“I WILL ASK THE TOUGH QUESTIONS”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 18, 2010) — Although his birthplace is in Mexico, Hector Maldonado’s heart is with the United States. He is a decorated combat Army veteran, having served in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan and attaining the rank of captain and Master Trainer.
Born on April 21, 1972, Mr. Maldonado is one of ten children and was raised on a farm in California. He became a U.S. citizen in 1995. He graduated with honors with a degree in Political Science from California State University, San Bernardino. He has worked in the field of health care and served in the New York Army National Guard, which caused him to become a first responder to the terrorist attacks in Manhattan on September 11, 2001.
Mr. Maldonado officially launched his campaign for the U.S. Senate from Missouri on March 1, 2010 by by meeting with small business owners in Kansas City. He opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, is staunchly pro-life, and quotes frequently from the writings of the Founding Fathers. His reason for running for the Senate is that “America deserves leaders that love Liberty and Freedom, not Power.” His campaign website and blog are here, and the press release announcing his Senate bid is here.
MRS. RONDEAU: I saw the video from Branson Radio Live during which you discuss the fact that the Missouri Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan, wrote you a certified letter asking for your birth certificate as proof of eligibility for you to run for the U.S. Senate. Who was the interviewer?
MR. MALDONADO: Her name is Karen Berka. I’m putting together some concerts to get my name out with Gary S. Paxton, the legendary songwriter who wrote a lot of great hits. He wrote “Monster Mash,” “America, You’re Too Young to Die,” “These Colors Don’t Run,” “Cherry Pie”…2600 songs. He gave me a CD and we did our first concert in Branson. Karen Berka is the radio host for Branson Radio Live, so during part of the concert, we did about an hour interview, and the video is a short segment of that.
MRS. RONDEAU: I only recently learned who you were after your name was all over the internet regarding the request for your birth certificate to determine your eligibility. How did it begin, and why do you think the Secretary of State’s office pursued it?
MR. MALDONADO: I didn’t know what to think of it at first, and I made a joke by saying, “I ignored it, too,” but it didn’t mean that I was trying to get away without having to prove anything. I know we are a nation of laws; I made a joke; the audience clearly knew it was a joke because they laughed, and I smiled, and I said “No.”
It all happened rather quickly. The first letter was dated April 28. Then after I made the joke, a lot of people called me and said, “Hey, people are calling you a liar, and there’s this blogger in Texas who said, “I’m an in-your-face kinda gal.” But she never called me to verify or ask me if she could see a copy of the letter. Now I have bloggers all over the country saying, “Hey, she’s calling you a liar; you have to nip it in the bud; you have to release it.” So the letter is now all over the internet. I’ll read what it says:
Our office is in the process of reviewing your qualifications for the office of U.S. Senate, as part of the candidate verification process. The qualifications for this office include being a U.S. citizen for nine years. We sometimes use voter registration records to verify qualifications;…
which is silly because when I registered to vote, I didn’t have to show I was a citizen…
however our voter registration records show you as a voter since 2008.
you’ve only been a voter since 2008…well, I’m in the military; I move around, they didn’t check the entire country.
We will need proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a copy of a birth certificate or passport…
Now this is the first letter which came out on April 28, and they gave me a deadline of two weeks, exactly, and the second letter came right after this one, which was certified. The reason I paid attention to the second one was that it was certified and it was official documentation that they did warn me.
So I said, “No problem; I’m glad they’re doing their job. But I called the other candidates on the Republican ballot, of which at the time there were 11. I called four out of the 11 and asked them if they had received a request like this, and they said, “No.” I didn’t reach all of them.
I went back to show proper documentation, not just my proof of citizenship, but also to let them know that I am a productive and patriotic member of society. I went to war for my country; I was willing to die for my country. This is what I’ve been doing and this is what my commanders say that I’ve been doing, and these are my bronze star citations, so I took all of that. But the only thing they made a copy of was my naturalization certificate which showed that I am a U.S. citizen. I asked them, “Does that become public record? because I’m running for public office, so anyone should have access to it, right?” and they said, “Yes.” So I said, “OK, so where’s the proof that our president is a “natural born Citizen?” and they didn’t have a response.
