Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of State: "I Am Not a 'Birther'"

Categories: Birthers (sigh)
ken-bennett.jpg
Photo by Matthew Hendley
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennet
Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett just found out the reason why you're putting yourself in a difficult position when you appeal to "birthers" -- people are going to think you're a "birther."

After people caught on to the fact that Bennett told the "birthers" that he was taking the "extra step" to verify President Barack Obama's birth certificate in order for him to appear on Arizona ballots this year, he seems to have received enough questions about it that he's released a public statement declaring his lack of "birther"-ism.

"...I have been on the record since 2009 that I believe the President was born in Hawaii," Bennett says. "I am not a 'birther.'"

Yesterday, Bennett's spokesman confirmed to New Times that Bennett did indeed take up the request for the state of Hawaii to verify Obama's birth certificate.

Since this news came from "WorldNetDaily" conspiracy-theorist Jerome Corsi, it can be safely assumed that supporters of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "investigation" into Obama's eligibility are behind that idea.

"At the request of a constituent, I asked the state of Hawaii for a for a verification in lieu of certified copy," Bennett says today. "We're merely asking them to officially confirm they have the President's birth certificate in their possession and are awaiting their response."

In Bennett's emails to an unnamed conspiracy theorist, posted by Corsi, Bennett didn't at all agree with the "birther" argument, but said he was taking this step "at the request of many constituents."

"I can tell from the tone and language of your letters that the only acceptable outcome for you is that his name not be on the ballot, period," the email posted by Corsi says. "That may be what happens, but under my watch, it won't happen based on opinions, petitions, probability or pledges to support or oppose me in the 2014 governor's race. My oath of office is to uphold the Constitution and laws of our state and country, and I'm going to do that by following the law."

Still, Bennett must've known what he was getting himself into, as a portion of the email posted by Corsi includes Bennett saying that Arpaio's investigation hasn't proven anything.

But, as Bennett says, "I am not a 'birther.'"

UPDATE: The Arizona Republic points out that Bennett's a co-chairman to Mitt Romney's campaign in Arizona.

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63 comments
Colorado Sanity
Colorado Sanity

What a waste of taxpayer money. Bennett should be docked the entire cost of filing this BS. Arizona has become a Freak Show of Conservative Crazies.

White American
White American

From the day of the election, republicans have been scared of President Obama. It even started before the election, when they realized Obama was going to run for President, so they came up with the Tea party in an attempt to give them twice as many chances to win.
As soon as the election was over, they started the 'Impeach Obama' movement for no better reasons than they didn't like him and he was black, or, actually, mixed race, but either way, not white.
I was raised to support the President, no matter what. Apparently Republicans aren't taught that. Paying Monica Lewinsky to tempt President Clinton, and now all this crap about President Obama.
Romney's biggest mistake is courting Trump. I think we should insist on extensive investigations into Mitt Romney and Donald Trump.

Birthers are not American
Birthers are not American

He should drop this issue in the trash heap where it belongs, along with his political career, and resign his office. He could take up sand farming, beside the that sheriff, who's career is about over.

Eric
Eric

Holy Cow, even the dumbest birther on the planet, Orly Taitz, has given up on her birther crusade and has moved on to a new line of BS about Obama's Selective Service enrollment or college homework or whatever she can dream up to desperately try to stay in the spotlight.

If the combined resources of the entire GOP establishment could not figure out a way to "prove" Obama was actually a secret closeted Muslim socialist Kenyan, why would a bunch of birther morons? Look how an editor mixing up the birth place of Barack Hussein Obama, father of President Barack Hussein Obama lit the right wing media interwebs on fire recently.

Numerous Hawaiian officials have already made official declarations that Obama's certificate is genuine over the years, including a Republican governor. That is on top of massive heaps of evidence that corroborates that fact.

Once the teabaggers finish totally dismantling Arizona, can we give it back to Mexico? I spent quite some time in Arizona over the years, I love the pretty landscapes there, but geez what is it with the people you elect to state office?

