Citing a growing unease over public opinion in his little world of Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine, where he works in communications, Joseph Montgomery withdrew this ballot challenge on Friday. It’s unfortunate his hobby seems to have crossed over into his professional life. I don’t approve of harrassment of these lunatics on their jobs, if that took place, but perhaps the university found his very public Birferism embarrassing, distracting and unprofessional, especially for public relations staff. If that’s the case, the university isn’t saying so.
Joe Montgomery of Manhattan, Kan., wrote in an email to state officials that he no longer wanted them to investigate whether Obama was really a natural-born U.S. citizen or eligible to run for reelection. The email said that he, along with his friends and colleagues, faced a significant backlash after a state elections board took up his case and agreed to look into whether the president’s birth certificate was real.
“There has been a great deal of animosity and intimidation directed not only at me, but at people around me, who are both personal and professional associations,” Montgomery wrote in an email to the office of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, which released it to TPM. “I’m don’t wish to burden anyone with more of this negative reaction, so please immediatley [sic] withdraw any action on this objection.”
Besides his day job, Montgomery is a full-time online poster. This is a man who posted 46,537 times as ksdb (the call letters of the public university’s KSDB radio station) at Hannity’s site alone. Posting as ksdb at Forbes, his personal blog URL is:
http://blogs.forbes.com/people/joemontgomery/; not exactly hiding his identity. At Doc Conspiracy’s site, on a single day in 2010, he posted 58 times from the school’s network, between 8:58 AM and 5:50 PM. Last year, as edge919, on FreeRepublic, he was organizing for ballot challenges.
Trying to keep President Obama off the ballot in his mother’s home state of Kansas, where 499,979 Kansans voted for him in 2008, and would be disenfranchised this time around, if Montgomery had his way, seems particularly low to me, not to mention the ease with which he insults the First Lady. But Montgomery doesn’t have a high opinion of us, either:
There’s a cottage industry of people who make excuses and provide apologies for the Kenyan Coward™ and his lack of vital credentials. One of the sites is Fogblow, so an appropriate term for them is Foggers, not Forgers. And some of these folks are not only Foggers, but many are dumb Mother Foggers.
About the followup to Thursday’s hearing, scheduled for this morning at ten, Kansas election director Brad Bryant told TPM:
“They don’t just pick issues out of the air. They only meet when an objection is filed,” Bryant said. “They had one filed, they met, they decided to reconvene Monday, then this afternoon an email was received withdrawing the objection, so it’s really hard for me to predict but one possibility is they’ll come together and say, well, the issue that we were considering has been taken off the table now.”
The Kansas Objections Board is comprised of three Republican state officials, all three lawyers: Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, as well as the chairman, Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach, currently an advisor on immigration to the Mitt Romney campaign, was involved with a group of lawyers responsible for the show-me-your-papers immigration laws. In a 2010 email, he urged an Arizona state senator to have the police make use of property codes and watch for clues such as “cars on blocks in the yard.”
In that same year, running for office, Kobach famously asked out loud:
Look, until a court says otherwise, I’m willing to accept that he’s a natural U.S. citizen. But I think it is a fair question: Why not just produce the long-form birth certificate?
Romney happily accepted Kobach’s endorsement in January, and said he “look[ed] forward” to working with him. And before that, Kobach had hinted at birther sentiments — he once joked, back in July of 2009, that what President Obama and God have in common is that “neither has a birth certificate,” but “God only takes 10 percent of a person’s income.”
A Kansas City Star columnist remarked in 2010:
It’s scary that someone like this could actually have control over voting rights in Kansas if he survives the Republican primary on Aug. 3 and wins the general election.
And here we are.
Before Montgomery sent in his ballot challenge withdrawal, Thursday’s hearing had Kobach saying the Board would delay a decision and request Obama’s birth documents from Hawaii, Arizona and Mississippi (!). After, the Associated Press reported on Friday:
Kobach said the board still will meet Monday to formally close the case and add whatever additional information is available to the record.
