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6/1/2012 12:47:00 PM
Bennett won't seek verification of Romney birth certificate
Secretary of State Ken Bennett:
Secretary of State Ken Bennett: "They were asking because a law enforcement agency in the largest county in the state had some findings saying that they had probable cause that the birth certificate was a forgery ... I think the only reason that people are asking about Romney's (birth certificate) is because they're mad that I asked about the president's.'

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- Secretary of State Ken Bennett will not verify the birth records of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, at least not now -- and possibly not ever -- despite an earlier public commitment to do so.

Bennett acknowledged Thursday he has received requests from Arizona residents to perform the same kind of verification through Michigan about Romney's birth certificate as he did through Hawaii for Barack Obama. And he said that he had, in fact, agreed to make such a check if he got a request.

But Bennett is now saying he needs something else: An allegation by an Arizona law enforcement agency that there is a question about the veracity of a candidate's claimed birth certificate.

He said that was always a precondition of looking into Romney or anyone else. He just never disclosed that.

There has been only one such allegation, the one questioning Obama's birth certificate by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department. And Bennett said since there are no others, he feels no need to dig any further into any of Romney's documents.

Last month, Bennett said he had received many requests to verify that Obama is a "natural born citizen' and constitutionally qualified to hold the nation's highest office. He said he would not demand that Hawaii produce the actual birth certificate but instead would rely on a provision in that state's law which allows an official in any other state to seek certification that a specific document does, in fact, exist.

Bennett, the state's chief election official, said at the time he was not singling out the Democratic president for special treatment but simply responding to a constituent request. And he specifically said he would do the same thing "if somebody asked me to verify the Libertarian candidate or Mitt Romney or whoever it might end up being.'

On Thursday, Bennett said nothing has changed. He said that requirement for a law enforcement investigation to raise the issue was always a condition -- albeit unstated -- along with constituent requests, for seeking more information.

"They were asking because a law enforcement agency in the largest county in the state had some findings saying that they had probable cause that the birth certificate was a forgery,' he said.

And Bennett, who supports Romney's bid to oust Obama, also said he sees the requests to check the Republican's birth records as nothing more than politics.

"I think the only reason that people are asking about Romney's (birth certificate) is because they're mad that I asked about the president's,' he said.

In March, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio charged that the birth certificate the White House posted on its web site is a fraud. He said a forensic examination of the electronic document proves that it was not simply scanned into a file but actually put together in several pieces.

Romney released a copy of his own birth certificate on Wednesday.

But Arpaio told Capitol Media Services he has had no requests to do a similar examination. And the sheriff said even if such requests were to materialize, he doubts he would take a closer look at what Romney produced.

"Am I supposed to check everybody's birth certificate running for office?' he said.

"The reason we did this one is it's been a controversial situation for a long, long time,' Arpaio explained, saying there were reasons to believe, even before the investigation, that Obama's birth certificate was "suspect.'

"I'm not suspect over this one,' he said of Romney's released document.

Bennett's request that Hawaii verify it has Obama's birth certificate has gained national attention, to the point where a liberal group started a tongue-in-cheek campaign to get people to ask the secretary of state to determine if Romney is a unicorn.

"There has never been a conclusive DNA test proving that Mitt Romney is not a unicorn,' the LeftAction web site proclaims. "We have never seen him without his hair -- hair that could be covering up a horn.'

Organization spokesman John Hlinko claimed there have been more than 20,000 people who have signed an online request. He said these were not forwarded to Bennett because LeftAction did not want to crash his web site.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, June 3, 2012
Article comment by: Maggie Holt

Since Bennett has started a committee to explore the possibilities, I would say he will do anything to garner Teapublican votes when he enters the gubernatorial race. Trouble is, many will have long memories of his pandering.

Posted: Sunday, June 3, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Henry

The SoS might be acting outside the prescribed
(or is it proscribed) limits of his office if he did
'verify' the qualifications of president and vice
president candidates.

For the last 2,3 or so years the state legislators
have had a number of 'birther' bills attempting to
become law. And none of these bills have
become law. Most of them centered around
proof that the candidate for president or vice
president meet "natural born citizen" status.

Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2012
Article comment by: Slippery Slope

In pandering to a special interest group in hopes of garnering support for a gubernatorial bid, Secretary Bennett has launched himself down a slippery slope from which there is no return.

Perhaps he's reaped what he's sowed.

Posted: Saturday, June 2, 2012
Article comment by: Ryan Jensen

Ken Bennett said he looked into Obama’s birth certificate because 1200 constituents asked him to. He never mentioned that an active law enforcement probe was a prerequisite....until now when asked the same questions about Romney.

Posted: Friday, June 1, 2012
Article comment by: Why Not?

Maybe Secretary Bennett should just for good measure. Of course nothing will be gained or lost by it so it would be an excersize only. It is clear that Romney was born in Detroit, Michigan. His father was born in Mexico but George Romney's parents were US Citizens, that clearly makes him a natural born citizen.

Posted: Friday, June 1, 2012
Article comment by: now why am i not surprised...

so will folks have to start requesting that sherf' joe look into romininnys questionable back ground... and then joes cold case posse will have to write a book about it and start selling it.. then joe will have to have a pres conference revealing... well not much... then bennet will check into it?

now you can put a bear in a swim suit and call him honey... but that don't make him sweet...

gall darn it... i wonder why nobody is askeered of that r-money feller.. his roots are not only showing.. .but from south of the border as well... where is 1070 when you need it!

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