Dr. Orly Taitz (WND photo / Chelsea Schilling)
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. – She’s the blond attorney behind Obama eligibility lawsuits, a successful dentist with two offices, a second-degree black belt and a mother of three boys who speaks five languages.
Dr. Orly Taitz, a woman with a vibrant smile and an ebullient personality, has not always enjoyed an independent life filled with promise and ambition. She was born and raised in Kishinev (also spelled Chisinau), the capital of the Republic of Moldova, a country in Eastern Europe that was formerly part of the Soviet Union.
Drawing on her experiences under a communist regime, she told WND she is determined to do her part to stop America from following in the all-too-familiar footsteps of her former homeland.
Life under communism
She described her life in a communist nation: Markets were bare, people had no desire to work and the government forced young children into slave labor.
“We’d stop at the store, and the food stores were empty,” she said. “I remember we had to stand in lines for hours in the cold. We were in a bus, going home and suddenly we’d see a line. We wouldn’t even know what they were selling, but we knew something would be there – some food. We’d stand for two hours to buy maybe a pound of salami or a half a pound of butter.”
As a young child, Taitz asked her father why the market shelves were empty.
“In America, they have everything,” he would tell her. “The stores are full.”
Her father explained that Americans were interested in working and received paychecks based on their productivity. However, in the Soviet Union, farmers were part of a socialist system of collective farming and were compensated equally – regardless of output.
He told her, “If a farmer is bright and hard working, at the end of the month, he will get 100 rubles. And if the farmer is a lazy bum and he does nothing, he gets the same 100 rubles.”
Taitz told WND, “People had absolutely no incentive to do anything. They had no incentive to work. The best doctors were getting maybe 150 rubles. That’s why the standards for medicine were so low.”
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Youth camps and slave labor
Republic of Moldova
She said that, much like President Obama’s proposed brigade of youth organizers, the Soviet Union used children for slave labor.
“They would put us on trucks, and we would go to the countryside,” she said. “We were told to go and pick tomatoes.”
Parents were not allowed to homeschool their children. They were forced to enroll them in government schools. From the age of 6, all children were required to become young communists.
“You had to send your child to school, and your child had to be a member of the young communists,” Taitz said. “There were no children who were not members. You had to do it. If you were one of the best, you become a member of the Communist Party. It was constant brainwashing.”
She continued, “There was no choice, and people resented that. They were scared to speak up.”
Most children were sent to communist youth camps, but Taitz’ parents wouldn’t allow her to go. Instead, they gave her stacks of math, physics and chemistry textbooks to study while her friends were away at camps.
“My parents didn’t want me to be in those camps and be subjected to communist brainwashing,” she said. “They wanted me to think for myself. I learned to read by myself, and my parents sent me to competitions in math, physics, chemistry and biology. I would sit and work with pages of problems, and I loved to compete.”
An empty existence
Taitz as a baby with her mother in Kishinev
Practice of religion was restricted in the Soviet Union. Churches were closed and repurposed as museums of art.
“You had to be an atheist,” Taitz said. “No one could go and pray. You weren’t allowed to mention any religion. A lot of priests, ministers and rabbis were sent to Siberia, so people were scared. They didn’t celebrate any religious holidays; they just didn’t exist.”
She said alcohol abuse was rampant and caused the destruction of many lives.
“One of the reasons they had such a serious problem with alcoholism was because there was nothing in people’s lives. There was no God, no religion, no choice. You had to conform and comply.”
During her years living in the Soviet Union, Taitz said friends would constantly talk about finding ways to break away from the system.
“They would tell me, ‘This person was very inventive and built a hot-air balloon to get out from East Germany to West Germany, or somebody was able to swim across the border,'” she said. “There were always stories about how people escaped the regime.”
With only one TV station in Kishinev, Taitz said reporters spewed communist propaganda.
Escaping a totalitarian regime
Orly Taitz at 20
In 1981, when she was 21, her uncle managed to escape to Israel. He sent her family papers that allowed them to join him there due to their familial relationship.
When Taitz arrived in Israel, she was stunned to discover a free-market society with full stores. In the Soviet Union, there were no fruits or vegetables in the winter. Her family survived on canned foods, bread and pierogis, or dumplings stuffed with various ingredients such as cheese and potatoes.
