Honey, let’s float a ballot initiative!

Is Barack Obama’s birth certificate a fake? Has he illegally sneaked lessons he learned as an infant born somewhere “over there” into the highest office of the land?

That’s one of the more popular set of ideas animating attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) this week in D.C. and, Colorado voters will be pleased to learn, one that also informs an amendment appearing on the list of proposed initiatives for the 2010 ballot.

But hey, why not? It’s Colorado, home of the amazing expanding ballot.

Ballot Proposal 2009-2010 #2, “Verification of Qualifications for Office of President,” was submitted for review in December. It is the work of Littleton residents Kathleen Riggs and her husband Justin “J. Wosley” Riggs, author of the blog Your Fellow Citizen, which features letters he has written various officials on the matter of Obama’s birth and related thought-pieces.

Per my letter on January 28th of this year, due to the lack of response from the FBI, I am renewing my request with your office to release the information referenced in Senator [Lamar] Alexander’s assertion that an investigation has been performed in regards to Mr. Obama’s eligibility to hold the office of President, and that Mr. Obama has indeed been found to be a natural born citizen (per his letter dated January 5, 2009).

Et cetera.

For the record, team Riggs has also questioned the natural-born-ness of John McCain’s citizenship and have been unsatisfied in their efforts to get to the heart of that matter as well.

Like the blog and the letter-writing campaign, authoring and submitting the ballot proposal has been a valued learning experience for the Riggs. Having received “really helpful feedback” from the Colorado Legislative Council, they decided last month that perhaps an initiative wasn’t the right way to “really get things going” on the question of checking candidate qualifications.

“[The Council] sent us back two pages of questions,” Kathleen Riggs tells me. “They asked us whether we thought this was addressing a single subject. We weren’t sure what that meant…. They also said this would be a statutory change and so the legislature could change it in the future. We thought that would be weak. Also they said [our amendment] would put state officials in charge of verifying candidates for federal office. They asked whether we had reviewed federal laws because I guess [the amendment] would be putting state law over federal law and so would face legal challenges.”

Last month, Team Riggs withdrew Colorado Ballot Proposal 2009-2010 #2.

“Yeah… We thought maybe we’d take it to a state legislator or do something else. We’re not sure,” says Kathleen.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic
jtomasic@coloradoindependent.com | 720-432-2128 |

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