As a matter of fact, they were a little shocked that I asked, and when I asked them how it was that I was flagged, I said, “I know that Ms. Carnahan, the Secretary of State, is a Democrat. How is it that the Democrat Party is against racial profiling, but I asked some of the other candidates on the Republican ballot if they were asked for citizenship documentation, and they weren’t.” Now I didn’t ask about candidates for any other federal office, just the people I came across at rallies and other events. But I was the only one. Recently, another gentleman by the name of Joe Montelero, with whom I just spoke yesterday, is running for the Constitution Party, and he asked the same thing I did, which is great. I’m glad that they asked someone else, too. My question is, “Why are they asking?”
I haven’t done any research to see if they asked Ms. Carnahan, who is running against two other opponents in the primary on the Democrat ballot , although it would be interesting to find out if they got a letter asking them to show proof of citizenship. I don’t know; I haven’t investigated that. But I’m glad that they asked me; they’re supposed to, and it means they’re doing their job. The question here is, “Is there a double standard? Don’t we all live under the same law?” I’m glad that they asked me. I’m proud to have been given the blessing to become a U.S. citizen. I was not born in this country, but I was given an opportunity to live the American dream, and that’s why I went into the military, because I wanted to pay America back. I wanted to protect America and preserve the very liberty and freedom that she gave me in 1995. That’s why I went into the military. So I’m glad that they asked, and I was proud to show that I’m a U.S. citizen. I never hyphenated my name; never said I’m “Mexican-American;” I’ve said, “I am an American.” When I took my oath, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution and rescind any prior loyalty to my country of origin. That was the oath that I took when I became a U.S. citizen, and that is the oath that I’ve kept ever since.
MRS. RONDEAU: You obviously took it very seriously. You were a first responder on 9/11; you have a very impressive background and are a model U.S. citizen even though you were born in another country.
MR. MALDONADO: Thank you.
MRS. RONDEAU: I wonder why the Secretary of State’s office was “shocked” when you asked if Mr. Obama ever had to show anything to prove his citizenship when he had to meet the higher standard of “natural born Citizen.” Vattel, a Swiss philosopher whose writings were relied upon heavily by the Framers, described the term as “born in the country to parents who are its citizens.” Some say that it takes only birth in the country to be considered “natural born.” What is your interpretation of that phrase of the Constitution?
MR. MALDONADO: Because the Founding Fathers put a provision for Congress to authorize a standing militia and a standing Navy, they knew that a Navy and a militia would be deployed or would have posts outside of the United States. It’s very clear to me; I think only a constitutionally-trained lawyer can create a loophole which can benefit someone. The interpretation is that a “natural born U.S. Citizen” is someone perhaps born abroad of two parents who are already citizens, whether they’re in military service or working for the State Department. We had ambassadors, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, who served time abroad. If they had been younger and had had children abroad, they would have wanted their children to be natural born Citizens. So both parents must be U.S. citizens. If you have one parent who is not a U.S. citizen and has allegiance to or is ruled by a different country, then clearly, the child is not a “natural born Citizen.”
The easiest way to explain it to people, because a lot of people have asked me, is to explain that when I took an oath, I was required to give up all previous loyalty and allegiance to my country of origin. American citizenship means that you’re loyal to one country, and that’s America. Now we have a lot of Americans who declare dual citizenship because they’re born here, but anyone who comes and is naturalized is supposed to give up any prior citizenship. So if you have the example of Obama, who was born abroad to one American citizen and one parent subject to the British crown, what gives the United States the right to take away the claim of the British over Barack Obama? They both have equal share. If he’s a dual citizen, America does not recognize dual citizenship status; therefore, he’s a subject of Great Britain and has British citizenship.
MRS. RONDEAU: What makes you say Obama was “born abroad”?