Gloria a real American
Gloria a real American

 According to the law the Sec. of State of AZ. or any other citizen has the right for proof of American Citizenship for any and all Presidents or those running for President. Check the Constitution of the United States!

Eric
Eric

Why don't you quote that part of the Constitution to us.

independent_az
independent_az

I guess Ken "I'm not a birther" Bennett simply forgot this:

October 31, 2008
The Hawaii Director of Health, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, issued the following statement:
"I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures."

independent_az
independent_az

And this:

July 27, 2009
"I, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawaii State Department of Health, have seen the original vital records maintained on file by the Hawaii State Department of Health verifying Barack Hus sein Obama was born in Hawaii and is a natural-born American citizen."

Gerry_C
Gerry_C

I think that Ken Bennett probably just vomited during his interview and statements so he could deny being a birther and at the same time play toward an OSB endorsement in the future.  I guess that Hawaii's previous certifications and releases are not satisfactory to him?  Why not? 

WND (credible publication that it is) reported that AARPaio's investigation has full subpoena power.  Maybe Bennett should ask OSB or Zullo why he does not just subpoena the microfilm they are interested in?  I am guessing they they really don't have the subpoena power, they won't find a judge that will believe there is probable cause, and that they really don't want the microfilm produced because it would kill their investigation and the potential profits resulting.

Walter Concrete
Walter Concrete

Why shouldn't someone have to prove they were born in the US to run for president?    The Constitution states that you must be born in the US to run.    If it's that important to be in the Constitution then why let everyone skate by it and show no proof?     Obama didn't do anything about it and waited far too long to offer up his questionable birth certificate.   All you people who use the "birther" phrase probably use "conspiracy therorist" also.   Both of them mean nothing and only eliminate the need for you to think for yourself.    Someone offers up a phrase that's associated with an idea that they want you to have.   Then you repeat it like an idiot because you are and you show yourself as one of the sheep.    You don't listen to anything unless you agree with it and you have no sense of distinguishing lies from thruth because you don't know how.

KingCranky
KingCranky

 Where, using the exact text, does the US Constitution require that anyone running for President "must be born in the US to run"?

It doesn't.

As long as at least one parent is a US citizen, it doesn't matter where the child is born, the kid is, automatically, a US citizen.

If the Child is born on US soil, it's a US citizen, even if neither parent is.

Besides, Obama was born in Hawaii, so unless you're actually arguing Hawaii is NOT part of the US, then you've debunked yourself-a rare skill indeed-with your first two sentences.

Good job, well played.

twinxx
twinxx

On the contrary, Obama released his official birth certificate (proving the facts of his birth) for public perusal in June, 2008, and is the only candidate to have ever done so.

You're right about everyone else though. They all 'skated'.

Coz
Coz

I e-mailed him and asked for a copy of his birth certificate, you know, just to make sure he can be put on any ballot, so far haven't heard anything back, LOL..

Newdem
Newdem

This guy is a Mormon/cult idiot supporting Romney and making Arizona look stupid. Watch "Religulous" by Bill Mauer to understand the crazy beliefs behind this.

Rvhobo1954
Rvhobo1954

Why is it not surprising this Mormon with his magic underwear is a Romney supporter! Oh well, birds of a feather do tend to flock together! I did know who Bennett was till now, and I surely will remember if I ever see his name on a ballot, he definitely gets my ignoring him, and voting for his opponet!

twinxx
twinxx

He's not just a supporter, Ken Bennett is Mitt Romney's campaign coordinator in AZ, when he's not busy pandering to conspiracy theorists.

Or maybe pandering to conspiracy theorists is *part* of his job as Mitt Romey's campaign coordinator in AZ?

katahdin
katahdin

Bennett is the co-chair of the Arizona for Romney campaign, and it's hard to see how he is not simply using his office to benefit Mitt Romney by casting doubt on President Obama's citizenship. 
Since Bennett works for the Romney campaign, it's entirely reasonable to assume that he has the permission of the Romney campaign to use the discredited birther conspiracy theories to help Romney in Arizona.
Someone needs to ask Romney if he supports birtherism, since his people are promoting it.

wherewasi
wherewasi

Besides, he needs to borrow his son's broom to clean up his act.  Anyone who is not familiar with Bennett's son Chester and a broom problem should probably do some research on the subject...

come_home
come_home

Bennett was born in Tucson into a family that were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

He replaced Jan Brewer when she left the office of Arizona Secretary of State and just rides up the ladder on her coat tails.

