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3 in 10 Californians identify with the Tea Party; a third still don't believe Obama's birth certificate

The Tea Party anti-big government, anti-tax, anti-some-other-stuff folks are sinking their ideological roots into the Golden State rather quickly -- and deeply.

Hmm, and there's a midterm election for every House seat, a third of the Senate and dozens of governors' chairs this coming November.

A new Field Poll out this afternoon finds that 28% of the state's voters identify with that protest movement while nearly two-thirds already know about them. California support for these protesters is concentrated among Republicans and conservatives, whose energy, money, online muscle and motivation played significant roles in some recent elections, fed, according to other polls, by growing concerns about federal spending and record deficits.

Barack Obama copy of Certificate of Live Birth

The Ticket described some internal Tea Party convention turmoil here this morning.

Meanwhile, the same new Field Poll asked about the long-simmering controversy over Barack Obama's birth and whether he is a real American-born citizen and, therefore, constitutionally allowed to be president.

Courts have tossed the challenges but that hasn't stopped the arguments, as you'll no doubt soon see in the Comments below.

Obama's mother was an American, if you count Kansas as America. Which legally should end the issue wherever the birth took place, Kenya or not.

However, Hawaii following state privacy guidelines has released only copies of a Certificate of Live Birth, not the real thing.

And Obama has not waived his privacy rights, allowing the actual certificate to be released.So why hasn't he, the so-called "birthers" ask.

And suspicions remain that although the president's announced birth year is 1961, maybe who knows it could be he was born there before Hawaii became a state in 1959. On the other hand, John McCain was born on a U.S. naval base in the Panama Canal Zone and it never was a state. But both his parents were Americans and Obama's father was a Kenyan. And on and on.

So, the Field Poll inquired and found that while two-thirds of Californians (67%) are satisfied that Obama was U.S.-born, fully one-third of the nation's most populous state are not. In fact, 11% are certain that he's a Constitution-violating foreigner and 22% are not sure.

A spokesman for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who as an Austrian native is ineligible to be president, said he would have no comment. Now, about the nationality of Flat Stanley.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Comments () | Archives (37)

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News flash!
28% of Californians are raging idiots!

Most of those nitwits couldn't even spell Kenya more less ID it on a map. I'm not normally in favor of rounding up stupid people and putting them in camps but I'm starting to waver.

Well, I believe in what the T.E.A. party folks are for, yet I also believe that President Obama is a full blooded American citizen fully eligible to hold the office he is in.

Obama's mother was an American,... Which legally should end the issue wherever the birth took place, Kenya or not.


Is somebody insinuating, not too subtly, the 30% Teapartiers are birthers?

"And Obama has not waived his privacy rights, allowing the actual certificate to be released.So why hasn't he, the so-called "birthers" ask."

Umm, I'm not a birther and I do think he was natural born but I ask the same thing.

It's pretty funny to see Instapundit linking to this page considering that he probably doesn't want people to come away with the same impression I got: that the tea partiers and the birthers are largely the same people. That makes sense since no moderates or liberals are "partiers", and they probably aren't birthers either.

And, the whole birthers issue is yet another example of the incompetence of r/w bloggers and pundits. If they were smarter and had integrity, they could have used this issue to discredit dozens of MSM hacks and - at the same time - helped deflect Dem attempts to use the issue against the GOP. And, they could have done all that without engaging in any wild theories or speculating. Details here:

The reason those r/w bloggers and pundits aren't doing things like that but instead are helping the Dems smear their base is that they just aren't that bright.

P.S. Andrew Malcolm makes a false statement above: HI never released anything besides two statements. The picture he shows above was supplied by the Obama campaign, not HI. That doesn't mean it's not a real cert, that just means that the supposed truth-tellers can't their facts straight.

It is increasingly becoming more difficult to belong to an organization which caters to the willfully ignorant because the entire world is growing more enlightened and sophisticated. The preceps of Tea Baggers just seem to fly in the face of reality. There is some hard-core dedicated stupidity going on there.

Obama is a citizen of the USA, and these people need to get over it. These people have a head problem.

