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State Sen. Sam Slom

Hawaii’s Senate minority leader is accusing Gov. Neil Abercrombie of politicizing the state’s health department by firing his nominee to replace Chiyome Fukino, a woman best known to the nation as Barack Obama’s birth certificate guardian.

Sen. Sam Slom, the sole Republican in Hawaii’s upper house, is denouncing Abercrombie’s handling of the nomination of Dr. Neal Palafox to be the successor to Fukino as director of the state’s health department. He said he is convinced Abercrombie asked Dr. Palafox to withdraw his nomination because the nominee fired two Hawaii health department employees who were politically connected.

Fukino, who became the face of Hawaii’s claim that Obama’s original birth records remain on file in the state’s archives, resigned in December.

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“Palafox was determined to clean up the Hawaii Department of Health and he ran afoul of politics when the people he fired sought retribution,” Slom told WND.

Slom does not believe that Dr. Palafox was fired for refusing to allow Abercrombie to search for Obama birth records.

“I have known Abercrombie for 50 years, back to when we were both undergraduate students at the University of Hawaii,” Slom said. “Abercrombie was pro-communist and I was pro-American.”

But Slom adds he would be happy to use the Palafox case if it would permit him to open up to the public any birth records the Hawaii health department has.

“If Palafox serves as a shoehorn to get for the public any Obama birth records the Hawaii Department of Health has, I am all for doing so,” he said. “I don’t understand why Obama has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep all his records from the public — not just his Hawaii birth records, but his passport records and his school records. All Obama’s records should be public, including any Hawaii birth records that exist.”


Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie

Slom said Abercrombie did conduct a search for Obama birth records – he wasn’t sure if Abercrombie looked himself, or if he sent someone to search the records.

Slom repeated what he told the Hawaii newspapers — that there is no federal investigation against Palafox. He characterized that as a trumped up story to provide cover for the dismissal of Palafox. He said he met personally with Dr. Palafox and was prepared to vote to confirm his nomination as director of the Hawaii health department.

“Neil is a small man, about 5 feet 1 inch in height, with a huge ego,” said Slom. “He thought he could come into office and do Obama a great favor by putting an end to Obama’s birth controversy.”

But the inability to produce any documents after vows to the New York Times and other news organizations have only added fuel to the fire. The dismissal of Dr. Palafox has also stirred rumors about a possible connection to the birth certificate drama.

The latest development comes as well-connected sources in Hawaii are warning that certain government officials in the state have been contemplating releasing fraudulent birth records for Obama in the run-up to the 2012 election. At least 11 states are currently considering legislation that would require future presidential candidates to prove constitutional eligibility by proving they are “natural born citizens.”

Some of the bills under review in legislatures across the U.S. would require candidates to provide a long-form birth certificate – a document Obama has steadfastly denied the public and the press. His 2008 campaign offered only a certification of live birth, a short-form digital document that skeptics insist could be generated without an actual Hawaiian birth taking place. But the generation of the short-form document, by a simple affidavit from a family member, would have triggered the newspaper birth announcements that have been used by some to corroborate Obama’s birth story.

The blogosphere is rife with speculation that Abercrombie dispatched Palafox as health director because he was unable to produce evidence supporting Abercrombie’s repeated claims Obama was born at Kapi’olani Medical Center.

WND was unable to reach Dr. Palafox.

Meanwhile, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports Slom has asked Abercrombie to provide additional information regarding his decision to ask Dr. Palafox to withdraw his nomination.

In a letter to Abercrombie dated last Friday, Slom said he has confirmed with federal sources that Dr. Palafox is not under any investigation, the reason Abercrombie’s office claimed was behind the governor’s request for dismissal.

“If he is indeed innocent, let’s clear this matter up and allow the Senate to consider him for the position,” Slom wrote to Abercrombie. “The Health Department has a number of problems and strong leadership is required.”

The Hawaii Reporter published last Friday the complete text of Slom’s letter to Abercrombie.

“As a member of the Health Committee who would be considering his [Palafox's] or another nomination, I am requesting additional information to determine whether or not he was falsely accused,” Slom wrote Abercrombie. “It would be unfortunate to have these allegations hanging over him if they are not true.”


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