That Arpaio would exploit the stupidity of conspiracy wackos is no shocker. But when my colleague Matt Hendley blogged that Secretary of State Bennett (who also acts as Romney's Arizona co-chair) apparently had jumped on this backward bandwagon, I raised an eyebrow. This mainly is because Bennett always has struck me as a Republican of the non-crazy variety, one not given over to the partisan insanity of some of his colleagues.

In an e-mail quoted by online publication World Net Daily (better known as World Nut Daily), Bennett, though skeptical of birther claims, said he had asked Hawaii officials for yet another verification of the Obama birth certificate. The likely Republican candidate for governor also promised:

"If Hawaii can't or won't provide verification of the president's birth certificate, I will not put his name on the ballot."

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, in the crosshairs of a Red Mountain Teabagger.
Stephen Lemons
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, in the crosshairs of a Red Mountain Teabagger.

The fallout from Hendley's blog was swift. Bennett was forced to issue a press release stating for the record: "I am not a birther." Yet he left the door open for more birther madness, telling KFYI's Mike Broomhead that though he believed Obama was born in Hawaii, that state's officialdom was dragging its feet on getting back to him and, therefore, it was "possible" Obama might not make it on the 2012 presidential ballot in Arizona.

Bennett claimed he had initiated the inquiry only because more than 1,000 of his "constituents" hit him with e-mails on the subject, demanding action. Add to that a petition with 3,000 signatures and Bennett felt he must play the dutiful public servant.

I suspected Bennett was using the issue to gain some traction with his party's dominant crazy wing. But watching him squirm before a couple hundred birthers at the RMTP gave me second thoughts.

Bennett's address dealt with what his office does to ensure accurate ballot counts and prevent fraud at the polls. Dull stuff, during which some of the seniors actually nodded off.

But before opening up the event to audience questions, Hatch directed Bennett to explain what was going on with the Obama birth-certificate situation.

The Secretary of State suggested that the current kerfuffle was a result of Hawaii's intransigence over the issue and its insistence that he must prove he has the authority to request the information.

That afternoon, Bennett said he felt he all but had resolved his contretemps with Hawaiian officials and that he believed, "within the next day or two," Arizona would receive verification from Hawaii and the controversy would conclude, at least for him

(One day after Bennett's appearance, Hawaii sent over a "verification of birth" to the secretary of state, which he accepted, though you can be sure the irrational, antediluvian airheads of the RMTP will cling to their birtherism in defiance of all sanity.)

Hatch then chided Bennett for declaring on KFYI that he was not a "birther," complaining that the secretary of state had used it like "kind of a dirty term . . . something that marginalized people."

So it does, just as the label and spelling of "troofer" rightfully marginalized the idiots wedded to the grand conspiracy theory that 9/11 was an inside job orchestrated by the Bush administration.

Nevertheless, Bennett, to his credit, stood his ground. He said he did not think "birther" was a dirty word. Still, he said, he could not be categorized as one.

"I have my doubts," Bennett told them. "But for the most part, I believe [President Obama] was born in Hawaii. If he wasn't born in Hawaii and that could be proven, then I think [U.S. Secretary of State and former candidate for the Democratic nomination for president] Hillary Clinton would have proved it four years ago."

As Bennett explained that in Arizona, presidential nominees usually self-certify their meeting all the requirements for office, he seemed genuinely uncomfortable.

When asked what he thought of Arpaio's investigation of the matter — which now includes the ridiculous step of sending a deputy off to Hawaii along with a posse investigator — Bennett offered a critical response.

"If they found probable cause that a crime may have been committed, that the document is a forgery or whatever," Bennett said of Arpaio's posse probe, "that should be turned over to the County Attorney's Office and prosecuted, which has not occurred, and I cannot understand why that hasn't happened."

Heck, I wouldn't put it past Arpaio to throw something in County Attorney Bill Montgomery's lap. Monty wouldn't want it, natch, but that wouldn't stop Joe. This is an election year, after all, and Arpaio's Teabagger followers are fanatics.

One old biddy demanded Bennett do something because Obama was "obviously guilty." To which Bennett was forced to counter like a sixth-grade civics teacher that no one is "guilty" until proven so in court.

Afterward, when I filed out with the oldsters, some griped that the country was "going communist" under Obama. Others talked about how Obama "obviously" was a Muslim.

In the lobby, I asked Bennett why he'd even entertain the notion that Obama's birth certificate was not legit. He repeated his refrain that he was only responding to constituent requests, that he thought Hawaii would quickly respond and end the issue for him.

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218 comments
Aznative818
Aznative818

You, my friend, are certifiable, and should be in a nut house along with all your buds.

Aznative818
Aznative818

You are as nutty as a fruitcake, seriously, get your nose out of the teabaggers butt.

