Huffpost Politics

California Republicans Worry About 'Birther Queen' Candidacy, Orly Taitz Goes Mainstream

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Birther queen Orly Taitz's claim to fame might not have seemed like an ideal launching pad for a Republican campaign for California Secretary of State, but now her momentum has the GOP quaking in their boots.

Taitz is facing a rather weak primary challenge from former Jacksonville Jaguar Damon Dunn on Tuesday, and Republican officials are worried that the controversial conspiracy theorist could go all the way.

As Politico reported Monday, the GOP would see a Taitz victory as a lost opportunity:

"It'd be a disaster for the Republican party," says James Lacy, a conservative GOP operative in the state. "Can you imagine if [gubernatorial candidate] Meg Whitman and [candidate for Lt. Gov.] Abel Maldonado -- both of whom might have a chance to win in November -- had to run with Orly Taitz as secretary of state, who would make her cockamamie issues about Obama's birth certificate problems at the forefront of her activities?"

"There is no Republican candidate for statewide office that would be willing to have her campaign with them," says Adam Probolsky, a spokesman for the Orange County Republican Party.

But while the GOP continues to bemoan the relatively powerful campaign that the birther queen has launched from the fringe, Taitz may be taking steps -- however small -- toward the mainstream.

Talking Points Memo reports Tuesday that Taitz, who is originally from Israel, attended the Republican Jewish Coalition "annual summer bash" on Sunday as a "special guest."

Other high-profile Republicans at the event included former Bush adviser Karl Rove, former Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman, and California Senate candidates Chuck DeVore and Carly Fiorina, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

UPDATE:

The Washington Post's Dave Weigel draws up a blueprint for an Orly Taitz victory:

Republican voters, brought out in sizable numbers by the contested primaries for governor and U.S. senator, fill out the rest of their ballot with progressively less information about their candidates. They know Taitz's name from... somewhere. And she's listed first on the ballot, thanks to the state's randomized ranking system. (Some of these voters, of course, will know and avidly support her.) She's identified on the ballot as an attorney, while Dunn is a real estate agent. They check off her name, and she wins.

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