MR. MALDONADO: It’s not for me to judge, but there are certainly a lot of holes in the story. This is all I know: I know for a fact that a truth is a truth, and as John Adams said, “Facts are stubborn things.” They never change; no matter how much you try to manipulate them, they never change. Obama’s story has more than one rendition of what he is saying the truth is, and Michelle Obama has actually stated that his “home country” is Kenya. These are all questions that I have. I’m not going to make a judgment, but I have a lot of questions. My biggest question is that he has spent almost $2,000,000 to seal his records: why? He volunteered to be president, and as such, he should have had to open his records so that anyone had access to proof that he was eligible for the office he was seeking, as I did. He volunteered to serve, and as such, your life is open. There’s nothing that you can keep secret. My question is, “Why the secrecy? What are you hiding?” And that’s it. That’s the question that I plan on asking when I get elected to the U.S. Senate. We can’t let it go because we, the people of the United States of America, need to know the truth and nothing but the truth from all of our elected officials, including the President of the United States.
MRS. RONDEAU: That leads me to my next question: When you are elected, what action, if any, will you or can you take to force the truth about Obama to come out?
MR. MALDONADO: Absolutely. I’ve already started on two bills that I will spearhead and work with a coalition of newly-elected, like-minded concerned citizens who have never run for office but want the truth. I will push the bills immediately to gather support for passage. The first one is called “The American Freedom of Information Act” and would be retroactive to the birth of America on July 4, 1776. It would stipulate that anyone seeking federal public office is bound to open all records so that the public will know who they are, where they stand, and where they come from. So that’s the first one.
The second bill is going to be called “The George Washington Term Limit Act,” which will set term limits, for which George Washington actually set the example. He had two terms, eight years, in the presidency, and everyone respected that. That tradition was then honored; those who sought the presidency would hold office for no more than eight years. It wasn’t broken until FDR did so during World War II. You can argue why, but still, we’re at war now, and we still had a peaceful transition of power for the chief executive. So there’s no excuse why we couldn’t have done it then.
Those two bills are something that I am offering America, and I will do everything in my power to build a coalition of like-minded people to help me pass them. The second bill will have an additional requirement which not only will set term limits, but also contain the provision that after a congressman, president or vice president leaves federal office, he or she cannot become a lobbyist for five years after they separate from Capitol Hill. This would force them to represent the people and not the lobbyists on Capitol Hill waiting for them to leave so that they can use them and their network to pass legislation in favor of big companies and big interests.
MRS. RONDEAU: Is that something that you hear a lot about from your prospective constituents, that big businesses influence the Congress more than the people themselves?
MR. MALDONADO: Absolutely. I think that’s a valid concern. It’s almost common sense. You can ask almost anyone, even a high school student or somebody who never went to college: “Between you and a large corporation, who has the bigger voice in this country?” Of course, they’re going to say “the large corporation” because they have all the money, and money is power. Do you know what percentage of Americans is millionaires?
MRS. RONDEAU: I think it’s between 1% and 2%.
MR. MALDONADO: It’s less than 2%. Do you know how many millionaires there are in Congress?
MRS. RONDEAU: No.
MR. MALDONADO: It’s almost 50%.
MRS. RONDEAU: Really?
MR. MALDONADO: They don’t go in rich, but they get rich, and that should be a crime; it should be illegal for them to benefit from their position. In the military, they instill that in every single leader: you do not use your rank to benefit yourself. Yet we have Congress, and former presidents – look how much money Bill Clinton has made after leaving the presidency – that has to stop, and the only way to stop it is to keep them from becoming lobbyists. I’m sure there are other measures that could be taken, but that’s what I’ve come up with so far.
MRS. RONDEAU: What is the single most important thing you learned during your military career?’
