Apparently, politics within the birther movement are just as ruthless as politics anywhere.
On Thursday, state Rep. Mark Hatfield, R-Waycross, author of the bill to require President Barack Obama to provide certified proof of his U.S. birth if he wants to be on the Georgia ballot next year, was interviewed on an Internet program called “Reality Check Radio.”
In the interview, Hatfield announced that he’d made some changes to HB 401. The material applying to Obama has been stripped away, he said:
”The bill has undergone some change since it was originally introduced. We have a substitute that’s drawn up, but I’ll just tell you basically, as originally introduced, the bill would require that a presidential or vice presidential candidate submit an affidavit showing that he or she meets the requirements of natural-born citizenship, age and residency – 14 years residency in the United States…..
“The bill also, as to the affidavit, originally included some language…that would ask that the candidate swear to the fact that he or she had never held dual citizenship or multiple citizenship and that the candidate had only had allegiance to the United States of America….
“Now, that has changed with the substitute…..Issues have been raised. A lot of people are saying it’s a political bill. So in order to allay concerns about the bill’s potential political nature, I have proposed a substitute, which would move the effective date of this bill to July 1 of 2013.
“And that makes it clear that President Obama would not be subject to the requirements of the bill. Yet we would still be able to get into law some definite means of enforcing the Article 2 Section 1 requirement.
“The substitute would also remove the dual citizenship issue, multiple citizenship….”
Judging by the chatter on birtherreport.com, that didn’t sit well with true-believers, who began accusing Hatfield of caving. The Waycross lawmaker responded with an e-mail, posted on the same blog, that implies the deletion of Obama-oriented language need not be permanent:
Please understand that I am dealing with recalcitrant leadership which will not allow the bill to move through the committee process. We are trying to get the bill dislodged from subcommittee, and this proposal was made in an attempt to get the House leadership to allow the bill to be considered.
The bill would not be required to stay in this form, but we have to try something to get the bill moving. If we don’t get some movement right away, the bill will be dead for the year.
You don’t need to convince me that Obama needs to be subject to a law requiring proof of eligibility; I believe it wholeheartedly and have been actively advocating for it for years. Your efforts would be better spent contacting the leadership of the Georgia House and demanding that the bill be allowed to move.
Nothing short of massive public outcry is going to get their attention it seems. I would appreciate your efforts and continued support of the bill.
Please pass this information on. I don’t need people on my own side throwing me under the bus! Thanks!
This message from Hatfield was posted as well:
…We had initially 94 signatures, more than enough to pass the bill, when it was introduced. After the media got hold of the bill and started screaming, House leadership suddenly went cold on the bill.
Not so mysteriously, more than 20 state reps. took their names off the bill in one day. And many of these reps. were from highly conservative areas of the state. Many, however, were also former dems who switched parties when republicans won the majority. The bill has been consistently ripped in the liberal Atlanta media.
There are still many cosponsors of the bill, however, over one-third of the GA House. And many who took their names off have said privately they would vote for the bill if it comes to the floor. The bottom line, though, is we need public support before next week. Wednesday is the last day for the bill to move (although we may even after Wednesday be able to tack it on to something else).
Readers on birtherreport.com are now being asked to contact members of the House Republican leadership They are being advised – not by Hafield, let us emphasize – to go light on the Obama-bashing, so as not to offend former Democrats.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider