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Birthers factor in Maryland election

Just two days ago tweets from Donald Trump, tied by a USA Today reporter to the fake Barry Soetoro Columbia University student ID, found their way into the news. Now another tweet, this time republished by Republican candidate for Maryland state comptroller, William Campbell, has become an issue in his campaign.

The Delmarva Daily Times reports this 2013 entry from Campbell’s Facebook page:

635497650883002463-campbell-obama-screenshot

Note Campbell’s comment, “He does look like Travon (sic), doesn’t he?”

The newspaper is quick to note that the ID image is faked: the digital barcode wasn’t used in 1981, and the Obama photo was from Harvard.

When questioned, Campbell said that he didn’t remember the post, and:

I have other issues with his governance, but I don’t believe in that birther stuff.

This is not the only injection of birtherism into Maryland Politics. Democratic candidate for Maryland’s governor, Anthony Brown, has sent out a mailer raising the issue. This image was reported by The Daily Record in Baltimore:

Collage including image of Donald Trump and "Where's the Birth Certificate?" billboard

Brown is a strong favorite to win.

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Birther plaintiffs say they didn’t get a Fair decision

Just as debunked conspiracy theories don’t die when logic dictates that they should, so birther conspiracy theory lawsuits don’t seem to end when the courts dismiss them. Case in point is Fair v. Walker in Maryland.

This case, the long caption of which is Tracy A. Fair and Mary C. Mitlenberger1 v. Robert Walker, Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Elections, et al. (President Obama is one of the defendants), is one of the leftover election lawsuits from 2012 that I wrote about in my article “Fair gets Obama hearing.” The issue raised was whether the Maryland General Assembly members should be removed from office for voting for something that removed the requirement that candidates swear they were eligible, that the law be changed back to what it was, and Obama be barred from the ballot in Maryland forever (plus some other stuff). The case was dismissed because it was filed later than the date on which the statute required candidates for the ballot to be certified. The original suit (based on a faulty knowledge of Maryland law) was filed in time, but the amended complaint was too late. The legal term is “laches,” a burden on a party because of delay.

Plaintiffs appealed to the Maryland Court of Appeals and lost; however, they have now filed for reconsideration, citing among other things, “new evidence.” One wonders how there could be “new evidence” about when primary ballots for the 2012 election had to be certified. The specific new evidence was attached to a motion for judicial notice linked below, which seems to consist of some old stuff (Vattel, etc.) This all seems to be something related to their original claim, which of course could not be heard because it was dismissed. In all fairness (no pun intended), they allege other reasons for reconsideration, and dump a very long list of cases. Plaintiffs stated at the outset that they couldn’t find a real lawyer to take their case. I would just offer one suggestion to pro se plaintiffs: do not start an argument with the words, I do not understand how….

To the best my knowledge, the decision of the Court of Special Appeals was not published.

Documents:


1Added to Birthers A to Z list.

The strange tale of Michelle, Karen, Orly and the “honey trap”

I guess “Obama” conspiracy theories can refer to Michelle Obama as well as to Barack. H/t to Orly Taitz for the lead.

Karen Hudes

Video captured photo of Karen HudesBeyond both being women and attorneys (and perhaps Jewish), Orly Taitz and Karen Hudes (rhymes with “huge”) pictured right would on the surface seem to have little in common–Taitz graduated from an on-line law school, but Hudes got her degree from Yale, and Taitz has never made a living as an attorney but Hudes was on the legal team at the World Bank for 20 years; nevertheless, Taitz highlights Hudes’ story on her web site [link to Taitz web site]. Under the surface there are also things in common–the first involves a story about an Obama and the others we will get to presently. But first…

The Great Conspiracy

On November 27, Hudes in an interview with Forerunner Chronicles, alleged all sorts wrongdoing involving the World Bank, including a startling tale (and what follows is the tip of the iceberg) of something that makes me think of Christopher-Earl: Strunk—that your federal income tax payments are sent directly to the Federal Reserve who sends them to England where the “banksters” keep 40% and send the remaining 60% to the Jesuits in the Vatican. (Hudes says this arrangement comes out of a deal between England and the Vatican from the year 1200 to borrow money to finance a war and secret war reparations from the US to England over the War of 1812, compound interest being what it is.) One might ask exactly how the US government is funded if not through taxes, but Hudes explains that the US government funds itself through drug trafficking. (That’s a lot of drugs.)

image

Diagram from Forerunner Chronicles

And if that is true, one wonders why someone like, say, President Obama, doesn’t raise an objection. Is it because of fear? According to Hudes, resisting this arrangement with the Jesuits got Abraham Lincoln killed (yes, Virginia, JFK too), but no, it is fear of another kind that supposedly keeps Obama at bay, as we shall see.

The Honey Trap

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Fair gets Obama hearing

imageThere is a certain market saturation with Obama eligibility lawsuits, 151 of them as of this writing. Once a cottage industry, ballot challenges can now be built from a kit. It’s hard to get excited about any one of them any more since they are pretty much the same and meet the same fate. I could almost write a generic article, substituting the actual case number in the graphic on the right and saying something like “the case, alleging that Barack Obama is ineligible to the Presidency because of [being born in Kenya, having a fake name, having an alien parent, losing his citizenship as a child] was dismissed for [lack of standing, failure to state a claim, wrong jurisdiction, failure to join essential parties].”

Sometimes there’s a hearing to add a little drama to the story, and that’s the case in Maryland today with the ballot challenge case of Fair v. Walker. In the complaint Maryland residents Tracy Fair and Mary Miltenberger allege that election officials were negligent by not requiring a signed statement from Barack Obama stating that he was eligible. The suit also alleges Obama is not eligible for “all of the above” from the birther checklist. That said, it’s hard to tell whether the suit is about Obama’s eligibility, or whether Maryland law requires presidential candidates to certify their eligibility. There is a great deal of both in the complaint.