MR. MALDONADO: Everyone in the military is guided by a leadership philosophy. When you go to a new unit, a commander is going to ask you, “What is your leadership philosophy?” or subordinates are going to ask you, “Sir, what is your leadership philosophy? We need to know.” We need to know that of every elected official as well: what motivates them, what guides their decision-making process. That is the biggest thing that I got from the military, although it really came from my mom. Everything that I am is because of my mom: the values, the treatment, the ethics which my dad and my mom instilled in me, and the military only reinforced that. I’m glad that the military has the same values as my parents did, and it’s all the same values that were instilled in our founding by the independent, hardworking people who created this great nation. It is “Lead by example; be a self-sufficient servant; take care of yourself first, and then help others who are in need.”
I am Catholic, and I believe in charity, but God only helps those who want to help themselves. We cannot afford to pay for other people who do not want to help themselves. So the military reinforced my upbringing. I have a phrase that I adopted from the first unit with which I served abroad in a combat zone, and that was with the second of the 22nd Infantry, Tenth Mountain Division. Their motto is “Deeds, not Words,” and I use that to this day. I served with that unit in 1996-97 and went to Bosnia, and it was “Deeds, not Words.” And I kept that as a cornerstone of everything that I do. “Lead by example.”
I could say a lot, but I tell people, “I’m only human.” We were created not to trust human nature. You never trust government. I love my country, but I do not trust my government. That is in our founding. So I tell people, “Listen to what I say, but more important, judge me by my actions, what I’ve done in the past.” That’s why I’m an open record, and that’s why I put my whole bio in the military, my phone number, email address, so that people can call me directly. We need to judge people by what they’ve done for their country and for others, not for themselves. We don’t know what Obama has done for his country; we really don’t, and he has sealed his records, so as a human being, knowing that humans are flawed and I don’t trust them, why is he hiding his records? What has he done that he doesn’t want anyone else to know?
MRS. RONDEAU: It’s very interesting that you circled back to that, because I wanted to ask you another question about Obama. If it’s found that he did not meet the definition of “natural born Citizen,” how would that affect everything that he has signed and done up until that time?
MR. MALDONADO: There are a lot of ramifications. First of all, if he does open his records and it is found that he is not a “natural born Citizen” in accordance with the Constitution, it means he committed high crimes and possibly treason, which is punishable under the Constitution. The “proof” that Obama has shown is a Certification of Live Birth. Anyone can get a Certification of Live Birth. The question is, where is the actual long form which would show all of the rest of the information such as that which John McCain submitted? McCain was born in Panama, and when he ran for president the first time, it was the Democrats who demanded this. Now we’re just demanding the same thing that they did.
If Obama is found not to be qualified as a natural born Citizen, here are the ramifications: Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden’s names are on the certification letter, of which I have a copy, the state Democrat party letter of certification and the national DNC certification letter which does not have actual proof attached. It’s just one letter from his own party which states that he meets the qualifications. I also have the long-form birth certificate from John McCain which is attached to the letter of certification he received from John Boehner that was submitted, so that qualified as documentation.
The Certification of Live Birth lacks a lot of the information that the president is supposed to turn in. If he is found to be in violation and unqualified for the office, everything he has done is null and void. It would reverse every executive order, every appointment, every treaty, anything that he has done in the last year and a half. Further and beyond that, immediate removal would be warranted. He would have violated Article 4 of the Constitution, which states that if you previously swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, which he did; he was a U.S. Senator and he took that oath. Amendment 14 also says that if you knowingly cause an insurrection or rebelled against the Constitution, you are not qualified to hold the office which you seek, which is where he is now. This is all unconstitutional, which means he’s not qualified for the office and calls for immediate removal. There should be no impeachment proceedings; it should be automatic; the Supreme Court should enforce that.
As the certifying official, unless Nancy Pelosi can produce the long-form birth certificate that shows that he was born in Hawaii and other documentation, as John McCain produced, then she is also guilty of covering up. Whether she knew it or not or whether she just accepted it, I will hold her accountable for duping the American public and not doing her due diligence and looking and asking him for the long-form birth certificate. This would also mean that Joe Biden is unqualified to take over and Nancy Pelosi, being third in line, would not be qualified. So there would have to be a new election because Obama chose Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State, and that would also be a null and void appointment. So we’d have to have an immediate special election for president and a whole new administration. The ramifications are huge. This is bigger than any issue that America has ever faced.
