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Hawaii birth issue could keep Obama off Arizona ballot

By Kim Geiger

Tribune Washington Bureau (MCT)

LAST UPDATED: 12:26 p.m. HST, May 18, 2012

WASHINGTON >> In a revival of the controversy surrounding President Barack Obama's Hawaii birth certificate, a state official in Arizona says it's "possible" that he'll hold Obama's name off the Arizona ballot if Hawaii officials don't send him confirmation that the president was born there.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican who is exploring a 2014 race for governor, says he waded into the issue after receiving more than 1,200 emails from people requesting that he verify Obama's birth in Hawaii before placing the president's name on the 2012 ballot.

"First of all, I'm not playing to the birthers," Bennett said in a radio interview with KFYI radio host Mike Broomhead. "I'm not a birther. I believe that the president was born in Hawaii — or at least I hope he was."

"But my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure that the ballots in Arizona are correct and that those people whose names are on the ballots have met the qualifications for the office that they're seeking," he said.

Ever since Obama ran for president in 2008, some critics known as "birthers" have suggested, without proof, that he was born in Kenya. The Constitution states that only natural-born citizens can be elected president or vice president.

In an effort to put the issue to rest, the Obama campaign in 2008 released a certificate of live birth from the Hawaii Health Department. Still unsatisfied, Obama's detractors demanded release of his original birth certificate, which is not considered a public record under Hawaii law.

The White House posted a copy of the long-form version of his birth certificate last April. Doing so required the president to personally send a request to the Hawaii Department of Health. A White House official retrieved the certificate in person and copies of it were given to reporters and posted to the White House website.

"I have seen the original records filed at the Department of Health and attest to the authenticity of the certified copies the department provided to the president that further prove the fact that he was born in Hawaii," Hawaii Health Director Loretta Fuddy said in a statement at the time that the long-form birth certificate was released.

That sounds like the type of verification Bennett is seeking, but Bennett says he won't be satisfied until he hears it from a Hawaiian official personally.

Citing a Hawaii law that allows other government officials to request "verification in lieu of" — confirmation from the state that there is a birth certificate on file for an individual who claims to have been born there — Bennett said he sent a request after receiving a barrage of emails from constituents around the time that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio launched an investigation into Obama's birth certificate.

"I was frankly expecting that they would very quickly and very simply say 'yes,'" Bennett said. "Eight weeks later, they haven't said — I can't seem to get them to say 'yes.'"

Bennett said the state responded by asking him to send proof that he has the authority to request the information.

"All they've got to do is email me back saying 'yes,' and it's over," Bennett said. "I'm just stunned that they're making it so hard."

Bennett spoke about the matter in response to a story by the Phoenix New Times, which reported that Jerome Corsi, a leader of the birther movement, claimed to have received an "assurance" from Bennett that he would look into the issue.<

Asked if he would keep Obama's name off the state's 2012 ballot if Hawaii fails to fulfill his request, Bennett said: "That's possible. Or the other option would be I would ask all the other candidates, including the president, maybe to submit a certified copy of their birth certificate. But I don't want to do that."


Michael A. Memoli in the Washington bureau contributed to this report.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
"Eight weeks later, they haven't said — I can't seem to get them to say 'yes.'"

We need to edumacate these guys about the concept of "teeth suck."

