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Hawaii, Arizona: hostilities increase

USS Arizona buring in Pearl Harbor, HawaiiIn a humorous reversal of roles, it is Hawaii that is asking for proof of eligibility. USA Today reports that Hawaii Special Assistant Attorney General Joshua Wisch says that in numerous requests from the Arizona Secretary of State, Ken Bennett hasn’t provided the authority under which he is eligible to request verification of Obama’s birth certificate. (See photo of USS Arizona on fire in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, right.)

Hawaiian law allows release of a “verification in lieu of a certified copy” to certain individuals. The way the certification works is that the applicant provides a list of information, and the State of Hawaii verifies it (or not). However the law, §338-18  Disclosure of records, which Hawaii is extremely strict in enforcing, requires that those making the request fit into these categories:

(1)  A person who has a direct and tangible interest in the record but requests a verification in lieu of a certified copy;

(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;

(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.

According to Wisch, I correctly identified in a previous article the provision (in bold face above) of Hawaiian law under which Arizona is making the request, but I was wrong about how picky they would be in granting it:

Wisch says Hawaii state laws require Bennett to show legal authority that this office needs the records to update its official lists as part of its ordinary work.

In fact, Bennett doesn’t need a birth certificate to put Barack Obama on the ballot so far as it is required by any Arizona law that I am aware of. Should Bennett not provide Hawaii with his authority, and he refuses to put Obama on the ballot, as an unpublished email reports him committed to do, then we could see Barack Obama suing Arizona. That would be a mess. I, however, expect that some accommodation will be made short of a lawsuit that would not be in the interests of the Obama Campaign.

I applied for a verification in lieu myself in 2008 under (5), but the State never cashed my money order or replied.

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152 Responses to Hawaii, Arizona: hostilities increase

  1. avatar
    john May 19, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    This is not good for Obama. Hawaii is stonewalling and refusing to cooperate. Bennett should NOT ALLOW Obama on the ballot until Hawaii at least cooperates. Instead of acting in good faith like they should, Hawaii is stonewalling and refusing to cooperate.

    If Obama is barred from the AZ ballot, the shoe is finally on the other foot.

    It will be Obama’s problem to sue.

    It will be Obama’s problem to prove standing and juristication.

    It will be Obama’s problem to get over a motion to dismiss.

  2. avatar
    john May 19, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    “That would be a mess. I, however, expect that some accommodation will be made short of a lawsuit that would not be in the interests of the Obama Campaign.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure. It was speculated based on timing and circumstance of events, That Obama had been secretly kicked off the Hawaii ballot in the 2008 election because of his inelgibility. Obama used the cover of his grandmother’s death to go to Hawaii to attend a hearing. In that hearing Obama cut deals and was able to get back on the Hawaii ballot.

  3. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 19, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    But Obama’s injury, not being on the ballot, is real and specific to him. He is exactly the type of plaintiff who has standing to sue. Birthers have problems with standing because they don’t have any. I couldn’t even imagine a motion to dismiss being filed.

    However, I don’t think it will get that far.

    john: It will be Obama’s problem to prove standing and juristication.

  4. avatar
    bovril May 19, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    By “stonewalling” John, you mean following the law, a concept one would assume a SoS would grasp.

  5. avatar
    Jim May 19, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    Well, since this requirement is not in Arizona law, and Bennett has specifically stated he will not require the same of any other candidate, there is no legal way that I can see him being able to keep President Obama off the ballot. If he pushes this, the Romney campaign will drop him very quickly and very publicly. The Obama campaign will not be the one to sue, it will be the Arizona Democratic Party. They are the ones being disenfranchised by the SOS. But, birthers are always entertaining!

  6. avatar
    alg May 19, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    I love it. This debacle has but one possible conclusion … becoming a permanent embarrassment for Bennett. This issue will dog his 2014 gubernatorial campaign. Bennett has signed up for carnival barker school to jump start his new career

  7. avatar
    john May 19, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    Unlikely Bovril. Hawaii is clearly stonewalling. They simply are not acting in good faith. If they were then Hawaii would offer a compromise to Bennett to bring this issue to resolution. It should be noted that Hawaii has yet to refer Bennett to any of the DOH Press Releases or the DOH page about Obama. Finally, its clearly the DOH director Lorretta Fuddy who is refusing to bring resolution to this matter – It is Fuddy’s choice and decision to stonewall and not cooperate not only with Bennett but with Orly Taitz as well. Why???

    338-18 Disclosure of records. (a) To protect the integrity of vital statistics records, to ensure their proper use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital statistics system, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record, except as authorized by this part or by rules adopted by the department of health.

    (b) The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record.

    Ultimately its the DOH Director under her discretion on whether a person can see a vital record. The statute merely outlines those who have a direct and tangible interest where the DOH MUST allow access to the record.

    If Fuddy wanted to bring this matter to resolution, under her discretion Orly and Bennett would had a direct and tangible interest in see the records.

    But Fuddy refuses to cooperate. I wonder why.

  8. avatar
    john May 19, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    Well I think Bennett should intentionally refuse to keep Obama off the ballot. If this were to happen, there would be intense MSM coverage and Obama would be history.

  9. avatar
    Obsolete May 19, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    So John and the birthers think that someone who works for Romney should be able to set up special requirements to keep Obama off the ballet. Why are you so anti-Democracy, John? Sounds like a banana republic to me.

  10. avatar
    Bob May 19, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    Talkingpointmemo reported the other day that the Republican National Committee is worried that AZ has become a swing state.

    Are they employing the repulsive rhetoric of Birtherism in order to shore up support? Is it their extremism that’s turning people off in the first place?

  11. avatar
    Stanislaw May 19, 2012 at 11:58 am #

    john:
    This is not good for Obama.Hawaii is stonewalling and refusing to cooperate.Bennett should NOT ALLOW Obama on the ballot until Hawaii at least cooperates. Instead of acting in good faith like they should, Hawaii is stonewalling and refusing to cooperate.

    If Obama is barred from the AZ ballot, the shoe is finally on the other foot.

    It will be Obama’s problem to sue.

    It will be Obama’s problem to prove standing and juristication.

    It will be Obama’s problem to get over a motion to dismiss.

    “Any day now…any day now…”

  12. avatar
    Majority Will May 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    alg:
    I love it. This debacle has but one possible conclusion … becoming a permanent embarrassment for Bennett. This issue will dog his 2014 gubernatorial campaign. Bennett has signed up for carnival barker school to jump start his new career

    Not necessarily. The same birther bigot dog whistle worked for Nathan “Let’s Make a Dirty” Deal.

    Many rednecks in the red states are enchanted by birther bigotry. Look at the festering idiocy oozing out of Clayton County, Georgia: http://www.riseupforamerica.com/

  13. avatar
    Northland10 May 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Obsolete: So John and the birthers think that someone who works for Romney should be able to set up special requirements to keep Obama off the ballet.

    No Swan Lake for Obama. ;-)

  14. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    john: It will be Obama’s problem to prove standing and juristication.

    Bennett is threatening to exclude Obama from the November ballot. Who, exactly, would have better standing than him?

  15. avatar
    Majority Will May 19, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Northland10: No Swan Lake for Obama.

    And no guilty plié.

  16. avatar
    donna May 19, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said late Friday that President Obama will remain on Arizona’s ballot despite conspiracy theory-fueled threats from the state’s top election official.

    “The president of the United States is not going to be taken off the ballot,” McCain told Phoenix television station KPNX.

    Having faced Obama in the 2008 presidential race, McCain was responding to comments made earlier in the week by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who threatened to keep the president off the November ballot unless he receives more proof Obama was born in the United States.

    the swords are drawn: Obama’s Campaign Vows To Be On Arizona Ballot Despite Threats

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/obamas-campaign-vows-to-be-on-arizona-ballot

  17. avatar
    Sef May 19, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Sorry, Doc, but I think the wounds are still a bit too fresh to be using a picture of the USS Arizona in this context.

  18. avatar
    Xyxox May 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

    Bennett has ruined any hopes of winning another statewide election. There aren’t enough nutburgers in the state to elect him and sane people won’t go near him ever again.

  19. avatar
    donna May 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    “Who, exactly, would have better standing than him?”

    The attorney general’s office in Hawaii is telling Arizona’s secretary of state that if he wants confirmation of President Obama’s birth records, he’ll have to prove he legitimately needs it.

    Special Assistant Joshua Wisch said late Friday that Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett hasn’t done that despite numerous email and phone exchanges between their offices.

    Wisch says Hawaii state laws require Bennett to show legal authority that this office needs the records to update its official lists as part of its ordinary work.

    Wisch says as soon as Bennett gives Hawaii adequate authority, the Aloha state will verify Obama’s birth.

    Bennett said in a radio interview this week that Obama’s status on Arizona’s ballot is in question unless Hawaii verifies his birthplace.

    Hawaii officials have confirmed multiple times that Obama was born there.

  20. avatar
    nbc May 19, 2012 at 1:32 pm #

    john: It will be Obama’s problem to prove standing and juristication.

    Juristication?… But standing will be trivial as the removal of President Obama from the Ballot is a direct injury to the Candidate and jurisdiction is simple since it involves the act of a Secretary of State of the State of Arizona.
    Obama will quickly ask for a mandate to force the Secretary of State to do his duty which includes adding the names provided to him by the national parties, to the ballot.

    Bennett has painted himself into an untenable corner where he cannot even provide the State of Hawaii with a justification as to why he should be entitled to a verification in lieu of a certified copy and the fact that Bennett has admitted he will not hold other candidates to the same standard, opens him up to real and winnable legal challenges. Combine with this his involvement with the Romney campaign and this whole thing could blow up in his face sooner than later.

    I predict that Bennett will quickly backpedal and will be declared a traitor by the disillusioned birthers. But even if Bennett were to get a verification, the birthers would still be upset as a simple ‘yes’ from the State of Hawaii, is something they have refused to accept several times now.

    Bennett really cannot win and while he hoped to point the fingers to Hawaii, he has now become vulnerable by not applying the rules in a consistent manner and, on the record, admitting that he really does not have any inclination or intention to do so.

    Finally, even if Hawaii refuses, that is not something the Candidate, President Obama has any control over, and since a verification is not a requirement to be on the Arizona ballot, any attempt by Bennett to drop President Obama will once again be interpreted as a political move.
    Bennett has provided Obama with some powerful tools right now and I bet that this weekend Bennett has canceled any and all appearances in a desperate effort to control the extent of the damage caused by his foolish actions.

    Remember that Bennett has already certified President Obama as an eligible and qualified candidate for the primary elections, as he had no choice under Arizona statute which requires him to do so. No ifs or buts. The Secretary of State may challenge the nomination based on problems with the nomination papers such as insufficient number of signatures, lack of sworn affidavits by those who collected the signatures etc. But President Obama has declared himself to be a natural born citizen under oath when he filed his nomination papers (assuming they are the same as the ones he filed in December 2007).

    In other words, President Obama was allowed on the presidential preference primary, his delegates got most of the votes, and the DNC will, without any doubt, nominate him as their candidate. The AZ Secretary of State has no obvious statutory support to disallow the electors for President Obama to be on the 2011 AZ ballot.

    Has anyone found any AZ statute that provides Bennett with the power to keep President Obama off the ballot if Bennett does not receive any verification of President Obama’s birth on Hawaiian soil other than the official statements which are already available to the Secretary of State?

    I have looked and found no statutes that appeared to be relevant here. What I am missing so far is the statute which requires the DNC to verify that President Obama is their official candidate for the General elections and the process involved.

  21. avatar
    Scientist May 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    I’m confused; why ask for Hawaii for a verificaton in lieu of a certified copy, rather than asking the Democratic party or the Obama campaign for a certified copy? I understand Bennett has no legal grounds to ask for either, but why one rather than the other?

    And has someone asked Bennett why he hasn’t made the request for Romney records from Michigan (or Ontario)? It’s sort of an obvious question, no?

  22. avatar
    Rickey May 19, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Bennett has set himself up for a fail regardless of how this turns out.

    If he is unable to establish that he has the legal authority to demand a verification (which seems to be the case), Obama will be on the ballot anyway. If Bennett foolishly refused to allow Obama’s electors to be on the ballot, he would immediately be overruled by the courts.

    If he gets the verification from Arizona, the birthers will scream that he shouldn’t accept it (they’re already saying that, in fact).

    A lose-lose proposition for Bennett.

  23. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    donna: “Who, exactly, would have better standing than him?”

    I was talking about Obama, not Bennett.

  24. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Scientist: I’m confused; why ask for Hawaii for a verificaton in lieu of a certified copy, rather than asking the Democratic party or the Obama campaign for a certified copy?

    As I recall Bennett talked about finding some law or rule in Hawaii that allowed “officials” to ask for confirmation of a person’s birth without requesting a birth certificate…..which they wouldn’t give him under any circumstances.

    Now Hawaii has, quite reasonably, asked him to explain his legal authority for needing the information.

    “Gee, I’m running for governor” probably won’t cut it.

  25. avatar
    nbc May 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    There are no statutory foundations for asking the DNC or Obama’s campaign for this information unless Bennett would also ask Romney and others. Bennett believed that the Hawaiian Statutes allowed him to verify the information without any problems, thus putting to rest the foolish birthers and saving face at the same time. Now he has been told that he may, under Hawaiian law, lack the requirements to received a verification and he is stuck… If he backs down he loses, if he presses onwards he loses.
    Bennett would also respond that few states may provide for a verification procedure like Hawaii’s and insist that Hawaii could not possibly object to such a straightforward request. What do they have to hide…

    Of course, Bennett does understand that if Hawaii opens the floodgates, it will be providing verifications to many more foolish people or at least it will have to deal with countless additional requests for verification. Hawaii has good reasons to object, especially since Bennett does not have any good statutory support that require him to get a verification.

    Scientist:
    I’m confused; why ask for Hawaii for a verificaton in lieu of a certified copy, rather than asking the Democratic party or the Obama campaign for a certified copy?I understand Bennett has no legal grounds to ask for either, but why one rather than the other?

    And has someone asked Bennett why he hasn’t made the request for Romney records from Michigan (or Ontario)? It’s sort of an obvious question, no?

  26. avatar
    john May 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Let’s look at the evidence:

    Kenya Birth Evidence:

    1991 – Obama’s literary Agent says he was born in Kenya.
    1991 – Mailman Al says he was introduced to Obama as a foreign student.
    – Kenyan Ambassador says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – Kenyan government officials says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – The Clintons have referred to Obama as the “noncitizen.”
    – Obama’s grandmother says he was born in Kenya.
    – Governor Bill Richardson of NM referred to Obama as an immigrant.
    – Michelle Obama stated that Obama’s home country is Kenya.
    – Obama on visit to Kenya as said he proud to be back home.
    – Numerous news articles state Obama as “Kenyan Born”
    Hawaii Birth Evidence
    – COLB produced – Doesn’t list hospital or doc.
    – Long Form BC produced – Highly likely forgery by Sheriff Joe investigation.
    – Tim Adams – Hawaii has no birth certificate.
    – Dr. Fukino – We have Obama’s birth certificate but is conflicted by Governor Abercrombie’s contention that he couldn’t find the BC except for some notation in some state archive.
    – Dr. Fukino – Says she seen “vital Records” supporting Hawaii birth but does not state it’s a birth certificate.
    – Hospital Letter – Shown to be an electronic letter image, not a real letter. The real letter is hidden and nobody can see it.

  27. avatar
    nbc May 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Now Hawaii has, quite reasonably, asked him to explain his legal authority for needing the information.

    And Bennett claims that he provided them with the information but obviously, Hawaii is not impressed. And although Bennett suggested that Hawaii did not respond for over 8 weeks, the facts appear to show that Hawaii and Arizona have been exchanging extensive emails and phone calls to resolve this matter.

    Is there any FOIA possible here that would help embarrass Bennett even further?

  28. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    nbc: Is there any FOIA possible here that would help embarrass Bennett even further?

    If it’s possible I’m sure someone is preparing a request for all of his office’s communications regarding the issue.

    As far as embarassing himself further I’m sure he’s working on that as I type.

  29. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Rickey: A lose-lose proposition for Bennett

  30. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Rickey: A lose-lose proposition for Bennett.

    Ooops! Here is what I was going to say………….

    Don’t forget we’re talking about Arizona………..where phyrric victories can be a positive thing.

    My best guess……….he will backtrack (“Oh, look what I found on the internet.”) or he’ll give Hawaii enough information that they’ll write him a letter that says what we already know.

    In either case he will paint himself as the protector of Arizona’s electoral process.

  31. avatar
    gorefan May 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    After making Bennett jump through some hoops, I would think that Hawaii would send him the verification. It won’t open a floodgate because who else can provide the justification that a SoS can give?

  32. avatar
    Scientist May 19, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    Why does the USA tolerate partisan state officials running NATIONAL elections? Whether having the Bush chair SoS in charge in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004 or the Romney chair SoS in Arizona in 2012, these situations never turn out well.

    It is long past time to have a non-partisan federal agency run all federal elections, from preparing voter lists to qualifying candidates and preparing ballots to counting the votes. That is what civilised countries do http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx

    It works.

  33. avatar
    Scientist May 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    gorefan: After making Bennett jump through some hoops, I would think that Hawaii would send him the verification.

    I would oppose them doing that unless he treats ALL candidates fairly.

    Keep in mind that the Hawaii law above says “in the ordinary course of the agency’s or the organization’s activities”. Can Bennett show that an Arriizona SoS has EVER made such a request? If not, then this is hardly “the ordinary course”. In fact this is quite extra-ordinary.

  34. avatar
    donna May 19, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    “I would think that Hawaii would send him the verification.”

    i would think hawaii would direct the WING NUTZZZ to their website:

    Frequently Asked Questions about Vital Records of President Barack Hussein Obama II

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

  35. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    Scientist: Why does the USA tolerate partisan state officials running NATIONAL elections?

    Because we really don’t have any national elections.

    We don’t vote for the President or Vice President. I’m sure you’ve read all about our Electoral College.

    There have been innumerable proposals to work with it to provide direct and/or proportional voting but my guess is that it will require an amendment to straighten it all out and that, even then, voter registration and vote counting will remain with the states.

  36. avatar
    richCares May 19, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said late Friday that President Obama will remain on Arizona’s ballot despite conspiracy theory-fueled threats from the state’s top election official.
    .
    “The president of the United States is not going to be taken off the ballot”, McCain told Phoenix television station KPNX.

  37. avatar
    nbc May 19, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    CarlOrcas: My best guess……….he will backtrack (“Oh, look what I found on the internet.”) or he’ll give Hawaii enough information that they’ll write him a letter that says what we already know.

    In either case he will paint himself as the protector of Arizona’s electoral process.

    But he will become the target of the tea birthers who will not stand down when their ‘savior’ becomes their ‘judas’…

  38. avatar
    Scientist May 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

    CarlOrcas: We don’t vote for the President or Vice President. I’m sure you’ve read all about our Electoral College.

    If that were really true, then the electors would run on their own qualifications and would choose whomsoever they thought best, rather than being pledged to candidates. The candidate’s name would not appear on the ballot at all.

    I don’t see anything in the Constitution that says a partisan state official gets to decide that the opposite party’s nominee is off the ballot. If necessary, one could empower the state election committees-that would be fine-as long as it isn’t partisan hacks deciding.

    I don’t see any real difference between what Bennett is attempting to do and how Putin rigs elections in Russia. In fact, the US is coming more and more to resemble Russia-huge prison populations, oligarchies controlling obscene amounts of wealth….

  39. avatar
    Tarrant May 19, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

    Bennett has really painted himself into a corner by stating that he wasn’t going to check out Romney, just Obama. Such a statement makes it pretty clear that there really is no law that authorizes him to verify this information for candidates, because if there were, he’d do it for all of them.

    He’s canceling his appearances, his office has stopped responding to calls, he’s clearly in panic mode. He was probably hoping to get a quick verification, respond to the birther (who he should have known wouldn’t accept just a verification – that in itself was stupid, as birthers are criticizing him for being willing to accept a “verification” from “corrupt Hawaii”) and move on, but he one, went public, and two, had to say out loud that he wasn’t going to ask Romney to prove HIS bona fides. Doing so makes it too obviously partisan, and as the co-chair for Romney’s campaign, he can’t look like that right now.

  40. avatar
    Sef May 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    One interesting thing about Bennett’s inability to get even a yes/no from HI makes it even more obvious that a nobody like Orly has even less need for any of this info. Since she uses the courts in her “endeavors” the defense can’t just say FOAD, but the DOH can to these other nobodies.

  41. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    History, as in the first African-American President to be re-elected?

    john: Well I think Bennett should intentionally refuse to keep Obama off the ballot. If this were to happen, there would be intense MSM coverage and Obama would be history.

  42. avatar
    linda May 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona vetoed a birther bill last year, so there is no law requiring Bennet to request verification. I think Bennet acted foolishly in what he thought was his own best interest. Romney has been call on to put an end to this. I think he will punt.

    “Secretary of State Bennett’s flirtation with a conspiracy theory that has been debunked time and time again will have no bearing on the election, but it does present an opportunity for Mitt Romney to finally rise to the occasion and denounce the extreme voices in his party,” said Mahen Gunaratna, Arizona communications director for Obama for America.”

    http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2012/05/18/20120518arizona-secretary-of-state-obama-citizenship.html

  43. avatar
    nbc May 19, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    john: Well I think Bennett should intentionally refuse to keep Obama off the ballot. If this were to happen, there would be intense MSM coverage and Obama would be history.

    Why? We all know that President Obama was born on US soil. If anything, getting the MSM involved would be an excellent outcome for the President.

  44. avatar
    Thrifty May 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Scientist:
    Why does the USA tolerate partisan state officials running NATIONAL elections?Whether having the Bush chair SoS in charge in Florida in 2000 or Ohio in 2004 or the Romney chair SoS in Arizona in 2012, these situations never turn out well.

    It is long past time to have a non-partisan federal agency run all federal elections, from preparing voter lists to qualifying candidates and preparing ballots to counting the votes.That is what civilised countries do http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx

    It works.

    America IS a civilized country, you jerk. I’m sorry it can’t be like those wonderful utopias in Europe and Canada.

  45. avatar
    donna May 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    john: Let’s look at the evidence

    kindly provide proof that any of that is “evidence”

    “evidence” is a legal term and a judge determines what that is

    most of what you posted has been DEBUNKED &/or REFUTED

    but THANKS for PROVING that birthers (such as yourself) are INCAPABLE OF INDEPENDENT RESEARCH

  46. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Scientist: If that were really true, then the electors would run on their own qualifications and would choose whomsoever they thought best, rather than being pledged to candidates. The candidate’s name would not appear on the ballot at all.

    Well…..every state decides how its ballots will work and electors names used to appear on the ballot and may still in some states. Each state also decides how it will allocate votes….proportional or winner take all. And, in the end, the electors can vote for whoever they wish. My recollection is that some states require them to vote for their state’s winner on at least one ballot.

    Scientist: I don’t see any real difference between what Bennett is attempting to do and how Putin rigs elections in Russia. In fact, the US is coming more and more to resemble Russia-huge prison populations, oligarchies controlling obscene amounts of wealth….

    Get a grip. Obama will be on the ballot in Arizona.

  47. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    nbc: But he will become the target of the tea birthers who will not stand down when their ‘savior’ becomes their ‘judas’

    Birthers are very forgiving. They’re still giving money to Orly Taitz, aren’t they?

  48. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    john: Let’s look at the evidence

    I hear Mailman Al is a member of the Cold Case Posse.

  49. avatar
    Arthur May 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    I would like to ask you to moderate your reactions to comments made by people who have been responding to this blog for a very long time. I noticed your snappish comment to Misha a while back and now Scientist, and the offensive tone of both your comments was unnecessary. Scientist’s desire to see improvements to the way American elections are managed is a patriotic request. For you to call him a jerk is insulting and immature and ignores the very real problems that affect the electoral process.

    Thrifty: America IS a civilized country, you jerk. I’m sorry it can’t be like those wonderful utopias in Europe and Canada.

  50. avatar
    Joe Acerbic May 19, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

    Scientist:
    Keep in mind that the Hawaii law above says “in the ordinary course of the agency’s or the organization’s activities”.Can Bennett show that an Arriizona SoS has EVER made such a request? If not, then this is hardly “the ordinary course”.In fact this is quite extra-ordinary.

    Exactly.

  51. avatar
    Scientist May 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Thrifty: America IS a civilized country, you jerk. I’m sorry it can’t be like those wonderful utopias in Europe and Canada

    Seriously, after the debacle of 2000, the 6 months and armies of lawyers it took to resolve the Minnesota senate race in 2008 and this current brouhaha, I challenge you to present a reasoned defense of the current American electoral system. I’m not saying that the people elected in other countries are necessarily better than those elected here, but why not take an honest look at the processes used and see whether the US one is the best of all possible worlds. France had a pretty close election and the result was announced a couple of hours later and the new guy is already in power. He might be a bum as might Bush, Obama, Romney, etc., but at least he’s a bum who was elected without an insane spectacle with hanging chads and nasty letters between partisan hacks in different states.

    Perhaps you ought to think before typing,

    Arthur: Scientist’s desire to see improvements to the way American elections are managed is a patriotic request. For you to call him a jerk is insulting and immature and ignores the very real problems that affect the electoral process.

    Thank you, sir.

    CarlOrcas: Get a grip. Obama will be on the ballot in Arizona

    No doubt. However, it might be instructive to look at the % of the national wealth owned by the top 1% in Russia and the US. Also at incarceration rates…

  52. avatar
    Scientist May 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    john: Well I think Bennett should intentionally refuse to keep Obama off the ballot.

    I agree.

  53. avatar
    AlCum May 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    john:
    This is not good for Obama.Hawaii is stonewalling and refusing to cooperate.Bennett should NOT ALLOW Obama on the ballot until Hawaii at least cooperates. Instead of acting in good faith like they should, Hawaii is stonewalling and refusing to cooperate.

    If Obama is barred from the AZ ballot, the shoe is finally on the other foot.

    It will be Obama’s problem to sue.

    It will be Obama’s problem to prove standing and juristication.

    It will be Obama’s problem to get over a motion to dismiss.

    Are you kidding? This is GREAT for Obama. Bennett is in for a beat-down of epic proportions that will disgrace birthers even more than Arpaio did. Bennett has absolutely no legal authority for this request and certainly no authority to keep Obama off the Arizona ballot for not having his birth certificate verified… Arizona law does not call for any such provision of a birth certificate. Mitt Romney isn’t submitting a birth certificate.

    This is unmitigated disaster for birthers. They don’t realize their cause can only go on when their claims go UNresolved. When birther claims go to resolution, they are shown to be false.

  54. avatar
    AlCum May 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    john:
    Unlikely Bovril.Hawaii is clearly stonewalling.They simply are not acting in good faith. If they were then Hawaii would offer a compromise to Bennett to bring this issue to resolution.It should be noted that Hawaii has yet to refer Bennett to any of the DOH Press Releases or the DOH page about Obama. Finally, its clearly the DOH director Lorretta Fuddy who is refusing to bring resolution to this matter –It is Fuddy’s choice and decision to stonewall and not cooperate not only with Bennett but with Orly Taitz as well. Why???

    338-18Disclosure of records.(a)To protect the integrity of vital statistics records, to ensure their proper use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital statistics system, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record, except as authorized by this part or by rules adopted by the department of health.

    (b)The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record.

    Ultimately its the DOH Director under her discretion on whether a person can see a vital record.The statute merely outlines those who have a direct and tangible interest where the DOH MUST allow access to the record.

    If Fuddy wanted to bring this matter to resolution, under her discretion Orly and Bennett would had a direct and tangible interest in see the records.

    But Fuddy refuses to cooperate.I wonder why.

    I’m sorry but that was very confusing, Under the law you just cited, Fuddy is legally prohibited from telling Bennett anything, as he has neither direct nor tangible interest in it. Arizona law does not call for any candidate to show a birth certificate. Bennett has gone out on a high limb and begun sawing it off.

  55. avatar
    Majority Will May 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    CarlOrcas: I hear Mailman Al is a member of the Cold Case Posse.

    I thought he was a character on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Or was that Mr. McFeely?

  56. avatar
    Majority Will May 19, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Scientist: I don’t see any real difference between what Bennett is attempting to do and how Putin rigs elections in Russia. In fact, the US is coming more and more to resemble Russia-huge prison populations, oligarchies controlling obscene amounts of wealth….

    Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission#Criticisms

    “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.” – Thomas Jefferson

  57. avatar
    AlCum May 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

    john: rstand

    You left one out:

    1961: Obama born in Kapi’olani Hospital, Honolulu, as a natural born citizen.

  58. avatar
    AlCum May 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    CarlOrcas: If it’s possible I’m sure someone is preparing a request for all of his office’s communications regarding the issue.

    As far as embarassing himself further I’m sure he’s working on that as I type.

    File an open records request with Hawaii for their correspondence with Bennett

  59. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    Scientist: No doubt. However, it might be instructive to look at the % of the national wealth owned by the top 1% in Russia and the US. Also at incarceration rates…

    Neither of those figures speak well of us, in my opinion.

  60. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 19, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Scientist: Seriously, after the debacle of 2000, the 6 months and armies of lawyers it took to resolve the Minnesota senate race in 2008 and this current brouhaha, I challenge you to present a reasoned defense of the current American electoral system

    There is none. It’s a 225 year old anchronism that is incredibly difficult to change.

  61. avatar
    justlw May 19, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    john: Let’s look at the evidence:

    Ooh, ooh, I’ve seen this one! I love the surprise twist where it turns out you didn’t actually have a college roommate.

  62. avatar
    Keith May 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    nbc: I predict that Bennett will quickly backpedal and will be declared a traitor by the disillusioned birthers.

