He's Not My President?

Thoreau: "Government is Best Which Governs Least"

What Rights Do Voters Have? An Exercise in Finding the Answer

(Note:  I have exhausted most of my options as a voter with respect to the 2008 election.  I am now focusing my efforts on the 2012 election and Arizona State Bill 1158.)

Background

For some of you whom followed the Presidential election closely, there remains a lingering question in your mind as to President Obama’s status as a Natural Born Citizen.  There have been many cases brought to the courts thus far regarding this issue, but no court has actually heard the case and adjudicated the matter. 

In all of the reading I have done on this issue, I found that the U.S. Constitution itself does not define what it means to be a Natural Born Citizen.  There are some that argue, you simply need to have been born on U.S. soil to be a Natural Born Citizen, while others state that as long as your citizenship is not dependent on any other law than you are a Natural Born Citizen.  According to U.S. Code Title 8 § 1401, in order to be a U.S. citizen one qualification is that you be:

a person born in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof; <snip>

The indisputable status of President Barack Obama’s citizenship is thus:  his parents were an African (Kenyan) man (Barack Obama Sr.) and an American woman (Stanley Anne Dunham).  I use the word indisputable here because this is what President Obama claims.  I guess it could be argued that President Obama’s father was not Barack Obama Sr., but I want to keep the scope of my argument as narrow as possible to focus my energies on answering the question, what rights do voters have?  As many of you know, President Obama during the campaign cited on one of his campaign websites “Fight the Smears” the following:

When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.

Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.

He also states on that same website the following:

The truth is, Barack Obama was born in the state of Hawaii in 1961, a native citizen of the United States of America.

Having a Kenyan father, a British Subject, would therefore make President Obama at the time of his birth both a British subject as afforded him through decendence from his father and an American citizen through decendence from his mother and his birth (as he claims) in the State of Hawaii.  Based on these facts, at the time of his birth, Barack Obama, was a dual citizen.  Quite possibly this is why President Obama used the term native citizen rather than Natural Born Citizen on his Fight The Smears website.

It is widely known that as a child Barack Obama resided in Indonesia.  According to an AP Report from January 2007:

Obama <snip> moved to Indonesia at age 6 to live with his mother and stepfather, attending schools in the country until age 10 <snip>

President Obama also stated in his Book Dreams of My Father that he lived in Indonesia.  In one excerpt from the book he states:

In Indonesia, I’d spent 2 years at a Muslim school, 2 years at a Catholic school.  (p. 142)

It is indisputable that Barack Obama lived in Indonesia as a child.  What is not known is what his citizenship status was while residing in Indonesia and thereafter.   Did he enter Indonesia as a US Citizen or as a British Subject?  While residing in Indonesia did his citizenship status change?  For example, did his Step-father Lolo Soetoro adopt him, and did he become an Indonesian citizen?  When he later re-entered the United States, what was his citizenship status?  For example, did he become a Naturalized U.S. citizen?  None of these questions have been answered, yet we are to take his word for it that he is a Natural Born Citizen as fact when many circumstances imply otherwise.

The Crux of My Argument

My argument begins with the simple premise that Leo Donofrio used in his lawsuit Donofrio v. Wells, simply that we do not know for sure if President Obama is a Natural Born Citizen because the Constitution does not specifically define Natural Born Citizen and we are inclined to believe that he is not a Natural Born Citizen based on his dual citizenship status at birth, based on his residence in Indonesia during his childhood, and based on U.S. Code Title 8 § 1401.

I am not a lawyer and I do not plan on filing any lawsuit against any public official including President Obama regarding his citizenship, but what I do plan to do is attempt to find out what rights voters have with respect to Natural Born Citizens being placed on election ballots for the Office of President of the United States (POTUS), and I am attempting to have the proof of eligibility for a candidate being placed on the balllot for POTUS changed.  To this end, I live in the State of Arizona, so I will be focused solely  on the State of Arizona’s requirements for proving eligibility and my rights as a voter in the State of Arizona.