Brian Gilbert
Brian Gilbert

The question Ken Bennett needs to answer is--was it worth it? His antics transcend Arizona's crazy right-wing bubble and make him known across the country as a punch line. Congratulations.

Lynnstso
Lynnstso

ah....this garbage" talk" comes from the worst commentator in Arizona... this FAT man is so unhappy he graps ALL negativisum to get attention...he wants all of us to be as miserable as he is............amen....

shadrac
shadrac

When you feel something in your gut, you know it's the truth....Obama is a FRAUD of the highest order...and unfortunately he happens to occupy a position of great power, thanks to the sheep that followed him into the corral.....I'm the bull that was standing on the hill, witnessing the great roundup....soon, there will be more corrals and more truths revealed, but it will be too late for the sheep. Where did all the sheep go?......Ohbaaaaamaaaaa......Feeeeemaaaaaaa

shadrac
shadrac

Just like Obama.....couldn't have said it any better myself...Just insert the leftists names....and you have a "ringer"....and closer to the truth...Obviously, you have your OWN INTERPRETATION, of what the law truly says...and it ONLY APPLIES to a PRESIDENT.....of which OBAMA ISN'T....He's a POSER and an OCCUPIER, and eventually the REAL TRUTH WILL REVEAL ITSELF.....

WHATEVERLOSER
WHATEVERLOSER

Looks like High TImes is dumping Obummer on the wetback laws

WHATEVERLOSER
WHATEVERLOSER

Bennet has nothing but an Email ...This is as dumb as Bennet

WHATEVERLOSER
WHATEVERLOSER

I'm older than obummer ...I have a real BC whats his problem?

Lors Avakim
Lors Avakim

Ok, so when is Mr. Obama going to file his certified birth certificate in AZ to qualify to be on the ballet, like I had to show my certified birth certificate to get a drivers license?

Bill Garlits
Bill Garlits

Who do these elected officials get their authority from ! And who authorizes their Attorney Fees.What Happened to the Oath to uphold the rule of law and the Constitution.. Seem's that everyone does whatever they feel like. Fly to China. Go investigate in Hawaii. Any thing and every thing, To Make a fool out of American and Arizona Citizens.Only way to straighten this out. Looks to me like no more Partison Ballot's, Just Post the office they are running fore. So you can vote across Party Lines to eliminate some of these Candidates who want a position, as a dictator, or Bios Elected official with other than a sincere person who believes in Equality..Governor who refuses to meet with leaders south of the Border. But spend entire weekend cow towning Christian Corperate church goers. But refuses to have an audience with Working Class Organizations.I never thought I would ever see America so Mis-Managed in my life.

Yahoo
Yahoo

Mitt Romney's father was born in Mexico, according to the just-released birth certificate of Mitt. Did anyone verify that his father entered the country legally? Or is he an "illegal immigrant" (which means Mitt is not a legal citizen and can't be President)?

Tom
Tom

If Hawaii had a legitimate birth certificate for Obama, it would have been shown long ago. They say they have one but they never show it. Duhh! Obama's attempt to pass off a forgery blew up in his face. While many experts say it is a forgery, not one -- not one -- has testified that it is real. When Obama went to Hawaii last December for a vacation, why didn't he walk into the Dept. of Health with a reporter and ask to see his BC? That would ended the controversy. The only possible reason he did not is that there is no Hawaii BC! Simple.

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Oliver Grill
Oliver Grill

We who live in this state, should realize that we are the laughing stock of this United States. We have a Governor that is so ill bread that she feels she has the right to shake her finger in the face of the President of the United States when he came to visit our state. If she didn't know how to respectively act to the leader of this Nation, she might have asked someone with some Class how she should act! We also have another person who gives out idiotic remarks whenever he opens his mouth. Senator McCain has been in office for HOW long as a representative of Arizona and up to now, I can't remember anything of any significance that he has done of this state? Both of these people need to be put out to pasture, as soon as if possible. I love my State, but the direction it is going, It's actually pathetic.....

issy
issy

the people need to get GOP down to earth get rid of sum like sheriff joe and keep crazy pierce and cathy herrod out of control. voters need to take back arizona and the corruption that these republicans have caused

Blog
Blog

Face it, loser obama's a fraud.This most likely is the biggest fraud ever perpatrated on the American public . Besides, anybody can create a bogus birth certificate like the one created for deadbeat obama.

