, and let them on their merry way.

    the only interesting question would be if the federal courts had a say or if SCOTUS gets it via OJ. it’s guaranteed fed. level only, but I’m not sure where it’d go.

  32. avatar
    Keith May 17, 2012 at 3:38 pm #

    Bob: I believe this whole story is based on a private email some Birther claimed to have gotten.

    Which is probably false. But now Bennett is in a no win position and right where the Surpriser’s want him.

    If he denies making such a request, i.e. the ‘email’ is a fraud, then the teabagbirfoons will demand “why not”? If he does make the request to avoid that problem he gets laughed at by 49 States, probably gets told off by Hawai’i, and the nobody in Arizona outside of the Surprise city limits will ever fill up his ice tea glass again.

  33. avatar
    Horus May 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Bob: I believe this whole story is based on a private email some Birther claimed to have gotten.

    I live in AZ and have not seen this reported in any of the AZ papers.

  34. avatar
    realist May 17, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    El Diablo Negro:
    Sorry this is OT, but they are dusting off Rev. Wright for this campaign. Billioniare Joe Ricketts is putting money into this smear. It did not work in 2008, but with enough capital and ads/commercials it can have an impact this election cycle. But its the same old guilt by associaction tactic.

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2012/05/nyt-gop-donor-wants-to-resurrect-jeremiah-wright-attacks/1#.T7VQEVIsbp0

    It was reported on the news at noon that this Rev. Wright smear campaign which was planned will NOT take place… this after both Romney and Obama agreed such was hands off in the campaign.

    I suspect Romney saw the error of his way after being convinced this would open the doors wide to criticism of his Mormon religion, and he does not want to go there.

    Just my .02 on the last paragraph.

  35. avatar
    Horus May 17, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    Mary Brown: As a Mormon he should know that the President of his church went to the White House and presented the President with a record of his geneology. The Mormon Church is noted for its geneological research, which helps members with decisions regarding the baptism of deceased ancestors.

    I used the Mormon site for a lot of my genealogy research.
    They do keep rather extensive records.

  36. avatar
    y_p_w May 17, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Scientist: But the proper procedure is for the applicant to provide his vital record from the appropriate state.When you go to DMV, YOU provide a birth certificate, they don’t phone or write the place you were born.

    Sure. However, the question is whether or not the local DMV office is going to accept it, and if they don’t how to compel them to accept it. They almost always accept them without much hassle because they’re not in the habit of of denying the accuracy of legitimate vital records.

    However, if they get to be jerks about it and won’t accept it, the ultimate tool that an applicant has is the Full Faith and Credit Clause. And for FF&CC to be invoked, there’s a procedure that was established by Congressional legislation to “prove” records, as stated in the Constitution.

  37. avatar
    nbc May 17, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Bob:
    I believe this whole story is based on a private email some Birther claimed to have gotten.

    Correct although the WND also reports that the office of the SOS confirmed the story and that they have contacted the DOH of Hawaii to find out how to properly request the information.

  38. avatar
    Scientist May 17, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Keith: Which is probably false. But now Bennett is in a no win position and right where the Surpriser’s want him. If he denies making such a request, i.e. the ‘email’ is a fraud, then the teabagbirfoons will demand “why not”? If he does make the request to avoid that problem he gets laughed at by 49 States, probably gets told off by Hawai’i, and the nobody in Arizona outside of the Surprise city limits will ever fill up his ice tea glass again.

    I don’t think he has any legal basis to make such a request. Unlike the various birther mouth breathers, he is a state official and has to follow the law. The law says candidates make a declaration and he has to put them on the ballot. State officials can’t just request documents because they feel like it; there has to be a law entitling them toask for them.

  39. avatar
    Jim May 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm #

    “UPDATE: “Mr. Bennett wrote that email,” Bennett’s spokesman Matt Roberts says. “With respect to the story, a constituent requested him to request a verification in lieu of certified copy. They have yet to respond.””

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2012/05/ken_bennett_arpaio_birther_obama.php

    Now trying to soft-sell it.

