- Law Cases
February 13, 2012
Statement to Elections committee March 2011.
Thank you for including me as part of this discussion on Missouri HB 283.
Buenos Diaz. My Name is Hector Manuel Maldonado and like many Americans life has left me far from my original roots. My journey started as a small boy, born in Mexico, brought to the United States by my father. As a migrant worker participating in the guest worker program from 1952 through the late 1960’s, my father was granted the opportunity to sponsor his wife and family. Like many immigrants of their time, my parents conveyed the importance of learning English as a stepping stone toward a better life. To my parents’ credit, I can proudly come before you today and say, we are living our lives and the American Dream in the United States as proud, naturalized American citizens.
As a student at California State University San Bernardino I joined the ROTC program. I soon found out that I had to be an American citizen to receive a commission through the ROTC program. Upon review, my ROTC director allowed me to stay in the program with the understanding that I would be able to be given a commission only if I graduated from the course as an American citizen. On August 14, 1995, with the help of COL. James Holmes and a couple higher-ranking officers in my chain of command, I had the honor of becoming an American citizen. The following year I graduated from Cal-State San Bernardino and from the Claremont Colleges’ ROTC Army Program. And though I had done everything required of me to graduate from college and receive my commission at a state level, the 4th Regional ROTC Command required that I verify that I was indeed a U.S. Citizen. Once again I proudly provided them with my Naturalization Certificate. Upon doing so, I was commissioned as an Officer in the United States Army. Fifteen years later, and after three decorated combat tours in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and after commanding a unit of 9-11 First Responders at the World Trade Center in New York City, I found myself, as a 2010 candidate for U.S. Senate for the great state of Missouri, being asked once again to show proof of U.S. citizenship.
Out of a total of 18 candidates, I was the only one on the Republican Ballot and asked by the Secretary of State to show proof of citizenship. Later I found out that Constitution Party Candidate, Joe Montellaro was also asked to show Proof of Citizenship but not all candidates. Initially I felt that Joe and I had been singled out. I asked the Secretary of State’s Office what caused my application to be red-flagged. I was told that it was because I had a two year voting history in the state of Missouri. That did not make sense to me, using criteria that only required a utility bill and no photo ID to raise suspicion of one’s citizenship. It made less sense when I found out that Joe Martellero had an eight year Missouri voting record. Since no other candidate’s application was red-flagged, could it stand to reason that the only way that a candidate’s citizenship could come under scrutiny in Missouri was by the length of their voting record? After researching this matter, I have come to the following conclusions:
1) Regardless of the person holding the office of Secretary of State, current Missouri statutes are too lenient and subject to broad interpretation for that person to verify any candidate’s validity to run for office. Such ambiguity can leave and has left the public wondering if a decision to question one candidate’s citizenship and not another’s was made with a personal, political, or racial bias. The biggest current example of public doubt caused by such ambiguity would be the computerized Certification of Live Birth of President Obama presented on the internet and accepted by the Secretary of State thru the Democratic National Committee as proof of his citizenship in 2008. Citizens of Missouri would only have to go down to their local DMV office to see a sign posted that says a certification of live birth is not acceptable as a proof of identity. Should not what applies to the citizens of Missouri be applicable to their President?
2) Missouri’s failure to take heed on report studies of document fraud, such as the 2000 Office of the Inspector General Report on Document Fraud, has not only left us with an incomplete method of vetting our political candidates but left our state susceptible to entitlement and I.D. fraud. This is no longer our fathers’ America, where 99 % of the population looked upon citizenship as an honor to be earned, not as an entitlement to be stolen on the presentation of false documents by law breakers and their sympathizers. To the tune of millions of dollars, Missouri loses revenue due to document fraud every year.
In closing, as the 2000 Office of the Inspector General Report on Document Fraud has pointed out 10 years ago, misuse of vital and personal documents are rampant and each year with better technology the battle against document fraud grows. The report’s recommendation to use several documents as to oppose just one for verification would be one good way to combat document fraud or misuse. Requiring the most information available from a document such as requiring a long form birth certificate over computer generated short form birth certificate is another way to combat misuse, insure proper identification and validate citizen status. Both recommendations are still valid today.
The time has come for Missouri and the nation as a whole to step up and improve its method of vetting its political candidates and entitlement recipients. In a time where virtually every state and Federal legislature is anguishing over cuts that need to be made to balance their budgets, it would be negligent not to improve and standardize identification requirements. With all the reported fraud in the entitlement programs alone, it could be compared to money lying on the ground. All we have to do is pick it up.
Thank you for your time
Hector M. Maldonado
The Post & Email had interviewed Mr. Maldonado in July 2010 when he was a candidate for the U.S. Senate from the state of Missouri. In April of that year, he was asked to provide “proof of U.S. citizenship,” citing the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that a senatorial candidate have been a U.S. citizen for nine years.
In regard to challenges to the candidacy of Barack Hussein Obama, the New Hampshire Secretary of State said that it is not their job to vet presidential candidates, even though his office had done so in the past. On January 26, 2012, the state of Georgia held an administrative hearing which was attended by neither Obama nor his attorney, after which Obama was declared eligible solely by an alleged birth in the U.S. without any documentary proof. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp took Judge Michael Malihi’s recommendation and will place Obama’s name on the ballot for 2012.
Ballot challenge hearings to Obama’s eligibility in Illinois have not allowed the objectors to speak and have maintained that the “birth certificate” provided by Obama’s attorneys was sufficient proof of his meeting the “natural born Citizen” requirement of Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution. At issue is whether or not a foreign-citizen father would preclude a person from presidential eligibility, a question which has also been raised about Sen. Marco Rubio, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, as final determination regarding their respective fathers’ citizenship at the time of their births might not have been made.
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, Article II, ballot challenges, Barack Hussein Obama, Brian Kemp, Claremont College, Declaration of Independence, DMV, document fraud, Georgia Secretary of State, Gov. Bobby Jindal, HB 283, Hector Maldonado, Illinois ballot challenge, Judge Michael Malihi, Kansas City, Mexico, Missouri, Missouri legislature, Missouri Secretary of State, Mitt Romney, natural born citizen, naturalized citizen, New Hampshire, New Hampshire Secretary of State, Obama ballot challenges, Presidential eligibility, proof of eligibility, Rick Santorum, ROTC, San Bernardino, Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Army, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Senate