on May 18,2012 | 12:12PM
innocentBystander wrote:
on May 18,2012 | 02:18PM
poidragon wrote:
If Arizona wants to play fair, then it should ask all presidential candidates to submit a US Birth certificate for authenticity, instead of bringing up an already and thoroughly vetted and debunked birther conspiracy theory! If not, then I foresee the federal government suing the State of Arizona for discrimination against a presidential candidate during an election year!
on May 18,2012 | 02:47PM
Anonymous wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 18,2012 | 09:13PM
droid wrote:
"Professional document examiners"?! Hahaha!!! That's absurd.
on May 18,2012 | 09:59PM
OldDiver wrote:
Sean Hannity and Donald Trump come to mind.
on May 19,2012 | 12:15AM
poidragon wrote:
then why don't you put there names down and let the rest of us get a laugh at what you consider professional document examiners......................hmmm?
on May 19,2012 | 08:28PM
frontman wrote:
Prosecute all in Hawaii that helped with the fake birth certificate.
on May 18,2012 | 03:13PM
BRock wrote:
Surely you jest. You cannot be serious. Nobody could be that stupid.
on May 18,2012 | 03:55PM
frontman wrote:
In Hawaii...ran by democrats....anything is possible with NO recourse.
on May 18,2012 | 05:43PM
Greyhawk808 wrote:
I guess he is that stupid?
on May 18,2012 | 08:04PM
EightOEight wrote:
Know that he is stupid.
on May 18,2012 | 09:07PM
OldDiver wrote:
Jail Linda Lingle now!
on May 19,2012 | 12:16AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I think we should stop recognizing Arizon as a State. We'll just refer to it as Arapaio's zoo.
on May 18,2012 | 12:12PM
goodvibrations wrote:
I agree, lets kick them out as part of the US.
on May 18,2012 | 01:47PM
loquaciousone wrote:
From now on, anyone from Arizona will need a visa to travel to Hawaii. In addition, all Republicans are now considered invasive species and would fall under the purview of the Department of Agriculture Inspectors. many of whom our former Republican Governor put in the unemployment line.
on May 18,2012 | 01:53PM
Fred01 wrote:
You are stupid.
on May 18,2012 | 02:10PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Are you one of those invasive species?
on May 18,2012 | 02:55PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Fred, you're exactly right.
on May 18,2012 | 06:21PM
innocentBystander wrote:
*like* :D
on May 18,2012 | 02:19PM
primowarrior wrote:
Excellent idea!
on May 18,2012 | 02:30PM
control wrote:
let's not forget to have all federally funded social service programs require a checkbox on their application forms. Anyone who checks republican is automatically rejected and given the republican party mailing address for further assistance.
on May 18,2012 | 02:32PM
Ripoff wrote:
on May 18,2012 | 12:16PM
poidragon wrote:
More stupidity by an Arizona Republican acting on a birther conspiracy that has already been debunked!
on May 18,2012 | 12:32PM
frontman wrote:
Has it..............NOT
on May 18,2012 | 05:45PM
WKAMA wrote:
It's hard to believe there's still so many people not believing that Obama was born in the US. How can some people be so ignorant! Even if the State of Hawaii ( or God )produces an official document they wouldn't believe it. And yet they produce so called "official" document that "proves" he was born in Kenya and says it's authentic. You kinda wonder what these people are smoking. It is really amazing!
on May 18,2012 | 12:52PM
kukaikid wrote:
bennett should just be blunt...he along with a lot of ignorant people in arizona are straight racist and do not like blacks. To get the bigot vote in arizona he will have to cater to many more absurdities.
on May 18,2012 | 12:58PM
naomiow9 wrote:
Are they going to require the same from Mitt Romney? His father was born in Mexico - it's a lot easier to go back to Mexico to give birth than it is to go to Kenya.
on May 18,2012 | 01:14PM
Pocho wrote:
huh, I"m lost. why do you need confirmation where the parents where born. All you need is the birth certificate of the person in question. Hello
on May 18,2012 | 01:48PM
innocentBystander wrote:
yeah, but romney is just as likely (if not more-so) foreign-born as obama. hello?!
on May 18,2012 | 02:21PM
goodvibrations wrote:
He said they could, but won't. So why not? Because they're republicans! Idiots!
on May 18,2012 | 01:48PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Maybe Mr. Lingle could convince them. After all isn't she a good friend of Barry?
on May 18,2012 | 01:42PM
Pocho wrote:
haven't they heard of the phrase "Hawaiian Time"?
on May 18,2012 | 01:45PM
kainalu wrote:
Then we should just make Arizona part of Mexico. Enough with the BS. Not all Americans are that ignorant.
on May 18,2012 | 01:56PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Gov.Jan brewer looks like a dried up gecko in the Arizona dessert.
on May 18,2012 | 02:18PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Joe Arapaio is a Arizona dessert bull frog, lots of a air,lots of hops, but in the end, a bull frog jerky, lying on route 66.
on May 18,2012 | 02:21PM
busterb wrote:
Remember when Arizona was the last one to go to the 55mph speed limit? And only did so when their fed hwy funds were cut? Or how about when they were the last ones to recognize Martin Luther King Day as a holiday?
on May 18,2012 | 02:24PM
McGarret wrote:
Remind me again which state John McCain was born in?
on May 18,2012 | 02:36PM
Blueskies wrote:
Actually, John McCain was not born in the US. He was born in the Panama Canal region where his father was serving in the military, I think in the Navy. Therefore, if he had been elected, he truly would have been an illegitimate US President. It is my belief that one reason the Republicans made Obama's birth in Hawaii an issue was to draw attention away from their own guy who had a real problem
on May 18,2012 | 06:14PM
Boatscribe wrote:
After reading some of the comments here,I think I'm starting to understand why so many folks I know are moving from Hawaii to Arizona...
on May 18,2012 | 02:44PM
oldertimer808 wrote:
You should go to and dry up in Arizona.
on May 18,2012 | 03:56PM
IAmSane wrote:
"So many folks" that you made up? I'd rather be dead in Hawaii than alive in Arizona.

