State Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross, just handed me a copy of his new bill, HB 401, which would require President Barack Obama to provide certified proof of his birth to the Georgia secretary of state in order to appear on next year’s presidential primary and general election ballots.
The bill has the signatures of 94 members of the 180-member House, including that of one Democrat, Glenn Baker of Jonesboro.
The measure will get its first hearing on Wednesday. Read the bill here.
If you’re a member of the Georgia Ports Authority or Georgia Chamber of Commerce, still attempting to persuade the White House to add a few zeros to that appropriation for the dredging of the Port of Savannah, this is your cue to cut loose an animal howl of frustration.
At minimum, the bill will make for some interesting chatter when the national press comes down to hear Newt Gingrich’s announcement that he’s exploring a GOP run for president.
Hatfield attempted similar legislation last year. From my AJC colleague April Hunt:
“I think the issue with our sitting president has been left unresolved for a significant length of time that people have concerns,” Hatfield said. “But this is not just about our current president. It’s about enforcing the constitutional provisions for anyone who seeks the office of presidency.”
Hatfield’s bill would require certified copies of “the candidate’s first original long-form birth certificate.” Documentation as provided by Hawaii, which has insisted time and time again that Obama was born there, “would not suffice,” Hatfield said.
Alternative documents include:
….the candidate’s birth records, adoption records, baptism records, Social Security records, medical records, school and college records, military records, and passport records showing, either individually or collectively, that the candidate meets the natural born citizenship, age, and residency requirements prescribed by Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution.
What’s more, even if the Georgia secretary of state certifies a candidate as native born, HB 401 would give any registered voter a two-week window to challenge the candidate’s bona fides.
Furthermore, the bill would make it a “misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature” for any Georgia member of the electoral college to cast a vote for the candidate.
It’s not clear what support this has from House Republican leaders – many of whose signatures are missing. Gov. Nathan Deal, who as a congressman signed a letter to Obama requesting such documentation, said during the campaign that he is satisfied that Obama is indeed a natural-born American citizen.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider