The latest darling of the birthers is named Reed Hayes, a handwriting expert in Hawaii, tasked by the Maricopa County volunteer Cold Case Posse to look at the electronic PDF image of Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate. (According to the birther press, the Obots are all in a tizzy1.) So what do we know about this guy, and what do we not know?
The biggest thing we don’t know is what his report says because it hasn’t been released. Putting the mountain aside, let’s examine the mole hills.
Let’s start with a birther claim: Hayes is a registered Democrat. You can see it on the birther web sites:
- CDR Kerchner (Ret)’s Blog: Mr. Reed Hayes… is a Registered Democrat.
- Freedom Outpost (quoting PPSimmons): …the fact that Mr. Hayes is a registered Democrat
- PPSimmons (quoting Mike Zullo): …the fact that Mr. Hayes is a registered Democrat
- Patriots Tea Party News: They also stated that Hayes is a registered Democrat in HI
In fact “Reed Hayes” “registered Democrat” returns 505 hits on Google. The problem: Hawaii doesn’t have political party registration. The birthers seem to think that being a Democrat somehow makes him immune from criticism (not publishing his report is what actually makes him immune from criticism). Birthers are opportunists, believing whoever seems to support them, but they think that their opposition works the same way, and that Obots only trust Obots. Here’s a quote attributed to Mike Zullo:
This ought to serve as a warning shot across the bow to the naysayers of our criminal investigation in the Obama fraud case. The impressive credentials of Mr. Hayes, and the fact that he has testified in court cases for Perkins-Coie coupled with the fact that Mr. Hayes is a registered Democrat, demonstrates the integrity of our investigation and our conviction that we possess incontrovertible evidence to back our case.
The Hayes CV does not say that he testified in court for the Perkins-Coie attorney, or what he did. But since when is an association with Obama or his law firm a badge of honor and qualifications for the birthers? It is when it suits them. We normals have to be more objective. It seems a dubious claim that Mike Zullo gains confidence because he has a report from an Obama supporter. Ability, integrity and political leaning are not correlated.
The quote above does introduce another topic, and that is the alleged use of Mr. Hayes by a large national law firm who happens to represent Barack Obama. Generally in the English language, the plural is not appropriate for a single instance. Zullo alleges multiple cases where Hayes and Perkins-Coie are tied. Hayes’ CV lists only one attorney from Perkins-Coie in Seattle who may or may not have been associated with that firm when Mr. Hayes was used.
Now as to credentials, Hayes has an impressive list (see CV link). He has certifications in document analysis and has testified in court a listed 22 times. What is interesting is that as far as I can see, he has never testified in federal court. That’s significant for me because I cannot readily gain access to any of the cases, nor can I determine what they were about, or what he testified. One of the cases he lists is State of Hawaii v. Lisa-Katharine Otsuka and I found at least that his CV had been submitted in that case.
His particular expertise, however, appears to be in handwriting analysis and that has no relevance to whether a PDF is a scan of a document or something constructed in Adobe Illustrator. Whether he is an astrologer or not is hardly relevant either.
See also Squeeky Fromm’s take on this story.
1I’m a tizzy because I’m installing Windows 8 on my laptop, not because of Mr. Hayes.
The laptop upgrade went surprisingly well, including the fingerprint recognition hardware that I had anticipated being a problem. In fact, the only software that didn’t work was something I had written myself; that was fixed by updating the development software. I don’t see what the big deal is with Windows 8. Just buy one of those free Start button programs, and then it looks just like Windows 7, but with some new features, and running faster, I think.