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by Sharon Rondeau

New York was the eleventh state to join the Union following the Revolutionary War

(Feb. 6, 2011) — A reader of The Post & Email from upstate New York contacted his state senator regarding the introduction of an eligibility bill for presidential candidates:

I am asking you to do something very courageous, namely to put forth a bill in the legislature that compels or mandates the NYS Secretary of State or the NYS Board of Elections to obtain from all candidates before they are placed on the 2012 NYS ballot for President of the U.S. an original copy of their long form birth certificate proving that they were born in the U.S. and identifying their parents and their citizenship and that such evidence be easily and publicly available for review by any citizen. The U.S. Constitution mandates as a qualification for the office of President that that person be a “natural born” citizen. As you can tell from my letter, I do not believe the current occupant of the Presidency meets that standard.

Since I believe you to be an honorable man who’s intent is to represent to the best of his ability the people of his district,state and nation,I ask you to do something for me as a constituent, fellow New Yorker and American. What I ask is for you to do your duty and let the chips fall where they may.

Bruce W. Steele

And the state senator’s reply was:

Dear Mr. Steele,

Thank you for contacting my office regarding candidate requirements to run for the office of President of the United States. To ensure that requirements are uniform throughout all states the compliance of federal election laws is overseen by the Federal Election Commission, which was established by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. Therefore I encourage you to contact your federal representatives in Washington DC with this matter.

Again, thank you for writing and I hope the above information is useful.  Please do not hesitate to contact my office again on this or any other matter.


David J. Valesky
State Senator

Perhaps Sen. Valesky is not familiar with those states, some of which are in close proximity to his, which are in the process of reviewing proposed legislation which, if passed, would require documentation from presidential and vice presidential candidates that they meet the constitutional requirements to be placed on the ballot.

In particular, the state of Arizona, which came close to passing an eligibility bill last session, appears likely to pass the legislation this year.

Senator Valesky’s neighboring state of Connecticut has an eligibility proposal which has been introduced by State Senator Michael MacLachlan.  Another Northeast state, Maine, has an eligibility bill which would require all candidates for public office to show a certified copy of their original birth certificate as well as other proof to the secretary of state before having their names placed on the ballot.  The state of Pennsylvania might also see such a proposal from Republican State Senator Daryl Metcalf, who had previously introduced a bill prior to the 2008 presidential election.

Since Obama’s occupation of the White House, the Tenth Amendment, described by Thomas Jefferson as “the foundation of the Constitution,” has been recognized by more than half the state  legislatures as evidenced by their introduction or passage of a state sovereignty bill or resolution.

According to one author, “political decentralization is gaining steam in all parts of the country.”  Another writer stated that the concept of state sovereignty has been attacked by the media since state governors and judges have begun to question and decide, respectively, the constitutionality of the health care bill passed last year.

Several months ago, a guest author for The Post & Email presented a scholarly analysis of the topic stated that beginning in colonial times, “A State was a sovereign political entity, not simply a territory of a government.”

Does the answer to whether or not Barack Hussein Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve lie in our state-level public servants?  How many citizens have contacted their state representatives as well as those in the United States Congress?

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  1. A “Natural Born Citizen” of the U.S. is one born IN the U.S. to parents who are both U.S. Citizens themselves”- Minor v Happersett, USSCt. (1874).

  2. Inform them of the last two lines of SR511-where “natural born citizen” is essentially defined as being “born to American citizens”. Inform them that Obama admits to having a Kenyan father. Inform them that there was an inquisition into McCains eligibility in 08 at which time he produced his birth certificate. Inform them that Obama must step down-the people demand it-We demand a legal government! Starting with Constitutional Eligibility.

  3. This is a copy of the actual response I made to Senator Valesky’s answer to my original request. Have not heard from him since.

    RE: [NYsenate.gov Contact] Presidential Qualifications‏

    Reply ▼

    Bruce Steele

    To valesky@nysenate.gov
    From: Bruce Steele (vesper_steeles@msn.com)
    Sent: Wed 2/02/11 5:12 PM
    To: valesky@nysenate.gov
    I guess I expected to much from you. From all of my research and from the attached snippet from the website ( http://www.colony14.net/id482.html), rules for getting on the ballot even for federal offices are regulated and administered by each individual state. The Federal Election Commission and the law of 1971 that you reference speak mainly to raising money for federal elections and are silent as regards Presidential candidate qualifications. New York, like many other states which are considering such legislation can demand proof of a candidates qualifications to be placed on a ballot. I believe that as a public servant you owe you constituents an effort to have honest and fair elections and as part of that candidates who meet the standards set for such elections. Please contact the NYS Secretary Of State regarding what can be legally done to make sure our elections have candidates who are legally qualified for the office that they seek.