MRS. RONDEAU: Why do you think no one in the present Congress has called for Obama to show his qualifications?
MR. MALDONADO: I don’t know. I’m not there, so I can’t make that judgment call. I have never met any of them. I’d love to be there so that I can start asking all of these questions. I can only go on what I presume, and I hate to make decisions or opinions on things that can only be presumed, but I will be the person to ask those tough questions. I’ve done it over my entire military career. I’ve challenged decisions and policies and orders from superior officers in the military. I have a track record to standing up in a professional way. I’ve never been reprimanded, but there’s a channel in the military (it’s called an open-door policy) to seek some debate of the orders that are given from superior officers. I’ve done that in the military, and I expect to do the same thing in the U.S. Senate: to start asking those questions of the rest of Congress, and I will fight really hard.
My candidacy is not because I want to get into politics. It is of the occasion rather than the desire to be here that I’m here. But I want to represent America. I was not born into this country; she afforded me the opportunity to live the American Dream and the American way of life. I volunteered on three different occasions. I didn’t have to go to war for America; I volunteered because America was at war, and she needed people to fight for her, to preserve her for the next generation. That’s what I’m doing now because I took the oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and I realize that the real threat is not a foreign threat; it’s a domestic threat.
Obama has divided us more than any other person in the history of our existence. He promised to unify America, but he has only divided us, and it’s because there are too many back-room deals in the legislation that he’s passed; there’s too much secrecy about the money that he’s spent to seal his records. My only question, like a three-year-old – my little babies ask me all the time; they say, “Why? Why?” – is why I want to go there and say, “Why are you not standing up, Mr. Congressman or Mr. Senator? Obama, why have you sealed your records?” I was required to show proof, and I did it. I’m from the “Show-Me State,” and I showed them. I expect them to do the same because no one is above the law.
MRS. RONDEAU: You certainly don’t seem afraid to bring up the eligibility issue in Congress.
MR. MALDONADO: I’m not. I’ve faced worse fears. Many days, time was not on my side. Many days, I travel alone; a lot of times I have volunteers. I need volunteers. But I know I’m right: in my heart in my mind, I know I’m right. Thomas Jefferson said, “One person with courage is a majority.” I am confident that people will rally behind me. People have already rallied behind me; I’ve gotten countless letters, emails, phone calls – people call me directly and they can’t believe that it’s me answering the phone – because I need the support of America to get me there. I am unknown, but I am a somebody; I’ve done a lot for America, and I was willing to die for my country for the blessings of liberty and freedom that she gave me. I want to preserve that for my children and the next generation.
If America falls, where do we go? There’s nowhere to escape. If we lose the American way of life, which we hardly talk about any more. We talk about “social justice, equality,” but that’s all communism, socialism, Marxism. What happened to the American way of life: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? That’s what I want to preserve to honor the 1,900,661 Americans as of May of this year who have sacrificed their lives to preserve freedom. I want to honor them because I don’t want what they sacrificed to be in vain. If America falls and if our Constitution is shredded, there is nowhere to escape.
Obama has already given up on America; he came out and made a statement that he has given up on America being a producer for the world. Well, Mr. Obama, I have not given up on America. America has blessed me; I couldn’t imagine not having been given citizenship. I wonder what my life would have been like. I have not given up on America, and everyone who has reached out to me, the countless calls and emails, I’m getting regular mail, too – donations and people just reaching out to me and saying, “You’re the hope we can believe in. Thank you for standing up,” I’m overwhelmed with the support that I’ve gotten. A lot people run for office and say, “I’ve been endorsed by this person or this group; I’ve been endorsed by a senator…” Well, I don’t have those endorsements, but just in the last week or so, I feel as if I’m endorsed by the average liberty-loving, freedom-fighting American out there, and if I can get my message out, I know more will come, and that’s all that I need to get my message out and to stand for the truth and demand answers from our elected officials.