    I predict he will point to the government website and say something along the lines that that is all he ever wanted and if they had just pointed me to that in the first place we would have avoided a whole lot of trouble.

  63. avatar
    misha May 19, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Thrifty: America IS a civilized country, you jerk.I’m sorry it can’t be like those wonderful utopias in Europe and Canada.

    Arthur: I noticed your snappish comment to Misha a while back and now Scientist, and the offensive tone of both your comments was unnecessary…For you to call him a jerk is insulting and immature…

    Calm down everyone. Seamus is getting frightened, and is doing a Romney. Have pity on the dog.

    Please everyone, sing along with Seamus, and lighten up:
    http://www.dogsagainstromney.com/2012/05/ballad-of-seamus-romney-music-video.html?tw_p=twt

  64. avatar
    Scientist May 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    Mitt Romney should be asked directly whether he supports the actions of his Arizona campaign co-chair. The media should ask this of any spokesperson of his who appears on the Sunday talk shows.

  65. avatar
    realist May 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

    john:
    Let’s look at the evidence:

    Kenya Birth Evidence:

    1991 – Obama’s literary Agent says he was born in Kenya.
    1991 – Mailman Al says he was introduced to Obama as a foreign student.
    – Kenyan Ambassador says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – Kenyan government officials says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – The Clintons have referred to Obama as the “noncitizen.”
    – Obama’s grandmother says he was born in Kenya.
    – Governor Bill Richardson of NM referred to Obama as an immigrant.
    – Michelle Obama stated that Obama’s home country is Kenya.
    – Obama on visit to Kenya as said he proud to be back home.
    – Numerous news articles state Obama as “Kenyan Born”
    Hawaii Birth Evidence
    – COLB produced – Doesn’t list hospital or doc.
    – Long Form BC produced – Highly likely forgery by Sheriff Joe investigation.
    – Tim Adams – Hawaii has no birth certificate.
    – Dr. Fukino – We have Obama’s birth certificate but is conflicted by Governor Abercrombie’s contention that he couldn’t find the BC except for some notation in some state archive.
    – Dr. Fukino – Says she seen “vital Records” supporting Hawaii birth but does not state it’s a birth certificate.
    – Hospital Letter – Shown to be an electronic letter image, not a real letter.The real letter is hidden and nobody can see it.

    Setting aside all the blatant lies and misinformation that are in that list, just as Judge Lamberth told Orly Taitz, you need a lesson in what evidence is.

  66. avatar
    gorefan May 19, 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    misha: Seamus is getting frightened

    Did you see this – Seamus might find it interesting.

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/dog-learns-sign-language-16364507

    It confirms what dog owners already knew.

  67. avatar
    misha May 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    john: Let’s look at the evidence:

    Rick Santorum runs a white slavery ring. Let’s look at the evidence:

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/406797/january-24-2012/indecision-2012—rick-santorum-s-senior-pandering

  68. avatar
    Jamese777 May 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    john:
    Let’s look at the evidence:

    Kenya Birth Evidence:

    1991 – Obama’s literary Agent says he was born in Kenya.
    1991 – Mailman Al says he was introduced to Obama as a foreign student.
    – Kenyan Ambassador says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – Kenyan government officials says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – The Clintons have referred to Obama as the “noncitizen.”
    – Obama’s grandmother says he was born in Kenya.
    – Governor Bill Richardson of NM referred to Obama as an immigrant.
    – Michelle Obama stated that Obama’s home country is Kenya.
    – Obama on visit to Kenya as said he proud to be back home.
    – Numerous news articles state Obama as “Kenyan Born”
    Hawaii Birth Evidence
    – COLB produced – Doesn’t list hospital or doc.
    – Long Form BC produced – Highly likely forgery by Sheriff Joe investigation.
    – Tim Adams – Hawaii has no birth certificate.
    – Dr. Fukino – We have Obama’s birth certificate but is conflicted by Governor Abercrombie’s contention that he couldn’t find the BC except for some notation in some state archive.
    – Dr. Fukino – Says she seen “vital Records” supporting Hawaii birth but does not state it’s a birth certificate.
    – Hospital Letter – Shown to be an electronic letter image, not a real letter.The real letter is hidden and nobody can see it.

    Let’s look at some of the evidence on the other side of the issue as well:
    The state of Hawaii has consistently issued statements on the public record that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii:
    On October 31, 2008, former Director of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino issued the following statement: “There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawai‘i Revised Statutes 338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.
    “Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai‘i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.
    “No state official, including Governor Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawai‘i.”
    http://hawaii.gov/health/about/pr/2008/08-93.pdf

    Note that when John said that the state of Hawaii only referred to “vital records” and not to the actual birth certificate itself, he lied.

    On July 27, 2009, the former Director of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino issued the following statement: “I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawai‛i State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health verifying Barack Hussein Obama was born in Hawai‘i and is a natural-born American citizen. I have nothing further to add to this statement or my original statement issued in October 2008 over eight months ago.”
    http://hawaii.gov/health/about/pr/2009/09-063.pdf

    On April 27, 2011, Hawaii Director of Health Loretta Fuddy is quoted in the following media release, to wit: “We hope that issuing certified copies of the original Certificate of Live Birth to President Obama will end the numerous inquiries related to his birth in Hawai’i,” Hawai’i Health Director Loretta Fuddy said. “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 Hawai’i.”
    http://hawaii.gov/health/vital-records/News_Release_Birth_Certificate_042711.pdf

    The former Republican Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle names Kapiolani Hospital as Barack Obama’s birthplace. “You know, during the campaign of 2008, I was actually in the mainland campaigning for Sen. McCain. This issue kept coming up so much in the campaign, and again I think it’s one of those issues that is simply a distraction from the more critical issues that are facing the country. And so I had my health director, who is a physician by background, go personally view the birth certificate in the birth records of the Department of Health, and we issued a news release at that time saying that the president was, in fact, born at Kapi’olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. And that’s just a fact. And yet people continue to call up and e-mail and want to make it an issue. And I think it’s, again, a horrible distraction for the country by those people who continue this. … It’s been established. He was born here.”
    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/hawaii_gov_lingle_answers_the.html

    Additionally, there is corroborating evidence of birth notices for Barack Obama which appeared in the “Health Bureau Statistics” sections of the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulliten newspapers on August 13 and August 14, 1961.

    Additionally, the Immigration and Naturalization documents for Barack Hussein Obama Senior make specific reference to the fact that Obama Senior has a son, born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.

    Additionally, the 1967 divorce decree for Stanley Ann Dunham and Barack Obama references the fact that one child is the issue of that union, a son named Barack Hussein Obama II and that child was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961.
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/12234409/Divorce-Decree-1964-13-Pages-Merged

    Additionally, the primary school application to St. Franciskus de Assisi School in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1967 states that applicant Barry Soetoro was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
    http://www.hyscience.com/obama%20indonesia.jpg

    That’s enough counter-evidence for now.

  69. avatar
    Thomas Brown May 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Jamese777: Let’s look at some of the evidence on the other side of the issue as well:

    That’s enough counter-evidence for now.

    Well, sure… But John has the unsworn testimony of proven liars, documents ‘discovered’ by convicted forgers, outright lies spun by partisan smear-merchants, plus laughable nonsense and baseless conjecture!

    I guess we should just pack it in.

  70. avatar
    Wile May 19, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

    Scientist:

    And has someone asked Bennett why he hasn’t made the request for Romney records from Michigan (or Ontario)? It’s sort of an obvious question, no?

    Yeah.

    He was asked in his radio interview, “What kind of proof have you gotten or required from the other candidates that will be on the ballot in november?”

    His non-response was that he didn’t know if other states have the same kind of verification mechanism that Hawaii has. You might reckon he would know this stuff if it was actually part of the “ordinary course” of his “organization’s business”.

  71. avatar
    AnotherBird May 19, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    john:
    Let’s look at the evidence:

    Four documents have been produced in support of Obama being born in Hawaii. Two are evidence and the other are statements of fact. However, some want to have items that are neither evidence nor statement of fact to have more weight.

  72. avatar
    Sean May 20, 2012 at 12:01 am #

    john:
    Let’s look at the evidence:

    Kenya Birth Evidence:

    1991 – Obama’s literary Agent says he was born in Kenya.
    1991 – Mailman Al says he was introduced to Obama as a foreign student.
    – Kenyan Ambassador says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – Kenyan government officials says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – The Clintons have referred to Obama as the “noncitizen.”
    – Obama’s grandmother says he was born in Kenya.
    – Governor Bill Richardson of NM referred to Obama as an immigrant.
    – Michelle Obama stated that Obama’s home country is Kenya.
    – Obama on visit to Kenya as said he proud to be back home.
    – Numerous news articles state Obama as “Kenyan Born”
    Hawaii Birth Evidence
    – COLB produced – Doesn’t list hospital or doc.
    – Long Form BC produced – Highly likely forgery by Sheriff Joe investigation.
    – Tim Adams – Hawaii has no birth certificate.
    – Dr. Fukino – We have Obama’s birth certificate but is conflicted by Governor Abercrombie’s contention that he couldn’t find the BC except for some notation in some state archive.
    – Dr. Fukino – Says she seen “vital Records” supporting Hawaii birth but does not state it’s a birth certificate.
    – Hospital Letter – Shown to be an electronic letter image, not a real letter.The real letter is hidden and nobody can see it.

    You’re new here, aren’t you John?

  73. avatar
    Stanislaw May 20, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    Sean: You’re new here, aren’t you John?

    Sadly, john has been posting his nonsense here for a long time now…

  74. avatar
    Jamese777 May 20, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    It is difficult for birthers to come to grips with the fact that under the Full Fiath and Credit Clause of the US Constitution, whatever the State of Hawaii says is an official birth record of their state will be accepted in every other state of the Union.
    Article Four, Section 1 will shoot them down every time.

