As Arizona officials contemplate whether or not Barack Obama's name will appear on a ballot this year, the state is being flooded with emails from concerned citizens urging the attorney general to make sure the president is constitutionally eligible to hold the office.
Secretary of State Ken Bennett is giving news media a glimpse of the more than 1,200 messages sent to his office since Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced March 1 probable cause exists that Obama's birth certificate released in 2011 is a forgery.
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According to KTAR Radio in Phoenix, Brian Reilly of the Surprise Tea Party said he would support Bennett for governor if Bennett refused to put Obama's name on the Arizona ballot unless the president or the Democratic National Committee could give "information that is satisfactory" to the attorney general and Sheriff Arpaio's Cold Case Posse that Obama's Hawaii birth certificate is authentic.
The station says legislative district 4 director Jim Keller sent Bennett a message suggesting he precludeObama's name from the ballot, saying Arpaio's probe proves Obama does not meet the qualifications to be president.
KTAR withheld the names of private citizens who sent emails, but a sampling of their messages to Bennett include:
- "The question of Obama's legitimacy to be president is too compelling. He waited too long to produce a birth certificate which adds to the questionable document. Please remove him from the presidential ballot."
- "I am a 'natural born citizen.' I am concerned about all elected officials being honest about their U.S. citizenship. Investigating any that are questionable should not be considered an invasion to their rights, but should be an honor to show their proof of citizenship."
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- "If you as our secretary of state do not have the courage to write a simple letter to the DNC ... will you have the courage to govern Arizona if you one day become our governor? Over 3,000 people may have second thoughts about you in your bid for re-election or a bid for the governor's office over a simple letter."
- "It is with great surprise and disappointment that you are reluctant to follow through with the substantial evidence showing that the president of our country is not qualified to hold this position due to his fraudulent documentation. Not only is one of his documents fraudulently manufactured, but TWO OF HIS DOCUMENTS ARE fraudulently presented! WE HAVE TO STAND UP FOR THE CONSTITUTION AND FOLLOW THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY! If we do not uphold our Constitution, there will be nothing holding our country together. Elected officials are elected to uphold the Constitution and the laws of our country, both Federally and locally. We realize there are many issues taking elected officials attention at this time, but none is as important as upholding our Constitution."
Bennett has sent out an e-mail response, indicating it was "imperative that we follow the rule of law as well."
With all due respect, the MCSO investigation has not proven anything other than raised probable cause that the birth certificate posted on the Whitehouse website "may be" a forgery. The next lawful step would be for the Sheriff's office to turn their findings over to the County Attorney for prosecution. Evidence would be brought on both sides and a judge should issue a decision. Whether or not that happens, if Hawaii can't or won't provide verification of the President's birth certificate, I will not put his name on the ballot.
I can tell from the tone and language of your letters that the only acceptable outcome for you is that his name not be on the ballot, period. That may be what happens, but under my watch, it won't happen based on opinions, petitions, probability or pledges to support or oppose me in the 2014 Governor's race. My oath of office is to uphold the Constitution and laws of our State and country, and I'm going to do that by following the law. I look forward to continuing to work this issue under those parameters. Otherwise, I will respectfully agree to disagree.