POSTED: 3:09 p.m. HST, Sep 17, 2012
TOPEKA, Kan. >> President Barack Obama's spot on the November election ballot in Kansas is secure, but a short meeting today of a state elections board included an unsuccessful protest from a California attorney active in the so-called "birther" movement.
The State Objections Board's decision to close its inquiry into whether Obama should be listed on the ballot wasn't in doubt, because the Manhattan man who'd objected withdrew his challenge Friday.
The notion that Obama was born anywhere but Hawaii has been discredited and the White House released the long form of his 1961 birth certificate last year. Hawaii officials also have repeatedly confirmed his citizenship. His mother was a Kansas native.
But when the all-Republican board had a hearing Thursday on the objection to the Democratic president's ballot listing, it postponed a decision so that officials in other states could authenticate a copy of Obama's birth certificate available online. Information came not only from Hawaii but also Arizona and Mississippi, where similar issues have arisen.
"We have a duty to the people of Kansas under state law to investigate every objection and make a determination," said Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the board's chairman.
Orly Taitz, a California lawyer and dentist, accused the board of ignoring evidence that Obama doesn't have a valid birth certificate — claims she has pressed in other states.
Her comments riled small groups of Obama supporters who'd been prompted by the board's delay last week to attend its Monday meeting and demonstrate outside. T.J. Gaughan, a progressive activist from Topeka, confronted her after the board's meeting.
"Why do you keep this issue going on, when you know well it's just your face you want on the camera?" Gaughan said. "What you say is very untrue."
A security officer moved the two of them and other Obama backers outside. As Taitz gave additional interviews, Obama supporters gathered around her, holding signs and shouting comments such as, "Stop the b.s.!" and "Phony, phony baloney!"