U.S. Politics

Hawaii turns tables on Arizona Secretary of State’s birther requests

AZ Sec of State Ken Bennett via screen grab

The Raw Story

Hawaiian officials have apparently had enough of your requests for President Barack Obama’s birth certificate and they’re not afraid to tell you where to get off, even if you are Arizona’s Secretary of State Ken Bennett or a special delegation sent by Maricopa County’s controversial “Sheriff Joe.”

Talking Points Memo obtained emails yesterday detailing the occasionally testy exchanges between Bennett and Jill T. Nagamine, Hawaii’s Deputy Secretary of State.  Bennett, who is a co-chair of former Massachusetts governor and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign, announced last Thursday that “it’s possible” President Obamamay not appear on the Arizona ballot in November. TPM filed a public records request on Monday to obtain the correspondence between Bennett’s office and Hawaiian officials, and the results are hugely entertaining.

It appears that the State of Hawaii’s first response to Bennett’s request of President Obama’s birth certificate was to quickly dash out a letter on March 17 with a series of hyperlinks, including one to the Hawaii Department of Health’s website and three links to Hawaii’s Revised Statutes concerning the confidentiality of vital records.

The state of Hawaii has gone to great lengths to handle the years of backlogged requests by so-called “birthers” looking for the president’s birth certificate. In spite of the White House’s decision last year to release the president’s long-form birth certificate, the Hawaii Department of Health is still receiving an average of 50 new requests each month.

Continue reading here…

U.S. Politics

Arizona’s Top Election Official Goes Birther, Threatens To Keep Obama Off The Ballot

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R)

Let the games begin…

Think Progress

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett — the state’s top election official — made an appearanceon a local radio show yesterday in which he threatened to keep President Obama’s name off of the state’s November ballot unless the state of Hawaii provides his official birth certificate.

Bennett is the latest Republican elected official to call into question Obama’s place of birth in recent months. His comments were first flagged by the site White House Dossier:

BENNETT: First of all, I’m not playing to the birthers, I’m not a birther. I believe that the president was born in Hawaii, or at least I hope he was…Hawaii has a special provision in their law that allows other government officials from other states to request what’s called a verification in lieu of a certified copy of a birth certificate. So I’m not asking for the certified copy of the birth certificate at all…I was frankly expecting that they would very quickly and very simply say ‘yes.’ Eight weeks later, they haven’t said, I can’t seem to get them to say yes.

In fact, Hawaii said “yes” over a year ago. Last April, Obama released a certified copy of his long form birth certificate to the public. And while that did nothing to quell the furor of birthers like Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, it more than meets Bennett’s verification requirement.

And yet Bennett is insisting on still more costly and time-consuming work by the state of Hawaii to verify they have the original document on hand. The reason for his suspicion? Arpaio’s sham investigation into the copy released by President Obama raised sufficient questions:

BENNETT: When Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s posse released a press conference a few week ago, or a month ago or whenever it was, that the birth certificate posted on the White House website might be fraudulent, I started getting, as you might imagine, literally over 1,200 emails from people saying ‘well that’s proof, you should require the president to produce the original of his birth certificate in order to be on the ballot of Arizona.’

Arpaio’s press conference more closely resembled an SNL parody than a serious investigation, and it was widely ridiculed for employing faulty “science” and drawing wild conclusions based on little more than technological anomalies.

Bennett is hardly the first person to propose removing Obama from the general election ballot this fall, but as secretary of state, he is in a position to actually act on those threats. Bennett’s insistence that he is not a birther and is simply doing his due diligence as the state’s top election official is a distinction without difference, as it ignores the fact that he is accepting as possibility that Obama’s publicly available birth certificate is fraudulent.