  40. avatar
    donna May 17, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    JULY, 2009

    “LDS leader presents President Obama with family history”

    Church officials brought President Obama a gift. It was a leather-bound, five-book record of President Obama’s family history.

    After receiving the five-book volume of his family’s genealogy, President Obama said in a statement: “I enjoyed my meeting with President Monson and Elder Oaks. I’m grateful for the genealogical records that they brought with them and am looking forward to reading through the materials with my daughters. It’s something our family will treasure for years to come.”

    President Monson said, “President Obama’s heritage is rich with examples of leadership, sacrifice and service. We were very pleased to research his family history and are honored to present it to him today.”

    It’s interesting to point out that parts of President Obama’s history were already known. He has ties to former Republican Vice President Cheney; the two are eighth cousins.

    “The Church has great resources and experience in genealogy work, and we are proud to have researched such a unique and impressive family history,” Elder Oaks said.

    The Church has also presented personal histories to other U.S. Presidents, including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

    It’s the first time President Obama and President Monson have sat down face-to-face. First Lady Michelle Obama met with LDS apostles M. Russell Ballard and Quentin L. Cook on behalf of her husband during a campaign stop last year in Salt Lake.

    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=7218756

  41. avatar
    Sean May 17, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    In a way, it’s a smart move. When they get a response, they’ll officially have on record, from one US State to another, official verification of Obama’s birthplace and thus his right to be on ballot.

    If anyone asks if Arizona checked, the State can officially say “Yes. It’s been verified.”

  42. avatar
    y_p_w May 17, 2012 at 7:58 pm #

    Sean: In a way, it’s a smart move. When they get a response, they’ll officially have on record, from one US State to another, official verification of Obama’s birthplace and thus his right to be on ballot.If anyone asks if Arizona checked, the State can officially say “Yes. It’s been verified.”

    And then Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse will claim that Bennett is just another part of the “fraud” along with the Hawaii Dept of Health.

  43. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    y_p_w: And then Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse will claim that Bennett is just another part of the “fraud” along with the Hawaii Dept of Health.

    Bingo!

  44. avatar
    sfjeff May 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    y_p_w: And then Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse will claim that Bennett is just another part of the “fraud” along with the Hawaii Dept of Health.

    Oh Arpaio will probably start an investigation of Bennett…..that’s his m.o. against political enemies.

  45. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    sfjeff: Oh Arpaio will probably start an investigation of Bennett…..that’s his m.o. against political enemies.

    Trust me. They aren’t enemies. They’ve been pandering to the same people for decades.

  46. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett May 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    This is of interest:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/05/17/The-Vetting-Barack-Obama-Literary-Agent-1991-Born-in-Kenya-Raised-Indonesia-Hawaii

    I suspect that someone at this publishing company misunderstood Obama’s history. Either that or the thing’s a massive hoax and is punking Breitbart.com

  47. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett May 17, 2012 at 9:27 pm #

    And, it’s already been shot down

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/born-kenya-obamas-literary-agent-misidentified-birthplace-1991/story?id=16372566#.T7WkO8X7XSg

    But you should read the comments at Breitbart. Jumping jesus on a pogo stick…

  48. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    J. Edward Tremlett: suspect that someone at this publishing company misunderstood Obama’s history

    The agency has already explained…………….

    http://politicalwire.com/archives/2012/05/17/literary_agent_says_1991_booklet_was_a_mistake.html

    But…..of course……that won’t cut it for the true believers.

  49. avatar
    misha May 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    J. Edward Tremlett: But you should read the comments at Breitbart. Jumping jesus on a pogo stick…

    I read them. Have a barf bag ready.

    “Jumping jesus on a pogo stick” Christ on a cracker.

  50. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    J. Edward Tremlett: Jumping jesus on a pogo stick…

    Don’t forget World Net Daily. The Daily Caller, a site started by conservative writer Tucker Carlson, has also jumped on it….with similar comments.