All we need to do to see the way our Republicans and Democrats and Libertarians and the "Tea Party" groups are taking care of our country is to look at Haiti. They are not willing to be taxed to prepare us for disaster (our infostructure: education; roads; electrical; water or health care). But, you can bet they will all try to argue they tried to get us ready when the disaster happens.
We can be thankful they were not running things during World War II.

...if you count Kansas as America....

Andrew, your elitism is showing.

So it is a surprise that 30 percent of our citizens in this state where education now stinks are ignorant idiots?

"Obama's mother was an American... Which legally should end the issue wherever the birth took place..."

Then you go on to say: "Arnold Schwarzenegger, who as an Austrian native is ineligible to be president..."

Having an American mother - or being naturalized - merely makes both Obama and Arnold American citizens. Being a citizen is necessary to be president, but not sufficient. One must also be 35 years of age and be "natural born." One must NOT be from the same state as the Vice Presidential candidate and, by extension, be eligible to vote in his home state.

" They are not willing to be taxed to prepare us for disaster (our infostructure: education; roads; electrical; water or health care)." Are you crazy? Taxes now account for 40% of GDP - about the same as Canada. That's not enough? The Lord God Almighty only asked for a tenth.

I'd further observe that those who can't deny the message, attack the messenger. And the Tea Partiers have the right message - the US government is spending more money than it takes in. That is an undeniable fact, and it needs to stop. The combined state, local and federal taxes and regulations are more than our economy can bear - that is a fact. Raising taxes and increasing regulations in the midst of a severe recession is insane. Do you want a depression? You can certainly have one if we act as the Obama administration desires.

Cut spending, cut government workers salaries and pensions, cut regulation, cut foreign aid, cut and cut and keep at it until our revenues are more than our expenses. Then pay down the federal debt. We all do this ourselves at home, and there is no reason why the government can't do it too. And yes special interests who've been sucking at the government tit will be unhappy. Boo. Hoo.

No need to call names or consider internment camps, just explain why the actual Birth Certificate, dating back to the year of birth, can't be seen by the public.

Just explain why it's worth spending around a million dollars to prevent that from happening.

I don't think there's anything too nefarious about it, I think there's probably just something embarrassing on there.

And no, Mark M, President Obama is not full-blooded American, he's half Kenyan. Even he admits that.

And no, Lornaj, all Citizens are not eligible to be President.

And last, R.I.P., anyone using "preceps" in text shouldn't be referencing anyone else's stupidity.

None of this Birth Certificate stuff will matter unless the Republicans take the U.S. House and U.S. Senate in November. If they do and his steep slide continues (and there is little evidence to think that it will not) then he will be so vulnerable by 2011 that he could be impeached, and this issue will certainly come up in that context. In such a situation, he'll have to cough it up and you know he has some reason for not doing so yet, whatever that reason may be. While almost no one in the real world wants to go through that again, never underestimate the stupidity, pettiness and venality of the politicians in both liberal and conservative wings of the Incumbent party. It is all so very sad, is it not?

Conspiracy will not leave this third. They will always be around regardless of what groups they represent a third. They represent those people that will ruin something for all if they can't get their way. In a sense these people are like Al Qaeda.

33% of Californians are not sure that Obama was U.S. born, but only 28% identify with the tea party movement. So even if you think every tea partier is a birther (highly unlikely) it's obviously not just tea partiers who believe this.

I'm with Thomass above. I don't doubt that Obama is a US citizen who was born in Hawaii and is eligible to be President. I'm still curious to know why he had to request a new one in 2007, and why he's spending so much money fighting something being spearheaded by Hillary supporters if releasing the original doc would clear it up. (It's possible his lawyers have told him it would be akin to throwing chum in the water to appease the sharks.)

The only documents I want to see from Obama are the ones that would finally fulfill his campaign promise of unprecedented "transparency."

@Dorothy: Oh, the old elitism canard. That isn't elitism, it's called irony, highlighting the specious logic of the brithers.

"your elitism is showing" is just another way of saying "I'm not a very good reader."

Ironic that this whole issue was raised by a Hillary Clinton supporter- a lawyer named Berg- to try and get Barak Obama disqualified prior to the Democrat convention.

If you want to find out the legal issues, (had to do with the law at the time dealing with US mother/foreign father of child born overseas, as well as his parents renouncing his citizenship while in Indonesia so he could attend schools there) google for Berg's court filings. He used to have a website about it.

