11 GOP Senators Sponsor Last-Minute “Birther” Bill

UPDATE: FOX 31 reports:

11 Republican state senators have introduced a last-minute resolution that would require elected officials to provide proof of citizenship before they are sworn-in…

“The concurrent resolution requires any person elected to public office in the state of Colorado to provide proof of citizenship along with the oath of office,” the resolution states. “If an elected officer fails to file proof of citizenship, the office is deemed vacant.”

The measure appears to be Colorado’s first legislative foray into the “birther” controversy surrounding President Obama’s citizenship which has ignited the Republican base. [Pols emphasis]

Clearly, a proud moment in Colorado Republican history.


Today, we got an update on how 11 Republican state senators–Sens. Kent Lambert, Bill Cadman, Scott Renfroe, Mark Scheffel, Keith and Steve King, Nancy Spence, Kevin Grantham, Ted Harvey, Mike Kopp, and Kevin Lundberg–have been spending their time as the session winds down. That is, the vast majority of the GOP Senate caucus. And yes, it’s their time, but being elected officials paid with your tax dollars, it’s kind of your time, too.

Anyway, what do you suppose Sens. Lambert,  Cadman, Renfroe, Scheffel, King and King, Spence, Grantham, Harvey, Kopp, and Lundberg think you care about right now? The deficit? Public education funding? Perhaps even “Obamacare?” If you guessed any of those, sorry!

It’s “Birther bill” time!



Folks, we realize that we should not be surprised to see such a manifest waste of the legislature’s time introduced, and we understand that this measure has approximately zero chance of surviving its first date with the Senate State Affairs Committee. But we have to admit that when this bill appeared in our inbox a little after noon today, we were fairly stunned by the mind-boggling political cluelessness of it. “Birther” conspiracy theories occupy an almost singular joke status around the nation tdoay, the stock and trade of fringe players who even most Republicans will not share a stage with. While not wading into the specific constitutional requirements to be president of the United States, SCR-003 would establish the range of documents an elected official can supply to “prove citizenship,” and require such proof before that official can take office. Birth certificates and “legible photocopies” qualify, though it doesn’t say if that needs to be the fabled “long form” birth certificate like Donald Trump wants to see from Barack Obama.

Not that it matters; every sponsor looks like an idiot, beyond even our ability to have predicted. Can someone, anyone, please tell us who thought this was a good bill for all but four of the Republican caucus in the Colorado state senate to sponsor? With the exception of a few “birther” crazies whose votes are not in contention, it hurts them far more than it could ever help.

We would swear at least a few know this, which makes their sponsorship even more bizarre.

62 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bullshit! says:

    I am really, incredibly disappointed in Nancy Spence. That’s the name in the list that surprises me, not so much the others.

    Sen. Spence, why are you involved with this?

  2. Aristotle says:

    and doing all you can to make Colorado competitive!

    Oh, wait…

  3. ArapaGOP says:

    If this was truly a “birther bill” the way you want to derisively portray it, it would only apply to presidential candidates. SCR-003 would apply if approved by the voters to all candidates elected by the state of Colorado. And as you yourself point out, photocopies are okay so Obama’s birth certificate would pass muster.

    Having said that, what’s your beef with elected officials verifying their citizenship? No voters being suppressed there. By running for office, shouldn’t you freely submit yourself to verification of whatever the public wants to know?

    • ajb says:

      Why was the bill introduced?

    • droll says:

      Folks already do that. So ajb’s question stands.

    • ClubTwitty says:


      And this creates jobs how?

    • 20th Maine says:

      at the presidential level, due to the fact that the state as a whole elects nine Presidential Electors, who then vote for the president?

    • coloradopolster says:

      President Obama’s birth certificate has been verified in person with a physical copy.  But reality does not seem apply for some.  


    • CastleMan says:


      There are many things “the public wants to know” that it is not entitled to know.

      Moreover, this whole “birther” thing is motivated by partisan hatred. The Hawaii Secretary of State has verified that the president was born in that state, yet is not believed. So the president’s status as an American citizen is established and therefore cannot be something the public does not know.

      Besides, if you put a partisan in charge of screening candidates for office, you can take it to the bank that abuses will occur.

      • droll says:

        Palin’s medical records. More importantly, her youngest kid’s birth certificate. Irony.