  51. avatar
    john May 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm #

    It’s very interesting about the time frame – 1991. This certainly cooraborates the mailman’s account around the same time frame that Obama was referred to as a foreign student by the Aryers family. I find it doubtful it was a mistake. This was years before the birthers came about with allegations that Obama was born in Kenya. To say it was a mistake now after years and years strains credibility given the political hottness of Obama’s eligibility at the current time.

  52. avatar
    AlCum May 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: ennet

    Is Bennett also writing to the Michigan registrar of vital statistics demanding verification that Romney was born there?

  53. avatar
    AlCum May 17, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Daniel:
    A lot of the birthers are actually hoping for Hawaii to come back and state that all details of the BC are correct, because they still think that courts have ruled that you need 2 citizen parents and therefore, since Obama’s father is listed right there on the BC….

    The birthers actually think getting verification form Hawaii will help their case….

    I am at a loss to understand how people so blind can still find each other to breed.

    In addition the birth certificate is silent on whether his father is a citizen. It just says he was born in Kenya. Yes, i know there’s no claim that Obama Sr, ever became a US citizen, but the birth certificate doesn’t prove that.

  54. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    AlCum: Is Bennett also writing to the Michigan registrar of vital statistics demanding verification that Romney was born there?

    Last election there were seven or eight Presidential candidates on the ballot. Not sure how many this time but my money is on only one of them getting this sort of scrutiny. Just a guess, you understand.

  55. avatar
    misha May 18, 2012 at 5:57 am #

    sfjeff: Nothing would help Obama more than having photo’s of the pastey white Arizona Secretary of State refusing the black candidate on the ballot, while requiring no proof from the white candidate.

    No white man ever had to show his birth certificate.

  56. avatar
    misha May 18, 2012 at 6:00 am #

    Scientist: (or driving across the ice in winter as bootleggers used to do during Prohibition).

    As my grandfather, a Talmudic scholar turned bootlegger, did.

  57. avatar
    misha May 18, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    bob j: ”I can’t tell people what to think.”

    He can tell people what to think about reproductive freedom, the 1st Amendment, evolution and scientific research – but not scurrilous stories about Obama, or strapping a dog to the roof of a car for 12 hours, and does a Romney.

    Sounds about right – for conservatives.

  58. avatar
    Lupin May 18, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    J. Edward Tremlett: But you should read the comments at Breitbart. Jumping jesus on a pogo stick…

    It looks like a gathering of alzheimer patients.

  59. avatar
    The Magic M May 18, 2012 at 6:22 am #

    Scientist: Anyone want to place a bet the entire story is b.s.?

    I do. My first red flag was when WND said “a state official” in both the headline and the introductory paragraph. Since “the AZ Secretary of State” is much stronger than “a state official”, they would have used that term if it really had been the SoS who’s demanding stuff from Hawaii. (Just like they would not write “legal expert considers Obama ineligible” when said person were actually the Supreme Justice of the US, or “federal officials favour birthplace investigation” if said federal officials were the GOP leader and the Speaker of the House.)

    I suppose some AZ state official wrote an email referring to statements of the SoS, or whatever, I’m not as creative spinning mud into gold as WND is.

  60. avatar
    misha May 18, 2012 at 6:33 am #

    realist: I suspect Romney saw the error of his way after being convinced this would open the doors wide to criticism of his Mormon religion, and he does not want to go there.

    Like his grandfather kept concubines was a polygamist, and his father was born in Mexico, and made a run for prez. Also, Obama’s hatchet men will bring up Rambler. Sorry, I just fell off my chair laughing.

    ‘Let them go bankrupt’

    NSFW: The Ballad of Seamus Romney (Music Video)
    http://www.dogsagainstromney.com/2012/05/ballad-of-seamus-romney-music-video.html?tw_p=twt

  61. avatar
    misha May 18, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    The Magic M: I’m not as creative spinning mud into gold as WND is.

    WND research division:
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2632/3765120149_c563060f6e.jpg

  62. avatar
    misha May 18, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    Lupin: It looks like a gathering of alzheimer patients.