He's related to former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett who was ousted by the Tea
Party and replaced with Mike Lee who just lost his expensive house in
Alpine to a short sale by the bank.

They're all a bunch of religious nutcases.

come_home
come_home

And speaking of religious nutcases.

LDS Wife Susan Brock Arrested For Sexually Abusing A Minor; Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock Stunned

48-year-old Susan M. Brock, who's married to District 1 Supervisor Fulton Brock, was arrested on Tuesday October 26th, 2010 on suspicion of having a three-year affair with a 17-year-old boy. Susan is being held without bond on two counts of molestation of a child and two counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

A status hearing for Brock has been scheduled for November 3rd, with a preliminary hearing to follow on November 8th. Susan Brock has since pleaded not guilty to all charges; a total of 15 different charges are enumerated in this newer post.

Oh, and get a load of this. The New Times tells us that the boy's teenage girl friend got dragged into it, too. Because the girl friend's parents forbade their daughter
from seeing the victim, Susan Brock set up meetings between the two kids, where she provided them with condoms and let them have sex at her house, presumably when her husband wasn't home.

One of Susan Brock's daughters, 21-year-old Rachel Katherine Brock, is now accused of sending dirty pictures and videos and having several sexual encounters with the same teenage boy her mother is accused of molesting. She is being charged with three counts of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of transmitting obscene material.

See updated post for several new developments, including the arrest of a woman who allegedly helped Susan Brock destroy evidence Two bishops from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will not be charged in connection with the molestation case of Susan Brock, 49, even though they knew the county supervisor's wife had committed sex acts on a minor, prosecutors said Thursday.

The Pinal County Attorney's Office told The Arizona Republic that after a review of the case, no charges will be sought, said Kostas Kalaitzidis, a county spokesman.

Wanumba
Wanumba

If it walks like a birther, talks like a birther, emails like a birther and panders to the birthers ... it's a birther.

Penrod1
Penrod1

Bennett claims 1200 letters influenced his decision to inquire about the presidents birth certificate.I think we should flood his office with letters demanding he drop his plans.As a native Arizonan I can tell you I hate how this state has transformed under republicans the last few years and tired of being a national joke over their actions.                  

DG
DG

Bennett is now a birther. He's just an asshole!

wherewasi
wherewasi

Another point is that Hawaii has already said they will no longer respond to any requests for information about Obama's birth.  They have been inundated for too long with thousands of requests, they have already stated their past certifications are valid and they have announced that they are done with it.

So, now Bennett is making a request and he's planning to say that Hawaii did not respond (as they have already stated) so he has no choice but to remove Obama from our ballot?  

Another bizarre aspect of this is that he said, while HE personally thinks Obama WAS born in Hawaii, he is inquiring "on behalf of a constituent who asked him to look into the matter" but doesn't remember who it was.  I guess that if "I don't recall" works for Arpaio, it should work for Bennett as well...

I smell yet another rat.

Jason Rahall
Jason Rahall

Bennett isn't fooling anyone by denying he has birther fever. There is no mistaking the passive-aggressive blathering of a birther.

Oma
Oma

I sent him an email  and as an constituent asked him to verify Rommey's birth certificate.  So far no response. 

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

Ken Bennet says " I believe the president was born in Hawaii or at least I hope he was." CLASSIC REPUBLICAN BIRTHER TALKING POINT! This is word for word what has been repeated for years by so0called non-birther's who want to create doubt.  

shirtless
shirtless

These "birthers" obviously do not understand the Constitution that they claim to be protecting.  When we vote in November, we are NOT voting for the presidential candidates.  We are voting for electors, who will meet in December, and cast ballots for President and Vice President.  If anyone should demand verification of citizenship status, it should be electors, before they vote for someone to be President and Vice President.

