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'Birther' challenges Obama

Last modified: 11/18/2011 12:00:00 AM
Don't pencil in a victory for President Obama in New Hampshire's Democratic primary just yet. Today, the incumbent president must withstand a legal challenge that again questions his eligibility to seek the country's highest office.

At 2 p.m. in Room 307 of the legislative office building, the state's Ballot Law Commission is set to hear a complaint filed by Orly Taitz, a California lawyer who has continued to question the validity of Obama's birth certificate and Social Security number since his 2008 election.

Backing her complaint, Taitz said, are four Republican members of the New Hampshire House: Harry Accornero of Laconia, Larry Rappaport of Colebrook, and Lucien and Carol Vita of Middleton.

"There's sufficient controversy that I want it investigated," Rappaport, a Ron Paul supporter, said yesterday. "Every time this is brought up . . . we get a lot of flak, but we've never gotten an answer."

Obama released his birth certificate in response to media inquiries in 2008, but the document did little to quiet skepticism from the so-called "birther" movement. In April, in response to continued interest in the president's nationality - fueled by statements by real estate mogul Donald Trump as he toyed with a presidential run - Obama also released a copy of his long-form birth certificate.

"I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but even I could take that apart and see that it was fraudulent," Rappaport said of the long-form certificate.

Lucien Vita said the birth certificate issue "should have been put to bed years ago" and also believes the documents released by Obama were forged.

"Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see," he said.

Vita considers himself a constitutionalist and both he and his wife support Ron Paul, he said.

"I have doubts because of the delay in the time it actually took to come out with a long-form birth certificate," Vita said. "I don't want to go through another four years of the same tripe."

Vita said he's confident the Republican candidates are American citizens "because these people have all held other state offices" - though he acknowledged that could also apply to Obama, who was a U.S. senator before being elected president.

"We know where they were born," Vita said of the Republicans. "There's a level of credibility with Obama that has not sufficiently been met in my eyes. If he's a citizen, he should be able to prove it."

Taitz's complaint also questions the validity of Obama's Social Security number, and she said the exhibits presented to the Ballot Law Commission show "undeniable, irrefutable evidence that Barack Obama is using a Social Security number that was never assigned to him."

"I'm hoping that the board will decide not to allow him on the ballot," Taitz said. "And if he wants to be on the ballot, he will have to provide an explanation."

Taitz was born in the Soviet Union. Though she cannot run for president, she is running as a Republican for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

"I know what it is to live in a dictatorship . . . where the whole system is corrupt," Taitz said. "And that's what we're seeing here."


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