Arizona Requirements for the 2008 Presidential Election

I went to the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, since the Secretary of State is in charge of elections, to complete some research on this matter.  On the site I found a form entitled:  Presidential Preference Election Candidate Nomination Form (A.R.S. § 16-242).  From what I can gather from the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, this form is required to be signed by the candidate in order for the candidate’s name to be placed on the ballot.  More importantly this form specifically states:

I am a natural born citizen of the United States, am at least thirty-five years of age, and have been a resident within the United States for at least fourteen years.

I had filled out the appropriate Public Records Reproduction Request Form (A.R.S. § 39-121.03) and mailed it to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office.  I received an electronic copy of Barack Obama’s signed form, so we now have proof that he attested in writing to the fact that he is a Natural Born Citizen.  I was originally formulating a complaint and was going to file an online Civil Rights Complaint Form with the Arizona Attorney General’s office.  The reason I had chosen a voter’s civil rights complaint was all voter issues through the Arizona Attorney General’s office fall under civil rights.  After contacting the Arizona Attorney General’s office, I was informed that all voter civil right’s complaints must adhere to Voting rights; definitions (A.R.S. § 41-1421).  I no longer believe I can pursue this venue because my complaint does not satisfy the requirement of this legislation:

discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, ancestry or national origin.

I am now searching the means or venue by which I can have my complaint heard.

In a phone call I made to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office, I confirmed that the only document required in the last election with respect to eligibility for the office of POTUS was the signed form (A.R.S. § 16-242) referenced above.  The employee I spoke with did indicate that the DNC filed a Democratic Certificate of Candidates following their convention held in Denver, and the employee also confirmed that Nancy Pelosi signed this form which did not include any verbiage stating that their candidate was eligible for the position.  I have made a public records request to obtain the Nancy Pelosi signed Democratic Certificate of Candidate submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State.  On Friday, February 27th, I received an electronic copy of Nancy Pelosi’s signed Democratic Certificate of candidate, and  as indicated above the certificate contains no eligibility language within it.  In addition, I have sent an email to the Arizona Secretary of States’s office asking how they handle complaints regarding ineligible candidates being placed on ballots.  I am awaiting their response and none has been provided the AZ office of Secretary of State.

Once I find the proper forum to pursue this, as a result of the above information, I will argue that my voting rights have been violated because an ineligible candidate for the Democratic Party was placed on the ballot for the position of President of the United States.  Again, keeping to my very narrow focus that President Obama’s father was a Kenyan native and a British Subject, and Barack Obama later lived in Indonesia during his childhood, Barack Obama (when he signed this form) could not prove that he was a  Natural Born Citizen based on his signature alone even if he had signed form (A.R.S. § 16-242) unwittingly claiming Natural Born Citizen status when he potentially does not posses this status.

Let’s summarize the Arizona laws in effect regarding the 2008 Presidential Election and eligibility to hold the office of President of the United States:

  1. A Presidential candidate had to sign form (A.R.S. § 16-242) attesting he or she is a Natural Born Citizen.
  2. In accordance with Qualifications for ballot; nomination paper (A.R.S. § 16-242) the Arizona Secretary of State “shall certify to the officer in charge of elections, the names of the candidates who are qualified for the presidential preference election ballot.”
  3. A major party chairman must submit a candidate nomination form following the respective parties national convention in order to have their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates placed on the general election ballot.  This form has no verbiage contained therein attesting to eligibility for the position of President of the United States.

So what we now know is that in the State of Arizona there is a three-prong process to get one’s name on the general election ballot for President of the United States, and only one prong in this process requires aherence to Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution.

Another Interesting Arizona 2008 Election Law Fact

In another (little known) election law governing the State of Arizona is (A.R.S. § 16-805) entitled:

Findings of fact and statement of public policy by the legislature of the state of Arizona concerning steps which must be taken to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens of this state and the safety of this state from international Communistic conspiracy

This election related legislation speaks in great detail on protecting Arizona voters and residents from communist takeovers of the Arizona State and Federal governments.  Ironically, in the most important position in our land, the same measures are not taken to ensure the presidential candidate in a presidential election is eligible under Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution — A Natural Born Citizen.

