"Birther Bill" failed: few requests for Obama birth information, few denials

Earlier this year, Hawaii's legislature signed the so-called "Birther Bill" into law; it allowed them to ignore repeated requests from the same person for information relating to Obama's likely but not proven birth in that state. Not only did it restrict government transparency about *all* requests for information, and not only was it signed during "Sunshine Week", but none of those who push for government transparency say a peep about the law.

Now it's become clear that not only was the bill not needed, but it's failed at its supposed purpose: the law has only been used six times.

Instead, those with requests have done what I suggested at the link above: find loopholes. One of those is simply to find others to make requests for them (link).

And, the requests aren't that onerous: so far in December 2010 they've received 27 requests, 16 from one person. They got just 16 requests in November. That's down from around 50 a month earlier in the year.

At least two staffers spend an hour a day handling requests for Obama birth records, a department official said. They also have to interpret unclear or perplexing requests, sometimes seeking opinions from attorneys at the attorney general's office and the state Office of Information Practices.

For example, some requests ask the state to provide a copy of the seal used on Obama's certificate of live birth, said Cathy Takase, an Office of Information Practices attorney. The Health Department has responded by sending a pencil shading of the embossment, rather than the seal, which officials say could be misused for fraudulent purposes.

The article refers to a frequent requester who's probably Orly Taitz. If they don't want her to make so many requests maybe they should take steps to answer her questions.

See the Obama citizenship page for our extensive coverage and our take on this issue. Note particularly that unlike some others I'm not claiming that Obama wasn't born in Hawaii; he probably was. My (correct) claim is simply that he hasn't definitively proved where he was born and those who say he has are lying. See that link for examples of reporters and politicians lying about basic, incontrovertible, easy-to-understand facts of this matter.