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Florida paper points finger at Birther Rep.

The Ocala Star Banner newspaper on their web site published an article highlighting alleged racist and birther comments from Florida Republican congressman Ted Yoho of Gainesville, writing:

U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Gainesville, has drawn national attention and scrutiny in recent days for comments questioning the authenticity of the President Barack Obama’s birth certificate and declaring as "racist" a tanning bed tax that’s part of the Affordable Care Act.

The paper identified the venue at which Yoho made the birther remarks, a Tea Party event in Gainesville. Gainesville Tea Party President Laurie Newsom says that the majority of the crowd of 150-200 people felt that the economy and the deficit took precedence over an investigation of Obama’s birth certificate.

The birthers have just started to appear in comments.

Voeltz death watch

I’m going to be away from the Internet for a week starting Saturday. This article is where you may discuss the progress of Voeltz v. Obama in Florida. There was a hearing in Florida this morning in the case and Judge Lewis has previously stated that he intends to render a decision expeditiously.

Since there will unquestionably be an appeal of the Judge’s ruling, I think the teleconference hearing today is a chance for all sides to get their arguments into the record for that appeal (appeals cannot introduce new arguments or claims).

WorldNetDaily made a huge publicity splash for the last hearing including a live video feed, but has not even mentioned the one today. That’s not really a surprise since it’s almost certain to be dismissed. No news from the hearing yet.

Note that all of the documents from this case are available on the Court’s “High Profile Cases” page.


Based on comments at the Obama Ballot Challenge site, it appears that Judge Lewis has struck the “Second Amended Complaint”.

Second hearing in Voeltz case tomorrow

The Leon County court docket shows a hearing scheduled for 9:00 tomorrow morning (June 29, 2012) before Judge Lewis in the case of Voeltz v. Obama. I had hoped for a decision this week, but I presume the filing of a “Second amended complaint” by Voeltz’ attorney Larry Klayman and two other filings (a motion to strike the “unauthorized” SAC and a motion in opposition) have led to this second hearing. The fact of the second hearing suggests to me that Judge Lewis is going to allow the “Second amended complaint” and the hearing is to discuss new points raised in that complaint, specifically the plea for declaratory judgment.

Also noted on the docket is the notation: “High profile case” and the filing of an amicus brief filed by Scott Rille1.

Based on Judge Lewis’ remarks to Klayman at the last hearing about including material for an appeal, I concluded that he was prepared to dismiss the case: Klayman wouldn’t appeal a favorable decision.

1Scott Rille is a name not familiar to me. There is a note at The Fogbow  linking to an online dating service for men looking for Russian brides and a Scott Rille profile.

Florida and more Florida

Two items from Florida for you today. First, Jerry Collette has completed his “Plaintiff’s Supplemental Brief in Opposition to Motions to Dismiss” today in Collette v. Obama. Because we have so many documents, I’ll link rather than embed. Jerry cites the Florida rules that say “…it has been stated that the law “guarantees” every person a remedy when he or she has been wronged.” Be that as it may, Jerry’s problem has always been showing that he has been wronged. Hey, I think I have been “wronged” by birthers telling lies on my blog, but I don’t think I could convince a judge of it. He further argues that courts recognize “implied rights.” The problem is that Jerry doesn’t connect the dots that lead to his implied right. He says:

The federal eligibility requirements were clearly passed to protect the citizens who are not part of a usurpation from anyone taking office who does not meet them.

The problem is that no one is taking office. The Congress certified the 2008 election and that determination of eligibility  is as firm as the Constitution itself. The main thrust of the suit is to keep anyone in Florida from being able to vote for Obama in 2012, but voting and taking office are two different things.

Anyway, much more in the document and you can read it in its full and uncommented upon state.

I have only had time to speed read Jerry’s document, and the following not at all yet.

New documents are available in the Voeltz case.  The hearing transcript in Voeltz v. Obama is available now courtesy of the Jack Ryan project. Many of us have watched the video, but this will be a way to quickly refer back to exactly what was said. Also, we see a joint motion from the attorneys representing the Secretary of State and the Florida Election Canvassing commission, arguing that the “Second Amended Complaint” from Larry Klayman be struck. As you may recall, Judge Lewis requested proposed orders from both sides today. We have Mr. Klayman’s submission, and I will embed that 26-pager below.

Continue Reading →

Mining the Metadata

Last night, before I publicized the referral of the Maricopa County Cold Case Posse to the IRS, I double checked that the name of the complainant, redacted in the PDF file uploaded to Scribd, was well and truly redacted, and not lurking1 somewhere in the document properties, what is called the “metadata.” The name was totally removed, and I republished the document without worry.

