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by Sharon Rondeau

Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Ed Sunderland, September 19, 2014

(Sep. 22, 2014) — On Friday evening, Texas citizen Ed Sunderland had the opportunity to meet and speak with Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been conducting a criminal investigation into matters stemming from a probe into the long-form birth certificate image posted by the White House in April 2011.

Arpaio is serving his sixth consecutive term as Maricopa County sheriff following a long career as a federal drug enforcement officer.  He turned 82 on Flag Day, June 14, and hails from Springfield, MA.

Arpaio is well-known for his male and female chain gangs, tent city jail, and the pink underwear issued to all inmates “for better inventory control.”  Arpaio has developed the moniker of “America’s toughest sheriff,” although many are opposed to his policies.

On Friday, Arpaio spoke at a Texas fundraiser for his campaign hosted by the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party (NETTP) PAC at which Sunderland and fellow activist Cheryl Surber met him.  The event included three paying levels of entry ranging from $25 to $250.

On Saturday evening, Arpaio addressed a second Texas Tea Party group’s fundraiser, where he spoke about the high percentage of illegal aliens returned to his jail instead of being deported by ICE, which reports to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In August 2011, a group of Maricopa County Tea Party members approached Arpaio amid reports that the image purported to be Obama’s long-form birth certificate on the White House server was a forgery, concerned that their votes in the upcoming 2012 election would be disenfranchised if the reports proved accurate.  Believing that the image could quickly be proven valid and Obama “cleared,” Arpaio assigned his Cold Case Posse, which works at no expense to taxpayers, to examine the image.

After three days of testing, Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo reported to Arpaio that rather than proving itself authentic, the image was fraught with problems inexplicable were it to have originated from a paper document.  The investigation then broadened to determine how the image was assembled and who its author is.

On March 1, 2012, Zullo and Arpaio held a joint press conference in which they declared that the investigation had found that Obama’s long-form birth certificate and Selective Service registration form are “computer-generated forgeries.”  A second conference in July of that year provided greater detail as to how their conclusions were reached and revealed that the standard of probable cause had been overcome in regard to the birth certificate image.  Arpaio then unsuccessfully called upon Congress to investigate.  The mainstream media, too, was silent or derisive on the topic, vilifying the messengers instead of conducting their own investigations to prove or disprove Arpaio’s claims.

Over this spring and summer, Arpaio hinted in several interviews both with the mainstream and alternative media that his office was close to determining the identity of the forger.

During the summer of 2013, Michael Volin of WheresObamasBirthCertificate (WOBC) produced a Sheriff’s Kit” consisting of a DVD presentation given by Zullo explaining the findings of the investigation to that point.  Sunderland brought several copies of the kit to the Tea Party gathering to distribute, with Surber providing one to Arpaio, who was aware of their creation.

Sunderland often hosts the WOBC radio show for founder Michael Volin when Volin is not available.  The show seeks to raise awareness of the forgeries and to urge constituents to contact their members of Congress to take action on them.

On Friday, radio show host Carl Gallups, who has been close to the investigation although not an official spokesperson for it, was a guest on the Peter Boyles Show, where Gallups stated that Zullo had given him permission to announce that the late Loretta Fuddy, who was Director of the Hawaii Department of Health from March 2011 until her death on December 11, 2013 after a plane crash, was not the perpetrator of the birth certificate forgery.  Many have speculated that Fuddy was the creator of the forgery or had some other involvement, as news reports stated that she provided two certified copies of Obama’s long-form birth certificate to his personal attorney, Judith Corley, several days before it was posted on the White House website.

Sunderland told The Post & Email that he began researching Obama’s background in 2008 before the presidential election.  He has been active in urging Texas state legislators to pass HB650, which would require presidential and vice-presidential candidates to prove their constitutional qualifications to the secretary of state before being placed on the ballot.  Sunderland’s understanding is that the bill could be broadened to include vetting of all office-seekers in Texas.  “We have people running for state representative and state senator who aren’t even U.S. citizens,” he told The Post & Email.  He also said that the applications issued by the state of Texas for president and vice-president are printed in English and Spanish, which he finds “astounding.”