  75. avatar
    ASK Esq May 20, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    john: Kenya Birth Evidence:
    1991 – Obama’s literary Agent says he was born in Kenya.
    1991 – Mailman Al says he was introduced to Obama as a foreign student.
    – Kenyan Ambassador says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – Kenyan government officials says Obama was born in Kenya.
    – The Clintons have referred to Obama as the “noncitizen.”
    – Obama’s grandmother says he was born in Kenya.
    – Governor Bill Richardson of NM referred to Obama as an immigrant.
    – Michelle Obama stated that Obama’s home country is Kenya.
    – Obama on visit to Kenya as said he proud to be back home.
    – Numerous news articles state Obama as “Kenyan Born”
    Hawaii Birth Evidence
    – COLB produced – Doesn’t list hospital or doc.
    – Long Form BC produced – Highly likely forgery by Sheriff Joe investigation.
    – Tim Adams – Hawaii has no birth certificate.
    – Dr. Fukino – We have Obama’s birth certificate but is conflicted by Governor Abercrombie’s contention that he couldn’t find the BC except for some notation in some state archive.
    – Dr. Fukino – Says she seen “vital Records” supporting Hawaii birth but does not state it’s a birth certificate.
    – Hospital Letter – Shown to be an electronic letter image, not a real letter. The real letter is hidden and nobody can see it.

    Kenya Birth Evidence:
    1) So what? Are you saying that Obama’s 1991 literary agents are government officials in charge of maintaining his birth records?
    2) Well, he didn’t, really. He said he met someone who identified himself as a foreign student that the Ayers’ were helping, and he then, years later, decided that it was Obama.
    3) So what? The Ambassador is not an official in charge of birth records in Kenya.
    4) So what? None of these officials (actually, the only other official was the Minister of Lands) had any responsibility for maintaining birth records.
    5) Not according to anyone reliable, they didn’t.
    6) No, she didn’t.
    7) So what? Bill Richardson is not a government official in charge of Hawaii’s birth records.
    8) So what? That is an idion, it doesn’t mean he was born there. Even if it did, she would not have direct knowledge or authority.
    9) So what? once again, an idiom that does not mean place of birth.
    10) So what? All news articles prove is that they were published. There are a lot more article that say he was born in Hawaii, but you don’t seem to care about those, as you don’t mention them as evidence of his Hawaiian birth.

    Hawaii Birth Evidence:
    1) OK, but it said “Honolulu,” which, last time I checked, was in Hawaii in 1961.
    2) Likely forgery according to Sheriff Jo(k)e is not a standard a reasonable person would use.
    3) Tim Adams was not in a position to confirm, or even have any reason for access to, this information.
    4) Gov. Abercrombie never said anything remotely similar to this.
    5) Guess what vital records the DOH would have in their records supporting a Hawaiian birth.
    6) No, the scanned image was an electronic letter. That doesn’t mean there is no real letter.

    OK, adding it all up, you have…nothing. Congratulations. You’re 0 for 16. Looks like the Birthers are the only team worse than the Bobcats.

  76. avatar
    ASK Esq May 20, 2012 at 1:05 am #

    Has anyone considered the possibility that Bennett is only doing this either at the request of or out of fear of reprisals from Sheriff Jo(k)e? We know that the sheriff is a man not hesitant to use his office to harm his political opponents. It also seems that he has been an ally of Bennett’s in the past. So I’m simply wondering if Bennett is acting on Jo(k)e’s behalf, so Jo(k)e can keep his hands clean, either as a favor or to keep him from derailing his 2014 campaign for Governor.

  77. avatar
    Jim May 20, 2012 at 1:14 am #

    ASK Esq:
    Has anyone considered the possibility that Bennett is only doing this either at the request of or out of fear of reprisals from Sheriff Jo(k)e?

    Anything’s possible, but this reads more like a political move. He figured he could get immediate confirmation and score some points with the far right. He didn’t figure on Hawaiian laws. It will be interesting to see how this plays out tomorrow on the Sunday talk show circuit.

  78. avatar
    Lupin May 20, 2012 at 3:50 am #

    Thrifty: America IS a civilized country, you jerk. I’m sorry it can’t be like those wonderful utopias in Europe and Canada.

    I see Thrifty is being his xenophobic old self again.

    Scientist’s point was well taken and has in fact been made numerous times by Americans themselves over the years. Bringing it up in the present context is not only justified, but entirely correct.

    Having been the butt of your personal attacks several times in the past, may I remind you that the true patriots are those who are not blind to their country’s problems and try to correct them in order to make said country better and stronger.

    Europe has learned a gazillion things from America and has incorporated them in our societies — from fast food to aeronautics, from Hollywood movies to cutting-edge physics.

    Only an idiot would believe that there is nothing to learn from foreign cultures. Some of our people here have resisted and fought some of these newfangled imports because they thought they were bad; others have embraced them because they though they were good or meant progress; but I can’t recall anyone plugging his ears and singing “la la la I can’t hear you” because somehow listening to criticism and foreign ideas would be equated with being a “jerk”.

    Arguably, America has been falling behind in the last 20 years in a number of key metrics, and equally arguably, it has been because your country has become increasingly insular and resistant to change, from within and without.

    The birthers are actually a good micro-illustration of this: John is someone from the 1950s stuck in the 2010s and unable to adapt.

    Don’t be like him.

  79. avatar
    Lupin May 20, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    My mother (age 78) has Alzheimer — it sort of started two years ago, although she probably had some cognitive problems that weren’t diagnosed before that. Anyway, it is quite tragic and heart-breaking.

    The reason I bring this up is I’ve had “discussions” with her that are eerily reminiscent of John’s here. There is an inability to process basic facts, a — how can I put it? — denial of reality.

    It can be incredibly frustrating; I’ve learned not to get angry and just deal with it with acceptance, knowing that I’m unable to affect what goes in in her mind.

    And this is very much like what I see here with John.

  80. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 20, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    While the current system has been distorted by what I consider to be unconstitutional state laws against “faithless electors”, the reasoned defense is found in The Federalist Papers.

    The important point in my mind is that politics is a balancing of interests, and the Electoral College takes into account regional interests. You might argue that regional interests should not be recognized in an electoral system, but in order to change the system, you have to overcome regional interests. That is, politics optimizes results taking into account the constraints imposed by all the interests.

    Scientist: I challenge you to present a reasoned defense of the current American electoral system.

  81. avatar
    James M May 20, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    AlCum: Are you kidding? This is GREAT for Obama. Bennett is in for a beat-down of epic proportions that will disgrace birthers even more than Arpaio did. Bennett has absolutely no legal authority for this request and certainly no authority to keep Obama off the Arizona ballot for not having his birth certificate verified… Arizona law does not call for any such provision of a birth certificate. Mitt Romney isn’t submitting a birth certificate.

    This is unmitigated disaster for birthers. They don’t realize their cause can only go on when their claims go UNresolved. When birther claims go to resolution, they are shown to be false.

    The really interesting thing here is the conjecture that Bennett can remove a candidate from a ballot. Never mind that the candidate is President Obama and never mind his rationale. It appears that he has the authority to do it to any candidate, without any rationale. That’s pretty powerful, even if it’s an authority that could be used exactly one time, as an act of career suicide.

  82. avatar
    Scientist May 20, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The important point in my mind is that politics is a balancing of interests, and the Electoral College takes into account regional interests. You might argue that regional interests should not be recognized in an electoral system, but in order to change the system, you have to overcome regional interests. That is, politics optimizes results taking into account the constraints imposed by all the interests.

    My complaint was not about the Electoral College, but about having elections run by partisan officials like Bennett or Kathleen Harris in Florida in 2000. The chair of one candidate’s committee should not be the one deciding who votes and who is on the ballot, nor should they be in charge of counting and certifying the votes. That could all be put in the hands of a professional, non-partisan group of civil servants without amending the Constitution nor changing the Electoral College and the balance between regional and national interests.

  83. avatar
    richCares May 20, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    And this is very much like what I see here with John.
    no, with john it’s meth, he is addicted, it destroys brain cells

  84. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: The important point in my mind is that politics is a balancing of interests, and the Electoral College takes into account regional interests. You might argue that regional interests should not be recognized in an electoral system, but in order to change the system, you have to overcome regional interests.

    And that’s why the chances of getting a constitutional amendment passed to change things range from slim to none.

  85. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Scientist: That could all be put in the hands of a professional, non-partisan group of civil servants without amending the Constitution nor changing the Electoral College and the balance between regional and national interests.

    Good idea but as long as politicians run each of the states it isn’t going to happen.

    And from a practical standpoint funding a permanent, professional organization(s) that do nothing but elections is probably way beyond the means of most localitities.

  86. avatar
    Scientist May 20, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Good idea but as long as politicians run each of the states it isn’t going to happen.

    Then expect more Bennetts. SoS is normally a low profile position that few could name (I have no idea who the SoS of New York is) so it isn’t that hard for a moron to get elected and then create some phony controversy to gin up some press attention.

    CarlOrcas: And from a practical standpoint funding a permanent, professional organization(s) that do nothing but elections is probably way beyond the means of most localitities.

    All those functions are done now at the local level. County clerks register voters and maintain the lists. All that could be replaced by a statewide agency, which could do the job more efficiently.

    The bottom line is that it was certainly not the original intent that partisan hacks would decide who gets to vote and who gets on the ballot. The Founders would abhor the very idea.

  87. avatar
    Mike Dunford May 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    john:
    Ultimately its the DOH Director under her discretion on whether a person can see a vital record.The statute merely outlines those who have a direct and tangible interest where the DOH MUST allow access to the record.

    If Fuddy wanted to bring this matter to resolution, under her discretion Orly and Bennett

    That’s incorrect.

    Hawaii’s Office of Information Practices determined **in 1990** that the list in 338-18 is an exclusive list – those categories are the _only_ ones that have a direct and tangible interest, not a list of examples.

  88. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    Scientist: Then expect more Bennetts. SoS is normally a low profile position that few could name (I have no idea who the SoS of New York is) so it isn’t that hard for a moron to get elected and then create some phony controversy to gin up some press attention.

    Every state is different. In Arizona the Secretary of State is essentially the lieutenant governor. In fact voters rejected a referendum several years ago that would have created the position. Several of them have moved into the governor’s office….including the current occupant.