“I remember when a lady who came to Israel from the Soviet Union went to the store and asked, ‘When will we have tomatoes?’ She was thinking, maybe March or April,” Taitz said.
“The clerk looked at her and said, ‘Probably in an hour.'”
For a woman who had lived under a communist regime her whole life, freedom was a new concept she had only imagined after listening to her father’s stories.
“It was a completely different feeling, a free feeling,” she said. “There were political parties, and you got to choose whichever one you wanted. In the Soviet Union, there was only one.”
She lived in Israel for several years and attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Taitz met her future husband, a man living in California who visited his family while she was a practicing dentist in Israel in 1987. Only a couple of months after their introduction, he proposed marriage, and she accepted. Her father was reluctant to let his daughter go, but he eventually relented.
“I was scared. Coming to the U.S. was a big step,” she said. “I went to a new country and married a person I hardly knew. I was very scared. So, I came, and right away we drove to Las Vegas.”
Still jet lagged from her flight, Taitz was nearly falling asleep as she arrived at a chapel in the center of the Las Vegas strip.
“We paid to have a limo driver act as our witness, and the minister married us,” she said. “We got some pictures and sent them to my parents to let them know I wasn’t living in sin.”
One location of Taitz’ dental practice in Southern California (WND photo / Chelsea Schilling)
Dentist, lawyer, broker and mother
Because Taitz had foreign dental training, she was required to take dental board exams to practice in the United States. When she took one of her last tests, she was pregnant with her first son.
“I was seven months pregnant with a big belly,” she said. “It was pretty tough.”
Taitz passed the dental boards, and her practice grew substantially. She now has two separate dental offices in Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. Two dentists work in Taitz’ offices each week to assist patients.
Taitz at her dental office (WND photo / Chelsea Schilling)
With a successful practice and a growing family, Taitz decided to enroll in law school at William Howard Taft University. She took distance courses and studied from home in the evenings.
“I just got books and tapes and studied until I passed the exams,” she said. “I passed the California bar, and it is said to be one of the more difficult ones in the nation. When I passed, there was only a 50 percent passing rate.”
With three young sons, Taitz volunteered at her children’s school every Tuesday for 10 years and reserved evenings and weekends for her family.
When her sons enrolled in Taekwondo classes, she eagerly joined them – earning her own second-degree black belt.
With a strong desire to see the world, Taitz has traveled to 40 countries. In addition to English, she speaks Russian, Romanian, Hebrew and Spanish and has a strong understanding of German because her grandparents spoke the language.
When she sold her California home, Taitz also earned her real estate broker’s license to save on commission from the sale. She said she plans to renew it when the eligibility lawsuits have been resolved.
Obama eligibility lawsuits
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen
During the recent election campaigns, Taitz paid close attention and said she grew concerned when stories about President Obama’s birth simply didn’t add up. She followed Philip Berg’s eligibility lawsuit and several other similar complaints across the nation.
On Oct 25, 2008, she sent an e-mail to Debra Bowen, secretary of state of California, urging her to verify Obama’s citizenship status before the elections.
“I wrote, ‘I’m an attorney in Southern California, and I am greatly concerned about Barack Obama’s eligibility,'” she said.
Taitz told Bowen she believed Obama did not have a legitimate, long-form birth certificate proving that he was born in Hawaii. She argued that if a candidate lacked proper documentation of meeting the natural-born citizen requirement, that candidate should be declared ineligible to run.
“She wrote back that there was no requirement for her to check eligibility,” Taitz said. “I asked for a hearing, and I received a letter from her attorney that we would have one. But they lied and never scheduled one. It was appalling that the secretary of state was negligent, reckless, and didn’t check eligibility.”
Frustrated with the response she received from Bowen’s office, Taitz began writing letters to every newspaper she could find. In her letters, she explained why she believed Obama was not eligible and described flaws in the vetting process.
“I wrote that Obama is not eligible to be president and that next time around, we can have Osama bin Laden on our ballots if the only thing one needs to do is write, ‘I am eligible,'” she said.
After she wrote the letters, a woman contacted her at her dental office and invited her to a meeting of 200 people in Garden Grove, Calif., to discuss illegal immigration and various political issues. She attended the meeting and met Pastor Wiley Drake, radio host of “Wiley Drake in Buena Park” and vice presidential candidate for America’s Independent Party.
