UPDATE: "Mr. Bennett wrote that email," Bennett's spokesman Matt Roberts says. "With respect to the story, a constituent requested him to request a verification in lieu of certified copy. They have yet to respond."
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who just recently filed the paperwork for an exploratory committee in the 2014 Arizona gubernatorial race, appears to be the latest Arizona politician to play to the "birther" crowd.
In the mess that is Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "investigation" into President Obama's birth certificate, conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi has already courted the likes of state Representatives David Burnell Smith, Jack Harper, and Carl Seel as well as state Senator Lori Klein and others into making appearances at "birther"-related press conferences.
Now, Corsi claims to have some support from Bennett to deal with the Obama birth-certificate issue.
Here's what Corsi posted on the "WorldNetDaily" about communicating with Bennett, as Corsi claims he has an "assurance" from Bennett to check it out:
"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.
We reached out to Bennett's spokesman to verify/explain what we just read, but he didn't immediately respond.
Of course, Bennett's purported emails could just be his way of appeasing the "birther" crowd with the easy route, as Hawaii's Director of Health already put out a press release -- in 2008, when most people gave up on the conspiracy theory -- stating that he had "personally seen and verified" Obama's birth certificate.
Still, the number of politicians still willing to play Corsi's games is incredible. We'll give you an update if Bennett's spokesman gets back to us.