    Scientist: All those functions are done now at the local level. County clerks register voters and maintain the lists. All that could be replaced by a statewide agency, which could do the job more efficiently.

    Maybe in some states but not in the western states where I have lived most of my life. There voter registrations, etc., are handling by local offices – supported by lots of volunteers – that have other duties. Creating a new, full time (I assume) state agency to handle a job that only comes around every two years would probably not be efficient.

    Scientist: The bottom line is that it was certainly not the original intent that partisan hacks would decide who gets to vote and who gets on the ballot. The Founders would abhor the very idea.

    Actually that’s exactly what the founders did. There was no direct election of Senators or the Presidental and Vice Presidental electors. All that was handled by members of the state legislature.

    And, of course, they decided, in most cases, that only land owning men (white men) could vote.

    My guess is the founders would be more than a little surprised at the state of things today.

  89. avatar
    Sef May 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm #

    Anyone who is really interested in an answer to the question of whether BHO, II was born in HI can take a trip to Honolulu and ask to see the birth index book for 1961. It is available for public inspection. Of course, that is all they will get to see,

  90. avatar
    Sef May 20, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    Scientist: All those functions are done now at the local level. County clerks register voters and maintain the lists. All that could be replaced by a statewide agency, which could do the job more efficiently.

    If you are a NY resident you might be interested to know that the law was recently changed to say that the state is responsible for maintaining the list. Of course, the local (county) BOEs register and forward info to the state DB, so one could question who really is doing all this. The local DB has more info than the state DB. The local has, for instance, school and fire district info, more info on voting history, info on absentee ballot usage, inspector & custodian info; state has info on previous address, reason for removal from list.

  91. avatar
    J. Edward Tremlett May 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    OK, adding it all up, you have…nothing. Congratulations. You’re 0 for 16. Looks like the Birthers are the only team worse than the Bobcats.

    Hey now, don’t make me get all green and white on your behind, buddy :P

    j/k

    But good rundown on the lie list.

  92. avatar
    Jamese777 May 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Good idea but as long as politicians run each of the states it isn’t going to happen.

    And from a practical standpoint funding a permanent, professional organization(s) that do nothing but elections is probably way beyond the means of most localitities.

    I think that it’s a terrible idea to entrust elections to a small group of people. I’ll stick with the mechanism established by the Founders (as amended) to implement a republican (small “r”) form of government. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    By and large, (with only a few exceptions) the Electors implement the will of a majority of the voters.

  93. avatar
    Keith May 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    James M: It appears that he has the authority to do it to any candidate, without any rationale.

    Or, at least he thinks he can convince the public that he has that power. He doesn’t actually have that power, and he won’t actually try to exercise that power, but he will try to convince the voters in Surprise that that he did the right think by them.

  94. avatar
    Sef May 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Jamese777: I think that it’s a terrible idea to entrust elections to a small group of people. I’ll stick with the mechanism established by the Founders (as amended) to implement a republican (small “r”) form of government. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    In the recent example of entrusting our Presidential election to a small (9) group of people it proved disastrous.

  95. avatar
    Keith May 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Good idea but as long as politicians run each of the states it isn’t going to happen.

    And from a practical standpoint funding a permanent, professional organization(s) that do nothing but elections is probably way beyond the means of most localitities.

    Just for comparisons sake, in Australia, there is the Australian Electoral Commission. They run all elections, local, state, and federal; University Student Body, Referendum, Union, City Council, State Parliament, Federal Parliament, you name it. They even have a ‘fee for service’ for running elections that they aren’t legislatively required to run, like shareholders elections.Actually, maybe Student Body elections are ‘fee for service’.

  96. avatar
    Keith May 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Scientist: The Founders would abhor the very idea of political parties.

    FIFY

  97. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Jamese777: By and large, (with only a few exceptions) the Electors implement the will of a majority of the voters

    Close only counts in horshoes and hand grenades. Today there is no reason for it.

    Think about how people would react if a state legislature tried to implement something like it for governor?

  98. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 20, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Keith: Just for comparisons sake, in Australia, there is the Australian Electoral Commission

    Interesting. The chances of American politicians giving up local control are nil…..with or without the Electoral College.

  99. avatar
    Clestes May 20, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    Birthers everywhere really think mr Obama can be kept off the AZ ballot and what don’t grasp is AZ does NOT have a law that requires a BC. The reason HI is not responding is because they don’t have to. AZ democrats will make sure he is on it. Anyone who thinks the president is going to get involved in this is dumb. The state dem party will file to put his name on the ballot and there is nothing the SOS can do about it.

    In fact he must be a bit stupid to have gone down this road when he knew his state did not have such a law and now he is caught high and dry looking like a fool

  100. avatar
    richCares May 20, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    “In fact he must be a bit stupid…”
    if Bennet tries to keep Obama off, he will be involved in a losing court case, poor sap.
    if he doesn’t keep Obama off, he will sufer the wrath of angry birthers
    .
    so it’s a lose,lose situation for Bennet, poor sap!

  101. avatar
    Jamese777 May 20, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    Sef: In the recent example of entrusting our Presidential election to a small (9) group of people it proved disastrous.

    Because those nine people stopped the recount of Florida’s popular vote? Look at any close Presidential election in US history and you’ll see a small group of people influencing the outcome.
    In 1824’s version of “the corrupt bargain,” it was one person, Henry Clay who gave the election to John Quincy Adams in exchange for the office of Secretary of State that decided the election.
    In 1876, it was a small group known as “the Congressional Commission” that awarded 20 Electoral votes to “Rutherfraud” (as he came to be called) B. Hayes, even though Hayes had lost the popular vote to Samuel J. Tilden.
    Most contested elections are decided by Judges, just ask Senator Al Franken!

  102. avatar
    Jamese777 May 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Clestes:
    Birthers everywhere really think mr Obama can be kept off the AZ ballot and what don’t grasp is AZ does NOT have a law that requires a BC. The reason HI is not responding is because they don’t have to. AZ democrats will make sure he is on it. Anyone who thinks the president is going to get involved in this is dumb. The state dem party will file to put his name on the ballot and there is nothing the SOS can do about it.

    In fact he must be a bit stupid to have gone down this road when he knew his state did not have such a law and now he is caught high and dry looking like a fool

    Hawaii has already said that they will respond to Bennett with a verification as soon as he sends them a statement of his legal authority to request such verification.

  103. avatar
    Greenfinches May 21, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Keith: Just for comparisons sake, in Australia, there is the Australian Electoral Commission. They run all elections, local, state, and federal; University Student Body, Referendum, Union, City Council, State Parliament, Federal Parliament, you name it. They even have a ‘fee for service’ for running elections that they aren’t legislatively required to run, like shareholders elections.Actually, maybe Student Body elections are ‘fee for service’.

    Here in the UK we have the Electoral Reform Society, which runs all sorts of non-statutory elections, for a fee. I could not begin to count the number of union elections that I have voted in where the ballot papers went to them….. Governmental elections (local and national) are run by local government officials, basically, and they keep the list of electors and organise the lot – and local government staff count the paper votes (no room for Diebold here). You’d not get the Harris-in-Florida type situation because were she running the elections, indeed doing anything much in local government, she’d not be able to be politically active!

    What the Electoral Reform Society really exists to do is (they say) to make politics better…..

  104. avatar
    The Magic M May 21, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    ASK Esq: 2) Well, he didn’t, really. He said he met someone who identified himself as a foreign student that the Ayers’ were helping, and he then, years later, decided that it was Obama.

    It’s even less substantial than that. The mailman had fact 1 (Mrs Ayers telling him they had helped a foreign student) and fact 2 (meeting Obama in front of the Ayers residence) and then combined them into one (“Obama was the foreign student the Ayers’ helped”).

    Scientist: the chair of one candidate’s committee should not be the one deciding who votes and who is on the ballot, nor should they be in charge of counting and certifying the votes. That could all be put in the hands of a professional, non-partisan group of civil servants

    This could be resolved much more easily by banning state officials (at least those in positions of actual power) from having any position in the campaign of any candidates (regardless for which office).

    The “non-partisan group” opens a whole different can of worms which also includes the question if SCOTUS judges are “non-partisan” when they are selected by presidents etc.

    I think if would suffice to just ban any activity which would create an actual obvious conflict of interest, similar to judges recusing themselves in cases that involve them personally, no matter how indirectly.
    It’s not a problem that the AZ SOS is a Republican charged with putting Democrats on the ballot, the conflict of interest only comes into play when the SOS is also directly involved with the Republican candidate’s campaign.

  105. avatar
    dch May 21, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    NBC says:
    “I predict that Bennett will quickly backpedal and will be declared a traitor by the disillusioned birthers. But even if Bennett were to get a verification, the birthers would still be upset as a simple ‘yes’ from the State of Hawaii, is something they have refused to accept several times now.”

    Yes, Bennett has blundered into the same box canyon that Donald Trump walked into last year. Trump got taken out with a single shot in the form of the LFBC. The difference is that Bennett is in an official position as a top legal authority of Arizona and has no plausible excuse for not knowing the law. He has obviously ignored the other attorneys in his own office and gone into the birther death zone. He should have read this blog to see how this well this birther thing has worked out.

  106. avatar
    The Magic M May 21, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Maybe it was deliberate.

    After all, people speculated that Trump was doing what Republican politicians did not dare (i.e. go full-tilt birther nationwide) to test the waters for this kind of smear campaign.

    Maybe Bennett is testing the waters for the Republican Hail Mary – as in “if we’re pretty sure we’ll lose the elections and have nothing to lose, let’s try birtherism, maybe that gets us the votes we need”. With AZ looking to be a close call state, this might be such a test run.

  107. avatar
    Thomas Brown May 21, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    The Magic M: It’s even less substantial than that. The mailman had fact 1 (Mrs Ayers telling him they had helped a foreign student) and fact 2 (meeting Obama in front of the Ayers residence) and then combined them into one (“Obama was the foreign student the Ayers’ helped”).

    Or fact3 The postman is a lying sack of guano, and the whole thing is a complete fabrication.

