Spin Control

'Birther' claim challenges Obama spot on WA ballot

OLYMPIA -- Barack Obama makes jokes about people who question his birth certificate, and his campaign even is selling a coffee mug with the presidential face on one side and a reproduction of the certificate on the other.

Mitt Romney tried to make a joke about birth certificates in Michigan last week. Some people laughed, some people didn't.

But Linda Jordan of Seattle apparently is not joking in court action filed this week in Thurston County Superior Court against the Washington secretary of state, asking the court to keep Obama off the November ballot because, she contends, his birth certificate is forged and he is not a "natural born citizen."

The state Attorney General's office was also serious in its reply today that Jordan's lawsuit is flawed for several reasons, all of which could lead to its dismissal: It doesn't name Obama as a plaintiff; it's a federal issue, involving the U.S. Constitution; the secretary of state doesn't have the authority to check on the eligibility of candidates and toss one off if he or she doesn't measure up.

Beyond that, Deputy Solicitor General Jeff Even says in a court filing, Jordan doesn't provide any proof that Obama isn't a natural born citizen. "She merely claims to have offered evidence of a forged birth certificate -- a birth certificate that has never been requested by or submitted to, the secretary of state -- and to have offered additional suspicions regarding a social security number."

Hearing tomorrow afternoon before Superior Court Judge Thomas McPhee. Some pertinent documents are "submitted for your approval," as Rod Serling used to say.




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Jim Camden
Jim Camden is the Olympia bureau chief, covering the Legislature and state government. He also is a political columnist and blogger for Spin Control.

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