The "Birther" Bill
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      Arizona's legislature has passed a 'birther' bill, and it only needs the Governor's signature to become state law. What it means is that for a candidate to have his name put on a ballot for President of the United States, in the State of Arizona, proof of birthplace, age, and a recent 14 year residency in the U.S., must be certified. Any influence on the ongoing bickering by Donald Trump, about Obama's right to be President, asserting that Obama was born in Kenya, and the simultaneous 'birther' bill legislation, is probably not coincidental. Add to those events the upcoming election year campaigns, and candidates begging for money being just around the corner, and the recent Arizona Illegal Immigrant Enforcement Law, and watch the "flames go higher."
      What with the recent rash of lying Presidents, such as Nixon in Watergate, Clinton about having sex in the Oval Office, and Bush senior, who said, "Read my lips, I will not raise taxes," and then did, I was wondering who a reasonable person would believe was not telling the truth in this context. Would it be a man who answers to no one due to his vast empire of wealth, who has no chance of becoming President, with no office-seeking axe to grind, and who will show his birth certificate to the world if they only ask? Or could it be a man who has everything to lose if he is misrepresenting his past, either by his birthplace or his religion? Anyway, in Obama's defense, would a President lie?
  
      Having said all this, it seems the Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer, has vetoed the 'birther' bill. A daily newspaper, The Desert Sun, noted in a small 2 paragraph, almost hidden 4th page article, that opponents had "warned the bill would give another black eye to Arizona, counting the recently passed Illegal Immigrant Enforcement Law." This article about the veto is misleading on two counts. One, Gov. Brewer stated on a national T.V. broadcast that her reason for the veto was that the law carried with it the stipulation that only one person would decide if the criteria for citizenship and age had been met by a candidate. She felt a decision in this matter was bigger than just one person. It had nothing to do with the views of opponents. And two, the only people who would see the 'birther' bill as "another black eye" would be those apparently in favor of allowing immigrants to illegally enter the United States, since they saw the Illegal Immigrant Enforcement Law as the first "black eye." Those who believe in having and enforcing immigration laws have applauded Arizona's recent bill, and so deny it was a black eye on Arizona.
      The idea of strengthening requirements to run for office has touched off debate in the California desert city of Palm Springs. The City Council there, in order to ensure that only "serious candidates" enter a race for a seat on that body, is close to an agreement requiring that candidates prove they are residents of Palm Springs, and not just changing addresses on various documents being mailed to their homes. Also, the Council is considering making candidates obtain from 150 to 200 signatures on up to 6 different petition forms. Naturally, the costs of processing these forms will be the responsibility of the candidate for office. These standards for running for office will be unique for the entire County of Riverside, California.
      What could be a more obvious standard that should be enforced, covering from the President of the United States, and all elected officials, down to a City Council member in a small Southern California community. If candidates make claims that make them eligible to run for an office, make them prove these claims. This would be a good starting point to check on their credibility and honesty, before they take office and show that they have none.
      And what do you know? President Obama has offered to the news media a document that shows he was born in Hawaii. Donald Trump takes credit for the revelation, saying that the President should have acted on the issue at the beginning of the controversy. Some say now that Obama has recognized and reacted to the allegations of non-qualification for the Presidency, the arguments will not go away. One remark made was, " My 15 year old nephew has a valid looking driver's license that proves he's 18 years old. Think what certificate a President could get."
Bias on the Bench
Laramie Boyd
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