        Same issue, says this Democrat. Both stupid attempts to discredit someone some people didn’t like. Odd that I’ve never heard a Republican say that she should show because that’s what candidates do.

        So yeah. And your third and fourth paragraphs, too. (rolls eyes, not at CastleMan)

      • thiokuutoo says:

        Only Obama can view his “birth certificate”. He cannot get or make a copy.  He can get the form, which he has, and which is on the internets tubes.  

        The law does not matter to the birthers. The truth does not matter to the birthers. Even logic does not matter to the birthers.  The hatred of having a white and black heritage man as president drives them insane.  

        Let them drag their “leaders” to the edge. Fine with me.  

  4. softie says:

    Crazy conservative yes, but not just plain crazy.  

  5. The noncitizen elected officials are only doing the work that citizen elected officials refuse to do.

    Except that I can’t remember any epidemic of people sneaking into this country to run for office.

  6. MADCO says:

    I assumed this already a requirement of Colorado law, though I have never seen any candidate publish it.  

    Isn’t this something the SOS already does?

    • RedGreen says:

      Candidates sign an affidavit that they meet the qualifications for office when they file to run. No one asks to see proof.

      This isn’t a birther bill, it’s a good for the goose bill to support Gessler’s proposal that voters provide proof of citizenship. If they’ve got to do it, so should the names on the ballot. At least that’s the underpinning of this bill.

      • 20th Maine says:

        Though it still doesn’t seem to be ideally worded for their purposes.

      • JeffcoBlue says:

        We’re all “birther” targets now, that’s the point.

        • droll says:

          Is it moderately good strategy? Subtle? Almost logical for the whole plan? Absolutely.

          Now which of those things says “Lundberg” to you? Too much credit given to the party, imo. It is what it looks and feels like because that’s all the GOP is capable of. Fear, fear, FEAR! Not subtle, subtle, ….

          Just saying. Even if this is all a diabolic plan it’s dumb because it’s being reported as an attack on Obama. “Secretary of State reserves right to track you down and arrest you for voting! More at 6:00.” That’s scary and may suppress votes. More “birther” nonsense is a waste of time and the general public doesn’t care about geese when Gessler gets scary again. If the public doesn’t care and it’s politically stupid, I’ll take the stunt at face value.

      • MADCO says:

        CRS 1-1-104 defines who is an eligible “elector” but does not appear to require any candidate to prove it.

        But why wait until they’re being sworn in- check them when they file to run.

  7. 20th Maine says:

    I usually wear protection.  But this girl was hot-to-trot and I didn’t have time to mess around.  Plus… I thought, ‘hey, when’s the next time I’ll be in Haiti?’

     Sorry, that was my first thought (a 20 yr. old SNL skit) when I saw this.

    Seems to be worded farily vaguely.  Wouldn’t they want to verify citizenship before being placed on the ballot?  Otherwise you’re looking at en expensive Charlie Foxtrot to deal with if someone, somehow slipped through and got caught after winning.

    Furthermore, does the Colorado constitution have the power to deny entry to the White House?

    Finally, how is the section of the US Constitution that details requirments for the office – enforced now?  Is there an officer in Congress that verfies citizenship?  Is it just left to the press?

    If you didn’t think this was a bad idea before, you should have after Jan Brewer even thought it was too crazy.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      until I noticed who it was that I was starting to agree with, and had to — “Whoa fellow, let’s stop and think about this!”

      Wouldn’t they want to verify citizenship before being placed on the ballot?  Otherwise you’re looking at en expensive Charlie Foxtrot to deal with if someone, somehow slipped through and got caught after winning.

      Now that I’ve calmed down from my scare and though about it a bit, this bill makes perfect sense.  It’s a typical do-nothing-to-solve-any-problem bill, with the added bonus that if it were to pass it could be used as a political hatchet to cast aspersions on anyone who gets elected that is insufficiently likable because they’re too brown, not enough Christian, or too damn liberal.  It’s a big meaty bone to the folks who want an excuse to question someone’s (. . . gee, I wonder who? . . .) legitimacy RIGHT NOW!

      The purpose of this bill is simply to allow for good ‘ole Charlie-Fox hootin’ and a hollerin’ . . . It’s something that the biggester hooters and hollerers can use as an excuse any time (like RIGHT NOW) it’s convenient to cast doubt on some (darkish, insufficiently religulous, overly liberal) elected official’s legitimacy.

  8. FrenchFinn says:

    Steve King informed me in an E-mail that his legislation would be guided by ALEC. Look at the similar bill that was recently passed by AZ and subsequently vetoed by Governor Brewer. I’m sure this bill and that bill have the same genesis, which may or may not be ALEC. But for legislators who are too lazy to think for themselves, it is not surprising that they would follow some other fools down this path.  

    • ClubTwitty says:

      there is an easily googleable pdf  “american legislative exchange council citizenship”

      but I don’t see anything quite like this on the list-

      Elections & Ethics

      *Resolution in Support of the Electoral College

      *Resolution Supporting the First Amendment in Elections

      *Resolution Opposing Taxpayer Financed Political Campaigns

      *Uniform Faithful Presidential Electors Act

      *Resolution Supporting Citizen Involvement in Elections

      *Model Resolution Restricting the Use of Random Sampling

      *Resolution to Preserve the Legislative Process

      *An Act to Provide Public Information on Convictions of Public Officials

      *Resolution to Reform the Ballot Initiatives Process

      *Resolution in Opposition to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

      *Statement of Principles: Best Practices in Election Reform

      *Resolution Opposing Federal Takeover of State Election Procedures

      *Resolution in Support of the Cornyn-McCarthy Military Voting Protection Act

      *Resolution in Support of the Citizens United Decision

      *Express Mail Delivery for Military Ballots Act

      *Resolution on Military Voting Rights

      *Voter ID Act

      *Resolution in Opposition to Pay-to-Play Legislation


    • gertie97 says:

      We know this. He got elected anyway.

      People get the government they deserve.

      Gawd help us.

  9. CastleMan says:

    and that means they just can’t help throwing really meaty bones to their base, which just so happens to include lots of dumb people and lots of bigots.

  10. BlueCat says:

    Do they really want to be connected with Charlie Sheen and the Donald when even Mallord Filmore cartoons are making fun of Trump (not on this particular issue but still)? Just the other day even Bachmann was forced to admit(sort of)that the issue has to be considered settled. O’Reilly has declared that Obama is a legit citizen. This is when our brilliant GOP lawmakers decide to join the club?  

  11. abraham says:

    OK – maybe I am not understanding this.  If the text in the box is the full measure, what is the point?

    It doesn’t say that you have to have been born in the US.  It says that you have to prove that you are a citizen before you can take the oath of office as an elected official – which I assume means members of the boards of special districts, city councils, school boards, etc.

    Don’t you have to be a registered voter and meet some basic residency requirement before you can run for public office?  And, if that is true, isn’t the real issue here just another spin on whether we have people who are here illegally registering to vote?

    • RegisteredRepublican says:

      I agree with Abraham.  Nothing — in what has been shown above — says a person has to be a natural born citizen… just that he, or she, has to prove citizenship.

      Frankly, if this is supposed to be about Barack Obama, then this is a ridiculous waste of time.  There is sufficient proof, provided by the State of Hawaii, that Obama was born there in 1960.  This is truly a non-issue.

    • FrenchFinn says:

      There is an amusing detail in the fine print of the bill. A “legible” photo copy of a birth certificate is valid proof of citizenship. This actually relaxes the federal standard for acceptable documentation for things like passports. The federal standard is a certified copy of a birth certificate, which means that it bears the seal of the entity making the certification that the document is accurate. This lower standard opens the door for fraud rather than closing it.

  12. Gilpin Guy says:

    Democrats need to move closer to the center to have any chance of winning but Republicans need to go as bat shit extreme as they possibly can if they want to have their mojo and political cred.  Seriously?

    You have to wonder who is going to do the verifying.  It like trying to answer a Libby question.  Since he gets to decide if the answer is correct, you have no chance of answering the question correctly.  It’s another joke to distract people from their dismal job creation programs.  Where are the jobs?

  13. thiokuutoo says:

    Too bad they just cannot accept that a man with more than lily white skin was elected president. To even try to imagine that a thinking human could not believe that a man with white black heritage could be elected president is hard – maybe in 1849, but not 2011.  