New Arizona Election Legislation Being Introduced

It would appear that the Arizona Legislature has already found our present laws lacking in establishing indisputable proof that a candidate for President is a Natural Born Citizen.  Sitting in the Arizona State Legislature right now is State Bill SB 1158.  The pertinent part of the bill with respect to presidential elections states:

Within ten days after filing the nomination paper, a presidential candidate shall submit an affidavit in which the presidential candidate states the candidate’s citizenship and age and shall append to the affidavit documents that prove that the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate’s age and prove that the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in ARTICLE II, section 1, Constitution of the United States.

I’m wondering if his bill really has enough language in it to prevent President Obama from being placed on the ballot in 2012.  What if he provided the Birth Certificate that on the Internet, and his current driver’s license.  Under this bill that appears to be enough to satisfy the requirement.  This new bill is encouraging though as it helps to achieve the overall goal and that is that in the 2012 election the requirement for Natural Born Citizen status may be met.  I will follow the progress of this bill and discover if it reaches the goal.

The Complaint

As a voter in the 2008 general election, my voter rights, and the voter rights of all Arizona voters were violated when Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer certified candidate Barack Obama was qualified for the 2008 presidential preference election ballot.  With these two important facts widely known and available to her at the time:  1) Barack Obama was born a dual citizen and 2) Barack Obama as a youth lived in Indonesia, Arizona Secretary of Jan Brewer could not have known (even with Barack Obama’s sworn statement) that Barack Obama was eligible under Article II, Section I of the United States Constitution to be President.  As a result, his name appearing on the general election ballot following all Arizona election laws, jeopardized the rights of all voters in the 2008 election as Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer could not reasonably claim that all presidential candidates were eligible for the position they were aspiring to.

  1. U.S. Code Title 8 § 1401 defines in part a Natural Born Citizen as a person born in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof.  Since Barack Obama’s father, Barack Obama Sr., was a Kenyan and a British Subject at the time of Barack Obama’s Jr.’s birth Barack Obama Jr. was, therefore, also a British Subject, subject to the British Nationality Act of 1948.  I am not saying that President Obama knowingly signed (A.R.S. § 16-242) attesting he was a Natural Born Citizen when he was not, but because no further proof of his citizenship status was required, the Arizona Secretary of State could not certify that Barack Obama was qualified for the presidential preference election ballot.
  2. President Obama through his public website “Fight the Smears” acknowledges point #1 above in the sense that he acknowledges that he was a British Subject at birth.  In addition, he refers to himself as a Native Born Citizen, not a Natural Born Citizen.  But these claims made on his website did not occur until after he had signed (A.R.S. § 16-242), so again the fact remains that he may have unwittingly attested to Natural Born Citizen status when he did not posses such status.
  3. It is indisputable (as Barack Obama has acknowledged in his book Dreams of My Father) that he lived in Indonesia as a child from the age 6 through age 10.  Due to his dual citizenship, we do not know if he resided in Indonesia as a British Subject or as a U.S. Citizen.  Furthermore, we do not know if his Step-father Lolo Soetoro adopted him while in Indonesia granting him Indonesian citizenship.  We do not know what his citizenship status was upon re-entering the United States in Hawaii, i.e., did he become a Naturalized U.S. citizen.  As a result, the Arizona Secretary of State could not certify that Barack Obama was qualified for the presidential preference election ballot.
  4. Based on items #1, #2 and #3 above, I am arguing that my voting rights and the voting rights of all Arizona voters were violated in the 2008 Presidential election process when Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer certified candidate Barack Obama was qualified for the 2008 presidential preference election ballot.
  5. As stated on the State of Arizona Attorney General website,  the Attorney General for the State of Arizona has at least three reponsibities within the Attorney General’s  purvue that are pertinent to this claim:  A) The Arizona Attorney General serves “as the chief legal officer of the State,” B) The Arizona Attorney General has a duty to “bring and defend lawsuits on behalf of the State,” and C) The Arizona Attorney General’s office is charged with “representing and providing legal advice to most State agencies.”
  6. In accordance with the Attorney General’s responsibilities stated in item #5 above, it would seem the Attorney General of the State of Arizona has a duty to ensure that election laws are followed, that voters’ rights are not violated and that our elected officials are both protected and prevented from violating our voting rights.  The laws in place during the 2008 presidential election were as follows:
    1. A Presidential candidate had to sign form (A.R.S. § 16-242) attesting he or she is a Natural Born Citizen.
    2. In accordance with Qualifications for ballot; nomination paper (A.R.S. § 16-242) the Arizona Secretary of State “shall certify to the officer in charge of elections, the names of the candidates who are qualified for the presidential preference election ballot.”
    3. A major party chairman must submit a candidate nomination form following the respective parties national convention in order to have their Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates placed on the general election ballot.  This form has no verbiage contained therein attesting to eligibility for the position of President of the United States.
  7. In accordance with sub-items #7.1, #7.2 and #7.3, once the Arizona Secretary of State accepted signed form (A.R.S. § 16-242) from presidential candidate Barack Obama as sole proof of his Natural Born Citizenship status, no other proof was subsequently required before placing his name on the 2008 general election ballot.  Arizona Secretary of State, Jan Brewer also certified that Barack Obama was qualified to be placed on the presidential preference election ballot, and therefore, all subsequent ballots leading up to and including the 2008 general election ballot without questioning or receiving further proof of his eligibility under Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.  As a result, my voter rights and all Arizona voters rights were violated as it could not be attested by anyone that Barack Obama is a Natural Born Citizen without further adjudication in a court of law.

