Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett officially has become that kid no one wanted to play with because he just made up the rules to games as he went along.
Bennett, as you may recall, decided to play ball with the "birther" crowd, taking the "extra step" to verify President Barack Obama's birth certificate in order for him to appear on Arizona ballots this year.
After being ridiculed high and low, Bennett said he'd do the same for the birth certificate of Mitt Romney -- for whom Bennett's the Arizona campaign co-chair.
And here's what veteran Valley political reporter Howie Fischer's saying now:
Bennett acknowledged Thursday he has received requests from Arizona residents to perform the same kind of verification through Michigan about Romney's birth certificate as he did through Hawaii for Barack Obama. And he said that he had, in fact, agreed to make such a check if he got a request.
But Bennett is now saying he needs something else: An allegation by an Arizona law enforcement agency that there is a question about the veracity of a candidate's claimed birth certificate.
We sent an e-mail to Bennett's spokesman to verify that, and ask some questions, but haven't yet heard.
We pointed out that the group conducting the "investigation" isn't a law enforcement agency. The "Cold Case Posse" is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
But remember the time Bennett mentioned that he was taking this "extra step" because of the Posse was out playing detective. Probably not, because that never happened.
Bennett even said to some conspiracy theorists, "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."
He's mentioned several times that he checked in on Obama's stuff "[a]t the request of numerous constituents."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
State House Minority Leader Chad Campbell's heard about all this jazz, issuing a statement saying Bennett "appears to be struggling to fulfill both his campaign obligations and his responsibility as the state's top election officer.
"Last month Mr. Bennett said that he was looking into the validity of President Obama's birth certificate because a few constituents asked him to do so," Campbell says. "I know that several constituents made similar requests for him to verify Romney's birth certificate. Now he's refusing because the requests didn't come from law enforcement officials like Tea Party 'birther' Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He broke his promise to voters and continues to pander to a fringe movement."
That would appear to be the case, Campbell.