From The Oakland Tribune:
LOS ANGELES — Several California Republican politicians, including Senate candidate Carly Fiorina, are scheduled to share the stage this week with one of the leaders of the “birther” movement that asserts President Barack Obama was not born in this country and is thus ineligible for his elected office.
Orly Taitz, an Orange County attorney who has gone to court many times to try to disqualify Obama, was invited to speak Thursday at a Tax Day Tea Party rally in Pleasanton that is expected to draw thousands. Late Tuesday, organizers said that they had rescinded Taitz’s invitation after questions were raised about her presence by candidates who had been contacted by the Los Angeles Times.
Bridget Melson, founder and president of the Pleasanton Tea Party, said the organization had been “getting calls from candidates like crazy.”
“It’s not worth it,” she said. “She’s too controversial. This is not what the tea party is about at this point.”
Taitz’s lawsuits have been thrown out and lambasted by judges; she has been fined $20,000 for filing frivolous lawsuits, and Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly deemed her a “nut.” Taitz, who is now running for secretary of state, was nonetheless invited to speak at Thursday’s event, which is expected to be among the largest Tax Day events in California.
In addition to Fiorina, a representative of Senate candidate Chuck DeVore’s campaign and several congressional and state legislative candidates are scheduled to speak at the rally.
One candidate threatened to withdraw from the event before Tuesday’s decision to uninvite Taitz. John Dennis, who is running for the Republican nomination to oppose House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco, said he would not appear on the same stage as Taitz.
Taitz is best known for her crusade to prove Obama was born in Kenya and not Hawaii, a falsehood that sprung to life during the 2008 presidential campaign and that most voters and mainstream Republicans reject. However, she also has been creating waves in the state Republican Party.
In a phone interview Tuesday before her invitation was pulled, Taitz dismissed the dust-up over her planned appearance.
“Look, the truth is the truth,” she said. “It is important for the public to know. Just like it took some time but Watergate was investigated and there was resolution. By the same token, Obama needs to be investigated.”
[Some] said that GOP candidates merely need to distance themselves from Taitz’s message. Not everyone speaking at the event would do so, however, including a top state party official who argued that Obama’s birthplace is not settled.
“I certainly don’t have enough information to decide that,” said Tom Del Beccaro, vice chairman of the California Republican Party. “I’ve never seen yay or nay either way, so how could I know?”
A consultant to San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson, a candidate for state Assembly who is speaking Thursday, declined to say where Wilson thinks Obama was born.
“Given the things going on in our state right now, the last thing I am thinking about is where Barack Obama was born,” consultant Joe Roe quoted Wilson as saying.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
California Republican Party vice chair Tom Del Becarro, the outspoken conservative publisher of PoliticalVanguard.com, says that there is no way he’s part of the “birther” movement — and he charges the whole thing is being tossed around by Democrats to “create controversy” and shift focus from real election year issues.
The story kicked off after Del Beccaro, who’s in line to be the party’s next chairman, was quoted in a Los Angeles Times story today about the birther controversy — after “birther” rabblerouser Orly Taitz was tossed from the Pleasanton Tea Party Wednesday following concerns from some campaigns and some Republicans.
No wonder: Taitz’s “queen birther” fringe element appeal has also prompted cringes from some GOPers. As a Republican candidate for California Secretary of State, she is suing the frontrunning GOP Secretary of State candidate, former NFL player Damon Dunn — who has racked up a score of major endorsements. Taitz has said on her website that “the only reason he was endorsed so far is because he is an African American, and Republicans want to have an African American to show diversity.”
Both GOP U.S. Senate candidates Chuck DeVore, the Assemblyman from Irvine, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina have distanced themselves from Taitz — and the birther movement. The two Senate candidates, who were scheduled to appear at the Pleasanton Tea Party, have both insisted that they believe President Obama was born in the United States.
Del Beccaro insists he was joking in his response with the LA Times reporter and “taken out of context” in his response to questions on the President’s birthplace.
“I certainly don’t have enough information to decide that,” Del Beccaro told Times reporter Seema Mehta, who’s both well-known and well-respected in her coverage of state politics. “I’ve never seen yay or nay either way, so how could I know?”