I am still attempting to formulate exactly how to word the points listed above, so you may see this text change over time in this blog post.  I am also still attempting to obtain the proper venue to pursue this claim.

Conclusive Remarks

I have taken the aforementioned tactical approach in an effort to bring a different argument to the Natural Born Citizen status debate, and primarily to ensure that an ineligible candidate for POTUS will not be allowed on the 2012 General Election ballot in the State of Arizona.   It seems to me if the above argument can be made, the crux of the argument being that Barack Obama could not have possibly affirmed his Natural Born Citizen status either wittingly or unwittingly, then we may finally prevail in that at least someone will have to define and/or look further into the issue of President Obama’s Natural Born Citizen status and that at least in my State more stringent requirements will be in place for the 2012 General Election.  Arizona’s Bill SB 1158 in my opinion will need to be ammended further to meet this goal, but I am now going to pursue following this bill closely with it as the base for ensuring a proper election in 2012.

I am hopeful, but also realistic that this complaint may never grow legs or find the proper venue to be heard.  I make the complaint in the interest of upholding the United States Constitution and ensuring that all voters as well as our elected officials be provided our Constitutional protections.  Will I prevail?  Probably not, but the question that will be answered at the end of this exercise is what rights voters really have.  So far, the answer to that question doesn’t seem to be readily available, but we will continue to pursue the cause.

The original question asked in this post is what rights do voters have when it comes to the issue of Natural Born Citizen status in the last Presidential election.  The answer it appears is we really don’t have any rights in correcting what occured last year, but we seem to possess rights in shaping the debate and legislation that will be in place in 2012 so that this doesn’t happen again.

Finally, I would like to thank a fellow blogger JBJD of  http://jbjd.wordpress.com for providing the inspiration for pursuing this area of exploration.  I do not wish to imply that JBJD has blessed my line of thinking here or agrees with my arguments, I simply wish to credit this blogger with the inspiration for this action.

Written by KJ Kaufman

February 17, 2009 at 2:13 pm

13 Responses

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  1. If I understand correctly, you are claiming that, absent a judicial definition as to what is a NBC, based on BO’s admission his father was a Kenyan national subject to the British crown, you adopt the analysis of Donofrio that, he is not a NBC. And, therefore, by accepting his sworn statement that he is a NBC and placing him onto the ballot, the state has deprived you of your civil rights as a voter. However, since the courts have not defined NBC then, no one claiming to be a NBC can be said not to be a NBC. And absent a judicial ruling specifically addressing the issue, nothing Donofrio says has any legal effect.

