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BR v. BR

GerbilReportBirther Report (BR) has a new article up consisting of an email exchange involving Brian Reilly (BR). In an article titled “Cold Case Posse Initiator Reverses Course,” author George Miller exhibits an email exchange between Kevin “Pixel Patriot” Powell (is a pixel patriot like a keyboard warrior, only a lot smaller?) and Brian Reilly. I wanted to take a bit of what Powell wrote as an example of how confused birthers are about the facts and how they raise bogus objections.

The first item refers to the verification received by Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett from the State of Hawaii, one reason Reilly considers the Obama identity issue closed. Here’s what Powell said:

Dr. Onaka’s verification letter on May 22nd, 2012 did undermine the investigation to some extent but if you look at the circumstances in their entirety, it did not and should not have shut down the investigation which proceeded on many fronts beyond what you are privy to.

The first issue is the implication that Brian Reilly was not privy to the entire scope of the Cold Case Posse investigation; however, since there were only two people (Reilly being one of them) working on the investigation, it hardly seems credible for someone who wasn’t part of any of it (Powell) to make a claim that there were material things Reilly was not privy to. How could Powell know such a thing? If he could not know it, he must have made that claim up. Powell continues:

In reality, the so-called verification letter is missing two fundamental elements such as the name of the parents and the date of birth.

Without these, everything is suspect…

The article, to its credit, links to that verification. Powell claims that the parent’s name and date of birth, items which Powell calls “fundamental” elements, are not part of the itemized list of data elements that Dr. Onaka verified. How are they “fundamental”? Parents are irrelevant to presidential eligibility (no one ever alleged Obama’s father was an ambassador), and no one has ever suggested that Barack Obama was not at least 35 years old when he became president. So Powell is attempting to spin the non-critical items into something important. It is true that the itemized list doesn’t contain the two elements, but the verification also says:

Additionally, I verify that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for Mr. Obama that you attached with your request matches the original record in our files.

Since the White House copy of the certificate includes the date of birth and parents’ names, the verification’s general matching statement verifies them too. For more on the verifications, see my 2012 article “Reverse engineering Dr. Onaka” and my 2013 article, “Onaka’s verification wording.” Further, the Bennett verification is not the only one.

Powell goes on to say:

…An honest evaluation undoubtedly demands full disclosure by the known liar waging war against the Constitution and the citizens of this Republic….

Given that Sheriff Arpaio has been sued by Obama’s Justice Department for abuses in his department, Arpaio is hardly the one to provide an unbiased evaluation, nor is Mike Zullo who has no specialization in law enforcement, beyond a short stint as a policeman in a small town 20 years ago, in any way qualified to lead, much less solely comprise the investigation.  Mike Zullo himself is a known liar, presenting a false race code table to the public and assuring his listeners that he had the original manual containing the codes. (He either lied about the content of the manual, or he lied about having it.) If an honest evaluation is to be done, Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse is one of the last places where it could be found.

Powell then states:

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie vowed to find Obama’s Birth Certificate but couldn’t produce it. Then, Gov. Abercrombie gave Dr. Onaka an award for modernizing the national vital statistics model law. Onaka also helped Hawaii implement EVVE as a Pilot state. The system can verify within 7 seconds whether a birth record is valid or fraudulent. Both AZ and Hawaii were early adopters of the EVVE System, yet Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett spent weeks exchanging emails with that same state registrar just so he could ask the question in the right way to get the “correct answer” while completely ignoring an official investigation by a sheriff that had declared it to be a forgery created by an act of fraud. The answer Sec. Bennett agreed to receive from Dr. Onaka did not include the date of birth, a critical component which was recommended to remain unchanged (p.59) in the national vital statistics model law because of the legal implications by the work group Dr. Onaka chaired for which he was given said award.

The claim that Abercrombie couldn’t find Obama’s birth certificate is bogus. Abercrombie was looking for some document he could release, and was told that by law he couldn’t release what they had.

Abercrombie giving Onaka an award is news to me. Did it happen? I couldn’t find such a thing. The Department of Health received an award from the Center for Digital Government (finalist in the Best of the Web contest), but that’s not from Abercrombie. The DoH received another award in 2007 (before Abercrombie became governor) from the same organization for its Electronic Death Registration System. Onaka received the Halbert L. Dunn award in 2008 from the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information Systems, and another NAPHSIS award in 2011 for his work as chair of the committee that produced recommendations for updates to the Model State Vital Statistics Act. None of these awards has anything whatever to do with Governor Abercrombie.

Powell alleges that Bennett could have simply used EVVE (Electronic Verification of Vital Events), an electronic system used by participating government agencies to check the validity of birth certificates under the Real ID Act. Powell correctly states that EVVE implementation was complete in Hawaii and Arizona (as of January of 2011). The technical specifications for EVVE are not public, and I didn’t take stuff home with me from my prior job in vital records. What I can say from the research that I have been able to do, is that it is within the realm of possibility that Ken Bennett might have been able to call some office in some Arizona state agency and after a long discussion of whether there was authority for what he was asking, been able to verify some limited set of information on Obama’s birth certificate electronically.

The problem with that approach, assuming it was permissible, is that the results are not certified by anybody. Can you imagine a Secretary of State certifying a candidate for president based on a screen print of some terminal at the DMV? :roll: EVVE verifications are nothing more than a computer-to-computer data match, not an official record. Further, it is highly unlikely that such data elements as the name of the hospital are included in the EVVE transaction. One paper on electronic birth registration systems in the EVVE context listed the following data items as “birth identification data”:

  • registrant’s name
  • date of birth
  • city, county, and State of the place of birth
  • gender
  • mother’s maiden name
  • father’s name
  • mother’s address
  • birth certificate number
  • mother’s Social Security number
  • father’s Social Security number
  • date filed

If that is the correct list, then EVVE could not have verified the following elements that Bennett asked of Onaka:

  • Time of birth
  • Name of Hospital
  • Age of Father
  • Birthplace of father
  • Age of mother
  • Birthplace of Mother
  • Date of Signature of Parent
  • Date of Signature of Attendant
  • Date Accepted by Local Registrar

That means that only 3 of the 12 items Bennett requested for verification might have been verifiable by EVVE. Powell’s entire complaint is bogus from start to finish.

Now, about the gerbils. Gerbil Report (as I now prefer to call Birther Report) trots out the gerbils, in this gratuitous image, courtesy of Barry Soetoro, Esq.:


In an email Brian Reilly responds:

Birther Report has published selected communications between myself and individuals who embrace the position that President Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery.  My goal was to tell the numerous people who were open copied in Gary Wilmott’s recent email that former MCSO Chief Brian Sands’ new exposé entitled "Arpaio, DeFacto Lawman" is available from as an e-book for $4.99. I hit the Jackpot when Birther Report chose to advertise the book for all to see.  In the memorable words of President George Bush:  "Mission Accomplished!"

Brian Reilly

Georgia: Birther legislator defeated

Georgia Representative Mark Hatfield was known to me as a sponsor of the Georgia “birther bill” rejected in 2011. I got to hear him speak briefly representing Kevin Powell and Carl Swensson at the ballot challenge hearing in Atlanta last January 26.

Mr. Hatfield will not be introducing any birther bills in the next legislative session, being soundly defeated in the Primary Tuesday, receiving only 29% of the vote in his bid for a state Senate seat. I don’t think birtherism was a factor in the election, but

Winner Tyler Harper will face Democratic challenger Donald Mitchell in the General Election.

Birther appeals dismissed in Georgia

In an order today, the Judge Cynthia D. Wright of the Fulton County Superior Court dismissed appeals by all Petitioners (Farrar, Lax, Judy, Roth, Swensson, Powell, and Welden) in a series of ballot challenges raised against Barack Obama.

The court decided that under the U. S. Constitution and under Georgia Law, the Secretary of State may not interfere in the internal decision making of a political party, in this case the Democratic Presidential Preference Primary. Earlier the court had denied admission pro hac vice to Orly Taitz.

Read the order:

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Ballot challenges: Concentrating in Georgia

Four separate ballot challenge appeals were filed in Georgia in the wake of the decision by Secretary of State Brian Kemp to keep Barack Obama on the Georgia Presidential Preference Primary Ballot, slated for March 6.

Obama’s  attorney, Michael Jablonski, filed a motion in the Superior Court of Fulton County to consolidate the cases. Jablonski argued that all the cases were similar, and that it would be easier for him and for the Secretary of State to litigate one case instead of 4.  Mark Hatfield, the attorney for Powell and Swensson, argued against having his two cases consolidated with that of Welden and most vigorously against joining with that of David Farrar, Lax, Judy and Roth  (formerly represented by Orly Taitz). Hatfield feels that combination of his legal theories about natural born citizenship with conspiracy theories about identity theft and vital records fraud (Farrar) will prejudice his case.

In a pair of orders issued Thursday, the two judges (Newkirk and Brasher) assigned to Hatfield’s clients (Swensson and Powell respectively) ordered that these cases were related to that of Farrar (et al.) and transferred the cases to Judge Cynthia D. Wright who is assigned to hear the Farrar appeal. On Friday, Judge Schwall ordered the Welden case transferred (I haven’t seen the order but I presume it’s being transferred to Judge Wright also). This isn’t consolidation, yet. Since Welden, Powell and Swensson all argue similar legal theories (albeit with different evidence), it makes perfect sense to consolidate these cases. Pro se plaintiff Farrar, on the other hand, requests the same result but under a very different set of alleged facts and legal theories.

