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Burges’ ‘birther’ amendment slated for hearing

The House today will consider an amendment that would require presidential candidates to prove their citizenship before their names can appear on an Arizona ballot.

The amendment, which Rep. Judy Burges said she will offer on the floor during the debate of a bill that deals with elections, is expected to be identical to a bill the Republican from Skull Valley sponsored earlier this year.

That bill, H2441, was approved by the House Government Committee, which Burges chairs, but was never heard on the House floor. It would have required presidential candidates to submit affidavits swearing they are qualified for the position and to attach a birth certificate. If the secretary of state has reason to believe a candidate does not meet the qualifications, he or she would be prohibited from placing the candidate’s name on the ballot.

Burges said she will offer the language of H2441 as an amendment to S1024, which is sponsored by Sen. Jack Harper, a Surprise Republican. Both Harper and Burges represent Legislative District 4, which covers the far northwest reaches of the Valley and portions of Yavapai County.

Burges originally planned to offer the amendment April 8, but Harper’s bill was retained on the House Committee of the Whole calendar.

The amendment, along with Burges’ original bill, has been derided by critics as a phenomenon of the “birther” movement, a pejorative term for those who do not believe President Barack Obama is a natural-born citizen of the United States. They contend he was born on foreign soil and that a Hawaii birth certificate his campaign produced in 2008 is not legitimate.

Burges has said the bill is not aimed solely at Obama, but the debate over his citizenship highlighted the fact that states have no ability to determine if candidates qualify for the ballot. Right now, the Federal Elections Commission certifies presidential candidates, which includes verifying they are at least 35 years of age and are natural-born citizens, as required by the U.S. Constitution.

Harper, who supports the amendment, said there is “ample evidence” Obama was born in Hawaii. However, states lack a mechanism to verify the eligibility of candidates independently of the federal government.

“We’re going to check and balance them every chance we get,” Harper said.

House Assistant Minority Leader Kyrsten Sinema, a Phoenix Democrat, said it would be “ridiculous” to make Arizona’s secretary of state an arbiter of who can or cannot run for president.

“I think that’s a lot of hubris,” she said. “I think it’s also pretty offensive.”

The House is scheduled to take up the bill and the amendment when it convenes its floor session at 1:30 today.

6 comments

  1. The legislature should also request a constitutional amendment that requires all members to prove their sanity and publish a document that shows their IQ is over 80. There doesn’t appear to be “ample evidence” that Harper and Burgess can prove either.

  2. “Both Harper and Burges represent Legislative District 4, which covers the far northwest reaches of the Valley and portions of Yavapai County.” Does “far northwest reaches…” include Mars?

  3. BREAKING NEWS:

    LTC Lakin and his attorney to be on Gordon Liddy show tomorrow morning

    Please be sure to listen tomorrow morning, April 20, 2010, to the G. Gordon Liddy radio program. Lt. Col. Lakin and his civilian lawyer will give their first ever live interview to G Gordon Liddy, who is spending the entire first hour of his nationally syndicated program (from 10-11 am Eastern Time, 7-8 am Pacific)

    The show is syndicated nationwide, and station list is copied below so you can find your local station. This may be the ONLY time that LTC Lakin is free to speak to the news media, so be sure to listen!

    As always check back regularly to our website, http://www.safeguardourconstitution.com, for updates on LTC Lakin’s case.

    As always, thanks for your support of LTC Lakin and his legal defense fund.

    American Patriot Foundation, Inc.

    All contributions are tax deductible

  4. How dare you waste our tax dollars and offend your electorate with such a rediculous proof of presidential citizenship law. I will make sure everyone I know hears about what Burges & Harper are doing to humilate our wonderful State!

  5. We’re 2 billion dollars in debt, can’t produce a budget, are firing teachers and state employees like there’s no tomorrow, have sold our capital buildings, as droves of Arizonans leave the state and our legislators waste time on Obama’s birth certificate. Beam me up, Scottie, there’s no evidence of intelligent life down here.

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