    No, just basic dementia.

  63. avatar
    AnotherBird May 18, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    This is what we call a waste of government resources. It wouldn’t be surprising if he got a reply shortly after than but has decided to keep it quiet.

  64. avatar
    misha May 18, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    john: This certainly cooraborates the mailman’s account

    A mailman is retiring, and it’s his last day.

    He opens a storm door, and puts mail through the slot. The woman who lives there, opens the door, wearing a teddy.

    “C’mon in. I’ll give you a light lunch.” He follows her into the kitchen, and has a sandwich and coffee. Then she says, “c’mon upstairs.” He figures why not, it’s his last day. She slips off her teddy, he takes off his uniform, and they get under the covers. Just then, they hear footsteps on the staircase. “Quick, get under the bed.”

    The mailman scurries under the bed, and her husband walks into the room. “Are you alone?” “Yes, why?”

    He sees a foot sticking out from under the bed, and looks. “What’s the mailman doing here?”

    She says, “dear, don’t you remember? I told you the mailman was retiring, and today was his last day. I asked you, ‘what should we do for him?’ and you said, “screw him.”

    “The light lunch was my idea.”

  65. avatar
    Wile May 18, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    In his own words…

    http://www.kfyi.com/pages/broomhead.html?article=10135322

  66. avatar
    linda May 18, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    OMG! I just listened to that. If that is real, that is abhorrent! A SOS is asking for verification on Obama, but not the other candidates? How is that possible? I wrote to the SOS and said that. Check all candidates, or don’t, but asking for just one, is disgusting.

    Wile: In his own words…

    http://www.kfyi.com/pages/broomhead.html?article=10135322

  67. avatar
    nbc May 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    What a coward… Well, it should not be hard for Hawaii to verify his birth, of course I assume that he was born there but… He is also clear that he refuses to do the same for all the other candidates and that asking for birth certificates is not something they have done in the past.

    What a sorry excuse for an SOS. I hope that they take him to court for violation of our laws, focusing exclusively on the democratic candidate and putting the ‘blame’ on Hawaii for not providing him with an answer, even though he has yet to show that this verification is part of an official duty. Bennett already admitted that this was just a ‘one of’ and that he was not going to require other states to provide similar information for the other Candidates. So if the Department of Health of Hawaii determines that Bennett has no right to the verification as it is not part of an official duty, but just part of a fishing expedition where he allows himself to be used as a front piece for birthers, then would Bennett keep President Obama of the Ballot?
    I doubt that even Bennett would be this foolish but he surely is willing to prostitute himself.

    Wile:
    In his own words…

    http://www.kfyi.com/pages/broomhead.html?article=10135322

  68. avatar
    nbc May 18, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    See also TPM

  69. avatar
    nbc May 18, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    And the coward response that shows that this is a clear example of him going after the Democratic Candidate only

    “If they won’t comply, if they refuse to comply with this, will you remove the president from the ballot?” Broomhead asked. “Will you exclude him from the ballot?”

    “That’s possible,” Bennett said. “Or the other option would be I would ask all of candidates, including the president, maybe to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate. But I don’t want to do that.

  70. avatar
    Rickey May 18, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Speaking of Arizona, Selective Service has responded to Zullo’s inquiries.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/94038426/2012-05-10-Letter-SSS-to-Zullo-Flahavan

  71. avatar
    sfjeff May 18, 2012 at 3:05 pm #

    nbc: Bennett said. “Or the other option would be I would ask all of candidates, including the president, maybe to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate. But I don’t want to do that

    Now that is just wierd. Why wouldn’t he want to ask that of all candidates?

    Is he just asking to have someone ask why he isn’t asking about the white candidates?

  72. avatar
    Majority Will May 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    sfjeff: Now that is just wierd. Why wouldn’t he want to ask that of all candidates?

    This photo might explain why:
    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/assets_c/2012/05/ken-bennett-arizona-cropped-proto-custom_28.jpg

    Deer. Headlights. The next Arizona Governor.