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╚═════════════════ ೋღ☃ღೋ ════════════════╝

on May 18,2012 | 05:33PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Actually the bulk of the comments here are indicative of how tough the road ahead is gonna be. Stereotyping was supposed to be yesterday's news, yet the very party so adamantly opposed to it's ramifications are sure quick to revert right back to it.
on May 18,2012 | 06:31PM
kahuku01 wrote:
Arizona is full of ignorant and hateful republicans that hold federal, state and city government positions. If they want to play these silly ^ss games, than the votes from Arizona should be void and not be counted for the president of the United States. The federal government should overrule whatever Arizona republicans decides on this silly issue and not recognize their votes especially when this position is a federal position. The birth certificate was already provided by the Hawaii Health director.
on May 18,2012 | 02:57PM
wait a minute barrack is an illegal alien, hawaii is not a State of America, It was stolen! therefore we Hawaiians are all aliens to America!! hahahaha to that!!!
on May 18,2012 | 02:58PM
Oye_Como_Va wrote:
Who caes, he'll be re-elected without Arizona or any other state anyway. He's from Hawaii and the fix is already in.
on May 18,2012 | 03:04PM
Malani wrote:
It was reported about a month ago that Obama has a Social Security Card with the first three numbers not issued for the State of Hawaii. So better to ask for both SS and birth certificate yeah,
on May 18,2012 | 03:40PM
control wrote:
so what? The social security number has nothing to do with your state of birth. It's only within the past decade that social security numbers have been routinely issued to children and newborn. I didn't get mine until I was 18. No one needed one unless you were job hunting. Another conspiracy busted.
on May 18,2012 | 04:17PM
BRock wrote:
The Arizona secretary of state may not realize that in Hawaii privacy rights are more stringent and enforced than in his state. In fact, the privacy rights of Hawaii people are guaranteed in the Hawaii State Constitution. So birth information from a birth certificate is not public information and may be released by Hawaii authorities only to people who have a legal right to get that information. Does the Arizona secretary of state have that legal right? I don't know but it looks like our Health Department is trying to make sure before releasing any information.
on May 18,2012 | 03:54PM
false wrote:
This guy just wants a free expense paid visit to Hawaii to see for himself. I'd do the same only who want to visit Arizona?
on May 18,2012 | 04:16PM
IAmSane wrote:
That guy wants to come up with any kind of excuse to get the hell out of Arizona.
on May 18,2012 | 05:37PM
nomakeshame wrote:
Apparently since Obama's birth certificate is bogus, according to Arizona's state government, that would mean ALL Hawaii birth certificates are bogus according to their reasoning. The last time I was back in Hawaii, I had to personally go and get a certified copy of my birth certificate in person, no one in family could do it for me. Maybe, Hawaii should turn the tables and require VISA's and passports from Arizona citizens when they enter the state and if they don't have it, do what they propose to do in Arizona, put them in jail.
on May 18,2012 | 04:31PM
Blueskies wrote:
Brilliant idea. After all, they would be illegal immigrants to Hawaii.
on May 18,2012 | 06:16PM
steveoctober wrote:
Should be seen as an opportunity - charge $100 million for the rights. Arizona, you need to pony up the money. Expecting something for free? Then use that money to build 0.1 miles of rail.
on May 18,2012 | 04:42PM
Blueskies wrote:
An even better idea. Charge the state of Arizona first, and then give them the birth certificate while announcing it on the national news. This will kill three birds with one stone: Show up Arizonans to the nation as the racist idiots they are, make them the national laughingstock, which is what they deserve, and hurt them financially, which will enrage their taxpayers. Let the taxpayers of Arizona pay through the nose for their racism. For conservatives it is only when they are financially damaged, that they pay attention and start changing their behavior,
