Sunday, January 09, 2011

Niki Kelly Smears Delph Legislation On Presidential Ballot Access

The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette's Niki Kelly highlights exactly what is wrong with so many of the mainstream reporters today. They simply misrepresent to the public in their reporting on important public policy matters to fit their own leftist agenda. This is exemplified by her disingenuous coverage of Sen. Mike Delph's SB 114, legislation which would set forth requirements to ensure that presidential candidates seeking access to the Indiana ballot meet the constitutional requirements for being president of the United States. Although Sen. Delph's legislation merely requires candidates to provide evidence he or she meets the constitutional requirement, Kelly takes a cheap shot at Delph and refers to his legislation as "birther" legislation, a negative term concocted by the Left to refer to people who don't believe Obama was born in the United States. Kelly writes:

Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, is leading the pack with a “birther” bill. Birthers are people who don’t believe President Obama was born in the United States and therefore is ineligible to serve.

Although a Hawaii birth certificate and certification by Hawaiian officials show the president was born in the United States, birthers have filed a flurry of lawsuits over the matter. None has been successful.

Delph’s legislation – Senate Bill 114 – would require presidential candidates to file a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate along with additional documentation to be on the Indiana ballot.

“It’s healthy to not have this uncertainty and this debate,” he said.
Of course, Sen. Delph's legislation has nothing to do with the birth place of Obama. To my knowledge, Sen. Delph has never questioned Obama's birthplace. The U.S. Constitution requires a person be at least 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen and have resided in the U.S. for at least 14 years. Currently, no state has any mechanism for requiring candidates who seek to have their names placed on state ballots as presidential candidates to produce any evidence they meet the constitutional requirement. Kelly says a flurry of lawsuits have been filed and none have been successful, but she omits the fact that all of those lawsuits were brought by citizens and were dismissed for lack of standing. Apparently, Kelly thinks there is something conspiratorial about asking presidential candidates to produce the basic evidence that would establish their constitutional eligibility, while it is perfectly okay for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to demand Indiana residents produce their birth certificate in order to get a driver's license, or for the State Department to require citizens to produce their birth certificates in order to get a U.S. passport.

As I've written before, the 2008 presidential election produced a first in American presidential campaign history. Both candidates of the major parties faced questions about their eligibility. Sen. John McCain was born in Panama and some questioned whether a person even born to U.S. citizen parents could be considered a natural born citizen if he was born on foreign soil. Sen. Barack Obama was born to a Kenyan father and a U.S. citizen mother. Most people who have questioned his eligibility suggest the framers of our constitution intended that only persons born to U.S. citizen parents qualify as natural born citizens. The U.S. Supreme Court has never decided this issue, and Sen. Delph's legislation does not attempt to define what a natural born citizen means; it merely requires a candidate to produce a certified copy of his birth certificate, along with any other evidence that may be necessary to establish he meets the constitutional eligibility requirement. Because Obama says Hawaii records confirm his birth there, he will have no problem producing a certified birth certificate when he files to have his name placed on the Indiana ballot.

Indiana law already requires presidential candidates to satisfy the constitutional eligibility requirement in order to gain access to the Indiana ballot; however, it makes no provision for how election authorities are to make that determination. Thus, if anyone contests a candidate's eligibility, there is nothing in the official candidate filing record upon which to make any determination of whether a candidate is eligible. Indiana law imposes a greater burden on citizens to cast votes in an election than it does to get your name on the ballot as a presidential candidate. Further, the certificate of nominations filed by the respective candidates for president in 2008 pointed to another issue. While the certificate of nomination filed by the Republican Party on behalf of John McCain and Sarah Palin certified that both were constitutionally eligible, the certificate of nomination filed by the Democratic Party for Barack Obama and Joe Biden contained no similar affirmation of eligibility. Sen. Delph's legislation will require candidates and parties to affirmatively state their eligibility.

