Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie will end his quest to prove President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii because it's against state law to release private documents, his office said today.
State Attorney General David Louie told the governor he can't disclose an individual's birth documentation without a person's consent, Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said.
"There is nothing more that Gov. Abercrombie can do within the law to produce a document," said Dela Cruz. "Unfortunately, there are conspirators who will continue to question the citizenship of our president."
Abercrombie, who was a friend of Obama's parents and knew him as a child, launched an effort last month to find a way to dispel conspiracy theories that the president was born elsewhere. The governor said at the time he was bothered by people who questioned Obama's birthplace for political reasons.
But Abercrombie's investigation reached a dead end when Louie told him the law restricted his options.
Hawaii's privacy laws have long barred the release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who doesn't have a tangible interest . . .
Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo again confirmed today that Obama's name is found in its alphabetical list of names of people born in Hawaii, maintained in bound copies available for public view.While Obama's 2008 presidential campaign released what was purported to be a certified copy of his birth certificate to Factcheck.org, a document that was generated in 2007, he refuses to produce any original record of his birth, including the actual birth record recorded with Hawaii's Department of Health. The U.S. Constitution requires a person to be at least 35 years of age, a natural born citizen and have resided in the U.S. for at least 14 years in order to be eligible to serve as president or vice-president. Oddly, no federal or state law requires candidates for president and vice-president to produce proof of their eligibility even though ordinary citizens are required to produce birth certificates for any number of transactions, including getting a driver's license, obtaining a passport or enrolling a child in school. Citizen-initiated lawsuits challenging both the eligibility of Sen. John McCain, who was born in Panama, and Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign were all dismissed for lack of standing on the part of the citizens bringing the lawsuits. School records in Indonesia surfaced during the 2008 campaign that indicated Obama's name had been changed to Barry Soetoro, that he was an Indonesian citizen and his step-father, Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian citizen, was listed as his adopted father. Obama's natural father, Barack Obama, was a Kenyan citizen.
That information, called index data, shows a listing for "Obama II, Barack Hussein, Male," according to the department's website. The president was born Aug. 4, 1961.
"The index is just to say who has their records within the department. That's an indication," Okubo said. "I can't talk about anyone's records."
Legislation is being introduced in a number of states, including Indiana, to address the void in federal and state law. Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) has introduced SB 114, which would require candidates for president to submit a certified copy of their birth certificates with the state's Election Division, along with such other evidence necessary to establish their constitutional eligibility, in order to get their name on the Indiana ballot. Candidates and parties will also be required to affirmatively state the candidate's constitutional eligibility to serve. A review of the certificate of nominations filed by the Democratic and Republican Parties with Indiana's Election Division in 2008 revealed a difference in the forms used by the parties. Republicans used a form that certified John McCain and Sarah Palin were constitutionally eligible, while the Democrats used a form that omitted any indication of whether Barack Obama and Joe Biden were constitutionally eligible. If Sen. Delph's legislation becomes law, state officials will have on file at least a certified copy of the candidate's birth certificate and their sworn statement indicating their constitutional eligibility to satisfy concerns the candidate meets eligibility requirements. SB 114 has been assigned to the Senate Elections Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Sue Landske. There has been no indication yet on whether the bill will receive a hearing.