HB650, pejoratively deemed a “Birther Bill,” was introduced last year by citizen activist Kelly Canon.  Those in favor hope to resurrect it for the upcoming legislative session.  Sunderland has been interviewed about the proposal by a local Fox News affiliate, Channel 7, as to why he believes the bill should be passed. He told us in an email, “I testified before the Texas elections commission detailing why we needed HB 650 as well as Kelly. Others testified too but I was the only one who specifically targeted Obama’s ineligibility and one state rep got up and left the committee room. Said I had an agenda. I did, I wanted to see justice.”

Regarding his attendance at the event, Sunderland said of Arpaio, “He is the only one who is actually doing something about the eligibility [issue] and trying to get justice for this country by exposing Barack Obama.  Therefore, he is the only person I will donate money to.  I won’t send any money to my congressman, my senators, because they will not do a darn thing about this.  I have made a decision I am going to support only people who are doing the right thing, and Arpaio is doing the right thing.”

Kelly Canon, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Cheryl Surber and Ed Sunderland pose for photo taken on September 19 at the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party PAC fundraiser for Arpaio’s 2016 campaign

Sunderland had the chance to meet Arpaio briefly.  “I spoke with him a couple of times for a couple of minutes,” he said.  “I didn’t ask any specific questions.  I know that Cheryl spent some time talking with him.  There were over 100 people there; it was a well-heeled place at an attorney’s home.  It started at 5:30; he had the dinner, and then at about 6:30 there was a reception where another group of people came in, and then there was the outside location near the pool where he gave his speech where other people joined in.  There were three tiers of people who went:  it was $250 to have dinner with the sheriff, and there were only about 25 tickets for that.

“Did you buy a ticket for that?” we asked him.

“I couldn’t get one.  When I found out about it, they were sold out.  So I bought the $50 one where I could go in the reception, and you get a pair of pink underwear, and he signs it for you.  The $25 tickets were for folks outdoors; that was the cost just to get in.

“He gave a speech at the end.  Right in the beginning he started out with the birth certificate stuff.  He was lamenting that he couldn’t get Congress to move on this.  Nobody wants to touch it because they don’t want to be deemed a ‘birther,'” Sunderland said.

“You must know Cheryl Surber, right?” Sunderland asked us, to which we answered in the affirmative.  “She has spoken with Arpaio on a number of occasions.  She’s running for Justice of the Peace in her county.  We were also trying to find out if there’s anything new going on.  He said there’s also another sensitive operation going on that he didn’t expand on.”

In Surber’s interview with The Post & Email, which will be forthcoming shortly, she described Arpaio as her “hero” for pursuing the birth certificate forgery issue.

Sunderland related that Arpaio “said that it’s surprising that Congress will talk about football players and have hearings about other inane things, but to bring up the illegal activity of the president is a problem.  He said he wants to know ‘Who did it?’ ‘Who forged the documents?’  Frankly, I think they already know.”

The Post & Email asked Sunderland if most of the attendees appeared to know about Arpaio’s birth certificate investigation, to which he responded, “The ones I engaged were extremely interested in it.  I gave them sheriff’s kits so they could find out for themselves, and they wanted to get on the mailing list so they could get some more information.”

Sunderland said that Arpaio did not provide further details on the investigation.  However, he added that “I could tell that it bothers him that Congress isn’t doing anything, as it bothers me.”

Sunderland is an activist and researcher in his own right.  He told The Post & Email:

I started looking into the background of Barack Obama in 2008 after I heard him make a speech. I knew we had to watch politicians closely after what Bill Clinton did.  I started digging into Obama’s information, and all I could find out was stuff that said that he was from Kenya!  All the newspaper reports from the [East African] Standard said that he was a Kenyan running for U.S. Senate, and then a Kenyan running for president!  Other information came up in February 2008; a guy from Texas here started looking into Obama’s draft registration card and subsequently received some information through a FOIA request, and that’s when we found out that that was a forgery.

A continuation of this story will further detail Sunderland’s efforts to report the forgeries to the Texas attorney general and secretary of state as well as additional actions he has taken to assure that only qualified candidates are placed on the state ballot.

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