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AS CITIZEN INVESTIGATORS CLOSE IN ON EVIDENCE SHOWING SECRET DEALINGS TO SUPPORT UNSUBSTANTIATED OBAMA CLAIMS
by Sharon Rondeau
(Feb. 20, 2010) — The Honolulu Advertiser is reporting that the Hawaii Department of Health continues to receive between 40 and 50 requests each month for Obama’s birth certificate in light of the many questions surrounding his birth, parentage and background. The state’s Uniform Information Practices Act reads, “Government agencies exist to aid the people in the formation and conduct of public policy. Opening up the government processes to public scrutiny and participation is the only viable and reasonable method of protecting the public’s interest.”
However, birth certificates are protected as confidential by the statute unless the requester can prove that he or she meets specific criteria.
The newspaper says that due to a “shrinking staff,” the Health Department is not always able to respond to requests within the ten days mandated by the statute.
Because of the questions which have arisen over Obama’s documentation of a Hawaiian birth, Hawaii state senator Will Espero (D-20) has introduced two proposals with the purpose of avoiding such a situation in the future.
The first proposed change is to the privacy provision governing birth certificates, thereby providing access to birth certificates by the public with certain restrictions. The second proposal is to alter the statute to allow the Health Department to refuse the requests of those deemed to be making “vexatious” requests.
Bill to Allow Viewing of Birth Certificates
The proposal which would loosen the restrictions on the release of birth certificates introduces the following changes to the current statute, SB2056 (proposed changes are in italics here):
The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, other than birth certificates, or issue a certified copy of any such records or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record.
The remaining wording of the existing statute would be unchanged, except on page 5, the following would be added, extending the statute to seven pages:
(h) The department of health shall permit any person to inspect a birth certificate if the person complies with the following requirements:
(1) The person shall submit an application containing the applicant’s name, address, and the last four digits of the applicant’s social security number;
(2) The person shall provide two forms of valid government-issued photo identification, a photocopy of which shall be kept by the department;
(3) The person shall pay to the department a non-refundable application fee of $50 for each birth certificate to be inspected;
(4) Inspection of the birth certificate shall take place at a department facility in a secured room, provided that the department may conduct camera surveillance during the inspection;
(5) Inspection of the birth certificate shall take place in the presence of and under the direct supervision of a person employed by the department;
(6) No photographs or copies of the birth certificate shall be allowed;
(7) Inspection shall take place within a maximum time limit of fifteen minutes; and
(8) Any material contained in the birth certificate that is determined by the department to be sensitive or confidential shall be redacted and shall not be available for public inspection.”
On the special page at the Hawaii Department of Health website established to answer questions about Obama’s birth records, there are links to the state statute governing the release of vital records. A section of the law, Haw. Rev. Stat. §338-18(d), reads: “Index data consisting of name and sex of the registrant, type of vital event, and such other data as the director may authorize shall be made available to the public.”
The only “index data” which the Hawaii Department of Health has released on Obama is:
Obama II, Barack Hussein
It also states in regard to Obama: ” The director, in accordance with HRS §338-18(d), has not authorized any other data to be made available to the public.”
Last August, WorldNetDaily reported that Sen. Espero had announced plans to introduce a records transparency bill. At the time, Espero is reported to have said, “As far as I am concerned, records regarding whether a person was born here or not should be in the public domain.” His proposed changes to the existing statute seem to contradict that statement, as the limitations he proposes listed above would not place any birth certificate in the “public domain.” The Honolulu Advertiser reported that regarding the many inquiries about Obama’s birth in Hawaii, Espero said, “I believe he’s born here. Most of Hawai’i believes he’s born here and it’s not an issue here as it is with these Mainland birthers.”
Janice Okubo, Public Information Officer of the Hawaii Health Department, stated, “I’m getting 40 to 50 requests every month for President Obama’s birth certificate, all of them from the Mainland — Arizona, South Carolina, Florida,” Okubo said. “None are from Hawai’i.”
But to Impose Onerous Burdens on Citizens
Espero’s second proposal, an amendment to SB2937, has been cosponsored by two other state senators. The proposed changes describe a “vexatious requester” as one who “has established a pattern of conduct that amounts to an abuse of a process set forth under this chapter.” Some of the descriptors of a person which could lead to the suspension of “a vexatious requester’s exercise of the rights set forth in this chapter” are:
(1) The large quantity or broad scope of requests by the person;
(2) Splitting requests to avoid or minimize fees;
(3) Duplicative or repetitive requests made for the same action, where the agency has already responded to the request;
The entire text of the proposed changes can be found here.
The Post & Email is poised to send out 9,000 petitions to Hawaiian officials to release Obama’s vital records in keeping with the state’s UIPA law, given the Dr. Chiyome Fukino, Director of the Hawaii Department of Health, made a public statement regarding Obama’s birth and citizenship which has not been substantiated by any other Hawaiian or governmental official nor by Obama himself.
You can sign the petition here.
Part of the idea for the viewing of the birth certificate seems to be taken from the suggestions in the Hawaii petition promoted by The Post & Email — that is the public viewing!
In response to this news, the Editor of The Post & Email, John Charlton, has issued this statement: “There is no point in showing a redacted copy or charging a fee, or preventing copies from being made, since the whole point of transparency in government is to make a public showing of the document. After all, Obama’s vital records are not a state secret, are they?”