June 7, 2010
GOP bad dream: Birther on ticket
By: Kasie Hunt
California Republicans optimistic about their prospects in November
could find themselves with a bit of a problem after the votes are
counted in Tuesdays primaries - a statewide ticket with the so-called
Birther Queen as one of their candidates.
Orly Taitz is an Israeli émigré who has spent the last two years
filing lawsuits challenging President Barack Obamas right to be
president on the grounds that he was born in Kenya.
In the process, she has earned herself $20,000 in court fines.
Now shes running for the GOP nomination for secretary of state, and
with her establishment-backed primary opponent mounting a
less-than-stellar campaign against her, operatives say theres a
chance she could win.
Itd be a disaster for the Republican party, says James Lacy, a
conservative GOP operative in the state.
Can you imagine if [gubernatorial candidate] Meg Whitman and
[candidate for Lt. Gov.] Abel Maldonadoboth of whom might have a
chance to win in Novemberhad to run with Orly Taitz as secretary of
state, who would make her cockamamie issues about Obamas birth
certificate problems at the forefront of her activities?
There is no Republican candidate for statewide office that would be
willing to have her campaign with them, says Adam Probolsky, a
spokesman for the Orange County Republican Party.
But longtime California GOP strategist Allan Hoffenblum, who publishes
the California Target Book, says a Taitz victory is entirely possible.
It will be a complete embarrassment if she wins, but these things can
happen, he said.
Taitz, who was born in Moldova, immigrated to the U.S. from Israel in
1987, and is now a practicing dentist in Laguna Niguel, gained
considerable media exposure for her contention, against all evidence,
that Obama lied about being born in Hawaii and under the Constitution
cannot be president.
Barack Obama is a terrible president, and we have to get him out of
office by any weird loophole we can make up, she said on an
appearance last summer on the Colbert Report.
Her views are so extreme that she was disinvited to an April tea party
rally featuring Republican Senate candidates Carly Fiorina and Chuck
DeVoreand both were quick to distance themselves from her, saying
they did not know she had been scheduled to attend.
DeVores spokesman told the Los Angeles Times that DeVore strongly
disapproves of Orly Taitz and the crazy theories she continues to
advance, while a Fiorina spokeswoman said Obama is absolutely
eligible for the presidency.
As secretary of state, Taitz would be Californias top elections
official, and Taitz has said she would push for rules requiring voters
to present identification at the polls and force candidates to prove
they were eligible to be placed on the ballot.
I would demand identification and eligibility from all voters to make
sure there is no fraud. Also they must have eligibility to be
elected, she says.
Taitz is running against Damon Dunn, an African American former
professional football player.
As with Obama, shes turned to lawsuits to challenge him, arguing that
Dunns brief time as a registered Democrat in Florida - from his
playing days with the Jacksonville Jaguarsdisqualifies him from the
California ballot and amounts to fraud.
Our country will turn into a banana republican until we disclose
information that is related to voter fraud, she told POLITICO.
For professional Republicans right now the main tactic in regards to
Orly Taitz is prayer, says Jack Pitney, a political science professor
at Claremont McKenna College and a longtime observer of California
Downballot races in California can definitely take odd bounces. I
would say Damon Dunn is the favorite but I wouldnt bet my next
mortgage on it.
As an example Pitney pointed to Keith Richman, a state assemblyman and
doctor who lost the 2006 Republican primary for state treasurer to
Claude Parrisha businessman who, according to court records obtained
by the Los Angeles Times, was involved in a high speed car chase with
a repo man trying to reclaim Parrishs Mercedes after the lease went
Says Pitney: You can never tell.
Taitz claims she won a straw poll of Tea Party Patriot leaders and
compares her candidacy to that of Rand Paul in Kentucky, who upset the
establishment Republican candidate for the partys nomination for the
People are sick and tired of the official party decisions that are
sort of predetermined before the voters actually stated what they
think, she says.
But Democratic incumbent Debra Bowen is unlikely to lose her seat in
November no matter who the GOP picks to run against her.
Orly Taitz is interesting because shes on the fringe with the
birther movement, said Bowen spokesman Steve Barkan, but well take
both candidates seriously.