  108. avatar
    Rambo Ike May 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm #

    dch: NBC says:“I predict that Bennett will quickly backpedal and will be declared a traitor by the disillusioned birthers. But even if Bennett were to get a verification, the birthers would still be upset as a simple ‘yes’ from the State of Hawaii, is something they have refused to accept several times now.”Yes, Bennett has blundered into the same box canyon that Donald Trump walked into last year. Trump got taken out with a single shot in the form of the LFBC. The difference is that Bennett is in an official position as a top legal authority of Arizona and has no plausible excuse for not knowing the law. He has obviously ignored the other attorneys in his own office and gone into the birther death zone. He should have read this blog to see how this well this birther thing has worked out.

    dch: “He [Bennett] should have read this blog to see how well this birther thing has worked out.”

    Careful about drawing attention to this blog. Some here could wind up being called before the House on Un-American Activities Committee {HUAC].

  109. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    I assume that’s an attempt at humor. HUAC ended in 1975.

    Rambo Ike: Careful about drawing attention to this blog. Some here could wind up being called before the House on Un-American Activities Committee {HUAC].

  110. avatar
    Rickey May 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:

    The important point in my mind is that politics is a balancing of interests, and the Electoral College takes into account regional interests. You might argue that regional interests should not be recognized in an electoral system, but in order to change the system, you have to overcome regional interests. That is, politics optimizes results taking into account the constraints imposed by all the interests.

    The more important problem with the Electoral College is that it distorts the value of an individual voter’s ballot.

    Consider that Wyoming has 3 electoral votes. 241,135 voters cast ballots in Wyoming in 2008. That works out to one electoral vote for every 80,378 votes. California has 55 electoral votes and 12.2 million people voted there in 2008. That works out to one electoral vote for every 222,381 votes. Thus a vote for President in Wyoming has nearly three times as much weight as a vote in California.

    There are distortions on a smaller scale, too. Each state has a minimum of three electoral votes, so we have a situation where Wyoming and Montana have the same number of electoral votes even though Montana’s population is 44% higher than Wyoming’s.

  111. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Rambo Ike: Careful about drawing attention to this blog. Some here could wind up being called before the House on Un-American Activities Committee {HUAC].

    Like Doc I assume you are joking.

    But, on the off chance that you aren’t, just exactly what do you find un-American about the comments you quoted?

  112. avatar
    dunstvangeet May 21, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Rickey: The more important problem with the Electoral College is that it distorts the value of an individual voter’s ballot.

    There are other problems with the electoral college.

    1. It distorts the vote, giving people in small states more of a vote than the vote of people in large states. Wyoming has 3 times the number of electoral votes per capita than California has (to use extremes).

    2. It contracts the election. Ultimately, 80% of the states don’t matter to the election, because they are on one side or the other and that is likely not going to change. There is no incentive for Mitt Romney to get 42% versus 40% in California, just as there is no incentive for Barack Obama to get 42% instead of 40% in Texas. So, there’s not any addressing of those state’s issues. Instead, you have the over-access of the less than 10 actual swing states that would decide the election. Politicians concentrate on those states.

    Those are just two of the many problems with the electoral college.

  113. avatar
    El Diablo Negro May 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

    This is why I have a hard time taking R.I. seriously. Unless that is the whole premise of his/her posts.

    http://www.history.com/topics/house-un-american-activities-committee

    Dr. Conspiracy: I assume that’s an attempt at humor. HUAC ended in 1975.

  114. avatar
    jayHG May 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

    john: This is not good for Obama. Hawaii is stonewalling and refusing to cooperate. Bennett should NOT ALLOW Obama on the ballot until Hawaii at least cooperates. Instead of acting in good faith like they should, Hawaii is stonewalling and refusing to cooperate. If Obama is barred from the AZ ballot, the shoe is finally on the other foot.It will be Obama’s problem to sue.It will be Obama’s problem to prove standing and juristication.It will be Obama’s problem to get over a motion to dismiss.

    Does everyone notice that no matter the scenario, good old john says it’s “bad” for President Obama?

    I’m going to test it out. John, Orly Taitz is running for the republican nomination for U.S. Senator. Go……..!!!

  115. avatar
    James M May 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    dunstvangeet: So, there’s not any addressing of those state’s issues.

    If they had issues that actually mattered and were more divisive in nature, this status quo would change.

    The fact is, we don’t have such serious problems that would lead to an actual division between parties. Oh sure, the Republicans want to paint Democrats as some kind of leftist movement, and the Democrats want to regard Republicans as some kind of tyrannical force bent on turning the US into a totalitarian state, but in reality the parties are quite well aligned with similar objectives.

    Bring a real issue to the table, one that introduces enough chaos and challenges enough assumptions, and this notion that “80% of the states” are decided by default will go right out the window. There are some scenarios that could conceivably occur inside a generation or two that could turn all the arguments pro- and con- the EC completely upside down.

  116. avatar
    misha May 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm #

    El Diablo Negro:
    This is why I have a hard time taking R.I. seriously. Unless that is the whole premise of his/her posts. http://www.history.com/topics/house-un-american-activities-committee

    “McCarthy led an aggressive anticommunist campaign of his own that made him a powerful and feared figure in American politics. His reign of terror came to an end in 1954…”

    LBJ: “Joe McCarthy’s just a loudmouthed drunk. Hell, he’s the sorriest senator up here. Can’t tie his goddamn shoes. But he’s riding high now, he’s got people scared to death some Communist will strangle ‘em in their sleep, and anybody who takes him on before the fevers cool – well, you don’t get in a pissin’ contest with a polecat.”

    On December 2, 1954, the Senate voted to censure Senator McCarthy by a vote of 67 to 22, making him one of the few senators ever to be disciplined in this fashion. McCarthy died in Bethesda Naval Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48. The official cause of death was acute hepatitis; it is widely accepted that this was caused, or at least exacerbated, by alcoholism. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy

  117. avatar
    jayHG May 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Jamese777: Hawaii has already said that they will respond to Bennett with a verification as soon as he sends them a statement of his legal authority to request such verification.

    …which he does not have…….

  118. avatar
    Jamese777 May 21, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    CarlOrcas: Close only counts in horshoes and hand grenades. Today there is no reason for it.

    Think about how people would react if a state legislature tried to implement something like it for governor?
    It can only be changed by constitutional amendment and there are enough smaller states to block any attempt to limit their influence on general elections by taking away their electors.
    Close counts in elections too. If a election is close enough to automatically trigger a recount, then politics will always come into play in which votes are counted and which are discarded.

  119. avatar
    Jamese777 May 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    jayHG: …which he does not have…….

    But he can make his case. States tend to be very deferential to elected officials of other states.

  120. avatar
    Jamese777 May 21, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Rickey: The more important problem with the Electoral College is that it distorts the value of an individual voter’s ballot.

    Consider that Wyoming has 3 electoral votes. 241,135 voters cast ballots in Wyoming in 2008. That works out to one electoral vote for every 80,378 votes. California has 55 electoral votes and 12.2 million people voted there in 2008. That works out to one electoral vote for every 222,381 votes. Thus a vote for President in Wyoming has nearly three times as much weight as a vote in California.

    There are distortions on a smaller scale, too. Each state has a minimum of three electoral votes, so we have a situation where Wyoming and Montana have the same number of electoral votes even though Montana’s population is 44% higher than Wyoming’s.

    You have outlined precisely why the smaller states are very unlikely to agree to give up the influence that they have through electors. A constitutional amendment will be hard to ratify.

  121. avatar
    Sef May 21, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    Jamese777: But he can make his case. States tend to be very deferential to elected officials of other states.

    Even when they are being a*holes, the communication is civil. Sort of like our courts.

  122. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 21, 2012 at 6:07 pm #

    Jamese777: It can only be changed by constitutional amendment and there are enough smaller states to block any attempt to limit their influence on general elections by taking away their electors.
    Close counts in elections too. If a election is close enough to automatically trigger a recount, then politics will always come into play in which votes are counted and which are discarded.

    Yes, I understand it takes a Constitutional Amendment and that it is improbable it will change soon…..if ever.

    As far as recounts are concerned those are handled at the state level and, as we know, state politics can be interesting.

  123. avatar
    Tarrant May 21, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    While it is true that the concept of the electoral college can only be changed via amendment, there HAVE been a number of larger states looking to award their electoral votes not via the vote in their states, but to the winner of the national popular vote. Such a thing WOULD be legal, as the Constitution says that the legislature can award the state’s electoral votes any way they see fit.

    Right now a number of states have tentative bills passed that would activate only upon enough states passing them to be a majority of the electoral votes – I’m not sure such laws are Constitutional as some might argue they are a compact between states, which are barred by the Constitution. However, nothing prevents a state from re-passing such a law afterward, which could lead to effectively a national popular vote.

  124. avatar
    donna May 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    On Monday, TPM filed a public records request for the correspondence between the Hawaii government and the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. The results show Bennett and his staff grew ever more impatient with the slow pace of Hawaii’s response before the secretary finally took to a local conservative radio talk show on Thursday to voice his concerns.

    the results – scroll down:

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/05/ken_bennett_birther_hawaii_arizona_emails.php

  125. avatar
    Judge Mental May 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Bennett hasn’t got a leg to stand re his request being valid until at the very least after Obama’s name is formally put forward for the Presidency in a few months time…….and even then it seems unlikely the request would become valid unless in Obama’s nomination package there is pretty specific reference to a dated vital event in Hawaii.

    Here’s the e mail exchange between Bennett/Hawaii (with a couple of e mails from Bennett to people in Arizona who have been pestering him.

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/05/ken_bennett_birther_hawaii_arizona_emails.php

  126. avatar
    Judge Mental May 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Snap!….Donna lol.

  127. avatar
    BillTheCat May 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Careful about drawing attention to this blog. Some here could wind up being called before the House on Un-American Activities Committee {HUAC].

    Yes, some of us would LOVE seeing you seditionist morons put to some questioning. But alas, it’s the 2010’s, not the 1950’s.

  128. avatar
    linda May 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm #

    I could not believe Bennett’s correspondence. He showed a lack of understanding of Hawaii law and his replies failed to comply with Nagamine’s requests. Then I looked him up on Wiki. He is a politician and a businessman, NOT a lawyer.