Dr. Alan Keyes
Drake complimented Taitz on her speech and asked her to join him on his radio show. When she agreed, he asked how he could help her pursue the eligibility case.
“I said, ‘From what I understand, Berg’s case was not heard on the merits because they stated that he doesn’t have good standing as an ordinary citizen. You are a vice presidential candidate for America’s Independent Party. If you agree to be a plaintiff, we will do well.”
He said, “Let’s do it.”
Alan Keyes, the party’s nominee for president, agreed to join the lawsuit as a plaintiff. Chairman Markham Robinson added his name and brought another attorney, Gary Kreep, on board. They filed a writ of mandamus in Sacramento on behalf of Keyes, Robinson and Drake and requested that California’s electors be barred from signing the Certificate of Vote until documentary proof of Obama’s citizenship was produced.
As WND reported, the California court ruled that Bowen “has no ‘ministerial duty’ to demand detailed proof of citizenship from presidential candidates.”
“I decided I couldn’t change the pleadings in Alan Keyes’ case, but I could file another lawsuit,” she said. “So, I got seven plaintiffs and I drove to Los Angeles and filed a case there. By that time, I had a lot of supporters. A lot of people were writing to me, but I asked them to write the Supreme Court of California.”
Taking her case to Supreme Court
She said, with no explanation, the court denied her lawsuit.
“I could not understand why in the world they denied it,” she said. “So I decided to go straight to the U.S. Supreme Court. On Dec. 11, I flew to Washington and filed the case the next day – the last working day before the meeting of the Electoral College.”
Originally, she filed with Justice Anthony Kennedy, and he denied it. She resubmitted it to Chief Justice John Roberts, and he distributed it for conference.
“On the Jan. 20, the case was on the docket, and everybody could see it,” Taitz said. “Then, right after the inauguration, on Jan. 21, it disappeared. It was as if somebody was trying to please Obama by erasing the docket.”
Taitz has stepped up her fight, approaching Justice Antonin Scalia during his appearance in Los Angeles and hand-delivering documents to Chief Justice John Roberts at his appearance at the University of Idaho. She also presented Roberts with the WND petition, consisting of 3,300 pages of names – more than 325,000 at the time – of people demanding the Supreme Court hear the Obama eligibility case.
Taitz updates her Defend Our Freedoms blog with information about her cases. Her latest challenge to Obama’s eligibility is a Quo Warranto case submitted to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, a legal standard that essentially allows citizens to demand on what grounds someone in authority exercises power.
She has 10 state representatives and about 130 members of the U.S. military signed on as plaintiffs in the action.
Orly Taitz (WND photo / Chelsea Schilling)
“It is interesting that when we go to court challenging Obama’s eligibility, I experience such a déjà vu, like I am in the communist Soviet Union again,” Taitz said. “I feel, my God, I am back in a totalitarian regime. I’m shocked by the total and complete idiocy of those judges who come up with such idiotic excuses about why they refuse to sign a subpoena – something so basic to their jobs – to get his records.”
Asked what motivates her continue fighting the eligibility battle, Taitz replied, “I feel that this man is arrogantly spitting in the face of each and every American citizen. I feel like he has just spit in my face. I take it personally that he is trampling on our Constitution and on our laws.”
She continued, “Having the experience that I had in the Soviet Union – seeing lack of freedom, lack of a system of justice, lack of judicial integrity, lack of press with integrity, an economic system in shambles – when I saw all that, I began fighting.”
Taitz accused the mainstream media in the United States of becoming much like the Soviet Union press, because, she said, they do not provide truthful information about Obama and have pushed for his socialist society. She offered a suggestion for dealing with “detached” and “ignorant” reporters who advocate such a system.
“I would put all of them in one airplane – Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Anderson Cooper, Katie Couric, Charles Gibson, all of them. I would load a plane with 500 reporters and send them to some village in Siberia or some village in China or Mongolia or Korea or Cuba, and tell them, ‘Why don’t you survive there for a year,'” she said.
“I guarantee you, after a year they will come here and they’ll be to the right of Rush Limbaugh. They’ll think Rush Limbaugh is a communist.”