    Nice work; you are learning how your government operates, in real life.

    jbjd

    February 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

  2. Yes, your overall analysis of my argument is correct, but I think this caveat is important. Because of Obama’s special circumstances of one foreign citizen parent, and the absence of a court defining a natural born citizen as a citizen with one foreign citizen parent, Obama could not have signed the document he did without committing fraud, because he simply cannot ensure he is indeed a natural born citizen. Is it possible to successfully make this argument?

    curi0us0nefromthe60s

    February 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm

  3. I just read your comment posted on td’s blog. Please, contact her immediately, and ask her to remove this posting. You only asked me to evaluate your action proposal. I neither advised you to file a civil rights complaint (with the EEOC) based on deprivation of voting rights; nor endorsed such a course of action. I merely pointed out the most glaring shortcomings in your proposal. I disagree completely with your analysis of fraud; in fact, I pointed out to you that, the DNC is a private entity, not subject to the complaint you envision; but I proposed you should discuss this with your government workers. I wholeheartedly support your efforts to do something, even if only to eliminate options, and to more fully understand how your government works. But if I thought filing a civil rights complaint was the way to go, I would have proposed this on my blog.

    I anticipate that when I re-visit td’s blog, your posting will be gone.

    jbjd

    February 17, 2009 at 6:30 pm

  4. Sure, I didn’t imply you supported my claim, if you read the bottom of my post on my blog I specifically state that you don’t. I only stated on TD’s blog that I got the idea from you, not that you endorsed the idea. I’ll be happy to contact TD and have her remove the portion of my post on her blog where you are referenced. You were referenced simply as the inspiration, not as a supporter of my claim.

    curi0us0nefromthe60s

    February 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm

  5. I have also removed the references to fraud in my complaint, and added the verbiage that the only reason I am pursuing a civil rights complaint through the AZ Attorney General’s office is because this is the only venue they allow for voter issue complaints.

    I would still appreciate your guidance in this matter.

    curi0us0nefromthe60s

    February 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm

  6. Thank you very much for contacting td.

    I understand that you only intended to credit me as your inspiration. But your comments could easily have been misconstrued. Let me try to explain why I have become so proprietary of advice that some could reasonably interpret is attributed to me. As you know based on your own activism, several practitioners have attempted to expose BO is Constitutionally ineligible to be POTUS, using legal theories they should know are infirm at the outset. With every failure, they not only diminish their own credibility but also make it that much harder for people like me, whose proposals actually could work. So far, no one has exposed faults with my legal reasoning. So, in the midst of all of this hyperbole and fanaticism, my work has credibility. But not many people see it. RCP kicked me off when my initial memo proposing military Plaintiffs reached so many votes in one hour it made the front page. And even when these other practitioners use parts of my proposals, they will not post my blog on their sites. They don’t credit my work, even though people have commented on their blogs, they already read the idea on jbjd.

    But slowly, word of my blog is getting around. I can only attribute this to the fact, the more people look at my work, the more credible they find my proposals. People are beginning to understand the difference between what has been described as ‘throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what will stick’; and reasoned well-thought-out proposed solutions to this mess.

    I already knew what was done in AZ; I wrote about this in my military Complaint in January. I already considered the problem of filing any complaint against the DNC qua (in its role of) public actor vs. private club; I had mentioned a civil rights Complaint in the memo I wrote in November, proposing a military Plaintiff could gain standing in federal court. But I am only one person; I want every other citizen to know what I know. This is the only way we will outnumber those who know more than we do and have used this superior knowledge to undermine our Constitutional Republic for their self-aggrandizement.

