Two major billboard companies are allowing signs that slam Christian faith, even though they rejected out-of-hand a billboard campaign that asked for documentation of Barack Obama’s eligibility to be president.
“I found it ironic that the billboard … is maintained by Clear Channel,” wrote a WND reader who noticed the apparent double standard. “I seem to recall Clear Channel did not want to run any of the ‘Where’s the Birth Certificate’ ads on their billboards, because of the ‘sensitivity of the issue.'”
Another company that rejected the “birth certificate” billboards but now is allowing a message from a “reason” group that asks
“Are you good without God?” is Lamar Outdoor, one of the largest providers of billboard space in America.
Last summer when the “birth certificate” campaign was launched by WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah, Lamar spokesman Hal Kilshaw told WND his company was “just not going to accept that copy.”
“We think it’s a settled matter,” he said. “We think it’s misleading to indicate there’s any question about the president’s birth certificate. We looked at it and we made the call.”
He told WND at the time he based his determination on “independent media reports” and unnamed “newspaper articles.”
A Lamar sign in West Virginia rented to the campaign to suggest there’s no need for God
But now the United Coalition of Reason, which has a campaign to post billboards questioning the need for God, has posted a photo documenting Lamar’s participation in their anti-God campaign.
Today, Kilshaw told WND the “state official in Hawaii” reported seeing a birth certificate for Obama.
“We don’t have any reason to distrust,” he said. The slam against God, however, is “not a question of a fact; just a point of view from people,” he said.
Clear Channel reports having almost 200,000 advertising displays in the U.S. The company issued a prepared statement in response to WND’s request for comment during the summer, saying, “Clear Channel Outdoor has a long tradition of being politically agnostic but also has a consistent practice of rejecting copy that we view as a personal attack ad, such as the Obama Birth Certificate copy.”
The company also cited the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, which had prepared a statement dealing specifically with the “Where’s The Birth Certificate?” question.
It states: “In the situation of the Obama birth certificate billboards, there is no First Amendment question. The First Amendment applies to governmental restrictions on speech, not on the decisions of outdoor advertising companies. We strongly stand behind the right of our companies to reject this or any other copy.”
Company spokesman Tony Alwin did respond to WND’s request today for comment on the latest development, sending a link to the “code of industry principles as a guide for content” from the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
That code includes the industry’s support for the First Amendment:
Specifically, it calls on companies to “Observe Highest Free Speech Standards.”
“We support the First Amendment right of advertisers to promote legal products and services, however, we also support the right of outdoor advertising companies to reject advertising that is misleading, offensive, or otherwise incompatible with individual community standards, and in particular, we reject the posting of obscene words or pictorial content,” the code states.
Alwin did not respond to subsequent questions from WND on whether his company has determined “Are you good without God?” doesn’t mislead anyone, doesn’t offend anyone and meets all community standards.
Farah maintains Obama has not proved he is constitutionally eligible to serve as president as a “natural born citizen” and suggests the release of his long-form birth certificate showing the hospital of his birth, attending physician and other details can clarify answers to those questions.
Obama’s presidential campaign released to select news organizations only what is known as a “certification of live birth,” a document obtainable in Hawaii in 1961 by Americans actually born outside the country.
Another Coalition of Reason photo revealing its message on a Clear Channel sign in San Diego
Farah said he launched the billboard campaign because no one else stepped up to raise the questions.
“WND’s reporters have investigated this issue more extensively than the rest of the media combined – sending senior staff writer Jerome Corsi to Hawaii and Kenya in search of evidence,” he has said. “We have commissioned private investigators in Honolulu. There is simply no persuasive evidence to affirm Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth. There is no hospital on the island that will confirm the first black president of the United States was born there. It’s all conjecture. And no controlling legal authority in this country has ever asked Obama to provide the proof.”
Farah also has assured campaign supporters it easily can continue without any of the signs managed by Lamar or Clear Channel. The newest billboard, in fact, recently was erected in Pennsylvania.
“It should be pretty clear to everyone by now that Obama has no intentions of releasing his birth certificate under any circumstances,” said Farah. “He will also not reveal his travel records, his student records, his medical records – in short he won’t reveal anything meaningful about himself or his history, not even to prove he is constitutionally eligible to serve in office. The man apparently has a lot to hide.”
Farah says there is only one solution – force him to reveal it.
“We have to see these billboards flourish in 2010 and leading up to the 2012 election when Obama will seek re-election,” said Farah. “If he can’t answer that simple question by then, he’s toast. Help me make it so Obama can’t go anywhere in the United States without seeing this sign.”
Newest ‘Where’s the birth certificate?’ billboard along the Pennsylvania Turnpike
Workers who erected the latest sign, in Pennsylvania near County Line Road between Southampton Township and Willow Grove, reported drivers honking and giving thumbs-up signs while they were working.
The signs must be having an impact, too. According to auto traffic patterns and projections provided by billboard companies, millions of Americans already pass by billboards erected by Farah’s campaign that began last May.
The survey was done by Angus Reid Global Monitor, a division of Vision Critical Group, which leverages “the world’s most advanced online research technology for interactive surveys, custom panels, private communities and virtual retail environments.”
The results of the survey said 70 percent of the respondents believe Obama was born in the U.S., “while 30 percent do not.”
“While only 13 percent of Democratic Party supporters believe Obama was not born in the U.S., the proportion rises to 25 percent among Independents and 51 percent among Republican Party backers,” the report said.
The issue is significant because while Obama secured a majority of the Electoral College votes in November 2008 to be installed as president, Article II of the U.S. Constitution establishes “that only ‘natural born’ American citizens are eligible to become presidents.”
Just weeks ago, former House majority leader Tom DeLay offered his views on Obama’s birth, saying, “Why wouldn’t the president of the United States show the American people his birth certificate? You have to show a birth certificate to play Little League baseball. It’s a question that should be answered. It’s in the Constitution that you have to be a natural born citizen of the United States to be president.”
WND has reported on dozens of legal challenges to Obama’s status as a “natural born citizen.” 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.”
Some of the lawsuits question whether he 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. Others argue one cannot be a “natural born” citizen without two citizen parents.
Complicating the situation is Obama’s decision to spend sums exceeding $1.7 million to avoid releasing an original long-form state birth certificate that would put to rest the questions.
WND also has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records and his adoption records.
Farah said to succeed in giving the question a high profile “takes a lot of money.”
“It will take tens of thousands of dollars – probably at least $100,000 by the end of the year. But it can be done. It will take at least $250,000 in 2010 to meet that goal. But it can be done. It will then take about $500,000 in 2011 and $1 million in 2012. But it can be done. It must be done if America is going to continue to operate as a constitutional republic in the future.”
Farah says he has no confidence the courts currently reviewing eligibility cases will make the right decision and demand the evidence unless the issue is taken far more seriously by the American public.
“I’m convinced this issue is going nowhere without the American people demanding the truth from the bottom up,” he said. “I know my colleagues in the media are afraid of it. I know the Republicans in Washington are afraid of it. It’s up to us – the people – to make this happen.”
“So far, we’ve raised just over a dozen billboards around the country, raising lots of awareness about Obama’s continuing refusal to come clean with the American people about his birth,” explained Farah. “I’m asking for help in erecting another dozen right away.”
Billboard at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas
Farah also devised a way for everyone to get into the act – with your own car or your own yard.
previously launched a petition campaign that has collected nearly half
a million names demanding Obama’s eligibility be verified and
demonstrated publicly. That campaign continues. That list has been
shared with members of the Electoral College and the chief justice of
the U.S. Supreme Court.
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