Swensson appeal filed in Georgia

The third appeal of Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s decision to keep Barack Obama on the Super Tuesday Primary Ballot was filed yesterday – this time by Carl Swensson through his Georgia attorney Mark Hatfield, in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia.

Update: Mr. Powell has also filed a similar appeal through Mr. Hatfield.

Photo of Mark HatfieldHatfield (pictured right) had argued unsuccessfully before Judge Michael Malihi last month that Barack Obama was not eligible to run for President because Obama’s father was not a US citizen. The judge ruled against Swensson (and co-plaintiff Powell), citing an Indiana Appeals Court ruling in a similar case, that those born in the country are its natural born citizens. That ruling was accepted by Secretary of State Kemp.

Hatfield argues that Judge Malihi erred when he issued one ruling in the three cases before him challenging Obama’s eligibility, contending that in his case, no evidence was presented that Barack Obama was born in the United States and that Malihi should not considered evidence (State Department documents, a passport, birth certificates, and a school registration) for a US Birth of Barack Obama from the other cases in his case. (I have already shown that Hatfield did present evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii in his Exhibit 6.) Hatfield also criticizes Judge Malihi for not ruling on his “burden of proof” motion. Finally, and probably most importantly, Hatfield claims error based on the Judge’s reliance on the reasoning in the Indiana Appeals Court ruling in Ankeny v Governor of Indiana rather than the Supreme Court case of Minor v. Happersett, even though Ankeny was a presidential eligibility case and Minor was not.  Hatfield requests an emergency stay of Kemp’s decision and an expedited hearing.

To date, three such appeals have been filed: one on behalf of David Welden (attorney Van R. Irion), one on behalf of David Farrar, et al. (attorney Orly Taitz) and this one by Swensson. I have some doubts about the Farrar case based on the defective pro hac vice filings of Orly Taitz, who is clearly not competent to practice law. The filing deadline is tomorrow and we’ll just have to see if the Farrar appeal will be allowed to proceed without an attorney.

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Expanded coverage of the Georgia challenge

A commenter here pointed out that I have been remiss in reporting only the Farrar v. Obama eligibility challenge in Georgia when in fact there are no less than 4 challenges filed, in particular:

Challenger Counsel
David Farrar, Leah Lax, Cody Judy, Thomas Malaren and Laurie Roth Orly Taitz
David P. Welden Van R. Irion
Carl Swensson Mark Hatfield
Kevin Richard Powell Mark Hatfield


One would expect that attorney Taitz would be the weakest of the counsel listed and the quality of the challenge shouldn’t be judged by  her filings. Mr. Welden offered a simpler challenge, not contesting the facts of the President’s birth, but only his qualifications as a natural born citizen given that the President’s father himself was not a US citizen. Welden writes forcefully arguing that his case be separated from Mr. Farrar’s:

…if Plaintiff Welden’s brief and simple complaint is heard in the same proceeding as other Plaintiffs’ testimony and arguments, it will be buried like a needle in a haystack of mind-numbing legal wrangling.

If anyone has copies of the submissions by the other Challengers,  please leave a comment and I will link to them. Cody Judy, you may remember, filed a lawsuit against John McCain in 2008, and maintains a web site promoting his candidacy for President.

I found that there are two pre-trial orders from Farrar. One states that Orly’s case will take 30 minutes to present. The other says 6 hours. That latter document lays out in more detail what case she will present.

In addition to a full list of the cases being heard this month, there have been other omissions from my coverage. One is a request to appear amicus  curiae (as a friend of the court) by Paul Andrew Mitchell who describes himself as “Private attorney general.” Mitchell filed papers in previous cases, including Berg v. Obama. He appears to run a web site called the “Supreme Law Firm” although it was not readily apparent from the web site where he is licensed to practice law. In his motion to Judge Malihi, Mitchell references his aptly-named paper “Citizenship for Dummies” in which he claims, among many other things, the 14th Amendment was never properly ratified. While I didn’t read in detail the lengthy, rambling and convoluted papers written by Mr. Mitchell, I think that perhaps what he is trying to say is that since the 14th Amendment is invalid, they the Supreme Court decision in Scott v. Sanford is controlling and that apartheid is the law of the land, making Barack Obama not a US Citizen (never mind that Obama is not descended from African slaves).

At least one other filing has been made outside the listed challengers from Dr. Paul Maas Risenhoover who argued that a disbarred attorney might be ghostwriting papers for Orly Taitz, in violation of court rules in some jurisdictions. Further Risenhoover states that Obama is only a natural born citizen only if Hawaii is indeed a state, and not the occupied territory he thinks it might be.

Another way to characterize this challenge is “crank magnet.”