  73. avatar
    Sef May 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Rickey:
    Speaking of Arizona, Selective Service has responded to Zullo’s inquiries.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/94038426/2012-05-10-Letter-SSS-to-Zullo-Flahavan

    Is there a link to the letter Zullo wrote, presumably on 5/13? I have seen the earlier stuff from the shurf, but not this.

  74. avatar
    nbc May 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    sfjeff: Now that is just wierd. Why wouldn’t he want to ask that of all candidates?

    Is he just asking to have someone ask why he isn’t asking about the white candidates?

    White democrats…
    Perhaps because one does not ask a white person ‘for his papers’… Especially in Arizona…

  75. avatar
    nbc May 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm #

    Rickey: Speaking of Arizona, Selective Service has responded to Zullo’s inquiries.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/94038426/2012-05-10-Letter-SSS-to-Zullo-Flahavan

    rotfl…

  76. avatar
    1% Silver Nitrate May 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    Dave Weigel at Slate puts it in context:

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2012/05/18/birtherism_as_rube_bait.html

    Birtherism as Rube Bait

    By David Weigel
    Posted Friday, May 18, 2012, at 12:57 PM ET

    TPM’s Arizona expert Nick Martin reports (with a perfect photo choice) on the incipient birtherism of the state’s election boss, Ken Bennett. “I believe the president was born in Hawaii,” he says, “or at least I hope he was.” The classic birther out! He’s spending time requesting more documents from Hawaii, because that’s what Arizonans need their Secretary of State to do.

    It looks like a real, moron-propelled danger for the Obama campaign (and maybe Romney’s, too — if two birth certificates don’t prove your citizenship, what does?), until you read this:

    Meanwhile, Bennett is hoping to take Brewer’s job when she becomes term limited in two years. The Arizona Capitol Times reported (paywall) earlier this week that he is already collecting signatures to get on the 2014 ballot for governor.

    Move along, folks. This is a pander. It’s a move pioneered by Nathan Deal, now the governor of Georgia. In late 2009, when he was trying to distinguish himself in the GOP primary, he started requesting proof of citizenship from the occupant of the White House. “I have looked at the documentation that is publicly available,” he said, “and it leaves many things to be desired.” He sounded awfully concerned! Then he won his primary (in a squeaker against the Palin-endorsed candidate), won the election (by a landslide), and had a GOP supermajority to work with in the legislature. What’s he done on Obama’s citizenship? Absolutely nothing. Georgia’s birthers, who TRUSTED Deal, are left to fight out frivolous lawsuits.

    It’s possible that Bennett believes this stuff. It’s equally possible that he’s positioning himself on the right side of Joe Arpaio as he readies for a 2014 primary fight. After all, in 2015, Gov. Bennett would have nothing to do or say about the ballot status of Barack Obama. He’ll have pandered and moved on, risk-free, with the birthers dispersed.

    Unless one of the parties nominates another black person.

  77. avatar
    JJ May 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm #

    It is now the top story on AZCentral.com: http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/05/18/20120518arizona-secretary-of-state-obama-citizenship.html

    Apparently, Bennett made the request 8 weeks ago, and Hawaii refused to reply. Doesn’t look good for Obama’s 2012 ballot access in AZ.

  78. avatar
    gorefan May 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm #

    JJ: Hawaii refused to reply

    Where does it say that?

  79. avatar
    Daniel May 18, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    Oh don’t kid yourself JJ.

    Obama will be on that ballot. All the political posturing and pandering to the lunatic fringe notwithstanding. In fact, I’m willing to put money on it… are you?

  80. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    JJ: Apparently, Bennett made the request 8 weeks ago, and Hawaii refused to reply. Doesn’t look good for Obama’s 2012 ballot access in AZ.

    JJ,

    According to Bennett’s interview on KFYI Hawaii did reply: “Bennett said the state responded by asking him to send proof that he has the authority to request the information.” Source: http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/152096285.html

    That seems like a pretty reasonable request to me. How about you?