In today’s hearing on motions to dismiss before the Carroll County Circuit Court, Plaintiffs submitted a new document in opposition which the judge has taken into consideration. I wasn’t able to view the document in Firefox, but the Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers worked OK. The opposition to the motion to dismiss at 43 pages was longer than the complaint.

The particular issue of what Maryland law requires in the way of candidate certification, I will let the court untangle without my comment. As for any claim that Barack Obama is ineligible:

Update:

The case was dismissed. I could change the title to “Obama wins Fair hearing.”

Fair v. Walker (formerly v. Obama) Take 2

The undated “Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgement (sic) and Injunctive Relief” may have been filed in Carroll County, Maryland, in the lawsuit, Fair v. Obama Walker. The most concise indication (in a very not concise complaint) of what the lawsuit is about is found in the specific relief being sought:

We respectfully request the following judgement (sic):

1. Law 8-502 be invalidated, so not to infringe upon the rights of the people.
2. Law 5-302 be followed, to restore faith and the rule of law in our election system.
3. That all candidates be required to sign under oath that they fill the requirements.
4. The members of the General Assembly that voted for this 8-502 law be censured and removed from office and prevented from running for office in the future, because they have failed to follow the U.S.Constitution, the Maryland Constitution, Article 1 Sec 7 and their own oath of office. Article 1 Sec 9.
5. A new election be held in November 2012 to elect new members of the General Assembly, the Governor and Attorney General.
6. The Secretary of State be instructed to follow 5-302 starting with this election.

If one central issue can be identified in this 40-page filing, it is that Maryland law requires that all candidates file a “certificate of candidacy”, but elsewhere requires that for the presidential primary ballot, a candidate only be generally recognized as a candidate. Maryland law Title 8, Subtitle 5, Section 8-502 Candidates for President – Primary election mandates that:

The Secretary of State shall certify the name of a presidential candidate on the ballot when the Secretary has determined, in the Secretary’s sole discretion and consistent with party rules, that the candidate’s candidacy is generally advocated or recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in Maryland….

That is, under this section a candidate for President must be placed on the ballot according to this provision. However Title 5 Subtitle 3 Section 5-301 states that one may become a candidate only upon filing a “certificate of candidacy” (note that this section excludes national party candidates for President in the general election). Title 5 appears to cover primary elections. The State has taken the more specific mandate in Title 8 as controlling and Ms. Fair wants the court to make Title 5 controlling.

I note one further provision of Maryland law: Title 5 Subtitle 6 Section 5-601 – Candidates qualifying (referring to Qualifications for Primary Election Ballot):

The name of a candidate shall remain on the ballot and be submitted to the voters at a primary election if: 

(1) the candidate has filed a certificate of candidacy…

… or

(2) the candidate has qualified to have the candidate’s name submitted to the voters in a presidential primary election under Title 8, Subtitle 5 of this article. 

Not being a lawyer, I don’t know how this will be sorted out by the court. I assume the court will quickly dismiss the part about throwing legislators out of office and turn the motion into a writ of mandamus, and based on 5-601 it would seem to me that the clear intent of the Legislature was that in the case of a Presidential primary election that 8-502 controls. (5-601 is cited in the Complaint along with huge dumps of Maryland statutes, but not addressed specifically.) The word “Constitution” appears 65 times in the Complaint, but I don’t see how either the Constitution of the United States or that of Maryland allows Ms. Fair to receive the relief sought.  This is what you would usually expect, that the Secretary of State of Maryland knows the law better than a pro se plaintiff.

An essential flaw with this “Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgement (sic) and Injunctive Relief” is that it seeks to remove from office persons who are not named in the lawsuit (those named are Robert Walker (Chairman of the Maryland State Board of Elections), Linda H. Lamone (State Administrator of Elections), John P. McDonough (Maryland Secretary of State) and Jared DeMarinis (Director of the Candidacy and Campaign Finance Division, Maryland State Board of Elections).

Apparently the Complaint was accompanied by 9 exhibits, many of which deal with President Obama’s eligibility. One notes that the suit itself makes no request that an eligibility determination be made, and so this is irrelevant.

The Maryland Primary is April 3. In my opinion, this case is:

Doomed

Fair v. Obama

Before starting this article, I refer readers to the site’s editorial policy, which says:

Posting personal information about private individuals is prohibited.

However, when someone files a lawsuit that is a matter of public record, they change from being a private individual to a part of the story itself. So with some reluctance, I publish this article about a lawsuit filed in Maryland, a ballot challenge against Barack Obama by Tracy Fair. I will, however, not embed the 52-page complaint on this page (and thereby display its personal information) but just link to it on Scribd. A further awkwardness is that Ms. Fair is banned from this web site, and is not able to make any comments or complaints about my treatment of the subject. Bans are always a troublesome compromise solution.

Fair v. Obama was filed towards the end of January in the Circuit Court in Carroll County, Maryland. Barack Obama has 90 days from date of service (whenever that is) to file a written response to avoid a default judgment.

Fair alleges Barack Obama is not eligible for the Office of President, and thereby should not be on the ballot. Her grounds for non-eligibility are claims that (hyperlinks refer to topical articles on my web site):

  1. Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen.
  2. Obama is using an alias instead of his alleged adopted name (Barry Soetoro). His Illinois Bar Application is mentioned.
  3. Obama’s social-security number is from Connecticut.
  4. Various statements from Africans suggesting Obama was from Kenya.
  5. Obama was born a dual citizen.
  6. Obama’s birth certificate is alleged to be a forgery by “experts.”

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