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- Laurence Rappaport of Colebrook describes an affidavit he and two other legislators filed with Attorney General Delaney that questions Barrack Obama's citizenship and legitimacy on the primary ballot; Tuesday, January 3, 2012. The group attempted to hold the press conference in the Legislative Office Building, but were removed because they had not reserved the space. They moved to the State House press room.
(Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)
GOP group still challenges Obama birth
CONCORD – A small group of maverick House Republican legislators vowed to continue their challenge that President Barack Obama is ineligible to hold office, despite evidence he was born in the United States.
Attorney General Michael Delaney, the New Hampshire Supreme Court and state Ballot Law Commission and have all rejected the argument that Obama is disqualified under the U.S. Constitution because his father is Kenyan-born and that, therefore, Obama was not a U.S. citizen at the time of his birth.
The U.S. Constitution does not define what it means by the requirement that a president must be a ‘’natural born citizen’’ and the U.S. Supreme Court has never ruled on the challenge of someone.
Rep. Larry Rappaport, R-Colebrook, led a news conference in the Statehouse press room where supporters presented an affidavit demanding Delaney look further into this.
‘’We believe the secretary of state should launch an investigation and if it turns out Mr. Obama is not qualified to hold the position, than he should be denied a place on the ballot,’’ Rappaport said.
Conservative activist Mark Rossetti of Manchester said it’s a scandal that Obama has been allowed to hold the Oval Office since January 2009.
“In New Hampshire, we should have a ballot that is free and clear of fraud,” Rossetti told reporters. “The people of New Hampshire have been disenfranchised and their votes have been messed with on this. Before Jan. 10, that man’s name should be taken off the ballot.”
The so-called “birther” movement has been described by most as fringe and not representative of the Republican Party as a whole.
In April, the White House posted the long-form version of Obama’s birth certificate online, which indicated he was born in Honolulu. That hasn’t stopped some elected officials in the state from continuing to challenge Obama’s eligibility to be a presidential candidate.
Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley attended the press conference and ridiculed the Obama challenge.
“I don’t have a tin foil hat so I wasn’t able to follow everything they said,” Buckley said. “I do have some Reynold’s Wrap at home. I look forward to hearing the media repeat back on what they have said in a more understandable way.”
In November, the Ballot Law Commission ruled it lacked the jurisdiction to take up the ‘’birther’’ question, which touched off a raucous scene in the Legislative Office Building. An assistant attorney general said he felt so threatened that he and a state elections aide locked themselves in a hearing room to serve as a safe house.
House Speaker William O’Brien, R-Mont Vernon, called on Delaney to investigate the incident to determine whether any laws were broken.
Those challenging Obama’s eligibility pointed out that ballot law records show that potential candidates for federal office were tossed off the N.H. election ballot in November 2007 and July 2011.
“They had better take a look at the state and federal Constitution before they make decisions that affect the highest office of the land,’’ said Rep. Harry Accornero, R-Laconia.
Buckley said O’Brien tries but can’t disown this band of conservative lawmakers he helped elect to win a historic, super-majority in both houses of the Legislature.
‘’He can claim to be embarrassed, but this is his child. This is who he raised. He gave birth to this sort of behavior,’’ Buckley said.
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