    Lord help them when some one with a brown name like Sonia Sotomayor becomes a Supreme Court Justice. . . oh wait a minute. Okay

    Lord help them when someone with a brown name like Sonia Sotomayor becomes president.

  14. davebarnes says:

    forbids ALL CAPS sentences?

  15. Gilpin Guy says:

    of the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade in Catch-22?  These people are of the same idiocy of Captain Black.


    Recap of Chapter 11

    “Captain Black tries to get revenge on Major Major by initiating the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade, during which he forces all the men to swear elaborate oaths of loyalty before doing basic things like eating meals. He then refuses to let Major Major sign a loyalty oath and hopes, thereby, to make him appear disloyal. The Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade is a major event in the camp until the fearsome Major — de Coverley puts an end to it by hollering “Gimme eat!” in the mess hall without signing an oath.”

  16. Barron X says:


    where’s the real harm ?


      • Barron X says:


        What can the Prez do on his own ?  

        We have government by (secret) committee.

        We could have Pol Pot, or Osama bin in the White House,

        but if they couldn’t persuade those around them to go along,

        they would be powerless to make radical changes.  

        Obama proposed radical change on health care.  He got some adjustments around the edges.  Ditto on Gitmo and gay rights.  

        The President leads, but with his eye constantly on the rear view mirror.  

        He cannot lead us anywhere we aren’t already willing to go.  


        • dukeco1 says:

          You got a little too cozy with Bushes’ propensity for exercising “cowboy diplomacy”. Politics used to be about compromise. The 1% doctrine stressed hegemony.

          I prefer the “compromiser-in-chief” to the “school yard bully” approach.

          President Obama is a citizen of the United States. If you believe otherwise, you are a fool, a zealot, a blind political operative, or you have the cognitive ability of a rutabaga.

          I, for one, will enjoy Obamas’ second term, during which, we will start refocusing our efforts to take care of the working people who make it go. We are tired of being ripped off by billionaires who manipulate the media/government.  

  17. dwyer says:

    This is all becoming so standardized for me.  The repubs (READ: birthers) make some inane legislative move, the dems fall all over themselves ridiculing and dismissing the strategy and I rant at the dems for not realizing the political power of the birther movement.  So I am just going to say: Kabuki Dance as code for “god’s sake dems…don’t dismiss that which is defeating you.”

    However, this resolution and the move to put citizenship verification on the ballot does have some real impact. It accomplishes two things:

    1) It weakens the notion that swearing on an affidavit is sufficient to establish eligibility to vote and to hold elective office.

    2) It strengthens the notion that the state, not the federal government, will determine who is a citizen and who is not.

    It gives more power to the Secretary of State.

    • dukeco1 says:

      1) It weakens the notion that swearing on an affidavit is sufficient to establish eligibility to vote and to hold elective office.

      2) It strengthens the notion that the state, not the federal government, will determine who is a citizen and who is not.

      Neither of these “notions” is a legitimate position.

      It gives more power to the Secretary of State.

      This is the real point of this bill, in my view.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        since it won’t ever see the legislative light is to get everyone to swear to their brand of loyalty which is Republican nationalism wrapped up in self-righteous American exceptionalism.

        In short it is intended to work up the suckers in their own party into an emotional outrage over the illegitimate Kenyan instead of looking at their job creation results.  “Look at the birdy over there.  Isn’t it a dirty bird”.

        More waste of government resources by the supposedly more efficient Republicans.  What frauds.  Gimme eat

      • dwyer says:

        Look, dc1….

        It gives more power to the Secretary of State.

        How does it give more power to the Secretary of State?….because

        1) It weakens the notion that swearing on an affidavit is sufficient to establish eligibility to vote and to hold elective office.

        2) It strengthens the notion that the state, not the federal government, will determine who is a citizen and who is not.

        See, you have to follow through on an argument.  Disparging remarks reveal a weakness.  State an argument, if you can.  If not, acknowledge my analytic brilliance and my ability to “suffer fools gladly.”

        • dukeco1 says:

          I have stated my case very poorly. I was in a hurry…sorry. Let me try again.

          What I meant to say was; the bill neither weakens nor strenghtens anything. It is DOA. It is a cheap political tactic…and not a good one.  

          It is abrahams’ question

          Don’t you have to be a registered voter and meet some basic residency requirement before you can run for public office?  And, if that is true, isn’t the real issue here just another spin on whether we have people who are here illegally registering to vote?

