Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Investigation Requested Over Alleged Threats Made At NH Ballot Law Commission Hearing

I previously reported on the action of the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission in denying a complaint filed against Barack Obama's petition to have his name placed on the nation's first presidential primary in 2012 based on the argument he is not a natural born citizen as required by the U.S. Constitution. The Commission ruled, based on the advice of the state's Assistant Attorney General, that the Commission lacked jurisdiction to investigate whether Obama was a natural born citizen. Its jurisdiction was limited to considering whether Obama had properly submitted his statement of candidacy and paid the $1,000 filing fee in accordance with state law. Following the Commission's unanimous ruling against the complaint, members of the audience in attendance, including several state lawmakers, shouted their disapproval at the Commission's decision, calling the panel members traitors. The state's Attorney General is now calling for an investigation, accusing those in attendance of threatening the Commission members and staff, and the incident has created a rift within the Republican caucus between supporters of the challenge and the leadership, which has derisively referred to them as "birthers." The Manchester Union-Leader has the story:
The Attorney General asked State Police to investigate an incident involving several lawmakers at the Ballot Law Commission hearing Friday.
House Speaker William O'Brien asked protective services to review the incident as well.
After the commission's hearing on the request to remove President Obama from the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot, Attorney General Michael Delaney said a member of his staff had to lock himself in an office with the assistant secretary of state out of fear for their safety due to the aggressive behavior of the crowd that included several legislators.
California attorney Orly Taitz, who has challenged the president's citizenship in many venues, filed the request to remove Obama's name from the ballot along with a half a dozen Republican House members. The commission unanimously turned down the request.
After the vote, supporters of the request called the commission members traitors and said they had committed treason.
Taitz called the committee corrupt and asked House and Senate leadership to begin removal proceedings against Secretary of State Bill Gardner.
In a letter dated Nov. 21, Delaney asked State Police Col. Robert Quinn to review the incident.
“I am extremely concerned that a member of my staff was put in a position of fearing for his safety during a public hearing based in part on the conduct of members of the General Court,” Delaney wrote in the letter dated Nov. 21. “I welcome your recommendations as to how to ensure that such a situation does not repeat itself, and what security measures may be available for members of my office requesting additional security in performance of their official duties.”
Delaney also sent the letter to House Speaker William O'Brien to voice concern about the conduct of the House members involved.
“No state employee should find himself in this situation, and I am asking the General Court to take whatever steps it deems appropriate concerning the standards of conduct exhibited by these elected officials,” Delaney wrote.
Greg Moore, House Policy director, said O'Brien asked protective services to review the situation after Delaney told him of his concerns.
He said the speaker cancelled a meeting scheduled for Tuesday with several of the representatives that attended the Ballot Law Commission hearing and were upset with the results.
According to a memorandum from Assistant Attorney General Matt Mavrogeorge, who represented the Secretary of State's Office in the hearing, Reps. Henry Accornero, R-Laconia, and Susan DeLemus, R-Rochester, were yelling in his face and demanding answers.
He said he feared for his safety and that of Assistant Secretary of State Karen Ladd and went into an office where the doors could be locked.
Once in the room, they called capitol security and the attorney general office for assistance.
Reached Saturday about the incident, Accornero said he was upset because rather than investigate Taitz's allegations, the attorney general simply passed the issue back to the Ballot Law Commission.
House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, R-Salem, called on the lawmakers involved to distance themselves from the “birther movement” that does not believe the president is an American citizen.
The video above taken by one of supporters of the challenge in attendance at the hearing buttresses the challengers' contention that they did not threaten the Commission members and staff. While some of the attendees arguably became unruly after the ruling, they had very good cause to be angry. The news article neglects the point the challengers were making in their angry comments following the decision. The Ballot Law Commission, contrary to the contentions of the Assistant Attorney General, has investigated the eligibility of candidates seeking to have their names placed on New Hampshire's presidential primary ballot. As recently as the last election in 2008, the Commission removed Sal Mohammad from the ballot after an investigation determined Mohammad was not a natural born citizen because he was born in Egypt. The Assistant Attorney General flat out lied in claiming the Commission had no jurisdiction to consider a candidate's constitutional eligibility. The challenge to Obama's eligibility is based on the holding in the Supreme Court decision, Minor v. Happersett, that only children born of U.S. citizen parents are natural born citizens. Because Obama's father was a British subject born in Kenya, which was once a British commonwealth, that made Obama a dual citizen at birth.

Regardless of where you stand on Barack Obama's eligibility to hold the highest office in the country, every citizen should be outraged at the complete disregard for the rule of law shown consistently for the past four years. Challengers have at every turn been denied the opportunity to have the merits of their arguments against Obama's eligibility heard, while lesser candidates have frequently been the subjects of such investigations and been denied the right to be candidates based on determinations made as a result of those investigations. Every detail of his life has been placed under lock and key, while every rumor and innuendo of other presidential candidates is investigated thoroughly until the last stone remains unturned. Clearly, there is a conspiracy to protect Obama from any attempt to learn his true biographical narrative. Never before in the history of our nation has a man ascended to the highest office of the land about whom so little was known and where roadblocks have been erected at every turn to prevent the public from learning the truth. What are they hiding about this man? Americans have every right to be skeptical and distrustful of their government. Hold Obama to his own words: "The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide."

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