    Enough. Keep working on AZ. Besides having that early sworn statement by BO that he is a NBC; AZ is a binding vote state one of only 14. They do not like outsiders pulling the wool over their citizens’ eyes.

    jbjd

    February 17, 2009 at 7:37 pm

  7. Thank you JBJD for the insight. I have also included your site in my blog roll. I wholeheartedly support the work you have done. I only found your site a few weeks ago, so it looks like I should go back and read some of your older posts to both educate myself and ensure I am not pursuing failed, prone to fail or duplicated efforts.

    curi0us0nefromthe60s

    February 17, 2009 at 7:51 pm

  8. curi0us0nefromthe60s,

    You may want to review the research done by others, in order to supplement the work you’re doing here.

    I would invite you to visit the following sites:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/bookmarks/
    http://tesibria.typepad.com/whats_your_evidence/

    Victor

    Victor

    February 17, 2009 at 8:12 pm

  9. Thank you Victor, I will certainly review the links that you have provided. I am also formulating a new approach to the civil complaint, and I will be editing my post soon with my new tactic.

    curi0us0nefromthe60s

    February 17, 2009 at 9:47 pm

  10. I want to applaud your efforts and wish you success.

    I read many blogs daily on this subject and while I understand the legal implications of Obama not denouncing his US Citizenship and thus his British citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982 – I take exception to that for one reason.

    Well after his 21st birthday Obama travelled to Kenya to campaign for Odinga. I feel this act, in and of itself, establishes one of two things or perhaps both: continued paternal loyalty and/or political agreement with Odinga (either one is damning in my opinion).

    I don’t want to complicate your issue and while I understand this is not really part of and plays no role in your action, I feel it is an important fact that is overlooked by many. Not necessarily to shore up any arguement for his ineligibility, but should continue to question his loyalities to this very day.

    Nice article and I wish you much luck.

    Sally

    February 18, 2009 at 7:21 am

  11. Thanks Sally. I agree with your comments on his actions you mentioned above and that this is the reason that the founding fathers were so concerned with loyalties.

    The NBC issue for most of us is exactly that, a loyalty issue.

    The actions of Barack Obama during the last Kenyan elections were probably in violation of the Logan Act, but nobody has pursued that either.

    My hope at this point is to get the election laws modified here in AZ so he at least does not appear on our ballot again.

    curi0us0nefromthe60s

    February 18, 2009 at 8:39 am

  12. http://demandthetruth.wordpress.com/

    Obama was is ineligible to be President of the United States, and anything he has to say is INVALID anything he signs is VOID.

    JOIN US TO MARCH ON WASHINGTON !! – SPRING 2009 – TO GET THE TRUTH FROM OBAMA !

    We DEMAND that Obama show the American people his LONG FORM Birth Certificate!! (Not a Certification of Live Birth – which ANYONE can file in Hawaii – especially if born outside the USA). We Also DEMAND he show all the documents he has hidden from America – his education records, his health records, his Bar Application, his Kenyan Birth Certificate and MORE!! WILL THE JUSTICE SYSTEM PROTECT THE U.S. CITIZENS FROM OBAMA?

    GO TO our web site to see the list of documents he is hiding from America and Register for the March on Washington NOW!!

    http://demandthetruth.wordpress.com/

    We NEED YOU in Washington !! REGISTER NOW!!!

    DemandtheTruth

    February 25, 2009 at 9:49 am

  13. Obama is ineligible to be President of the United States, and anything he has to say is INVALID anything he signs is VOID.

    JOIN US TO MARCH ON WASHINGTON !! – SPRING 2009 – TO GET THE TRUTH FROM OBAMA !

    We DEMAND that Obama show the American people his LONG FORM Birth Certificate!! (Not a Certification of Live Birth – which ANYONE can file in Hawaii – especially if born outside the USA). We Also DEMAND he show all the documents he has hidden from America -his education records, his health records, his Bar Application, his Kenyan Birth Certificate and MORE!!
    WILL THE JUSTICE SYSTEM PROTECT THE U.S. CITIZENS FROM OBAMA?

    GO TO our web site to see the list of documents Obama is hiding from America and Register for the March on Washington NOW!!

    http://demandthetruth.wordpress.com/

    We NEED YOU in Washington !! REGISTER NOW!!!

    demandthetruth

    February 25, 2009 at 9:55 am


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