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Arizona a ‘Laughingstock’? House Passes ‘Birther Bill’

The “birther movement” which questions the citizenship of President Obama, has been touched on before here, mainly in the form of No. 1 birther Orly Taitz. Well, now it’s gained a bit of steam, at least in the Southwest.

The Arizona House this week passed a “birther bill” that requires the secretary of state to review a presidential candidate’s birth certificate before it can be placed on a ballot in the state.

The bill was passed by a 31 to 29 vote with only Republicans voting in favor. It now goes to the state Senate. The Arizona Republic dutifully notes several Republicans joined with Democrats to oppose the bill, and that Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett questions its constitutionality.

The story also touches on what it called Arizona’s growing reputation as “a national joke because of its legislative actions.”

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“This is the straw hat will break the state’s back,” Rep. Kyrsten Sinema told the paper. “We are the laughingstock of the nation.”

In a CBS News report on the bill, it notes the “birther movement” began during the presidential campaign “and has steadily persisted through Mr. Obama’s presidency, in spite of overwhelming evidence he was born in the United States, including his 1961 birth announcement, printed in two Hawaii newspapers.”

In Hawaii, where the Health Department continues to receive between 10 and 20 e-mails a week seeking verification of Obama’s birth, lawmakers have responded with a bill that would give government agencies the right not to respond to follow-up requests for information if the request is too similar to the first.

It passed a joint House-Senate conference committee Tuesday.

Under the proposed legislation, people who persist on making requests would be declared a “vexatious requester” by the Office of Information Practices, which would place restrictions on accessing government records for two years.

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