If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my free Email alerts. Thanks for visiting!

INCLUDES COPY OF ENVELOPE USED TO MAIL HARD COPY

by Sharon Rondeau

Did the state of Hawaii provide an official response to Bennett's request?

(Jul. 26, 2012) — On July 9, 2012, The Post & Email submitted an open records request to Matthew Roberts, Communications Director to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett under Arizona Revised Statute 39-121-03, which states, in part:

39-121.03. Request for copies, printouts or photographs; statement of purpose; commercial purpose as abuse of public record; determination by governor; civil penalty; definition

A. When a person requests copies, printouts or photographs of public records for a commercial purpose, the person shall provide a statement setting forth the commercial purpose for which the copies, printouts or photographs will be used. Upon being furnished the statement the custodian of such records may furnish reproductions, the charge for which shall include the following:

1. A portion of the cost to the public body for obtaining the original or copies of the documents, printouts or photographs.

2. A reasonable fee for the cost of time, materials, equipment and personnel in producing such reproduction.

3. The value of the reproduction on the commercial market as best determined by the public body.

Among other things, we had requested a copy of the envelope used to mail a hard copy of the verification form which had been sent electronically and then disseminated to the press on May 23, 2012.  In an announcement that day, Bennett’s office confirmed “that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for the President matches the original record in their files.”

A hard copy of the verification form was said by Roberts to be expected from Hawaii, but we did not receive a response to our question as to whether or not the envelope would be made public.  Roberts later confirmed that a hard copy had been received but did not answer our other questions.

Our last email prior to the public records request read:

Is it postmarked from Hawaii?

Is there an original signature on anything, such as a cover letter?

Thank you.

Sharon Rondeau

to which we received no response.  We therefore submitted the public records request by email and received the following response as to the cost:

Hi Sharon,

It’s $1.70.

Send your check to me at the address below so it doesn’t get lost in the capitoll mail.  Make it out to: Arizona Secretary of State

Matthew Roberts
Director of Communications & Community Outreach
Ken Bennett, Arizona Secretary of State
1700 W. Washington, 7th Floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
mroberts@azsos.gov
(602) 542-2228 – Office
(602) 540-3521 – Mobile
skype – matt.roberts71

We followed Roberts’ instructions by sending a hard copy of the request on July 14 and a money order for $1.70.

On July 23, 2012, we received a mailing from Roberts which included email communications between Bennett and Nagamine within the time frame of March 1, 2012 and July 9, 2012, as requested.  Included was a copy of an envelope addressed to Bennett at 1700 W. Washington St., 7th Floor, Phoenix, AZ  85007-2888, but not containing the title of “Arizona Secretary of State.”

On April 16, 2012, Bennett sent the following email to Nagamine in response to hers which follows:

Email from Ken Bennett in response to Hawaii Deputy Attorney General Jill T. Nagamine

Bennett’s email reads:

Dear Jill,

Thank you for speaking with me several weeks ago and providing the helpful links below.  I sent a request for a verification in lieu of a certified copy of President Obama’s birth record to the Dept. of Health on March 30th.  I was just wondering if you knew whether the request was received and how long it usually takes to process?  Thanx.

Ken Bennett
Arizona Secretary of State

Nagamine’s March 17, 2012 communication to Bennett prior to the above email reads:

Hi Ken—

So sorry I’ve taken so long to get back to you.  I may take a few more days to get your final response about what we can verify and how we will do so.  I have been tied up with some legislative deadlines that take precedence.  To start with, here are the links that I mentioned to you.

Nagamine then presents four links to Hawaii Health Department policies as governed by state statutes.

March 17, 2012 email from Hawaii Deputy Attorney General Jill T. Nagamine to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett

On March 30, 2012, Bennett had sent a letter to the Hawaii Department of Health requesting verification of the information contained in Obama’s long-form birth certificate.

Letter to the Hawaii Department of Health from Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett requesting a "verification in lieu of a certified copy for the birth record of Barack Hussein Obama II."
Top of letter
Middle of letter
Conclusion of letter

Included with the letter were a copy of Obama’s long-form birth certificate image, a form entitled “Request for Certified Copy of BIRTH RECORD” containing Bennett’s signature, and a copy of the money order he sent in the amount of $5.00 for a “Verification in Lieu of CC.”

The verification form, noted at the bottom as “OHSM 135 (Rev. 9/13/05) can be found here.

Image of paper copy of request form completed by Bennett or someone in his office indicating that a "verification in lieu of CC" was requested for "Barack Hussein Obama, II"

The open records information received by The Post & Email contained a copy of what appears to be an envelope from the “State of Hawaii Department of Health, Office of Health Status Monitoring.”