The courts have ruled, no one who has the standing to sue wants to, so lets move on. Can you imagine the riots if the courts actually did disqualify Obama and put Biden in as president? Replace the first US African American president with some establishment white guy, that will rightfully anger a lot of folks. A nightmare I don't want to see the country go through. 52% elected him, and again the courts through out the suits for standing.

BTW, Obama could have personal/legal reasons for not releasing his vault copy having nothing to do with his citizenship. Info embarassing to him, sets a bad precedent etc. etc.

Ah, the strategy revealed: Republicans and Tea Partiers are conspiracy nutjobs, independent voters should shun them.

Is that all ya got? I mean, a Republican was just elected to Ted Kennedy's seat, and you're gonna go with a Vince Foster angle?

Desperate times and all that, I guess.

Ok, this has gotten out of line. People really are still worried about Obama's birth certificate? The world would've known by now if it were fake, which I doubt it is.

This is perfect. 28% of Ca. Let's see: 18% Birthers, minutemen vigilenties, John Birchers, and 10% fox news dumbed down types. Please run your own candidates and therefor split the right wing vote and make way for some sane progressive pols. BTW why in all these Tea bag photos are there always all white middle aged folks?

Ignorant, stupid, idiots, nitwits. These are some very insulting words used to describe people you disagree with. However, I too question Obama's birth place. And, I think those same words could apply to the people who voted into office, this unknown, inexperienced, unqualified, lying everytime he speaks and unfit for president, Barack Obama.

How clever to write an article that conflates the tea party supporters with the nirthers. I am sure all your lefty readers will be happy with this meme - wait until the next election folks then you'll get a dose of reality. Meanwhile keep on marginalizing your opponents and bouncing around your mental echo chambers.

All he needs to do is release his birth certificate, and school records after he returned from Indonesia. The lawsuits clearly point out the laws in 1961 that say that his mother was to young to confer citizenship outside the country at the time. He was also born with dual citizenship which the founding fathers saw as grounds for exclusion from this office.

Birthers are racists, but afraid to admit it!

Mom’s age, and therefore her legal status may, or may not have conferred US Citizenship on the guy, that is for the legal beagles to argue, and SCOTUS to decide. The law appears to say: not.

For the sake of the health of this country, I would like to believe the guy is an American.

However, there are a lot of Americans who, because of the circumstances of their birth, cannot become President of the United States. Like the Governator. There’s the rub.

I would be asking the same questions if McCain had become President. A Senate resolution (S.Res.511) does not a ‘natural born citizen’ make. Resolutions are not amendments.

A few SCOTUS decisions lead us to Vattell, and the concept that a ‘natural born citizen’ must be of “parents” (two) who are citizens. This would also exclude Obama. SCOTUS may need to settle the issue.

If he’s an American, and if he’s a ‘natural born citizen’, then why go to such lengths to hide it? That should bother all of us, no matter which side of the aisle one stands on.

I thought all such records had to be released to the public when you are President but in any case why is it nuts to wonder why he doesn't want to produce it. Hide something from me and I am going to wonder what you are hiding. Are you suppose to vet these things being a journalist?...But I have a problem with this birth certificate myself. I was a birth certificate clerk in a hospital in the early '70's and I am about to add to the controversy...This isn't the Birth Certificate that has the name of the hospital, attending physcian, etc...AND THE FATHER'S RACE SAYS 'AFRICAN'..WHAT? THEY MUST HAVE CHANGED THE OPTIONS IN 10 YEARS WHEN I WAS DOING BIRTH CERTIFICATES BECAUSE AT THAT TIME YOU DID NOT PUT NATIONALITY YOU PUT RACE AND IT WOULD HAVE SAID: NEGRO...Not African.
That isn't a PC term these days but in 1971 that would have been the race on the list to type in. ...Just saying it may be nuts to think Hillary Clinton wouldn't have jumped on this if it was a problem or Arnold would have vetted this...just saying before you make fun of people you should find out what he has to hide that he would not release his birth certificate and put this crazy idea to rest.