Kelly's description of Delph's legislation is so beyond the pale. She made absolutely no effort to research this issue at all. Instead, she simply repeated the meme concocted by the Left to discredit anyone who has raised legitimate concerns about the process by which people are determined to be eligible to be president of the U.S. by resorting to name-calling. Delph's legislation is completely in keeping with the U.S. Constitution. Kelly's reporting is a deliberate effort to marginalize Delph and the rationale behind his legislation without bothering to report the actual facts behind it. The fact is current law allows a person to be elected to the most powerful elected position in the free world without producing the basic evidence of personal identification average American citizens are required to produce in performing any number of transactions in daily life. It is a slap in the face of ordinary people for her to deliberately set out to demean the purpose of his legislation. The failure of our current laws to provide safeguards to ensure a candidate's eligibility has done a great disservice to President Obama and the country as large segments of the population have openly doubted his eligibility according to public opinion polls. Hawaii's governor, Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, fueled the debate when he said recently he would do whatever he could legally to produce Hawaii records establishing Obama's birth there to put the issue to rest. Hawaii, like the law of most states, does not legally permit others to access an individual's birth records without their consent, even if you're the state's governor. Perhaps if Sen. Delph's legislation had been in effect in 2008 that public doubt would not be there and Gov. Abercrombie would not feel the need to satisfy public doubts.


Concerned Taxpayer said...

Everyone knows that the 4th Estate is nothing but the mouthpiece of the liberal leftists in this country.

varangianguard said...

Do I detect a change in tone about President Obama's status? ;)

CT, why do you feel the need to modify the term "leftist" with the adjective "liberal"? Isn't a "leftist" by defintion someone who is not of a conservative philosophical bent to begin with?
It would seem that adding "liberal" is just making it redundant.

Unknown said...

Concerned Taxpayer:

No, everybody doesn't know that.And this is exactly the kind of nonsense rhetoric that needs to be toned down.

The only smear that's been going on is the Right smearing President Obama - by trying desperately to link him to terrorism, that he isn't constitutionally permitted to be President, etc.

Gary R. Welsh said...

No change on my part, varangianguard. I believe Hawaii officials when they say Obama has a birth recorded there in accordance with state laws and procedures. Federal law permits states to adopt any form of creating birth records that they so choose. Hawaii has chosen a method that allows even persons who weren't born in Hawaii to have their births registered there. As long as Obama refuses to produce the original record recorded with Hawaii there will be people who will have doubts about the validity of his birth in Hawaii. The GAO documented the problem of birth certificate fraud in this country and the nonuniformity in state laws governing them several years ago. The GAO saw a need for a uniform law governing birth certificates. Nobody has chosen to address that problem. Indiana's law governing birth certificates is not a problem in that regard, and our state law can't change what other states do.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Anybody want to explain why Obama has spent more than $ONE MILLION keeping his "birth certificate" locked away?
And his college records?
And any papers he published in the 3 colleges he said he attended?
And the papers he should have written as president of the Harvard Law School Law Review?
Etc. etc. etc.

varangianguard said...

I think anybody who could have their college papers locked away do so, except for the brave. Few enough of them in politics. Personally, I'd find former President George W. Bush's papers quite interesting, if any.

Anything in the Harvard Law Reivew can be found be looking them up at a library. Most people just are too lazy to get up from their computers.

Gary R. Welsh said...

James, I would be remiss if I didn't remind you it was Obama who compared Republicans in Congress to hostage takers recently. Aren't hostage takers generally considered terrorists?

Mark said...

It is a birther legislation. I read the bill. While it sets a requirement of submitting a 'birth certificate', it also requires to submit also 'other documentation', which is not specified. That means that the part chair in charge can do exactly what the birthers have done: arbitrary requests for proof of eligibility.

The President already has provided his eligibility, but the birthers still aren't happy.

Gary R. Welsh said...

You don't know what you're talking about daenke32. In the case of John McCain, he would have had a birth certificate showing his birth in Panama. This would allow a candidate like him whose father was serving in the military at the time to offer additional evidence of his eligibility since it would not clearly be established on the face of his birth certificate. Obama has a Hawaii birth certificate to establish his birth there. There is disagreement over whether one's birth in the US alone is adequate to satisfy the natural born citizen requirement where one or both of the parents are not US citizens. This legislation does not attempt to define what a natural born citizen means. It would be up to the courts to offer an interpretation if a state election authority ruled one way or the other on that issue if a challenge existed. With this legislation, a candidate can present the proof and, if his or her eligibility is challenged, the election authority can make a ruling based on its interpretation of what it means.