You really should move to Arizona Todd, you'd fit right in.Once again, Arizona is the nation's laughingstock
Aaaaaaaaand we're off to the races once again.
The race, that would be, to determine the loopiest, looniest oh-so-laughable state in the land.
Cue Secretary of State Ken Bennett: "I'm not a birther. I believe the president was born in Hawaii or at least I hope he was. But my responsibility as secretary of state is to make sure that the ballots in Arizona are correct and that those people whose names are on the ballot have met the qualifications for the office that they seeking."
So starts the official kickoff to the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, a contest in which every God-fearing, gubernatorial-aspiring Republican will apparently feel the need to court the "tea party."
How better to do it than to channel birthers?
In an interview with KFYI's Mike Broomhead on Thursday, Bennett said that he has asked the state of Hawaii for verification that Barack Obama was born in the islands, and alas, has gotten nothing back.
Other than questions about who he is and why he wants to know, that is.
Bennett says he's not a birther. He's simply following the lead of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who took time out from all those uninvestigated sex crimes to conclude a few months ago that there is some presidential funny business about Obama's birth. Arpaio, at the request of 250 "tea party" members, had his volunteer posse work for six months before holding a news conference in March to announce that he believes Obama's birth certificate may be a fraud.
On Friday, Arpaio applauded Bennett's move, hinting that he believes Hawaiian officials may be in cahoots with the president on a cover-up.
"Hey, they're probably in a box because if they come back and certify that the birth certificate is legitimate, there's a little problem there," he told me. "We're not done investigating that."
Arpaio says he's working the investigation every day. "I think there's a lot of probable cause there, and we're not done yet."
After Arpaio's big expose, Bennett said he got 1,200 e-mails from people, asking him to demand Obama's birth certificate.
To which my mother would ask: If you got 1,200 e-mails asking you to jump off a cliff, would you do it?
Evidently, Mama Bennett would say "heck yeah," because eight weeks ago Bennett found himself a form on the Internet, got a $5 money order and fired off his request that Hawaiian officials verify that they've got proof of Obama's birth.
The fact that Hawaiian officials have said time and again that Obama is one of them apparently doesn't hold water with Bennett.
"I was frankly expecting that they would very quickly and very simply say yes," he told Broomhead. "Eight weeks later, they haven't said it."
Possibly because they've been asked the question so many times that in 2010 the state actually passed a law allowing Hawaiian officials to ignore requests for copies of the document. At the time, the Hawaii Department of Health was getting 50 requests a month, according to the Honolulu Advertiser.
And now, one more from Arizona's chief elections officer -- the guy who decides what candidates' names will go on our ballot this fall.
Broomhead asked Bennett if he has made similar requests of other presidential candidates.
"I don't know if other states have this mechanism like Hawaii has. I was just trying to take advantage of what I thought was a very simple and straightforward request," Bennett replied. "If they (Hawaiian officials) don't or won't do that, then I have to start thinking about well, are we going to make all the other candidates, because we should treat everybody the same."
In other words: no, he hasn't asked the others.
So if the state of Hawaii decides that the state of Arizona is certifiably insane and refuses to comply, will Bennett refuse to put the president of the United States on Arizona's ballot?
"That's possible," Bennett said.
Yes, because it's been 10 minutes or so since we were a finger-wagging, militia-loving, gun-toting, sovereignty-seeking circus sideshow on the national landscape.
Remember the good old days, when we were just known as the Grand Canyon State?
As my really really good friend Kaleb sez, "Read the comments."