Copy of envelope received from Arizona Secretary of State’s Communications Director
Enlarged image of copy of envelope

Stapled to the copy of the envelope is a copy of an “Official Receipt” for the $5,00 money order sent by Bennett’s office.  On the receipt, the date “08-04-1961” is filled in next to “Date of Event.”  The “registrant” was noted on the line above as “Barack Hussein Obama II.”

Copy of "Official Receipt" issued to AZ Secretary of State Ken Bennett for $5.00 remitted for the verification letter
Top portion of receipt
Middle section of receipt
Bottom section
Enlarged portion showing the birth date of August 4, 1961, which does not appear on the verification form

There is no signature from anyone in Hawaii on any of the documentation.

At a press conference on July 17, 2012, Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo made clear that he did not believe that the information Bennett had received from Hawaii was authentic.  “If he wants to wants to accept it, that’s gonna be on him,” Zullo had said.  Zullo had previously said that he had met with Bennett twice in person regarding his doubts about the authenticity of the long-form birth certificate.

On May 1, 2012, Arizona Deputy Attorney General Jim Drake contacted Nagamine by email:

Email from Jim Drake to Jill Nagamine

The email reads:

Hello Jill.  I just left you a brief voice mail message.  I am wondering whether you can give me a ballpark timeframe on our request.  As you know, the closer we get to November, the more my phone rings.  I believe that having Hawaii’s response on hand might help to quell the inquiries!  Thanks in advance.  Jim

In response, Nagamine sent an email to both Drake and Bennett, citing Hawaii law and requesting proof that the Arizona Secretary of State’s office was “entitled” to receive the information requested.  The email reads:

Dear Mr. Bennett and Mr. Drake—

My apologies for not responding immediately. I have recently been away from my office a great deal, including today. My client, the Department of Health, has forwarded your request for verification of President Obama’s birth record to me. We need more information to substantiate that you are eligible to receive verification. Hawaii Revised Statutes, section 338-18(g), provides:

(g) The department shall not issue a verification in lieu of a certified copy of any such record, or any part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant requesting a verification is:

(1) A person who has a direct and tangible interest in the record but requests a verification in lieu of a certified copy;
(2) A governmental agency or organization who for a legitimate government purpose maintains and needs to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities;
(3) A governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks confirmation of a certified copy of any such record submitted in support of or information provided about a vital event relating to any such record and contained in an official application made in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities by an individual seeking employment with, entrance to, or the services or products of the agency or organization;
(4) A private or government attorney who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record which was acquired during the course of or for purposes of legal proceedings; or
(5) An individual employed, endorsed, or sponsored by a governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record in preparation of reports or publications by the agency or organization for research or educational purposes.

As the Secretary and I initially discussed, it appears that you might be eligible for verification of the record based on subparagraph (2), but we need to see what your authority is “to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of your activities.” Will you send me a copy of your law that allows this, and will you send me information that shows:

(1) What list are you updating?
(2) Is it your normal procedure to update all entries on your list by requiring birth data verification?
(3) Are you requiring birth data verification of all entries on your list, rather than just targeting one name on your list? (please provide evidence that you are doing so)

You may address your response directly to me, and I will relay it to my client.

Thank you,
Jill T. Nagamine
Deputy Attorney General
State of Hawaii

Although no other email from Bennett to Nagamine was included in our open records request, another email similar to the one above was sent to Bennett from Nagamine on May 19, 2012 which addressed him as “Mr. Bennett:” Because the email has been published elsewhere and dated May 17, we presume that this was a clerical oversight on the part of the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.

Also on May 17, Bennett had been interviewed by radio show host Mike Broomhead and stated that he “might” keep Obama’s name off the ballot if he could not obtain the verification sought from the state of Hawaii.

At that point, Bennett described the delay in obtaining verification for Obama’s birth record as “untenable.”

The response from Nagamine reads:

Dear Mr. Bennett:

I am in receipt of your email dated May 17, 2012.  As I have informed you and Mr. Drake, Hawaii law requires that for verification of a vital record the requestor must satisfy the requirements of section 338-18(g), Hawaii Revised Statutes, which provides:

(g) The department shall not issue a verification in lieu of a certified copy of any such record, or any part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant requesting a verification is:

(1) A person who has a direct and tangible interest in the record but requests a verification in lieu of a certified copy;
(2) A governmental agency or organization who for a legitimate government purpose maintains and needs to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities;
(3) A governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks confirmation of a certified copy of any such record submitted in support of or information provided about a vital event relating to any such record and contained in an official application made in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities by an individual seeking employment with, entrance to, or the services or products of the agency or organization;
(4) A private or government attorney who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record which was acquired during the course of or for purposes of legal proceedings; or
(5) An individual employed, endorsed, or sponsored by a governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record in preparation of reports or publications by the agency or organization for research or educational purposes.

