Eligibility Update: HI AG Response to Questions; “Birther” Infomercial Airs; Kerchner v. Obama Letter to Judgeby Phil on 10/1/2009
As I had been reporting, attorney Leo Donofrio has teamed up with “TerriK” (Update: they are peaceably going in separate directions) in an investigation and potential lawsuit aimed at discovering upon what basis did Hawaii Department of Health Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino declare that Mr. Obama is a natural born citizen.
Today, Mr. Donofrio posted on his web site that the Hawaiian Attorney General Mark Bennett approved Dr. Fukino’s July 27 press release, lending credence to the fact that we, the People, have a right to know the basis for such a claim (much more at the referenced link):
Justin Riggs sent the following email to DoH Communications Director Janice Okubo on July 29, 2009:
From: Justin Riggs [email address redacted]
Date: Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 12:03 PM
To: …firstname.lastname@example.org, [redacted other recipient]
I am currently a masters degree candidate at …
The reason that I am contacting your organizations is that you are, as far as I can tell from my research, the only two groups that have openly stated that President Obama is a natural born citizen (one of the Article II, Section I qualifications for being President). I would like to document how you came to that conclusion: i.e. what the criteria is for your organization, what evidence the candidate provides, etc.
I thank you for your time, and look forward to receiving a response in the near future.
Justin W. Riggs
Janice Okubo responded later that day:
From: Okubo, Janice S..
Date: Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 12:20 PM
To: Justin Riggs [email address redacted]…
The statement was reviewed and approved by our Attorney General Mark Bennett. I am unable to provide further comment.
Hawaii State Department of Health…
So, we know that Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennet “reviewed and approved” Fukino’s July 27th press release. Bennet may have prepared the entire press release or perhaps just the “natural-born” part. We don’t know. Okubo states that she is unable to provide further comment, so the rest is a mystery at this point. But we certainly have another public statement here which makes information available to the public.
The public is therefore entitled to all records maintained by Hawaii officials which pertain to this July 29th statement by Okubo. For example, any emails between Okubo and AG Bennett, between Okubo and Fukino, between Bennett and Fukino, Governor Lingle, etc. which guided Okubo’s statement to Justin Riggs must be disclosed along with memos, letters, transcripts, video and telephonic conference recordings and any other records maintained thereto.
The same goes for any records maintained documenting dialogue between Hawaii officials and federal officials as to this issue.
But more important is that all of the above records pertaining to Fukino’s July 27th press release must also be disclosed.
In related news, a concerned citizen forwarded me the following story out of Springfield, Missouri from KY3.com regarding an infomercial concerning “birthers:”
[The following report is a rough approximation of the reporting in the above video]
SPRINGFIELD — Almost nine months into his presidency and there are still groups questioning Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship.
And now the so-called “birther” movement has taken to the airwaves right here in Missouri.
A fundamentalist Christian group has teamed up with a right-wing legal foundation to put together a half hour infomercial, asking the question: “Where was President Obama born?” The group has aired the ads in cities in seven states, and last week, if you were up late enough, you could’ve seen it in the Ozarks.
It aired at midnight last Thursday on Ky3’s sister station, KSPR. It’s the latest piece of evidence that the “birther” movement is not about to go dark.
“It’s obvious President Obama is trying to hide where he was really born,” blasts the infomercial.
Despite verification from the Hawaii Department of Health that the president has a valid state certificate of birth, Live Prayer.com has teamed up with the United States Justice Foundation to urge people to write $30 checks to help pay for faxes asking every state Attorneys General to launch an investigation.
As a thank-you, recipients will receive a bumper sticker, which reads, “Got birth certificate?”
It may be a fringe movement, but Ky3 Incorporated General Manager Mike Scott said the station will only restrict content if it violates the law or is deemed libelous.
“Obviously, the opinions of this particular program may be a minority of our viewers, but certainly I think this group has the right to express themselves. I don’t think it’s libelous in any fashion,” Scott said.
“A lot of us might feel differently and find fault in what they’re saying — but it’s really not our position to judge that,” he added.
The entire movement has forced Republicans into sticky situations. Congressman Roy Blunt said this summer that the birth certificate issue was legitimate.
“I don’t know anyone else that can’t produce one, and I think that’s a legitimate question,” Blunt, a candidate for U.S. Senate, is seen saying on a YouTube video.
Gary Kreep, executive director of the U.S. Justice Foundation said he is not sure if he would be pursuing this issue if John McCain had been elected president.
“I might be, the issue never came up,” Kreep said.
Kreep has doubts about the authenticity of the documents produced thus far.
“If Mr. Obama is not a natural born citizen, then he committed a criminal act in every state he signed nominating papers,” said Kreep in a phone interview with Ky3 News from California.
But dig deeper into Live Prayer’s background and you see uglier motivations.
A video on its website compares President Obama’s promise of “hope and change” to Adolph Hitler’s.
“The people of Germany had no idea that Hitler’s Hope & Change would lead to the death of 60 million people,” says a video posted on the group’s website.
Kreep said he doesn’t endorse Live Prayer’s comparisons of President Obama to Hitler. He said his group has already received between 1500 to 2000 faxes from around the country, calling for an investigation.
The Missouri Republican Party declined to comment on the groups involved or the infomercial. [emphases added]
Kudos to the GM for recognizing that the 1st Amendment is still in force. And regarding the Nazi inferences, I certainly don’t disagree with what the video portrays, especially since it was Madame Speaker who started the whole name-calling frenzy to begin with.
Mario Apuzzo, attorney for Plaintiffs in Kerchner v. Obama, submitted the following letter to USDC Judge Jerome Simandle asking why any response from the Court is now 6 weeks overdue:
And The Post & Email’s John Charlton asks the following of the Kenyan ambassador at Rome, hoping for a response:
July 20, 2009
H.E. Mrs. Ann B. Nyikuli,
Ambassador of Kenya to the Italian Republic
Embassy of the Republic of Kenya,
Via Archimede, 164
I am a citizen of the Republic of Italy, but writing to you regarding a question I have about the most famous son of Kenya, the U.S. President Barrack Hussein Obama.
My American friends are telling me that there is a controversy over whether President Obama is the son of Barrack Obama, of the Lulo tribe, in Kenya, or whether he is the son of an American Black civil rights activist, Frank Marshall Davis, in the USA, who resided in Hawaii.
My question is this: Can you confirm for me that the Government of Kenya has documents of its own which testify to the paternity of Barrack Obama, of the Lulo Tribe, as being the biological father of the U.S.President, Barrack Hussein Obama? And if you can confirm this, what kind of documents are these (adoption, registration of birth, birth certificate, medical records). I do not want the documents, I only want your confirmation that Kenya has some documents of its own, to claim Obama as a son of the soil.
Please respond in writing, so I can have something solid to refute these silly ideas of my American friends!
[Name and Address redacted] [emphasis original]
See the following links regarding the eligibility saga:
- The background:
- The questions:
- The State Department and Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) Natural Born Citizen Resolution (April 10, 2008)
Photo courtesy macprohawaii at flickr