    In Arizona, State Representative Judy Burges introduces legislation requiring presidential candidates to prove their eligibility before their name will be placed on the state’s ballot. The bill purportedly has enough support to pass in the state senate, and it already has 25 co-sponsors in the House. The legislation states, “Within ten days after submittal of the names of the candidates, the national political party committee shall submit an affidavit of the presidential candidate in which the presidential candidate states the candidate’s citizenship and age and shall append to the affidavit documents that prove that the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate’s age and prove that the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in article II, section 1, Constitution of the United States.” The bill also requires submission of “an original long form birth certificate that includes the date and place of birth, the names of the hospital and the attending physician and signatures of the witnesses in attendance,” and sworn testimony that the candidate “has not held dual or multiple citizenship and that the candidate’s allegiance is solely to the United States of America.” Should the legislation pass and be signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Obama will be forced to either provide proof that he is a natural born citizen or attempt to capture 270 electoral votes without Arizona. (Although Obama can certainly win reelection without winning Arizona, which he lost to Senator John McCain in 2008, choosing not to provide the requested long form birth certificate will cause millions of Americans to wonder what he is hiding.) Ten states are working on or considering legislation requiring candidates to prove they are eligible to serve as president before their names will be placed on the ballot. Those 10 states represent a total of 107 of the 535 Electoral College votes. According to WND.com, Georgia’s proposal (HB37) demands submission of the original long form birth certificate and also gives citizens standing to challenge the documents in court. [17099, 17102, 17130]

    Bruce W. Steele

  4. It should also be mandated that every candidate for POTUS undergo an FBI/CIA/NSA background investigation to POTUS/CIC national security clearance level. Given all the radical communists, socialists and Marxists who Obama/Soetoro associated with there’s no way in hell he would have passed such an investigation…unless of course he was/is an FBI/CIA/NSA undercover agent.

    1. Who knew bring elected president allowed skipping all the background checks and proceeding directly to the highest security level, even with a totally obvious past that would have prevented any sort of security clearance from being issued using normal channels?

      Seems a bit wrong doesn’t it?

  5. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess State Sen Valesky is a Democrat.
    In my district a Dem senator just retired and was replaced with another. Neither one has ever come across a spending bill they didn’t like. Thus far neither has ever lifted a hand in defense of constituents if it involved standing up against Dem talking points.
    If the GOP hasn’t learned anything since they were last turned out of office and don’t turn around their purely political anti constitutional ways, we need to start voting either Libertarian or form a true Tea Party.

  6. It is true the FEC does not verify candidates for the ballot, so this Senator or whomever actually responded is either knowingly misleading, or has been completel misinformed. I would encourage the original writer to write back, and say that the FEC has responded to others that they do not have the role of verification, and ask the Senator himself to contact the FEC and find out if indeed they do as he claims they do, and let the writer know what the FEC responds. There is so much deliberate confusion and misinformation, this Senator may be fooled like many others. I hope the original writer keeps up the correspondence and asks the Senator to back up his claims.

    1. Did this as soon as I received the original response from the Senator. In fact I went to the FEC website and found the law that was mentioned. I read it and responded to the Senator right away that he was mistaken. Haven’t heard a word from him since. Yes he is a Democrat but from a generally conservative upstate district near Syracuse.

  7. Arizona (my state) has the best (?) eligibility bill yet. HB2544 requires the following:





    I have no doubt that this bill if passed will be challenged in the courts. So be it. We need to settle who is a natural born citizen once and for all. The question remians if the courts will uphold the understanding of natural born citizen as documented in this bill.

    Even the 14 year residency requirement is not defined in the Constitution. It is plausible to me that the residency requirement does pertain to the years prior to the election. Someone pointed out that age 21 (the age of adulthood) plus 14 years equals age 35, the minimun age for eligibility. If you lived in a foreign country prior to the election, it could be presumed that you may have developed loyalties to that country.

    1. What will be interesting is who will or can challenge a state law requiring obedience to the constitution . So far no court has allowed a citizen standing to challenge obedience to the constitution. Who then might have standing to challenge a state seeking to uphold the constitution? There are certainly a lot of cats with tweety bird feathers hanging from their lips who will argue to save their shirts. Are they that powerful now that no bird is safe when they hunger ? The art 2 qualification is by far the most important protection we have that our constitution be upheld and preserved. IMO the people have been reduced to subjects at this point. What more need be done to prove that right?

    2. Regarding the 14-year residency requirement, Joseph Story (US Supreme Court Justice), in his Commentaries on the Constitution (1833) said the following:

      “It is indispensable, too, that the president should be a natural born citizen of the United States, or a citizen at the adoption of the constitution, and for fourteen years before his election.”