Sadly, such such ignorance of civics and government is rampant in this country, but certainly so in Arizona, which ranks 49th out of 50 of the states in level of educational attainment.

shirtless
shirtless

Ken Bennett would be better advised to keep an eye on his son, Clifton, to make sure that Clifton is not using any brooms on his friends' rectums.

Shirtless
Shirtless

Jan Brewer was Secretary of State in 2008.  Did she demand that Senator McCain produce his birth certificate?  If not, why not?  If she did, she would have noticed that he was born in the Canal Zone.  Is a person born outside the United States a "natural born" citizen?  Did she investigate whether such a person is eligible to be President of the United States?  If not, why not?

Dave
Dave

Ken Bennett may not be a birther, but he is a fellow Mormon to Mitt Romney, which by definition makes him biased regarding this issue.

shirtless
shirtless

In my view, the Mormons in Arizona probably embarrass the Mormons in Utah.

mirele
mirele

As a former resident of Utah and current Arizona resident, I would say that the Mormon legislators in Utah and Arizona probably embarrass the heck out of the regular Mormon church members. Seriously, as a group, the legislators are generally more conservative than their fellow church members. At least the AZ Mormon legislators aren't trying to bring back Prohibition. I guess they've figured out the state needs that sweet, sweet tax money derived from liquor sales.

(I still remember how shocked I was to walk into a grocery store in Mesa 15 or so years ago and see hard liquor for sale. You know, the stuff you have to make a special trip to the state store to buy in Utah.)

85014
85014

Osama Ben Laden is dead and shark food in the Pacific ocean.

The birthers are all pissed because my President, Barack Obama, has killed more terrorists than GWB, and in the last 3 weeks has used US military assets to kill terrorist Americans who joined the Taliban overseas. He also has no problem flying drones to Pakistan to engage terrorists. The people of Pakistan hosted Osama Ben Laden.Face it birthers. Our president is more moderate and more protective of the US than Dick Chaney. And he's effective in his leadership.

Ken Bennett is nothing more than a shiny penny in the Tea Party and will be worse than Jan Beam Brewer because he's educated and loves the AZ GOP. He has no concern for anyone other than the people who live on his street in Prescott.

Piss off birthers.

Willard Olson
Willard Olson

Mr. Bennett, if your not a "birther" quit acting like one!

Reid Silvern
Reid Silvern

I was just kidding about Romney Birther conspiracy theories. However, after a quick Internet check, I found numerous web sites seriously questioning Romney's eligibility to qualify for President.

The born in Canada thing actually was used against Chester A Arthur who was born in Vermont near the Canadian border. Of course, Detroit is on the Canadian border.

With all this 'evidence' on the Internet, how can Bennett fail to verify Mitt's citizenship. Of course,

Twolittleducks
Twolittleducks

Is Ken Bennett an American? Seriously, what do they want to happen here in Arizona. Do they want to leave the Union? We are ridiculed all over the United States. I am ashamed to say I live here. People just laugh when you say you come from Arizona. They think we are all backward. People like this stupid politician just make the rest of us look bad. Now if we want our freedom to vote for THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.. we will have to move!

Church Lady
Church Lady

Sergeant Lincoln Osiris, a harden combat veteran, once said "Don't go full retarded."  It appears Arizona failed to heed the warning. 

Reid Silvern
Reid Silvern

Everyone e-mail Bennett since the Romney Birther conspiracy is racing through the Internet. It is Unsubstantiated and has not been researched (therefore, more valid than the Obama Birther conspiracy)

1. Romney was really born across the river in Canada.

2. Romney's Grandfather renounced his citizenship to buy property in Mexico. It's well known that US citizens can't own property in Mexico.