Bill Garlits
Bill Garlits

Another White supremacist hate mongering wast of tax payers of arizona' by the Republicon Conservative out of touch,

Bill Garlits
Bill Garlits

Another White supremacist hate mongering wast of tax payers of arizona' by the Republicon Conservative out of touch,

Tom
Tom

Hmmm, let's see now. Your objectiver reporter, Mr. Stephen Lemons, finds that I am -- in alphabetical order -- a bigot, crazy, decrepit, a doofus, a fossil, a geezer, an idiot, a kook, and a tinfoil-hat wearer. In addition, my teeth are loose. And we have not even met! As for the rest of his ramblings, a Hawaiian certification of live birth is given to anyone who asks for it. No one has seen Obama's long form BC. A former Hawaiian senior election official has given a sworn written statement that it does not exist. Each of those who has said it does has been a Democrat politician or bureaucrat, and we know their reputation for . . . well, never mind. But they never show it. Obama isssued a so-called copy, but several experts say it is a forgery. Not one expert has said it is not. If it exists, why not show it? Last December, Obama went to Hawaii for a 17 day vacation. Why did he not take a reporter to the Hawaiian Dept. of Health and ask to see his BC? He is aware of controversy. Why did he not have his BC shown? There is only one possible reason. It does not exist. Plus, of course, his social security number is a Connecticut number, a place where he has never been. His selective service certificate has been judged a forgery. He attended Occidental College with foreign student financing. But I digress. If Obama's BC exists, then show it! How simple can you get?

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Dudley Smooth
Dudley Smooth

Don't worry, Bennett won't be Secretary of State for long.

Sharon
Sharon

Must be a Democrat!!

Kevin Walsh
Kevin Walsh

I often wonder why none of the birthers take issue with John McCain being a Panamanian.

guest
guest

The point of the story is glossed over by all the aggressive insults. Are you trying to get the readers to notice YOU; or unfounded accusations? The colorful barbs are a desperate cry for attention, from a child like mind.

NKIM
NKIM

You mean the same Az congress who's response to the Rep Giffords shooting(besides platitudes) was to courageously pass bills to allow students to carry guns on campus and allow citizens with CWP's to impound a policemans vehicle if they thought he was infringing to much on their rights to carry weapons and my favorite allow CWP's to carry into bars and restaurants that also serve booze! What us worry!!

Lorraine Conley
Lorraine Conley

Why don't yous acknowledge THE is spelled TXE in the United States government official stamp right bottom corner on Obama's White House website birth certificate, yous could write there a THE spelled TXE, and that is a red flag to look into: Yous say yous are about reporting the truth - "I CERTIFY THIS IS A TRUE COPY OR AN ABSTRACT OF TXE COPY ON FILE IN THE HAWAII STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH Alvin T. Onaka, Ph.D. STATE REGISTRAR"

[PDF] The long-form birth certificate - The White House http://www.whitehouse.gov/site...

Edwards Case Hinges on Lone Word: 'The' http://www.newser.com/story/14...

Dennis
Dennis

Bravo! Issue never closed because of discrepancies. Since when does responding to those demanding a confirmation from a public official become an issue. He's doin' his job dingbat! This is a vote for the Presidency of the country & should have been properly proven from the get go. When in doubt, obvious errors. Just remember how much debt your children will be paying off. And how many promises never even attempted. AZ far less embarrassing than Obama.

Bert Bertalero
Bert Bertalero

This guy is a whimp! Google Mrs Obama telling people she and barrack visting his home country of Kenya ! ...Real live footage ...Kids need not watch !

Bert Bertalero
Bert Bertalero

This guy is a whimp! Google Mrs Obama telling people she and barrack visting his home country of Kenya ! ...Real live footage ...Kids need not watch !

Jack
Jack

The AZ government is an absolute embarrassment. The voters don't even have a chance to rectify the situation because not a single individual on the ballots for the last two terms has been remotely qualified.

Tom
Tom

Experts agree that the "released birth certificate" is a forgery. I have not heard of one expert say that it is valid. So why would Obama go to the trouble of manufacturing a BC if there is a real one? Also, Obama spent 17 vacation days in Hawaii last December. While there why did he not walk into the Dept. of Health with a reporter and ask to see his BC? The only possible reason is that there is no such thing. And a former senior elections clerk in Hawaii has made a sworn statement that there is no Hawaiian BC for Obama. The White House is being occupied illegally.

ltc444
ltc444

Had the privilege of evaluating a number of soldiers who were born in American Soma and were applying for Security Clearances. Their Birth Certificates stated that they were natural born.

As usual you selectively respond to my discussion. Even if he was born in Colon, his father was an active duty Naval Officer assigned to that duty station. McCain as every other dependent born overseas to an active duty military or government employ on a foreign assignment is NATURAL BORN.

Your arguments are spurious and logic is faulty.

polyharmonic
polyharmonic

On Apr 25, 2011, Loretta Fuddy director of the Hawaii Dept of Health released copies of the archived, original, long form birth certicate.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog...
This certificate clearly states that Barack Obama was born in Kapiolani Hospital located on Honolulu HI on Aug 4, 1961 at 7:24pm and the certificate was filed on Aug 8, 1961.

Ms Fuddy says in her letter that, "I have witnessed the copying of the certificate and attest to the authenticity of these copies".