I asked you for legal authority that establishes your right to obtain verification, and your email of May 17, 2012 provides me with references to Arizona Revised Statutes 16-212, 16-301, 16-502, 16-507, and unnamed others. These statutes seem to deal with election of presidential electors, nomination of candidates for printing on official ballot of general or special election, form and contents of ballot, and presentation of presidential candidates on ballot, but none, as far as I can tell, establish the authority of the Secretary of State to maintain and update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of his activities. I researched other sections of the Arizona Revised Statutes and was unable to find the necessary authority.

If I have missed something, please let me know. My client stands willing to provide you with the verification you seek as soon as you are able to show that you are entitled to it.

Thank you,
Jill T. Nagamine
Deputy Attorney General
State of Hawaii

On May 22, Bennett wrote what appears to be a final letter to Nagamine:

Letter dated May 22, 2012 from Ken Bennett to Jill T. Nagamine

In the letter, Bennett restated part of the Hawaii law after referring to a “visit” with unnamed parties the day before.

Dear Ms. Nagamine:

Thank you for visiting with us yesterday afternoon.

As was discussed in our conversation yesterday, Hawaii Revised Statutes 338-19(g)2 reads, in relevant part,

(g) The department shall not issue a verification in lieu of a certified copy of any such record, or any part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant requesting a verification is:…

(2) A governmental agency or organization who for a legitimate government purpose maintains and needs to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities.

As the chief elections officer for the State of Arizona, my office is responsible for compiling a list of candidates for the Office of the President of the United States.  This list is then officially “certified” by my office and transmitted to the fifteen counties for creation of the official ballots.  The list is generated in the “ordinary course” of my office’s activities (every four years) and it is certainly made for a “legitimate government purpose” (elections).

Therefore, I believe that my office clearly meets the requirements of Hawaii law, and I respectfully ask that the department provide the verification we have requested.  Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

No other statutes were provided, as Nagamine had requested of Bennett.  Without explanation, Nagamine sent an email to Bennett on May 22, 2012, the date  which Bennett publicly identified as his having received verification from Hawaii of Obama’s birth record information.  Again, Nagamine refers to Ken Bennett as “Mr. Bennett.”

May 22, 2012 email from Nagamine to Bennett indicating that a PDF document was attached to her email
Enlarged top of May 22 email Nagamine sent to Bennett indicating that a PDF document was attached
Body of May 22 email

Attached to the hard-copy email from the Arizona Secretary of State’s office was the “Verification of Birth” form indicating that it was issued on May 22, 2012.

Why is Obama’s birth date missing if Bennett originally requested it, which the documentation shows he did?

On May 23, Special Assistant to Hawaii Attorney General David Louie allegedly told The Associated Press that Bennett had received the information he required.  “Wisch says Hawaii got what it needed, so it gave Bennett’s office the verification,” a report in The New York Daily News said.

But what other information did Bennett provide between May 19 and May 22 to Nagamine which showed him “eligible” to receive a verification form?  What else did “Hawaii need,” and where is the documentation?

The same AP story was disseminated widely on the internet, including overseas outlets.

Did Bennett’s office truly provide additional information to Nagamine, or was someone told to release the PDF to quell the level of interest of the public?

Since Bennett used the form from the Hawaii Department of Health’s website to request the verification, why did he have to “reword” his request?

An online search for a blank form with the catalog number in the lower left-hand corner stating “OHSM FROM V01” yields only the verification form prepared for Bennett and another party on May 31, 2012.  No template appears at the Hawaii Department of Health’s website as it does with the “Request for Certified Copy of Birth Record” form.

The verification received by the other party, two attorneys involved in a Mississippi ballot challenge brought by Atty. Orly Taitz, has what appears to be a raised seal in the lower left corner, while the document which The Post & Email received from the Arizona Secretary of State does not.

The original form allegedly “released” by Hawaii, Obama’s short-form Certification of Live Birth,” also had no raised seal until it somehow acquired one two months later.

Is the verification form another “photoshopped fake?”

 

Join the Conversation

2 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Show us the microfiche! This charade is troublesome just like every link to barry soetero’s past. Send your findings to Mike Zullo he’ll investigate forensically the validity of the communication and the voids not presented.