“There’s no possibility of Obama’s name coming off the ballot when there’s no objection,” Kobach said.
We’ll see later today, because Birther loons have been falling all over themselves trying to get objections in to Kansas. Who knows? Maybe Kobach saw Montgomery’s exit as a way out of a political embarrassment and was sighing in relief. The Birthers will show him different, okay.
Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq. wrote to him on Friday:
You were, hereby, put on notice of the biggest case of elections fraud in the history of this nation. If you allow Mr. Obama on the ballot, while knowing of this fraud, you will be complicit in elections fraud and treason against the United States of America and the state of Kansas and you may be named as an additional defendant in an ongoing case of Judd et al v Obama et al 12-cv-1507 Central District of CA (see attached), as well as Taitz v Sebelius 12-3251-P Northern District of TX.
If, possessing this information, you will not allow the evidence to be provided publicly during the hearing and will allow Barack Obama on the ballot with forged IDs and a stolen SSN, you personally, each and every one of you, will be liable and criminally complicit to elections fraud, forgery, uttering of forged IDs, Social Security fraud and treason. I am putting you on notice that I will be joining you as additional defendants to a legal action for fraud, elections fraud and racketeering if you allow this fraud to go on.
She’s got federal whistles to blow!
But that’s not all.
Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq., saying phffft to attorney-client confidentiality, has published to her website the emails between one “Monty Burns” (aka Joseph Montgoumery or Mountgomery Burns) and herself, wherein he commits to being her plaintiff at today’s Topeka hearing, withdrawing his withdrawal.
But Monty is askeered:
Are you sure that your e-mail account is secure? For the past 45 minutes, there has been a black van with tinted windows, antennas, and a satellite dish parked outside my house. It may just be a coincidence, but it showed up shortly after your first e-mail to me. There are a couple of men in front wearing ties. I don’t want to get paranoid now. This is America right? Have you been under surveillance at any time in the past? I haven’t done anything wrong except to exercise my lawful constitutional rights!
Monty writes that he hauled ass in his RV to a “safe house” in an undisclosed location for the weekend. He has to find a Kinko’s to send her his address and signed affidavit.
Without reservation, in an act of typical Birfoonery, Dr. Orly Taitz, Esq. writes to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office:
Dear Mr. Kobach and Mr. Kriegshauser,
Mr. Joseph Montgoumery Burns renewed his challenge and requested me to represent him, please see attach an e-mail from him which identifies his e-mail address with the attached consent and request to reinstate the complaint.
Said identifying email address:
Joseph Montgoumery, firstname.lastname@example.org
Heh. Pandering to elections terrorists will get you this, Kansas.
Here is the Fogbow observer’s report of Thursday’s hearing, thanks to slash2k:
For local color, the hearing was held in Memorial Hall, which is a grand old building (think marble and brass) housing the Sec’y of State and the Att’y General’s offices. The auditorium is a much later refit, though: sloped floor and rows of seats facing a stage. The place seats maybe 300-400, but I don’t think there were ever more than about 35 in the audience. Three tables were set up in front of (rather than on) the stage: SOS Kris Kobach and AG Derek Schmidt sat at the center table, three staffers at an adjacent table, with the third for the person testifying, and the court reporter jammed in front of the middle table. Lt Governor Jeff Colyer participated by telephone, as did a number of the witnesses.
The hearing started about 2:00 and quickly ran through the preliminaries: Kobach was elected to preside, minutes of previous meeting and agenda approved, and procedural rules adopted, specifying a five-minute time limit on testimony unless the board voted to extend it. There were four objections in total on the agenda, with In re Obama the third.
The first objection had to do with a candidate for state representative and whether he really lives in the address he claimed (complete with pictures of abandoned vehicles and affidavits from the neighbors). They spent a good 45 minutes or better on that one. Schmidt at one point asked the staff about the burden and standard of proof; they replied that Kansas law does not actually specify who bears the burden of proof in a ballot objection, but by tradition the Objections Board has placed it on the objector, and since ballot access is implicated, they use “clear and convincing evidence” as the standard. The Board decided the challenger had not met the burden, and Tom Sawyer (a Democrat) remains on the ballot.