So there are now only TWO possibilities that can be considered:

(A) The released long form BC is genuine and proves beyond all doubt that he was born in Hawaii.

(B) The released long form BC is fake. Either someone in the past created a fake long form BC and Director Fuddy is unknowingly passing on a forgery OR Director Fuddy HERSELF had this forgery created. In any case, SOMEONE managed to create a fake archival record inside the actual Hawaii Dept of Health record depository and also do it in a way that is undetectable.

With the release of the long form BC, (B) is the ONLY claim birthers can now make when they say Obama was NOT born in Hawaii. But that is a VERY SERIOUS charge and serious charges require serious proof. Regardless, from this point forward, any birther who challenges Obama's birth in Hawaii is, in effect, claiming that (B) happened.

Ronin_of_rouen
Ronin_of_rouen

obama's lawyers admitted that the so called long form birth certificate posted on the internet is a photoshop forgery in a courtroom in an EASTERN state that might keep the little messiah creep off their ballet. i'm so sorry i ever laughed at the birthers. there is something very wrong when the administration puts out a relatively clumsy fake in response to chris mathews calling for them to just show people there really was one. why a fake? nothing would have been better than a forgery.

Bert Bertalero
Bert Bertalero

High stone times loves the Obama coup ...They love trillions being stolen and wasted ! Remeber these are uneducated people that think they are in the know ! I feel sad for the ignorant people that simple know nothing about global affairs and less on our monetary system !

kukui
kukui

Is the New Times still in business....???? I thought they gave up years ago since they only provide stories about their drug friends and lousy bands......

Mark
Mark

The Arizona Tea Party are backward thinking 1950's fear mongers who should just keep their opinions to themselves before they infect other low IQ persons like themselves!

Mark
Mark

Bennett is an idiot, just like the rest of the GOP in Arizona!!!

Willard Olson
Willard Olson

Many poorly informed people seem to not understand that a person born in the United States or any of its possessions (including military bases) IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. It makes no difference whether one or both OR neither parent is an American citizen. This is expressly stated in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. This is one (but not the only) reason that the Tea Party and the Birthers oppose the 14th Amendment. It could be stated quite accurately that the Civil War and its over 600,000 American dead was fought to preserve this principle. The Tea Party loonies are NOT your friends!

ltc444
ltc444

I think I prefer the lunacy of the fringe birther's than the radicals of the Occupy Protesters which has the support of Obama, Pelosi and Reed.

polyharmonic
polyharmonic

Here is my final say on all this. For the not-born-in-Hawaii theory to be correct, it would mean that someone had to falsify the Hawaii birth archives and the newspaper birth announcement archive. It would also mean suppressing ALL evidence of foreign birth (such as travel records of Obama's mom being in Kenya at the time, etc) AND it would also mean that all of this was done in advance of Obama even becoming the Dem nominee never mind becoming President.

How is that even remotely possible to create fake records without some evidence of forgery? Is that even possible? And how could this be done without SOMEONE knowing this and blowing the whistle? And could ALL evidence of this supposed foreign birth be completely suppressed? Furthermore why in the world would anyone even agree to forge Hawaiian-born and suppress foreign-born evidence for Obama before he was even a nominee or before he even announced his candidacy?

The whole idea is just absurd. But of course the birthers KNOW THIS in their heart.

And BTW, John McCain was the REAL FOREIGN- BORN NON-qualified candidate! Check out:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07...

Conservative American
Conservative American

Fuck him. No apology needed. He's a troll. He's here to get a rise out of you.

He asked a question, was given a straight-forward answer and then he whined that no one could answer him.

Do. Not. Feed. The. Troll.

Conservative American
Conservative American

Hard as it is believe, AZ is actually in play for Obama. There is a legitimate chance (perhaps remote, IMHO) that Obama could win AZ.

Is it any wonder, then, that Bennet, the AZ Chair for Romney, would desperately try to find a way to keep Obama off the ballot?

This reeks of the incompetence of Shane Wikfors, the AZGOP communications director, who continues to push the Republican party away from conservative values and into the crazy land of the radical right.

It's time to reclaim AZ for the conservatives. It's time for Wikfors to go.

Timothy D Little
Timothy D Little

You can't argue with bigots and stupidity. Luckily they are a dying breed of a by gone era of hate.

david saint
david saint

LMAO better yet, do people honestly believe that Hillary wouldnt have used this and proved it if she could have in 08?!

Pmahaney411
Pmahaney411

The accepted custom is all caps equates to raising your voice. Regardless, you continue to refuse to answer my other questions regarding your need for childish ad-hominem attacks. Not to mention the dearth of substance in any of your comments.

And you are making a fool of yourself by continuing to insist that a COLB = a birth certificate. They clearly are not the same thing. Repeating a falsehood over and over will not make it true.

 
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