Montana Lawmaker Introduces ‘Birther’ Bill

By Beacon Staff

Rep. Bob Wagner, R-Harrison, has introduced a bill that he says addresses the “ongoing speculation” about whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States.

Wagner’s bill, HB 205, would require that all candidates for federal office file affidavits with the Montana secretary of state verifying that they are qualified. Presidential candidates would be required to provide the state with a valid copy of his or her birth certificate.

“It’s an issue that needs to go away,” Wagner said in a prepared statement. “My bill will make that happen.”

Keep in mind that, as a result of mostly baseless speculation, the nonpartisan FactCheck.org sent representatives to Hawaii in 2008 who “touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate” and found that “Obama was born in the U.S.A just as he has always said.” Snopes.com came to a similar conclusion. So did Politifact.com. Every challenge to Obama’s eligibility to be president, and other lawsuits pertaining to his birth, has been dismissed by various levels of the court.

But Wagner pointed to Lt. Col. Terry Lakin, who he says, “was court-martialed for daring to raise this question.”

In fact, Lakin was court-martialed for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan. And during his hearing, in which he was found guilty and kicked out of the Army, Lakin said he regretted posting an online video questioning Obama’s citizenship. <a href="http://www.stripes.com/news/birther-sentenced-to-six-months-in-prison-kicked-out-of-army-1.128924" title="From Stars and Stripes:”>From Stars and Stripes:

During an hour of unsworn testimony, Lakin called that video an embarrassing mistake, brought on by pressure and poor advice from supposed supporters.

“I would not do this again,” he said. “It was a confusing time for me, and I was very emotional. I thought I was choosing the right path, and I did not.”

Other state legislators have introduced similar legislation. And for Wagner’s part, he said HB 205 “is about this situation in general, not about this President specifically.”

It’s hard to believe that. What it’s about is wasting taxpayer money.

A hearing on HB 205 is scheduled for Feb.2

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