          I believe to be pertinent.

          I will be lazy and direct you Gilpin Guys’ comment. I completely concur with his assessment. The “power” I meant when speaking of Mr. Gessler was just that this is merely an attempt to give him one more bucket of bullshit to try to hide the obvious truth.

          I thought “ridiculous” was one of the more civil epithets I could have chosen, sorry to have caused offense.

          As to your willingness to suffer fools…thank you.    😉

          And, of course, your analytical brilliance is a matter of common knowledge, there being no need to point it out.  

          • dwyer says:

            However, clever as you both are and you, properly respectful of my considerable talents,(:))) we are in disagreement…

            I think that the republicans are always “on message” and that they are framing the debate.  Whether the bill passes or not, is of no concern.  The repubs  assert and the dems are perpetually on the defensive…albit, witty and adroit.

            See, I am back to fencing with those with whom I am in basic agreement, philosophically.

            Where is the dem bill restricting the ability of the SOS to  arbitrarily demand proof of citizenship from anyone of whom he is suspicious?  Where is the dem resolution restating Colorado’s commitment to the Constitution of the United STates and the “full faith and credit” clause, therein.  Let the gd repubs vote against that.

            • Gilpin Guy says:

              I find it courageous that you are willing to take the bullet and listen to rabid right wing radio for the rest of us and let us know what’s being said but I think you give them too much credit if you think these clowns had any real ambition to implement actual legislation with this waste of taxpayer money.  Couldn’t they be doing some kind of real work for their paychecks?

              The 17th century Samurai Miyamoto Musashi said that one of the ways to be defeated is to over estimate your enemy which will make you timid instead of bold.  You see Democrats being cunningly out maneuvered on every issue because of their intricate conspiracies.  I see clowns trying to make names for themselves with their toothless brethren by trying to out do each other in stereotypical bigotry.

              My recommendation is to back away from the radio for a while and just enjoy the spring moisture bringing the planet back to life.  We’re OK even if they are sneaky twerps because we don’t buy into their corny crap.

              • dwyer says:

                You are advocating exactly what the democrats have done for two years.  And look at the results.  The repubs control the congress and 29 governships…..the biggest sweep of any party since 1946….and I should go outside and smell the roses!!!!!

                Are you mad?   I am not the problem, although much easier to deal with than the repubs.


  18. Cordelia Chase says:

    require that everyone MAILS a photocopy verifying their citizenship to everyone when they win.  Because I want to see the proof for myself!  

    I mean, since Jesus isn’t physically around, no one believes in him anymore.  Oh, wait.  

  19. dwyer says:

    Via the petition route?  LIke the repubs could say that the dems can thwarting their attempts to “protect” the Constitution and citizenship verification, so the repubs will have to go to  the ballot?

    Maddow said that the repubs in control in Florida are overhauling their voter registration system to make it harder to do voter registration drives…..

    See, if the plan is to discourage voting among Hispanics and other minorities..then the changing demographics in this country do not matter.

    We will have a white minority running things…just like LDC….but I digress.

    • droll says:

      Want to know the odds of it passing, or making it on the ballot at all? Or just want everyone to tell you how right you are and admit that the rest of us are in denial? It’s their constitutional right, after all.

      See, if the plan is to put something in front of the voters that has huge unintended consequences, then they’ve failed because of the demographic shifts. Weird, right?

      Your premise is that everyone pays attention and draws a line to something that may not even quite be there, but notices nothing else at all. I’m calling that premise bullshit and I’m citing poorly written pot initiative and eggmendments. Also Buck. Because arguably it wasn’t his personal stance on abortion, but his lack of caring about the consequences for everyone not having an abortion.

      Let me save you the trouble of a reply:

      So it is possible that repubs will put the voter/citizenship ID issue on the ballot by petition. They stick to the message that they’re attempting to “protect” the Constitution.

      The talk radio hosts back them up completely and discourage voting among Hispanics and other minorities by fear, before the initiative has even passed. You’re in denial that the changing demographics in this country matter.

      How would you prove to SOS Gessler that you are a citizen?

      by: dwyer @ Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 19:43:54 PM MDT

      It’s easy when you don’t have to consider anything. You’re welcome.

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