>A majority of Georgia House members have signed onto a measure that would force any presidential or vice-presidential candidate to show proof of their citizenship to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office if they want to get on the ballot. There were 93 Republicans and one Democrat who signed onto the measure. 21 Republicans refused to co-sponsor the legislation.
House Bill 401, if passed, would require President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden to prove they were born in the United States to be placed on the Georgia ballot for voters to choose in the primary and general election.
There is a good chance the bill could pass the 180-member house, but Speaker David Ralston has indicated the bill has a stunted future:
House Speaker David Ralston, in a late Thursday interview, said he would not stop committee-level debate of a bill to require President Barack Obama to provide proof of his American birth in order to get on the ballot next year. But Ralston, who has developed a strong relationship with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, suggested that HB 401 stood little chance of making it to the floor for passage, despite carrying the signatures of 93 Republican lawmakers. “I’m not promoting the bill or squelching discussion. We’ll have a discussion, and then we’ll see what happens,” Ralston said. “First of all, I believe President Obama is the duly elected president of the United States. I’ve never followed the ‘birther’ school of thought.”
I hate to be more pessimistic than Ralston, but I can see this bill passing both chambers and being signed by our pro-birther movement Gov. Nathan Deal.
I find it interesting Georgia Republicans–and the one insane Democrat–would want to waddle into an issue that’s been pretty much kept in the news by a few right wing nuts who can’t fathom the idea that we have a black president. We are a state that’s grappling with a billion dollar shortfall, dwindling revenues, stagnant test scores, high unemployment and a transportation problem that no one wants to deal with seriously. Yet our representatives believe this is the best way to spend their 45 days in the Georgia General Assembly.
Instead of living up to our reputation as the hub of the New South and home to the city that’s Too Busy To Hate, Georgia will soon join a growing list of states that are bearing their ignorant, backwards, revisionist history-loving rear-ends with pride.