Ken Bennett's Had About Three Months to Give Hawaii a "Legitimate" Reason to Verify Obama's Birth Certificate

Last week, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett raised some eyebrows after saying he's not a "birther," but due to constituent concerns, he's just checking with Hawaii to make sure President Obama wasn't born in Kenya.

"They have yet to respond," Bennett's spokesman Matthew Roberts told New Times.

Turns out, officials in Hawaii did respond, telling Bennett in March that they'd get right to it -- as soon as Bennett proves he's doing this for "a legitimate government purpose."

According to the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, they're waiting for Bennett to respond.

Joshua Wisch, an assistant to the Hawaii Attorney General, says Bennett reached out to their office in March asking for the verification.

"The Department explained that if Secretary Bennett wanted information beyond what is publicly available, then...Secretary Bennett would need to provide legal authority showing that his office is 'a governmental agency or organization who for a legitimate government purpose maintains and needs to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of the agency's or organization's activities,'" Wisch says. "Once Mr. Bennett can show this, he will be provided the 'verification in lieu of a certified copy'...

"Since March, the Department has engaged in numerous telephone and email conversations with Secretary Bennett's office to respond to his request, but his office has so far failed to provide the adequate authority," he continues. "As soon as Secretary Bennett's office provides adequate legal authority, it will receive the verification."

Aside from pointing out that Hawaii government officials have already gone through this routine a few times, Bennett himself already explained why he'd requested this verification in an email obtained by conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, and it's not about updating lists.

"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's email said, which was confirmed by his spokesman.

Despite playing to their games, Bennett maintains he's not a "birther," but Hawaii's not really interested in playing anyway.

"The State of Hawaii would like to be responsive to all legitimate requests for information, but to do so we must comply with Hawaii law governing the protection of our vital records," Wisch says.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley