Monday, April 6, 2009

Philadelphia Bulletin story on National Conference

Conference Discusses Obama’s Birth Certificate
Group Begins Movement To Boycott Hawaii
By JOHN P. CONNOLLY, The Bulletin
Monday, April 6, 2009
Washington — A group seeking to force the State of Hawaii to release President Barack Obama’s birth certificate met this past weekend to discuss the prospects of getting the state to make it public as well as the involved legal issues.So-far, efforts to get Hawaii to release the birth certificate have been hampered by the doctrine of legal standing, which requires a plaintiff to show how he or she has been directly harmed by another person’s actions. In this case, courts have repeatedly ruled ordinary citizens cannot sue Mr. Obama to obtain his birth certificate because they lack standing.The lack of standing mainly stems from the fact the plaintiffs did not raise legal objections to the president’s birth certificate and his place on the ballot before the 2008 primaries. Consequently, the right to legally object was considered to have been legally waived by the courts that have already ruled on the standing issue.Andy Martin, the lawyer and author who is trying to get Hawaii to release Mr. Obama’s birth certificate, led the two-day conference. A long-time critic of Mr. Obama, Mr. Martin is credited with being the first person to raise questions about his religious upbringing and question if he was a Muslim.“There’s never been a meeting where people got together and talked about this controversy, kicked it around,” said Mr. Martin. “We might even stimulate some people to go to Hawaii and take up their own cases.”Mr. Martin, who has written a book about Mr. Obama, argues the president’s birth certificate and school records should be released for historical purposes.Hawaii has laws that prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the birth certificate, with an exception for those who have a tangible interest in its contents, an interest Mr. Martin claims he has as a writer, writing about the man who is arguably one of the most public figures in the world.Mr. Martin said his case has a much better chance to succeed because the definition of standing that has kept other cases from proceeding is much more liberal in a state court than a federal court.Interest in the contents of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate intensified in 2008, when his campaign released a print off of his birth data, calling it his birth certificate.While the document is legal, it was not his birth certificate. Mr. Obama’s lengthy legal efforts to prevent the document from being released have generated questions and speculations over what he might have to hide. Speculation has varied from the possibility he could be ineligible to be president to the idea Barack Obama Sr. was not his father.Mr. Martin is critical of the many theories that have flown about in recent months, saying they are understandable, but they should be rooted in the evidence. He is working to get the birth certificate released because he says the American people want the truth.“Why doesn’t he just sit down and tell his story to the American people?” asked Mr. Martin. “He’s an extraordinary person. He would have more legitimacy as a leader, credibility as a leader, and respect as a leader if he did.”Mr. Martin has met with resistance from Hawaii authorities in his pursuit of records and other evidence to corroborate a story published by WorldNetDaily reporter Jerome Corsi, saying that Gov. Linda Lingle had sealed off Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.Mr. Martin requested interdepartmental documents from the governor and attorney general’s offices, only to receive back materials that did not fit the description of what he requested. Instead of getting inter-departmental communications, Mr. Martin received 500 e-mails from citizens concerned about the secrecy surrounding Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.“Friday, I exposed how the Hawaii governor, Linda Lingle, had mailed me a package of empty materials, without the particularized documentation I had requested,” said Mr. Martin. “She violated Hawaii law. I don't understand why Ms. Lingle thinks she is helping herself by subordinating her office to the Hawaii Attorney General. Ms. Lingle is an independent constitutional officer.”In response to the resistance of government and school officials to releasing records about Mr. Obama’s past, Mr. Martin and the conference announced a boycott of Hawaii tourism, products and businesses. Any citizen can join in the boycott by going to the Web site,“The movement will afford every person anywhere in the world a powerful new weapon to punish the State of Hawaii for concealing historical records concerning Mr. Obama,” said Mr. Martin. “I will be writing to the Punahou School, asking them to obtain permission to release his Punahou records.”Mr. Martin’s case is currently being appealed after being denied in its initial hearing.John P. Connolly can be reached at
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