    Makes more sense now.

  129. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    linda: Then I looked him up on Wiki. He is a politician and a businessman, NOT a lawyer.

    I was wondering why he wasn’t having the state AG handle the matter (like Hawaii is) and then I recalled Arizona’s AG is elected……just like him. He didn’t want to share the glory, I guess.

  130. avatar
    donna May 21, 2012 at 9:35 pm #

    bennett is considering a run for governor and co-chairs romney’s campaign in az

    CO-INK-EE-DINK?

  131. avatar
    Obsolete May 21, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    BillTheCat: But alas, it’s the 2010′s, not the 1950′s.

    The birthers’ mantra…

  132. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 22, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    Holy crapola Batman!!!

    Sheriff Joe is sending troops to Honolulu and Jerome Corsi will be “embedded” with them.

    Read it and weep….or laugh….or both.

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/05/hawaii-five-o-sheriff-joe-sends-detectives-to-honolulu/

  133. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 22, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    Here is the story from the Arizona Republic……………

    http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/2012/05/21/20120521arpaio-obama-birth-funding.html

    No mention in this story of Corsi but it repeats the nonsense about “security issues” and that’s why Zullo needs a sworn deputy along.

    He does say that the posse will reimburse the department for the cost of the trip.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  134. avatar
    CarlOrcas May 22, 2012 at 1:00 am #

    Here is the latest from Honolulu. They’ve been there since this morning. Looks like they got nowhere. There’s a surprise.

    http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/152395115.html?id=152395115

  135. avatar
    Linda May 22, 2012 at 2:19 am #

    Unbelievable! Especially the part where Corsi has agreed to curtail reporting to protect the investigation…..Well, except for ANOTHER book.

  136. avatar
    Line in the Sand May 22, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Not long ago it was finally Probable Cause in an official police investigation….

    Now followed by official Sec State request from AZ that cannot be stonewalled forever, unless they don’t want the impostor on the ballot there. Not a good move, as other states will then follow and question as well follow.

    This is all inevitable, obamabots, but you’re too thick to see it.

    It’s fun watching you armchair lawyers squirm in different ways as each day unfolds. Just like HI DoH is now, no doubt. The game is almost up and they can almost feel the handcuffs tightening already.

  137. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy May 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    ANY … DAY … NOW.

    Heavy:
    [February 3, 2009] The question is will you apologize to America when they take you messiah from the Oval Office in handcuffs. And what should your punishment be?

    Line in the Sand: The game is almost up and they can almost feel the handcuffs tightening already.

  138. avatar
    Majority Will May 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    Line in the Sand: they can almost feel the handcuffs

    Kinky.

  139. avatar
    Greenfinches May 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Line in the Sand: an official police investigation

    which was that?

    we know about the Cold Case Posse’s little research work, but that wasn’t official. was it just cover for something else? Do tell!! Inquiring minds, and all that

  140. avatar
    misha May 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Line in the Sand: they can almost feel the handcuffs

    Majority Will: Kinky.

    And now my dear, I shall teach you discipline.

  141. avatar
    James M May 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Line in the Sand:

    It’s fun watching you armchair lawyers squirm

    So are you an attorney? If so please state your qualifications. Otherwise you’re pot and I’m kettle. (To be fair, I started law school but dropped out for reasons I don’t care to discuss, other than to say I’m certain that I dodged a bullet by doing so.)

    The game is almost up and they can almost feel the handcuffs tightening already.

    I will place any bet you can cover that President Obama’s name will be on the Presidential Election ballot in every polling place in Arizona on Election Day, on every early ballot, and in the informational packets that the recorder’s office in each county sends out well before the election date.

  142. avatar
    Majority Will May 22, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Greenfinches: which was that?

    we know about the Cold Case Posse’s little research work, but that wasn’t official.was it just cover for something else?Do tell!! Inquiring minds, and all that

    Perhaps Arpaio was lying about not using county funds and the Sheriff’s office to conduct his idiotic hobby.

  143. avatar
    linda May 22, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    Interesting that you consider whatever it was the CCP did to be an official investigation. If Arpaio actually has probable cause, why hasn’t he referred the matter for the prosecution?

    Line in the Sand: Not long ago it was finally Probable Cause in an official police investigation….

  144. avatar
    nbc May 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    Line in the Sand: It’s fun watching you armchair lawyers squirm in different ways as each day unfolds. Just like HI DoH is now, no doubt. The game is almost up and they can almost feel the handcuffs tightening already.

    Fascinating sense of denial of reality. The AG observed that at best the Cold case posse showed that a copy of the original document MAY perhaps be a forgery. But somehow, the CCP refuses to submit their findings to a prosecutor, instead they decided on an extended media tour to Hawaii, where they could inspect the Index Data confirming the birth of President Obama. But I doubt that they would look at said index data as this would undermine their ‘case’.
    While they sent a ‘deputy’ who ‘flashed his badge’, the DOH of HI was not intimidated and sent them home packing…
    A few days at the beach, some pina coladas and all will be fine…

    I predict:

    Arpaio is not going to refer any of his ‘findings’ to a prosecutor because there is nothing there.

    The AZ SOS is going to back down once he has been informed that under Hawaiian Law, he has no right to receive a verification in lieu of a certification.

    President Obama will be on the ballot in all 50 states.

  145. avatar
    JoZeppy May 22, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    Line in the Sand: Not long ago it was finally Probable Cause in an official police investigation….

    sure it was…..and why hasn’t it been forwarded to a prosecutor if probable cause had been found? Oh yeah….because it was B.S. First hint that it was B.S. is that the had a press conference and never filed charges. In the real world of law, the press conference comes after filing an indictment.

    Line in the Sand: Now followed by official Sec State request from AZ that cannot be stonewalled forever,

    There’s no stonewalling. The state of Hawaii asked that the AZ Sec of State comply with the law, and provide his legal authority to request such information. He hasn’t done so. So who’s fault is that?

    Line in the Sand: unless they don’t want the impostor on the ballot there.

    I’d be willling to be my annual salary that the President will be on the ballot in AZ. And while it seems the people of the State of Arizona love to have the government waste their money defending litigation, that anyone that remotely paid attention in the first year of law school could tell you they are bound to lose, I’m guessing the Sec of State is trying to find a way out of the mess he just stepped in, while saving face.

    Line in the Sand: Not a good move, as other states will then follow and question as well follow.

    I’m guessing most state officials in the other states are watching this mess and being thankful they didn’t try to pull this stupid move to try to appeal to the most looney branch of the Republican party.

    Line in the Sand: This is all inevitable, obamabots, but you’re too thick to see it.

    What is inevitable is that the birthers will have another disappointment, say “they got to him,” and wait for the next OMG moment that will end like the last 100.

    Line in the Sand: It’s fun watching you armchair lawyers squirm in different ways as each day unfolds.

    See, the nice thing about being an actual lawyer, is that it’s pretty clear how this ends. Our friend in Arizona has to find some way to save face and say that his concerns have been satisfied, despite the fact that the Hawaii DoH told him to go pound sand.

    Line in the Sand: Just like HI DoH is now, no doubt.

    Yes….telling someone to provide legal authority for their request is really squirming.

    Line in the Sand: The game is almost up and they can almost feel the handcuffs tightening already.

    Sound familiar?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGPo-HfbGgY

  146. avatar
    misha May 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    linda: If Arpaio actually has probable cause, why hasn’t he referred the matter for the prosecution?

    Ask the people who sued Al Franken, and were laughed out of court.

  147. avatar
    James M May 22, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    JoZeppy: Line in the Sand: Not long ago it was finally Probable Cause in an official police investigation….

    sure it was…..and why hasn’t it been forwarded to a prosecutor if probable cause had been found?

    Because Sheriff Arpaio is purposely impeding the investigation because he wants obstruction and conspiracy charges added to the federal case against him?

  148. avatar
    Northland10 May 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Well, the squirming is now from the SOS as he has now backed down. Sorry Birthers.

    I am on mobile so I cannot pull the Tom link.

    Line in the Sand:
    Not long ago it was finally Probable Cause in an official police investigation….

    Now followed by official Sec State request from AZ that cannot be stonewalled forever, unless they don’t want the impostor on the ballot there. Not a good move, as other states will then follow and question as well follow.

    This is all inevitable, obamabots, but you’re too thick to see it.

    It’s fun watching you armchair lawyers squirm in different ways as each day unfolds.Just like HI DoH is now, no doubt.The game is almost up and they can almost feel the handcuffs tightening already.

  149. avatar
    Northland10 May 22, 2012 at 7:44 pm #

    TPM link. Darn auto-fill.

    Northland10:
    Well, the squirming is now from the SOS as he has now backed down.Sorry Birthers.

    I am on mobile so I cannot pull the Tom link.

  150. avatar
    linda May 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up. Here is the link.
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/05/ken_bennett_apologizes_obama_birther_hawaii_arizona.php

    Northland10: Well, the squirming is now from the SOS as he has now backed down. Sorry Birthers.

    I am on mobile so I cannot pull the TPM link.

  151. avatar
    Thomas Brown May 22, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    The bitter, despairing tears of Birfoons like “Line in the Sand” filling my cup…. Mmmm, so delicious! And the supply is endless, because the Truth is always on our side, but Birfers will never, ever admit it! Soon we can fill a salt-water aquarium with their tears and enjoy the colorful antics of Failure Fish any time we want! We can feed them Gullible Guppies and Moron Minnows!

    So satisfying. So timely. So just.

  152. avatar
    AlCum May 22, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    Line in the Sand:
    Not long ago it was finally Probable Cause in an official police investigation….

    Now followed by official Sec State request from AZ that cannot be stonewalled forever, unless they don’t want the impostor on the ballot there. Not a good move, as other states will then follow and question as well follow.

    This is all inevitable, obamabots, but you’re too thick to see it.

    It’s fun watching you armchair lawyers squirm in different ways as each day unfolds.Just like HI DoH is now, no doubt.The game is almost up and they can almost feel the handcuffs tightening already.

    Is this guy serious? I guess he doesn’t read the papers.