    It isn’t clear whether Bennett has responed to the request.

    What is clear from the article is that Hawaii officials have provided what Bennett wants and claims he needs:

    “I have seen the original records filed at the Department of Health and attest to the authenticity of the certified copies the department provided to the president that further prove the fact that he was born in Hawaii,” Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy said in a statement at the time that the long-form birth certificate was released.

    That sounds like the type of verification Bennett is seeking, but Bennett says he won’t be satisfied until he hears it from a Hawaiian official personally.”

    Looks to me like Bennett is playing games. How about you?

    As far as it “not look(ing) good for Obama’s 2012 ballot access in AZ” I can guarantee you that birther fantasy will be fading away like all the others. Sorry.

  81. avatar
    misha May 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    JJ: Doesn’t look good for Obama’s 2012 ballot access in AZ.

    You’re right. It’s going to get worse.

    I found a Kenya BC (Obama’s?) that’s going to cause trouble.

  82. avatar
    gorefan May 19, 2012 at 1:09 am #

    Hawaii response to Bennett,

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/story/2012-05-19/hawaii-arizona-obama-birth/55070008/1

  83. avatar
    misha May 19, 2012 at 1:49 am #

    Romney: Registered Pet Offender –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wxiR75pWe5c

    Dogs Against Romney – http://www.dogsagainstromney.com/

  84. avatar
    donna May 21, 2012 at 7:06 pm #

    Iowa GOP Convention To Vote On Language Questioning Obama’s ‘Natural Born’ Citizenship

    The Iowa Republican Party’s state platform committee has inserted “birther” language into its proposed draft for the state convention, Radio Iowa reports.

    The proposed language, which will be voted on by delegates at the state GOP convention in June, states: “We believe candidates for President of the United States must show proof of being a ‘natural born citizen’ as required by Article II, Section I of the Constitution – beginning with the 2012 election.”

    http://www.radioiowa.com/2012/05/21/iowa-gop-platform-takes-a-shot-at-obamas-citizenship/

    Don Racheter, chairman of the Iowa GOP’s 2012 platform committee, told Radio Iowa: “There are many Republicans who feel that Barack Obama is not a ‘natural born citizen’ because his father was not an American when he was born and, therefore, feel that according to the Constitution he’s not qualified to be president, should not have been allowed to be elected by the Electoral College or even nominated by the Democratic Party in 2008, so this is an election year. It’s a shot at him.”

  85. avatar
    linda May 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm #

    donna: Iowa GOP Convention To Vote On Language Questioning Obama’s ‘Natural Born’ Citizenship

    Is there an emoticon for “face palm”?

  86. avatar
    misha May 21, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    donna: The Iowa Republican Party’s state platform committee has inserted “birther” language into its proposed draft for the state convention, Radio Iowa reports.

    I read the linked article. There’s also this gem:

    “The proposed Iowa GOP platform…also calls for an end to regulations which prohibit Iowans from buying “raw” milk.”

    Drinking raw milk is Russian roulette. Oh wait, libertarians are opposed to government regulations which prohibit consenting adults from Russian roulette. Never mind.

  87. avatar
    Reality Check May 27, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    I am with you on this one, realist. I cannot see that Bennett met any part of the Hawaii law to ask for the verification. I hope our friends in HI and/or AZ can obtain the complete exchange on this. My belief is that Hawaii chose not to make a big stink over this since it was about a verification of something they had already verified publicly. Had he asked for a certified copy of the BC I think they would have said no.

    realist: Bennett does not need to maintain or update any official list by verifying Obama’s BC which is not part of any governmental anything in AZ or any other state.Reference AZ election law.There’s no requirement for any documentation other than the declaration for the general election.Obama’s nor anyone else’s BC is pertinent to the list of candidates.

    In addition, if he asks for verification for Obama he damn well better ask for each and every candidate.That is setting aside the fact that doing so is not in concert with either AZ or federal law.

    We’ll apparently disagree on this one, but just sayin’.

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