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 ↑
The race appears to be on among states to demand eligibility documentation from candidates for political office, including the president.
And one of the front-runners could be Oklahoma, which actually considered the proposal last year and did not adopt it only because two supporters missed a key vote – one because he was in an accident and the other because he was attending a funeral.
The sponsor of the plan, state Rep. Mike Ritze, who says he regularly gets questions from his constituents about Obama’s eligibility, told WND an “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” on the issues of candidate qualifications and eligibility.
WND previously reported on the growing move toward asking political candidates to document their eligibility for the office they seek.
President Obama has been at the center of a firestorm since before he was elected, because a number of lawsuits alleged he did not meet the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen.” The lawsuits have asserted he either was not born in Hawaii as he claims or was a dual citizen because of his father’s British citizenship at the time of his birth.
Ritze told WND his plan would require candidates to provide a certified birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID to be on the ballot in the state.
“We’re seeing more and more illegal immigrants coming into our state and nationally,” he said. “Up until now, all we have to do is swear that we are a legal citizen.”
The presidency would fall under the requirements like any other office, he said.
Candidates for the office would have to show, he said, “they are legal citizens of the United States, according to the Article II, Section 1 clause.”
WND has reported dozens of legal challenges since before his election 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.
However, none of the cases filed to date has been successful in reaching the plateau of legal discovery, so that information about Obama’s birth could be obtained.
Critics of the president have not made an issue of the state legislative proposals, but they are spreading.
“To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of President to include with the committee’s statement of organization a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution.”
The bill also provides:
“Congress finds that under … the Constitution of the United States, in order to be eligible to serve as President, an individual must be a natural born citizen of the United States who has attained the age of 35 years and has been a resident within the United States for at least 14 years.”
The sponsors’ goal is for the bill to become effective for the
2012 presidential election. The legislation now is pending in a House committee and has more than a dozen co-sponsors.
But whatever support Posey’s plan has, it faces massive obstacles in a House and Senate dominated by Democrats, as well as a president whose own status could be impacted by its requirements.
Even so, Arizona state Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, said the controversy over Obama and his birth certificate has raised questions.
“It just makes sense and will stop any controversy in the future to just show you are a natural born citizen,” she told the Arizona Capitol Times.
If states start adopting such election requirements, their laws possibly could have an impact similar to federal legislation, since the results of the information submitted would be evident. For example, an appearance on the ballot in one state demanding such eligibility proof would indicate the candidate had, in fact, provided that documentation.
Ritze said Oklahoma’s plan last year obtained majority support to pass the state House, and failed in the Senate only because of the absence of two supporters. He said the plan this year is similar, only that it is set up this year to go to voters instead of the governor for approval.
Ritz said he’s followed some of the arguments over Obama’s eligibility, but his bill does more than address just that issue.According to the Oklahoma Legislature’s website, Ritze’s plan would require “proof of citizenship for certain candidates.”
Key to the arguments over Obama is the fact is original long-form birth certificate never has been released. A second significant factor is the multitude of documents that Obama has kept from the public.
Besides his actual birth documentation, the still-concealed documentation includes 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, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records.
Thirdly, another significant factor is the estimated $1.7 million Obama has spent on court cases specifically preventing any of the documentation of his life to be revealed to the public.
And as WND has reported, however, no controlling legal authority ever directly addressed the question of whether Obama met the U.S. Constitution’s requirements to be president, that is being 35 years of age, a resident for at least 14 years and a “natural born citizen.”
“Where’s The Birth Certificate?” billboard helps light up the night at the Mandalay Bay resort on the Las Vegas Strip.
The “certification of live birth” posted online and widely touted as “Obama’s birth certificate” does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same “short-form” document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii. The true “long-form” birth certificate – which includes information such as the name of the birth hospital and attending physician – is the only document that can prove Obama was born in Hawaii, but to date he has not permitted its release for public or press scrutiny.
Oddly, though congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a “natural born citizen,” no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama’s claim to a Hawaiian birth.