Arizona official to Hawaii: Show birth verification

By Jerome R. Corsi

A state official in Arizona has asked Hawaii for verification of the information on Barack Obama’s birth certificate, the document that Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s special investigative team has concluded may be a forgery.

Members of the Surprise, Ariz., Tea Party, who petitioned Arpaio to investigate Obama’s eligibility, say they are awaiting word from the state secretary of state regarding whether Obama’s name will be on the 2012 presidential ballot in Arizona.

Secretary of State Ken Bennett had promised to ask Hawaii officials for verification of Obama’s documentation, vowing that if answers are not forthcoming, Obama’s name will not be on the ballot.

The assurance came in an email to various constituents in Arizona who had contacted Bennett’s office expressing concern that the name of an ineligible candidate would be presented to voters in November.

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“Because of the importance and profile of the president’s case, and at the request of many constituents, I have gone the extra step of asking the state of Hawaii to verify the facts contained in his birth certificate,” Bennett wrote in response to concerns last month. “Hawaii is bound by their own statutes to provide such verifications to other state officials in their official duties.

“With all due respect, the [Arpaio] investigation has not proven anything other than raised probable cause that the birth certificate posted on the White House 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,” he continued. “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,” he wrote.

“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,” he said.

Amen, said Brian Reilly, the Surprise Tea Party member who originated the idea of asking Arpaio for an investigation.

He also was part of the group that sought from the state legislature this year a requirement that presidential candidates document their eligibility. The proposal that fell by the wayside despite some 3,000 signatures of people endorsing the plan.

Reilly told WND that those who contacted Bennett are concerned about the integrity of the state ballot and “whether their votes mean anything.” He argued, as have others, that having an ineligible candidate on the ballot destroys the integrity of the entire election process.

Reilly said he’s confident the system will produce the truth eventually. And Tea Party members are awaiting word on whether Hawaii has provided the information Bennett has sought.

“In my mind, no way can (Hawaii) certify or confirm what that is,” he said, referring to the birth certificate image posted online by Obama. “We actually need to see the hard copy.”

One constituent message to Bennett said, “There is a great deal of weight that has been placed onto your shoulders, base[d] on the requirements that your office has and can impose … on anyone that wishes to run for president. All that we ask is that you do your absolute best, to [e]nsure that everyone who[se] name appears on the ballot in the 2012 president election, is eligible to become president if elected.”

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Bennett’s communications director, Matt Roberts, told WND today that the secretary of state indeed has asked Hawaii for the answers. In fact, he said, there was a conversation about proper procedures to submit the request.

“We are awaiting their response,” he said.

In the past, the state of Hawaii has been inconsistent in making statements about Obama’s birth records.

After Obama released the online image in 2011, state officials said the original was in state files and it remained confidential.

The image released April 27 by the White House was described by Obama administration officials as “proof positive” of Obama’s Hawaiian birth.

Image released by the White House April 27, 2011

At that time, officials in Hawaii’s health department and governor’s office refused to provide confirmation to WND that the image released by the White House accurately represented the birth documentation in the state’s custody.

State officials later refused to respond to a subpoena requesting the birth record, citing confidentiality. The request came from California attorney Orly Taitz in her lawsuit against the commissioner of the Social Security Administration over records related to Obama.

The case brought by Taitz was seeking the original application for Obama’s Social Security number, a document that could reveal information about the president’s early life relevant to his eligibility to be president.

However, Hawaii Deputy Attorney General Jill T. Nagamine refused to respond, according to documents obtained by WND.

“These subpoenas would require disclosure of privileged or other protected matter, and there is no exception that applies to allow disclosure to you,” she told Taitz. “Vital statistics records, such as birth certificates, are protected by strict confidentiality requirements under state law.”

Earlier, Hawaii’s former Health Department director, Chiyome Fukino, the one official who claimed to have examined the original birth document under lock and key in Hawaii, was interviewed by NBC News’ national investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff. Isikoff said Fukino told him she had seen the original birth certificate and that it was “half typed and half handwritten.”

However, the document released by the White House was entirely typed. Only the signatures and two dates at the very bottom were “handwritten.”

At the same time, Hawaii officials repeatedly have pointed to a state law that prevents them from releasing state records.

Fukino moved unwillingly to center stage in the Obama birth certificate controversy after issuing a statement on Oct. 31, 2008, in which she stated: “Therefore, I as Director for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”

Below is a screen copy of the Fukino press release:

Later, in a separate statement, Fukino said, “I and Dr. Alvin Onaka have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.”

But those with questions have pointed out that neither statement revealed what the “record” or “certificate” says or clarified many of the questions raised over the issue. Do the “original vital records” and “original birth certificate” indicate a Hawaii birth or an overseas birth?

Adding fuel to the fire has been Obama’s persistent refusal to release documents that could provide answers and his appointment of lawyers to defend against all requests for his documentation.

Among the documents not yet made public by Obama are his kindergarten records, high school 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.

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