There are a lot of things wrong with something calling itself a “voter’s bill of rights” that looks more like a laundry list of favors to help Republicans (such as a constitutional bar on early voting and paying people for voter registration). I suspect that if any action is made on HJR 34, the voter ID portions will be mentioned more in depth. But, something stood out to me in this bill.

Section 8. We the people of Missouri adopt a voter’s bill of rights as a defense against corruption, fraud, and tyranny. Missouri voters shall have the following rights:

3. The right to have only qualified candidates placed on the ballot. The secretary of state shall determine that each person is qualified for the office he or she seeks, according to the law, before placing his or her name on the ballot. For candidates who are required by the Constitution of the United States to be natural born citizens, the secretary of state shall request an official copy of the candidate’s birth certificate. Other certifications, such as a certificate of live birth, shall not be accepted. Should any candidate fail to provide an official birth certificate within thirty days of the request by the secretary of state, his or her name shall not be placed on the ballot. The secretary of state shall verify the qualifications of any elected officeholder who was previously placed on a Missouri ballot. Should any elected officeholder fail to provide the required documentation or birth certificate within thirty days of the request by the secretary of state, the secretary of state shall turn the matter over to the attorney general who shall within twenty days file suit to obtain the required documentation.

Let me guide you though the code. It was hard to not bold 95% of that section.

“For candidates who are required by the Constitution of the United States to be natural born citizens” = Only the PRESIDENT is required to be a natural born citizen.

“the secretary of state shall request an official copy of the candidate’s birth certificate.” = Nutjob right-wingers think that Barack Obama was born in Kenya (and that a pregnant woman can get from Hawaii to Kenya to Hawaii in 1961, while smuggling a kid into the country without detection). In other words, these people are craaah-zie.

“Other certifications, such as a certificate of live birth, shall not be accepted.” = These nutjobs are under the impression that presenting a COLB (such as the one that a lot of people received after they were born in this country) is not enough.

“The secretary of state shall verify the qualifications of any elected officeholder who was previously placed on a Missouri ballot.” = ANY… who would be asking for verification? Would it be the same people who have repeatedly sued and repeatedly lost in court?

So basically this section wastes time and money to pursue a fringe conspiracy theory.

The backers of this bill need to answer one question about section three.

“Was section three of HJR 34 inspired or motivated by any belief or suspicion that the President of the United States was not born in the United States?”

Robert Wayne Cooper (R-Camdenton) is the sponsor of this amendment.

The co-sponsors are:

Walt Bivins (R-St. Louis) Dan Brown (R-Rolla). Jason Brown (R-Platte City). Cynthia Davis (R-O’Fallon). Doug Ervin (R-Kearney). Barney Joe Fisher (R-Richards). Doug Funderbunk (R-St. Peters).  Mike Lair (R-Chillicothe). Mike McGhee (R-Odessa). Bob Nance (R-Excelsior Springs). Brian Nieves (R-Washington). Dwight Scharnhorst (R-St. Louis). Shane Schoeller (R-Willard). Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood). Don Wells (R-Cabool).

Does this Gang of 16 lend credibility to the assortment of unrealistic and bizarre conspiracy theories advanced by the fringe against the President?

It’s a question worth asking. HJR 34 is a strong candidate for “Worst bill of the 2009 session”.