Arizona Republicans are again working to pass legislation ensuring anyone seeking to run for public office in the state is in fact an American citizen, a measure stemming from the ongoing attacks against President Barack Obama’s citizenship.
Arizona State Rep. Carl Seel (R-Phoenix) introduced the measure, which would require candidates to sign a sworn affidavit confirming that they meet all requirements necessary to be elected to the office they are seeking.
The bill would also require national party chairs to sign on behalf of their candidates, and if the candidate is later found to be ineligible, both the candidate and the party chair could be charged with perjury.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) vetoed an earlier version of Seel's bill, but Seel reintroduced the birther language in a different bill, known as HB 2480, in an effort to move the measure forward.
The bill passed the Senate Government Reform Committee two weeks ago. It would still need to pass the full House and Senate before moving to Brewer’s desk for final approval.
In the meantime, Seel gathered a coalition of Republican lawmakers on Tuesday, along with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who called on Senate President Steve Pierce to move the bill forward.
Arpaio has been a vocal critic of Obama’s U.S. citizenship, citing significant irregularities on his birth certificate and selective service card. Arpaio has recently begun an investigation into the authenticity of Obama’s birth certificate, stating that the birther issue is a conspiracy “bigger than Watergate.”
"It's very controversial, but something has to be done," Arpaio told The Arizona Republic. "It's very important to at least have some law that you have to show that you were born in the United States."
Although the state of Hawaii has confirmed it is Obama’s birthplace, critics have continued to argue that Obama was born in Kenya, his father’s birthplace.