However, when I was in there, I found one interesting bit in the document properties, and that was that the document was created by Adobe Acrobat Pro Version 9. The professional edition of Adobe Acrobat is somewhere around $200 more than the standard edition, and it adds features that high-end users need and home users like myself don’t. One of those pro features is the ability to remove sensitive material from a document, redaction. The pro version is targeted at, among others, law firms, so it reinforces my feeling that a practicing lawyer filed the complaint against the MSCOCCP.

I wanted to verify that the Acrobat version is a characteristic of the PDF file uploaded to Scribd and not something Scribd does, and to test that I downloaded a few other documents. One from Jerry Collette was created with One from attorney Mark Herron defending the Florida Democratic Party in the Voeltz case was created by Adobe Acrobat 10 (version not indicated) — I know it’s from Mark Herron because his name appears in the metadata as author.

This leads us finally to the Voeltz Complaints. The  “Second Amended Complaint” in Voeltz v. Obama was created by a PDF software package called iText, while Microsoft Word 2007’s “save to PDF” created the “Amended Complaint”. What is interesting about the “Amended Complaint” is that it, like the submission from the Florida Democratic Party, has an author name in the metadata, and the name is not Larry Klayman as one would expect. I got all excited that I had uncovered a bit of hidden information that might lead to an interesting discovery. Alas, no. The name in there is the CEO of a company called U.S. Legal Forms, and I presume that whoever wrote the complaint just used a template2 from that company and didn’t change the author in the metadata. I won’t mention the name because of the site policy against publishing the names of non-public persons, in case I have misconstrued the significance of the author information.

1I learned the name of Orly Taitz’ dental practice, Appealing Dentistry, from metadata in one of her documents.

2U. S. Legal Forms sells a multi-state “Complaint regarding Defamation, Fraud, Deceitful Business Practices” for $12.95. I didn’t see anything specifically for birther lawsuits.

First v Second: the Voeltz complaint

Thanks for a comment in email comparing the “First Amended Complaint” and the “Second Amended Complaint” in the Voeltz v. Obama election challenge in Florida.

I downloaded the two files from Scribd in PDF format. Because these PDFs were created from the original documents and not scanned images, it was easy to save them as Microsoft Word .doc files and then run Word’s comparison utility to create a marked-up version showing what changed.

One of the things throughout the document is that where it previously said “elected” it now says “elected and nominated” reflecting Klayman’s contention that the 2012 Presidential Preference Primary (which was not actually held) “elected” Barack Obama as Florida’s Nominee for President.

Reading the Florida statutes, it seems clear to me that the winner of the Preference Primary is consistently described as a “candidate for nomination” and I think, and this is the position of the Florida Secretary of State, that the election contest statute does not apply to the Preference Primary.

While it seems clear from reading the law that there are no obvious grounds for the Voeltz suit in the election statute, I still have a common sense reservation. Let’s say that the allegations in the case were not a nut-case conspiracy theory about Barack Obama, but good old election fraud – the votes were miscounted, ineligible persons voted and so on. One would think that such shenanigans ought to be redressable somehow. Because of the unique nature of the Preference Primary, election fraud might be addressed outside the court system, by the State Democratic Convention, the individual delegates, or the national convention. No one is elected yet. Also someone, an opposition candidate, could claim damages and sue outside the election contest provision.

Still, if Judge Lewis should decide, based on some reasoning beyond what I have seen, that the Presidential Preference Primary is an election, that a Primary that didn’t happen is also an election, and that the result can be challenged under Florida law, then we pass to the question of whether the allegations in this suit are sufficient to sustain a cause of action. I don’t think they are. While elections and nominations in Florida may be challenged on the basis of the eligibility of the candidate, I would assert that there is no eligibility requirement in a Preference Primary, which is solely a mechanism for Party members to express their preference. One does not have to be eligible to be preferred. I support the notion that political parties are not bound by Article II of the constitution in deciding who they want to run for President. I think we all agree that an ineligible person may not serve as President of the United States, but I see nothing in the Constitution that precludes such a person from running.

The other major change in the “Second Amended Complaint” is the addition of “declaratory judgment” as relief. As you know, I have not yet graduated from the Obama Conspiracy Theories Online Law School, and I haven’t studied declaratory judgments yet. I get the impression that they appear a lot in patent litigation, and basically one party wants the court to declare that they have a right of some sort.

In this case, Klayman asks the court to declare that the Secretary of State of Florida has a duty to verify the eligibility of candidates for President, and second that Barack Obama isn’t eligible. The courts so far (and there are few examples) seem to be saying that there is no role for the States in determining presidential eligibility, and if this is so and Lewis agrees, then Klayman will not get his declaratory judgment either.