MRS. RONDEAU: Have you filed the discrimination lawsuit that you mentioned after being asked to show proof of eligibility?
MR. MALDONADO: As I said earlier, I did my due diligence. I stand against frivolous lawsuits because lawsuits are part of the reason why we are where we are in this financial crisis. I’m not a lawyer, but I’m a pretty good student; I had pretty good grades in college; I can think for myself and I can look at different things and decide what the best course of action is. I’ve done that in the military as well: evaluate situations and come up with different courses of action to find out which is going to guarantee the best results. And I’ve done that so far. There are state statutes; there are protocols within our law, because no one is above the law and we are a nation of laws according to the Constitution. So I am going forward in accordance with the Missouri statutes and federal laws to follow the proper procedures, and the first one is to submit a concern or an issue of discrimination, because I’ve been discriminated against, and they’re not holding everyone to the same statute in accordance with the Constitution. Then we’ll go from there.
Right now, my priority is my campaign, which is going extremely well. The primary is on August 3, and that’s where I’m focusing. I was a little distracted with everything that’s happened in the last ten days, but I’m on track; I have Gary S. Paxton who has blessed me with a great CD to help me raise some money, and we have some concerts we are planning. I could submit a lawsuit, but I don’t want to make that an issue. I want to get elected to the United States Senate because that would give me a greater advantage to demand the truth, and it gives me a better audience and a better stage to demand the truth of the rest of my elected officials. I was held to a certain standard; I expect them to be held to the same standard. The only way to do that is for me to get in there and to push for this legislation, The Benjamin Franklin Freedom of Information Act and The George Washington Term Limit Act, which will secure and re-establish our Constitution for our current leaders and future leaders so that this does not happen again.
MRS. RONDEAU: If Obama is proven ineligible and removed along with all of his appointments, including Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, if she is confirmed, do you believe that is something which America can survive?
MR. MALDONADO: Absolutely. We have to. There’s no other way. We cannot, for the sake of wondering whether or not we can survive it, continue to let it go, because if indeed it comes out that we’ve been duped, and we find out the truth, we can’t go on living the lie. We have to fix it. And I am confident that we can survive it. It’s going to cause a lot of issues and a lot of problems, but if we don’t enforce our laws and the provisions of the Constitution, what’s the point of having elections? Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution guarantees a right to a “republican form of government,” and that’s something that Obama never talks about. He talks about a democracy. He has a majority, but you know what? If you’re not legitimate, in accordance with Article IV, Section 4, that is not a form of republican government; therefore, the majority that you have to pass legislation doesn’t matter because you’re not listening to the people. George Washington said that the people are “the purest source and original fountain of all power.”
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think most Americans, or most Missourians at this point, understand what we’re looking at right now?
MR. MALDONADO: No, I don’t think so, because I think most Americans are too preoccupied with all the liberties and freedoms that this country gives them. I know that if they took the opportunity to inquire as to the seriousness of what’s going on, they would be concerned. But most people have tuned out. People have been tuned out since the ’60s, and unless the average American citizen gets involved, unless the average liberty-loving, freedom-fighting American gets involved and demands the truth, that is the danger that we face. If we continue with the apathy, then America has no hope.
America deserves better. She needs citizens and leaders that love liberty and freedom and not power. So that’s why I’m here.
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you have a good feeling about the primary on August 3?
MR. MALDONDADO: Oh, absolutely. I left the military in February and started my campaign in March. I knew time was not on my side. But people all over this great state and now all over the country are just pouring out in support and with calls of encouragement, and I can’t explain how I feel and how proud I am of the people who are reaching out to me. I know I’m going to win; it’s in my heart, it’s in my mind, and I can’t shake it loose. I know I’m going to win, but it’s going to be a hard two weeks. We have a lot planned, but I know I’m going to win. I just need to get my message out to all the people who are going to vote on August 3, and I know I will be a victor, and I know that God is with me.