The second case was a dispute between the national and state branches of the Reform Party. Schmidt asked the objector’s attorney, who was testifying by phone from Texas, if he was admitted in Kansas; being told he was not, Schmidt cautioned the guy, telling him (paraphrased), “do what you need to do, but you might want to testify other than as an attorney” because the Kansas Supreme Court might not approve. The guy took the hint and testified mainly about facts rather than law or argument. Kobach watched the time limits pretty carefully; both objector and objectee were stopped after five minutes so the board could vote on whether to give them an extra two minutes to finish up. Both Kobach and Schmidt had asked lots of questions on the first (Sawyer) case; only Kobach asked anything at all on this one, and Schmidt looked utterly bored.
Then the board voted to take a five- or ten-minute recess. Whilst milling around, I overheard part of an interview between Joe Montgomery, who filed the objection against Obama, and the Topeka Capital-Journal reporter. The reporter asked whether this was “the birth certificate thing”; Montgomery replied it was a lot more than that. Montgomery went on to say that if his objection was unsuccessful, he hoped that the objection against Roseanne Barr was unsuccessful as well so that she could draw votes off Obama.
By the time the hearing resumed about 3:40, there were maybe 20 people left in the audience, at least 7 or 8 of whom appeared to be press (TCJ reporter, cameramen for WIBW-13 and KSNT-27, several others with cameras and microphones). The ones who stayed, however, were a lot more interested in Obama than the previous two cases.
Montgomery started off with his statement: the case was about “upholding the rule of law.” “Natural-born citizen” means two citizen parents, and the Founders intended the president to have a “single allegiance,” meaning no dual citizenship. The 14th Amendment does not define natural-born citizen, but the Supreme Court has. Minor v Happersett is a “positive affirmation” of the requirement for two citizen parents; the Wong Kim Ark decision affirms he is a citizen, but not natural-born, and the opinion of an Indiana court [I presume he means Ankeny] cannot trump SCOTUS. Furthermore, even under Wong Kim Ark you have to be born under the jurisdiction, which means at least resident alien with permanent residence, and Obama Sr didn’t have that.
After a brief interruption (the board voted him an extra minute-and-a-half to finish up], he made his second argument, that Obama hasn’t provided “certified legal documentation” to prove anything. Montgomery then threw out a selection of allegations (Kenyan birth certificates, Barry Soetero an Indonesian citizen, no evidence that Stanley Ann was a citizen due to her “tenuous allegiance” to the US); he emphasized he wasn’t claiming these were true, merely that they’d been made and Obama need to present his evidence. The federal rules require a certified hardcopy, not just something posted on a website. Montgomery ended by asking the board, “Please uphold the rule of law.”
The Obama campaign didn’t even bother to phone in a response; apparently they’d sent a letter earlier. Kobach summarized the objection as two-pronged: 1) the definition of natural-born citizen; and 2) the birth certificate. He asked Montgomery if that summary was correct. Montgomery repeated something about Minor and said the US follows the Law of Nations, where citizenship follows the father.
Kobach quoted from Minor and said that opinion does not say that two citizen parents was the sole way of being natural-born.
Montgomery replied that there was no doubt Virginia Minor was a 14th Amendment citizen, but there is no legal basis for concluding the 14th Amendment confers natural-born status. There are THREE categories of citizens: natural-born, 14th Amendment, and naturalized, and the State Dept makes distinction in the Foreign Affairs Manual. He then said something about Luria v United States and how that relates to presidential eligibility, but I’m afraid I didn’t catch exactly what he said.
Kobach noted that traditionally citizenship has been held to be binary [natural-born or naturalized], and asked what that third category would be called. Montgomery replied they could be called “native,” so Kobach noted that Minor used “native or natural-born” as though those were equivalent.
Kobach then said “the other problem I have” is taking dicta on a case relating to a different topic as binding, and Montgomery went on about how Minor was a positive affirmation and so very clear.