3. Romney's dad was not a child of citizens and never got naturalized.

4. Romney is really a citizen of the Republic of Deseret.

Everyone e-mail Bennett and demand that he produce comparable documentation to Obama. Also, demand that Michigan produce proof that Romney was born in the US and not in that anti-constitutional Loyalist bastion of Canada.

Coz
Coz

Today he's not, tomorrow he will be again..
Just depends on who's he's campaigning in front of.
Typical politician, talks out of both sides of his mouth.

>>I have been on the record since 2009 that I believe the President was born in Hawaii," Bennett says. "I am not a 'birther.'"

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Dammit, I was trying to make it to June 1st before being proven wrong again.

I was being foolishly idealistic....

TexAZ
TexAZ

Barack Obama is the duly elected and inaugurated President of the United States.  Doesn't that count for something?

katahdin
katahdin

Not to the people for whom a black president is a grave insult.

Wasillawitch
Wasillawitch

Bennett is a follower, plain and simple.  He's shown he'll toe the party line, that's it.

jtmunkus
jtmunkus

Bennett is a co-chair of Mitt Romney's campaign. 

If he doesn't want to be considered a birther, he should stop birthing.  It just shows that Romney's campaign will stoop to anything to de-legitimize President Obama.

BIRTHER HYPOCRITE!

Ericjschumann
Ericjschumann

What a moron! Another reason to re watch the Coen Bros movie Raising Arizona.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

I will qualify my statement by saying that I am NOT a fan of Mr. Bennett and it's highly unlikely I would ever vote for him as a candidate for governor, or again as Secretary of State. In all probability he will become governor by default should Mrs. Brewer leave office unexpectedly before the end of her elected term.

That said, I will have to agree with Mr. Bennett on this birther issue. I think he is doing the right thing to simply obtain certification from Hawaiian officials that they have a birth certificate on file for Mr. Obama (another person I didn't/wouldn't vote for).

I also admire the courage Mr. Bennett shows by saying he is NOT a birther and that he apparently does believe Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.

Is this entire mess intended for nothing other than a media blitz for the MCSO shurf?

Yes. Nothing more.

AlCum
AlCum

Quite the opposite, he's not only doing the wrong thing but acting illegally. He has no authority to keep someone's name off the ballot if he doesn't get a birth certificate verification. No law permits that, and we are a nation of laws, not of men. Bennett cannot simply make up his own rules for ballot access and apply them only to one candidate.

He has dug his political grave. Now we shall see if he jumps in of his own volition or will be pushed.

mirele
mirele

No, absolutely not.

If it's not required by statute or court order, then Ken Bennett shouldn't do it at all. There's no reason for it.

On top of that, we've BEEN through this before. The state of Hawai'i HAS verified Obama's birth and there is absolutely no need to go through this.

As I told the nice lady down at the SOS office this afternoon, I talk to a lot of people all over the country, and I am frankly getting tired of the whackjobbery that passes for government in Arizona. It's not just Ken Bennett, it's also Jan Brewer, Shurf Joe, Russell Pearce and a whole bunch of braindead legislators. Seriously, y'all are making us look stupid.

The whole "birfer" mess comes down to this very simple statement:  "We can't have that black man in our White House." AKA, it's racism, pure and simple. I'm stunned, Tommy, that you'd go along with this, when it is not required by law at all.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Mirele, whether required by law, or not, it IS a political issue and I can see how it might be stopped, YET AGAIN, by a simple letter from Hawaii stating that they certify that Mr. Obama was born there and such a birth certificate does exist. Basically, the way I see it, Mr. Bennett is doing this to get the birthers off his ass. Just one more notch in the political gun needed to kill this birther issue "way dead".

Is it unnecessary? Yes. I will agree with you on that point.

Yes, I believe Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii and was born as a citizen of the United States.

Do I think Mr. Bennett has the authority to NOT put Mr. Obama's name on the ballot for November if he doesn't hear from Hawaii per his request.

Nope. And I seriously doubt Mr. Bennett thinks he does either. That part was political mush. Arizona is the mush capitol of the world and most of the mush is generated here in Phoenix.... by a whole lot of those very brain dead politicians you mentioned.

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