By Jack Minor
Louisiana elections officials formally have requested a legal opinion on whether they have the authority to investigate allegations that a candidate is ineligible or withhold a candidate’s name from the ballot.
The questions from Steve Hawkland, deputy general counsel in the Department of State in Louisiana, to Louisiana Attorney General James. D. “Buddy” Caldwell are cast in the format of asking for affirmation that the state department does not have such authority.
Hawkland, representing Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler’s office, noted, “It has always been the position of the Department of State that the Secretary of State duties in this regard are purely ministerial in nature and thus, he does not have the authority or discretion to investigation, refuse to qualify a candidate who has properly filed his qualifying documentation, or refuse to place a candidate on a ballot….”
“The Secretary of State would appreciate an opinion as to whether or not this position is correct,” the letter said.
The issue also was addressed on a March 13 Facebook posting for the Secretary of State’s office. Attorney William Crawford said the office had received “many inquiries concerning Pres. Barack Obama citizenship” and requesting his name not be placed on the state ballot for the Nov. 6 election.
Crawford said at that point Schedler’s office did not have the authority or discretion to investigate or refuse to place a candidate on a ballot even if they did not meet the qualifications for the office.
But he said due to the large number of requests on the issue the office had requested clarification from Caldwell.
Brandee Patrick, the public information officer for Schedler’s office, told WND officials have gotten about 150 pieces of correspondence requesting that Obama’s name be excluded from the November ballot due to concern over his eligibility.
The letter sent to Caldwell does not ask the attorney general to investigate citizen concerns over the eligibility of the president, but simply asks whether the Secretary of State has the authority to investigate and possibly remove a candidate based on eligibility.
Patrick said the letter was intended to be a formality, essentially confirming that the elections officials did not have any authority to address the issue.
WND inquiries to Caldwell’s office asking who, if any, state official had the authority and responsibility to look into this issue did not generate a response.
However, a formal legal investigation of the issue by a Cold Case Posse appointed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Maricopa County, Ariz., concluded there is probable cause to believe there was forgery involved in the creation of Barack Obama’s birth documentation, released by the White House amid press conference and fanfare last year.
The investigation also said there is probable cause to believe there was fraud in the presentation of the document as a real government record.
The Arpaio investigation also noted that Hawaii newspaper listings about Obama’s purported Hawaii birth in 1961 were “not credible” as they had proof that those listings also included babies born overseas as well as children as old as 3.
The investigators also said there was credible evidence the president’s Selective Service card was a forgery, based on an examination of the postal stamp used on the document.
Ballot challenges against Obama have been brought this year in several states including Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Arizona, Florida and New Hampshire.
The Facebook comment:
And the letter:
One state, Arizona, is responding to the controversy this year by considering a legislative proposal that would have candidates affirm their eligibility in a sworn statement, and then allow citizens to challenge that if they chose.
And in Georgia, which already has a similar state law, several voters have gone to court to challenge Obama’s name on the ballot, only to be rejected by a judge who ruled in favor of Obama, who along with his lawyer snubbed the state court system and refused to appear for the hearing or present evidence.
During the last legislative session, lawmakers in more than a dozen states considered laws requiring various levels of documentation of eligibility from candidates.