on May 18,2012 | 06:21PM
Manapua_Man wrote:
This issue is utterly.... stupid.
on May 18,2012 | 05:04PM
ghstar wrote:
There is a small part of the american population that just can't get over that a black man was elected president. They won't admit it even if they could figure it out, but in their little minds Obama is guilty of the unthinkable crime of presiding while black. Nothing will change these conspiracy theorists. The internet gives these a way to continue to put out there nonsense and pester the rest of us.
on May 18,2012 | 05:05PM
Blueskies wrote:
And what they do is dangerous because they undermine the credibility of our institutions and our way of life. The lies they spread need to be denounced by the rest of us and shown for what they are: vicious lies from anti-American individuals who should have no credibility with anyone of substance, honor, or decency.
on May 18,2012 | 06:24PM
ghstar wrote:
Fortunately, the courts block most of their crazyness.
on May 18,2012 | 08:01PM
inverse wrote:
You even admit that there is a SMALL percentage who will not vote for Obama because he is black AND a SMALL population who will vote for Obama because he IS black. However they do NOT decide who will be the next president of the US but a majority who will base their decision on the performance or LACK of performance by Obama as Pres of the US. The best thing is for the public and media to ignore the fringe groups. Mainstream Repubs and news orgs like Fo xNews ignore the Arizona group however it is the Demo crats and demo leaning media who are giving the Arizona group media coverage to try create an anti black frenzy. If local Demos want to play the 'race card' to prop up Obama and the Hawaii Demo party, be careful as the Elderts kil ling can be easily framed as a replay of the 1932 Massie trial of a federal gov't lead by Obama, committing a grave injustice to a Hawaiian.
on May 19,2012 | 12:43AM
Roosevelt wrote:
And this is supposed to elevate the reputation of Repubicans?
on May 18,2012 | 05:32PM
kamoae wrote:
UGH! Here we go again. Such stupidity!
on May 18,2012 | 06:13PM
EducatedLocalBoy wrote:
We need to fire the State of Hawaii Department of Health official who went to the Legislature and changed the law to forbid people from receiving an actual copy of their birth certificate as an official birth certificate. We also have to change the law back to allow people get the actual copy birth certificate if they want it. Up to about 20 yrs. ago, you could get the actual copy or the birth certificate as the official birth certificate. Then some Dept. of Health bureaucrat decided to lobby the legislature to change the law and make only the computer form the "official" birth certificate. I met the Health Dept. official once when I asked why can't we get the actual copy birth certificate anymore, and he is a jerk. This is what is causing all of the trouble. Since Hawaii is the only state that doesn't give the actual copy of the birth certificate to people, it gives anti-Obama people something to harp on.
on May 18,2012 | 06:25PM
willman wrote:
Arizona? No Big Deal!!!!!!
on May 18,2012 | 07:21PM
Wotboddahyou wrote:
If someone wanted a certified copy of my birth certificate I would have it in about 3 minutes. The length of time it would take me to get up... walk to my file cabinet and look for "Birth Certificate". Why Mr. Obama was unable to do that in the beginning of this whole debacle is a mystery to me. I would think that someone who has been a state senator, a US senator and the president would have his birth certificate available... even if for a passport, in an instant. All the president has to do is say... give them the certificate and it's done. What is he hiding?
on May 18,2012 | 09:15PM
Waterman2 wrote:
So there are actually people left who like Obama.......now that is really stupid period.
on May 18,2012 | 09:17PM
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