Once again, Maricopa Count Sheriff, Joe Arpaio has thrust himself into controversy, by sending a county deputy from his "threats unit" to Hawaii to check out the validity of President Obama's birth certificate.
His deputy, Brian Mackiewcz, traveled with posse member Michael Zullo yesterday to the 50th state confirm authenticity.
This comes on the heels of Arizona’s Secretary of State Ken Bennet saying his was not convinced that Obama’s birth certificate on file in Hawaii is real. He said on air at an interview with conservative radio talk show host Mike Broomhead on KfYI in Phoenix.
Saying his investigation isn’t personal, rather in response to what he said was more than 1,200 letters requesting an investigation after Sheriff Arpaio’s unveiled his investigation into the birth certificate.
Arpaio says the investigation began last year at the request of the Surprise Tea Party. This March during a Arpaio news conference, posse man Zullo, along with members of the Surprise Tea Party and Jerry Corsi, conspiracy theorist and writer, pointed out why they thought the birth certificate as well as selective service card were fake.
Arpaio claims the investigation isn’t political in nature but instead an investigation to file out if the certificates were fakes regardless of Obama’s birthplace.
On the other hand, the secretary of state is pursuing the investigation to find if Obama should be on the state’s ballots at election time.
When sent an itemized list of information requests by Secretary of State Bennet for records, Hawaii responded via Hawaii’s Deputy Attorney General Jill Nagamin.She sent a request of information of her own along with Hawaiin Statutes why he can’t access that information unless he had a valid reason and authority to. She asked about the list that Bennet was updating, and if it was being updated with birth certificate verification of all on the list and if it was common practice to do so.
When he replied, Bennet did so with Arizona Statutes showing his authority as his state’s chief elections officer.
According to Talking Points Memo, Nagamin responded:
“These statutes seem to deal with election of presidential electors, nomination of candidates for printing on official ballot of general or special election, form and contents of ballot, and presentation of presidential candidates on ballot, but none, as far as I can tell, establish the authority of the Secretary of State to maintain and update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of his activities. I researched other sections of the Arizona Revised Statutes and was unable to find the necessary authority. If I have missed something, please let me know. My client stands willing to provide you with the verification you seek as soon as you are able to show that you are entitled to it.”
Bennet has relented somewhat and asked for verification from Hawaii that the certicate on file is authentic.
When asked if he would exclude President Obama from the aArizona ballot, Bennet said “It’s possible.” He did add however that he may just ask that all candidates submit a certified copy of their birth certificate. Then he added, ” But, I don’t want to have to do that.”
Who was it that stirred the pot in this controversy? The Surprise Tea Party members, Michael Zullo and writer Jerry Corsi. Zullo and Corsi have stated that they will split the profits from the book.