As always we have doers movers and shakers,
Then we have take takers and what's in it for ME!
If they read studied and get aware of what is going down the numbers would be 90%...++++++ 1/3 can't read.
But loafers loaf, and wait for momma to help them decide what to wear every day.
We are American fighters and protect ourself when abuse is shoved too far...SO STOP IT! BRITISH is BRITISH and never can be a PRESIDENT of the USA. What can you not get?
O will not show the long form or anything else, so go after O to prove HE CAN BE a Pres. We have had little help but the truth will blow your mind when it come out...And if he has another Father shame on more lies....But what he signed said and written prove he is nothing but a Usurper....from day ONE!!! Show the goods..............SHOW THEM!
The Joker thinks he never has to answer up but he will someday soon. And WHAT WILL LITTLE BARRY?STEVE?DUNHAM DO? In the meantime he loves the life he fell into....parties food music stars fancy home a dog best school for his girls airplane rides travel awards Hawaii hideout vacations.... the joke is on Americans one and all!

What you display as a birth certificate is actually an "Abstract of Birth". It is NOT ACCEPTED by the US government as proof of birth! Try to get a passport with one of those...

At least the LA Times admits most people are smart enough to realize laser printers didn't exist in 1961. Even the people who voted for Bundesbank Herr Oberfuhrer.

Bottom line, I don't really care. All one needs to know is that abuse of an Executive Order is an impeachable offense. Just ask Dennis Kucinich.

Michael - The COLB shown is an image of a certified document from the State of Hawaii that establishes birth. It is also the only document the State of Hawaii issues to establish birth. As such, it is recognized by all 50 states and the Federal government as valid documentation to establish birth AND citizenship.

If someone born in Hawaii were to go to the US State Department with a COLB issued from the State of Hawaii, it would look like the above document AND be accepted by the US State Department for purposes of getting a passport.

RobL - Mother's age only matters if Obama was born outside of the US. According to the State of Hawaii (both officials and birth index records) he was born in Hawaii, therefore is a Natural-Born US citizen irregardless of the age of either parent.

As for de Vattel, the English translation of "Law of Nations" that used the phrase "Natural Born Citizen" wasn't published until ten years after the Constitution was established. The original French did not use that term Furthermore, both the founders and de Vattel specifically cited the provisions of citizenship found in English Common Law at the time.

Bottom line, there is no two-citizen-parent clause in the US Constitution, and several court cases (including cases at the SCOTUS level) that state that one who is born in the US is legally a natural or native born US citizen.

Thanks to the Internet (and in particular widely-read web sites like WorldNetDaily) it is easy for crank information sources to pose as legitimate ones, and for fantasy to be packaged as fact. This is the case with the Obama eligibility controversy.

However if one takes the time, and I presume your 22% undecided have not, one finds that that there's nothing there. Obama's birth certificate is exactly what it should be, his birth was announced in 1961 in TWO newspapers, and the director of the Hawaii Department of Health has gone on record (statement on their web site) that Obama was born in Hawaii.

Further, there are literally dozens of court cases and authorities from Constitutional scholars to 100-year-old US Attorney General opinions that make it abundantly clear that people born in the United States to non-citizen parent(s) can be president.

Those are the facts and that is the law.

I've been watching and studying this (and reporting it on my blog at for over a year now, and I continue to be amazed how gullible some people are.

... and two thirds of Californians do not know the difference between a "natural-born citizen" and a "citizen."

(And that includes the author of the article.)

BTW, the reason the courts haven't "stopped the arguments" is that the courts simply have not "decided" anything -- the courts have been side dancing like crazy and throwing out the cases on technicalities to avoid having to make a decision.


Q: How many Obama supporters does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. The MSM told them everything is OK.

Again biased reporting, forget the birth certificate this character can't pass the natural born citizen requirement because his alleged father was never an American citizen! His hidden card is the "real" birth certificate we all use to obtain a driver license, passport, enter school which may show his real father was an American citizen? Or the reversal where he should be forced to resign!

Every "birther" should put their birth certificate online if they expect someone else to. Why not? What are you HIDING something?!

And then the rest of us with brains can laugh our heads off as their identities get stolen.

This is a tough situation to be handed. The stock market at lows, the budget busted and people pissed off at washington. I feel like the current administration is playing the hand they were dealt pretty well. And i dont blame anyone for being upset- its just this deal was done before Obama took office.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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