Then Montgomery brought up the British Nationality Act of 1948 and how Obama had admitted on the Fight the Smears website that he had “subjectship” in a foreign country. Montgomery said Hawai’ian certification requires three things (a signature, a stamp, and a raised seal), and the Obama campaign had made no effort to provide those.
AG Schmidt asked if it was possible for the board to find ineligibility now WITHOUT finding Obama has been ineligible for four years; Montgomery said no, and “I’d like to see Obama present the legal documents to a court of law.” Wong Kim Ark had a long discussion of English common law rather than a nice quick decision, which should have been the case if it was so easy. [I'm sorry, I think I missed something here, 'cuz I didn't get his point--slash]
The AG then asked if Montgomery was asking them to consider any facts or law that differ from 2008? Montgomery said no, the facts were not established back in 2008. We had the literary agent, we had Michelle Obama saying Kenya was his home country; Obama needed to submit “positive, verifiable, certified copies” of his documentation to a court.
Lt Gov Colyer asked if the objection was sustained, would Biden still be on the ballot for VP? Montgomery didn’t know, it was up to the Democrats to decide how to proceed. He was not asking for Obama to be arrested or kicked out of office, merely that he be removed from the ballot in Kansas. Colyer asked if the Democratic electors could still vote for Obama if he was removed from the ballot; Montgomery didn’t know but didn’t see how.
Then the board members began to discuss it. Kobach opened by saying there were two questions: the legal question of the definition of natural-born and the factual question. On the legal question, “I think it’s reading too much into Minor v Happersett to say two citizen parents are required, but I’m open to persuasion.”
Schmidt asked the legal staff if the “clear and convincing” standard was still the same; they replied they’d never had the question as it related to eligibility (as opposed to residence), but they thought so because it was a ballot access question. Somebody [I didn't note who] said that Hawai’i had certified to both Arizona and Mississippi that the birth certificate information provided by Obama matches their records. Kobach said Kansas could ask for the same.
Schmidt said he would not object to further certification, but the burden was still on the objector, and he found it persuasive that Obama has been president for nearly four years. The record before the board was not sufficient to support the objection, although he was disappointed that the Obama campaign’s only response was a “perfunctory” letter.
Montgomery interjected to ask if Schmidt was familiar with de facto officials–that just because Obama was in office, there could be no presumption that he was eligible. Montgomery then asked if he understood correctly that voters have the right to vote for ineligible candidates. Schmidt replied no, but there were fairly rigorous standards to disqualify somebody because not only their rights but the rights of the voters were imperiled.
Kobach disappointed that no more robust response from Obama, and he favors asking for more documentation from Hawai’i. Montgomery asked if board seeks more factual documentation, how does that affect the natural-born citizen requirement? Kobach said no case addresses natural-born citizenship as regards presidential eligibility, and he personally does not see citizenship as other than binary (natural-born or naturalized). Then Montgomery got somewhat argumentative and there was some back-and-forth volleying about Minor and Wong Kim Ark and Luria and how they were so clear.
Kobach moved the Board reconvene on Monday, and in the meantime contact Hawai’i, Arizona, and Mississippi and attempt to obtain a certified copy. Schmidt seconded, and it passed.
At that point, it was 4:35. All of the press left, following Montgomery out into the hall. I stayed for the last case [Roseanne Barr], but I still don’t understand exactly what the argument was; it had nothing to do with Barr and everything to do with whether this group was or was not an affiliate of that other group, and which of the groups got to pick the candidates.
My overall impression was that Kobach was playing a bit to the birther faction [that one's got political ambitions far beyond Kansas], but wasn’t at all a true believer. Schmidt I thought would have been just as happy to deny the objection today, but didn’t care enough to spend much time arguing, so if others wanted more documentation, that was fine too. Colyer said almost nothing, and because he was on the speakerphone I didn’t hear much of what he did say, so I have no read on him.
Court documents courtesy of Jack Ryan’s Scribd.