Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
In a letter to Conway, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Leslie A. Fugate noted the issue of “President Barack Obama’s eligibility to be on the ballot in Kentucky.”
“Because our office does not have investigative powers … we are referring the matter to your office,” he wrote.
The letter followed a visit to elections officials by California attorney Orly Taitz, who is working through her Defend Our Freedoms Foundation on several court cases challenging Obama’s eligibility.
A committee of concerned citizens accompanied Taitz to Fugate’s office to ask that the eligibility issue be investigated.
There was no immediate word on the status of any investigative work that might be launched by investigators for Conway, the 49th attorney general for Kentucky, who was elected in 2007 and has made targeting cybercrimes a priority.
If a formal investigation actually is begun it apparently would be the first time the many lawsuit plaintiffs across the country would see a door opening to some answers about the murky circumstances surrounding Obama’s eligibility to be president.
Further, lawyers hired to defend against such cases also have begun threatening sanctions against plaintiffs’ lawyers unless they agree voluntarily to leave the issue of eligibility unquestioned.
Questions about Obama’s birth place were being raised even before he was elected. He had reported he was born in Honolulu, but because he has steadfastly refused to release a copy of his long-form birth certificate, which would put such questions to rest, dozens of lawsuits have been filed challenging his eligibility to serve as president under the Constitution’s “natural born citizen” clause.
While many of the lawsuits have been dismissed, most have not been heard for reasons of jurisdiction and standing, rather than on the evidence and merit of the challenges.
So far, there have been two definitive statements on his eligibility, including one from an Obama campaign spokeswoman talking about the challenges who told WND, “All I can tell you is that it is just pure garbage.”
The other is from Chiyome Fukino, the director of the Hawaiian Department of Health, who issued a statement, “I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”
What is not said is significant. While the certificate on file is “in accordance with state policies and procedures,” there’s no affirmation that the document reflects a Hawaiian birth.
Nor is there any explanation for the image of the Hawaii state “certification of live birth” that has been posted by Obama on the Internet purporting to document his Hawaiian birth, even though Hawaiian procedures at the time allowed the document to be issued to parents of children not born in the state.
For example, why would an individual with a verified birth certificate also have a “certification of live birth?”
The questions raised over Obama’s eligibility are all very simple: The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President.”
But getting the issue discussed has been a huge obstacle, and what courts have done several times, including once in a California case, is to schedule hearings on the issue on a date far beyond any reasonable expectation of having applicability, lawyers have said.
It was in his autobiography that Obama reported he was born in Honolulu, and the online “Certification of Live Birth” states that.
But when WND senior staff writer Jerome Corsi went to Hawaii, he was told any Obama records were sealed, and although they would be released if the person made the request, Obama simply has refused to do that.
Corsi also traveled to Kenya where he was also told records pertaining to Obama in Kenya were sealed.
There also have been no confirmed hospital records uncovered that would document his birth, and an investigator even cast doubt on whether the Obama family lived at the address listed in the newspaper announcements.
A woman who reportedly “remembered” Obama’s birth and was quoted widely in support of his Hawaiian birth later explained to WND she had been told of the birth of a baby boy by an acquaintance who was a doctor who noted the mother’s unusual name of Stanley, but she had no knowledge of the details.
According to much legal research, at the time of Obama’s birth he could be a natural born citizen by being born in the United States, by being born to two U.S. citizen parents (not possible because of his father), or, if only one parent was a U.S. citizen at the time of the birth, that parent must have resided in the United States for at least 10 years, at least five of which had to be after the age of 16.
The problem is, Obama’s mother was only 18 when she gave birth, so his only apparent route to “natural born” citizenship status would have been to be born in Hawaii.
Some of the lawsuits that have been filed question whether Obama was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. If he was born out of the country, Obama’s American mother, the suits contend, was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time.
Other challenges have focused on Obama’s citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born. Further complicating the issue are the reports he was adopted by an Indonesia man during his childhood and moved to Indonesia and attended school there. There also are questions on what nation’s passport he traveled to Pakistan.
Here is a partial listing and status update for some of the cases over Obama’s eligibility:
New Jersey attorney Mario Apuzzo has filed a case on behalf of Charles Kerchner and others alleging Congress didn’t properly ascertain that Obama is qualified to hold the office of president.
Philip J. Berg, a Pennsylvania Democrat, demanded that the courts verify Obama’s original birth certificate and other documents proving his American citizenship. Berg’s latest appeal, requesting an injunction to stop the Electoral College from selecting the 44th president, was denied.
Leo Donofrio of New Jersey filed a lawsuit claiming Obama’s dual citizenship disqualified him from serving as president. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court but denied a full hearing.
Cort Wrotnowski filed suit against Connecticut’s secretary of state, making a similar argument to Donofrio. His case was considered in conference by the U.S. Supreme Court, but was denied a full hearing.
Chicago attorney Andy Martin sought legal action requiring Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to release Obama’s vital statistics record. The case was dismissed by Hawaii Circuit Court Judge Bert Ayabe.
Lt. Col. Donald Sullivan sought a temporary restraining order to stop the Electoral College vote in North Carolina until Barack Obama’s eligibility could be confirmed, alleging doubt about Obama’s citizenship. His case was denied.
In Ohio, David M. Neal sued to force the secretary of state to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii. The case was denied.
In Washington state, Steven Marquis sued the secretary of state seeking a determination on Obama’s citizenship. The case was denied.
In Georgia, Rev. Tom Terry asked the state Supreme Court to authenticate Obama’s birth certificate. His request for an injunction against Georgia’s secretary of state was denied by Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter.
California attorney Orly Taitz has brought a case, Lightfoot vs. Bowen, on behalf of Gail Lightfoot, the vice presidential candidate on the ballot with Ron Paul, four electors and two registered voters. She also has been working on several other cases.