The election may be over, but not the controversy.
Just when you thought the flap over the genuineness of Barack Obama's birth certificate was all said and done, in comes the We The People Foundation.
The group purchases a full-page ad in The Chicago Tribune
- the newspaper of the president-elect's hometown - today and Wednesday, called "Open Letter to Mr. Obama." It's described by the foundation as a "formal Petition for a Redress (Remedy) for the alleged violation of the 'natural born citizen' clause of the Constitution of the United States of America." Click here to view the ad.
"Mr. Obama is respectfully requested to direct the Hawaiian officials to provide access to his original birth certificate on December 5-7 by our team of forensic scientists, and to provide additional documentary evidence establishing his citizenship status prior to our Washington, D.C. press conference on December 8," the foundation says
. PolitiFact has said
it has no reason to doubt the authenticity of the document.Among other complaints, the foundation charges:
-that the Obama campaign posted on the Internet an "unsigned, forged and thoroughly discredited, computer-generated birth form created in 2007"
-the Hawaii Dept of Health won't confirm Obama's assertion that you were born in Hawaii (the director of Hawaii's Department of Health on Oct. 31 personally verified
that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate.)
-there are legal affidavits stating Obama was actually born in Kenya
-Obama's grandmother is recorded on tape saying she attended your birth in Kenya.
-In 1965, Obama's mother legally relinquished whatever Kenyan or U.S. citizenship she and her son had by marrying an Indonesian and becoming a naturalized Indonesian citizen.
We the People is in the process of choosing the forensic scientists who would travel to Hawaii to examine Obama's original birth certificate, if Obama directs Hawaiian officials to provide it. The group estimates costs will be about $20,000 to successfully complete the task, and they need money. Any donors out there?
The birth certificate issue is like this annoying itch that just won't go away. During the campaign, the Obama camp tried to stamp out the rumors by posting information - and the birth certificate
- on its Fight the Smears site.
But that apparently hasn't stopped the rumor mill.
A Kentucky truck driver last week filed a demand that Obama prove he is a natural-born U.S. citizen. Daniel John Essek, 47, wants the former Illinois senator to provide a copy of his birth certificate to a federal judge in London for verification.
"I may very well be chasing windmills thinking they're monsters," Essek told the Lexington Herald-Leader.
A Pennsylvania judge threw out a pre-election court challenge to the citizenship issue, saying its arguments were frivolous. Other similar lawsuits have also been filed. Right Side News on Sunday so graciously pointed
out that "Hawaii Revised Statute 338-17.8 allows registration of birth in Hawaii for a child that was born outside of Hawaii to parents who, for a year preceding the childs birth, claimed Hawaii as their place of residence. The parents would be issued a Certification of Live Birth. This is not proof of where the child was born. It only proves that the parents claimed Hawaii as their main place of residence for the prior year."
This Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court judges will conference. It's expected the question of whether Obama is actually eligible to become the next president will come up. If four of the nine justices vote to hear the case, brought by Leo C. Donofrio against the New Jersey secretary of state
, oral argument may be scheduled.
You know the Internet is going to be abuzz with activity surrounding Friday's conference. We'll try to sift through the sludge and bring you the facts.UPDATE: Here's my Q&A with We The People Foundation Chairman Bob Schulz:
Q.) Why don't you believe that the Hawaiian authorities have vouched for the authenticity of the birth certificate filed with that state for President-elect Obama? The state's Department of Health director on Oct. 31 released a statement verifying the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate. DOH Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate.
A.) Yes, Hawaii officials have publicly verified that they possess Obama's original birth certificate, however in their official press release they fail to state it is an original birth certificate from Hawaii.
In fact, under Hawaiian law, a foreign born child can be registered as a naturalized (but not "natural born") U.S. citizen following application of the parents, (See, Hawaiian law provides for registration of out-of-state births under HRS 338-17.8. ). Such persons would be eligible to receive a "Certification of Live Birth" from the state, such as the document Obama has proffered. "Naturalized" citizens, such as the Governor of California, cannot hold the office of President.
This of course, does not resolve the thornier issue as to the content of Obama's birth document. Specifically the stated "place of birth" may not in fact reflect the physical location of Obama's birth (as evidenced by the "original" certificate of Live Birth claimed to be in the possession of Hawaii officials), but rather the local Hawaii residency of the U.S. parent claimed in a birth registration application such as that provided by HRS 338-17.8 (See above). In any event the document is simply a computer-created document based upon the entries in a computer database, which may have been conceivably tampered with at some point.
Hawaii law also provides for "amending" birth certificates. From the official web page: "Amended certificates of birth may be prepared and filed with the Department of Health, as provided by law, for 1) a person born in Hawaii who already has a birth certificate filed with the Department of Health or 2) a person born in a foreign country."
In short, the document proffered by Obama does not contain all the information needed to conclusively verify that he is legally eligible to hold the Office of President.
Additionally, beyond their refusal to minimally confirm that Obama was born in Hawaii, state officials also refuse to comment on the authenticity of Obama's birth document.
All these questions could be resolved by Obama by simply providing access to his original birth certificate.
Q.) What reputable sources have discredited the birth certificate already produced by Obama?
A.) Attorney Phil Berg states in his lawsuit against Obama, "...three (3) independent Document Forensic Experts performed extensive Forensic testing on the Certificate of Live Birth posted on Obama's campaign website."
He has not publicly identified his sources but one of them is reported to be a reputable professional forensics expert going under the pseudonym "Polarik" for his family's protection. His latest comprehensive report concluding Obama's document is a forgery can be found here. He has also posted a short YouTube video.
Q.) How much did you pay for these 2 full-page ads (on Dec. 1 and 3)?
A.) Tens of thousands of dollars. It was a negotiated amount.
Q.) What sort of reaction have you received so far to the ads?
A.) We have experienced significant media interest from primarily talk shows and newspapers, including some well-known media entities. We have hoped that our ads would spur public debate on this topic and hopefully, this may have begun.
In the end, there is no practical reason why Obama refuses to produce his original birth certificate. He is seeking the Office of President and has a duty to provide evidence that he meets the explicit requirements established by the Constitution.