      Our Founding Fathers understood that foreign influence came not only from birthplace and birthparents, but also from having lived recently in a foreign country. The 14-year residency requirement is like a “cleansing period” — a period in which a natural born citizen presidential candidate is cleansed of foreign ideas, culture, customs, values, etc.

      1. I assume you have responded to my comment regarding the 14 year residency requiremnent. I have always been convinced by the arguments that the “natural born citizen” requirement was placed in the Constitution to assure that the President was a person who holds no loyalty to a foreign country.

        I have not run across much discussion regarding the 14 year residency requirement, nor have I specifically searched for such discussions. I came to my conclusion according to what made sense to me, given the “no foreign loyalty” premise.

        So, thanks for the information.

      2. Neil, yes I was replying to your reference to the 14-year residency requirement. I too have not read too much about that requirement, but Story’s comment indicates that the 14-year residency period is the 14 years directly prior to the election of the President, and not just a total of 14 years among all the years (35, at least) prior to the election. My opinion is derived from asking the questions: Why include a 14-residency at all? What does having lived the last 14 years in the US do for the qualifications of the President? The answer has to be the degree of foreign influence (culture, ideas, values, customs, etc.) that is present in the mind of the president-elect. And it makes sense that the Founding Fathers wanted that to be as little as possible, and that it dovetails with the exclusive allegiance at birth which comes from being a natural born citizen (born of the soil and full blood of the nation).

        It is interesting to note that this 14-year residency requirement has not always been met. I am aware of at least one case, and that is of President Eisenhower. He was overseas during WW2 in the 14 years before his presidency. However, it can be argued that he did not choose to live outside the US, as he was commanded to be overseas in his role as a general.

  8. Good letter. Where you say “and identifying their parents and their citizenship”, I would point out that it needs to say “and identifying their parents and their citizenship at the time of the candidate’s birth”. This is an important distinction, for the parents must have been citizens at the time of the candidate’s birth, and not some time later. This is the case of Bobby Jindal. He was born in Louisiana to parents who were citizens of India at the time of his birth. They later became naturalized, but that does not matter — Jindal was born subject to a foreign power because of his parents’ foreign citizenship at the time of his birth.

  9. NY is full of worthless legislators. It’s a big boys club that’s all.

    As for eligibility, the power of the constitution rests with the people. Art 2 states the president must qualify. All it takes is the president qualify and unless he does we are under an illegal government supported by a whole lot of treacherous politicians. IMO there should be a strong response to each of them at every place they show their face. They are all a disgrace.

  10. Mr. Steele,

    Good for you for doing this. Tell your State Senator that the Fed. Election Comm. has nothing to do with vetting candidates and never has. They regulate campaign finance, I believe. Inform him about the DNC and Pelosi’s two different 2008 Nomination forms and also about the recent Congressional Research Service report which verified that the candidates were not vetted federally (except McCain partially) and that there was collusion advising officials “what to tell their constituents about eligibility”. You can google both subjects if you are not informed about them already.

  11. Here is Georgia’s bill:
    And here is my letter requesting its modification and passage:
    Blairsville, GA 30512
    January 25, 2011

    Representatives Allison, Beardon, Brockway, Byrd, Casas, Clark, J., Collins, D.,
    Davis, S., Franklin, Harden, B., Hatfield, Hill, Horne, Jerguson, Maxwell,
    McBrayer, Neal, Peake, Ralston, Rice, Sheldon, Williamson by FAX:

    Representative Franklin has introduced HB37 for the purpose of assuring compliance with the Constitutional requirements for qualifying future U. S. presidents.

    This issue, or lack thereof, has grown to national prominence among conservative citizens and on both sides of the mainstream media. It has been a point of contention for the entire duration of the present administration causing rancor and discontent in a large majority of the population. Senior military officers have been jailed challenging the current president’s qualifications. That is reason enough to pass this bill so the issue will never rise again.

    However there have been insinuations that liberties were taken with the sitting president’s records concerning Passport Office, Social Security Administration, Selective Service Administration, and the Hawaii DHOH. In order to preclude any future administration from mischief in this arena the following mandate must be added to the bill: the computer embedded transaction log for the records must be shown.

    It will be unconscionable on your part to block this bill based on petty partisan principles. I urge you for the sake of Georgia and Georgians to set aside your differences and pass this bill. Please join with other states that are processing similar legislation and bring this bill to the Governor in this year of the current session.


    M. J. Blanchard

    Note that Franklin is a libertarian and therefore no one will vote for his bills in the Georgia legislature. I will be shopping for someone in our Senate to drop the bill, as well.
    Also note the important modification to the bill.