Why did I have to read about this in my hometown Detroit newspaper the Free Press? Luckily somone linked to it in a blog post at azcentral.com.
Just to recap, my duly elected and potential GOP gubernatorial candidate, Secretary of State Ken Bennett recently had this to say: "I'm not a birther. I believe the president was born in Hawaii or at least I hope he was. But my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure that the ballots in Arizona are correct and that those people whose names are on the ballot have met the qualifications for the office that they seeking."
Apparently he received 1,200 emails from his constituents (read 'crazy tin foil hat wearing Sun City residents') asking him to look into this matter, who had been stirred up by King of the Tin Foil Hatters, Sheriff Joe. Sigh.
To which Hawaii responded:
The attorney general's office in Hawaii is telling Arizona's secretary of state that if he wants confirmation of President Obama's birth records, he'll have to prove he legitimately needs it.Now, Bennett said just on Friday that he had heard nothing back from Hawaii in the 8 weeks since he made the request, so not only is he a tin foil hat birther, but he's a liar. Try not to die of shock.
Special Assistant Joshua Wisch said late Friday that Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett hasn't done that despite numerous e-mail and phone exchanges between their offices.
Wisch says Hawaii state laws require Bennett to show legal authority that this office needs the records to update its official lists as part of its ordinary work.
Wisch says as soon as Bennett gives Hawaii adequate authority, the Aloha State will verify Obama's birth.
By the way, I highly recommend a very funny (and yet sad) column by Laurie Richards at the Arizona Republic. The comments interestingly run about 10-1 against the birthers.
Update: The KFYI radio interview with Bennett from Thursday:
Someone in the comments thought it would be interesting to read the email exchanges between Hawaii and Bennett. TPM comes through with a FOIA request, and what was uncovered was comedy gold. For your reading pleasure....
On Monday, TPM filed a public records request for the correspondence between the Hawaii government and the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. The results show Bennett and his staff grew ever more impatient with the slow pace of Hawaii’s response before the secretary finally took to a local conservative radio talk show on Thursday to voice his concerns.Read more at TPM Muckraker
“Hello Jill. I just left you a brief voice mail message,” Arizona Deputy Secretary of State Jim Drake wrote in an email to a Hawaii attorney on May 1. “I am wondering whether you can give me a ballpark timeframe on our request. As you know, the closer we get to November, the more my phone rings. I believe that having Hawaii’s response on hand might help to quell the inquiries!”
Mon May 21, 2012 at 5:32 PM PT: Updated with emails link.