Congressman Says Presidents Must Verify Eligibility

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

In spite of being subjected to enormous ridicule and scorn, a Florida Congressman is sticking to his plans to introduce a bill requiring future presidential candidates to produce documentation such as birth certificates to prove their eligibility to be president.

Congressman Bill Posey, R-Florida, was responding to concerns from his constituency about President Barack Obama’s refusal to produce a birth certificate when he proposed H.R. 1503. The bill is intended to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 and would “require the principal campaign committee of a candidate for election to the office of president to include with the committee’s statement of organization a copy of the candidate’s birth certificate, together with such other documentation as may be necessary to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications for eligibility to the Office of President under the Constitution.”

According to a report by, the bill has earned the new congressman a deluge of scorn from pundits and politicians alike.

“What you should do is stop embarrassing yourself and take the Reynolds Wrap off your head,” said MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann about Posey and his bill.

U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, questioned Posey’s judgment. “It’s one thing to try to be responsive to your constituents, no matter how marginal,” he told the St. Petersburg Times. “I understand that. But to take it to the point of putting it into a bill — you open yourself up, then, to having your judgment questioned.”

Calls for Obama to produce a valid birth certificate have not gone away since his inauguration. There have been dozens of legal challenges to his status as a “natural born citizen,” a Constitutional requirement to be president, because of discrepancies in his history.

One question concerns whether or not he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists, or if he was born in Kenya as his paternal grandmother has allegedly claimed. If he was born outside the country, even though his mother was an American, she was too young at the time of his birth to confer U.S. citizenship on her son under the law at the time.
Another problem involving his citizenship concerns his father, who was a Kenyan subject to the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom at the time of his son’s birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the framers of the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as natural born.

Other lawsuits are questioning his citizenship by virtue of his attendance in Indonesian schools during his childhood, a right that is only given to Indonesian citizens.

None of these issues have been sufficiently resolved due to Obama’s refusal to produce a valid birth certificate. He has only agreed to provide an on-line version of a “Certificate of Live Birth” which critics say is only issued for children who were not born in the state.

Because so many of his constituents were raising concerns about these matters, Congressman Posey introduced H.R .1503 and says the more criticism he gets, the more convinced he is of having done the right thing.

“ . . . (T)he more and more I get called names by leftwing activists, partisan hacks and political operatives for doing it,” Posey wrote on his blog, “the more and more I think I did the right thing.”
He admitted to having been called “some pretty nasty things” but says “none of these tolerant people actually want to discuss the issue at hand … whether or not a presidential candidate should have to file these documents with the government.

“I could easily fill up a page listing all the activities an American needs to show their ID for … everything from playing youth soccer to getting a drivers license, buying cigarettes and alcohol, to opening bank accounts and even playing little league. So I was pretty surprised to find out that to run for president, despite the constitutional requirement and the media scrubbing that goes on, it’s not required for a candidate to file these documents when they submit their statement of candidacy with the FEC,” he said.

“There’s nothing anyone can do about changing past elections… the president won. All the lawsuits in the world are not going to change that. But if what some folks are worried about – that presidential candidates don’t have to submit to the same documentation that average folks have to submit to – well, then we can change that for the next election.”

Posey’s spokesman, George Cecala, told WorldNetDaily the congressman has no plans to withdraw the proposal, even though it may not get a lot of support – at least not in the current Congress.

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