Conservative talk radio is all aflutter about a trial underway in Georgia to determine whether President Obama is eligible to appear on the election ballot there.
A Georgia law requires all candidates to prove they're eligible for office, and this means presidential candidates must prove they're U.S. citizens.
Such laws, now on the books in a handful of states, are the cutting edge tactic of the dregs of the birther movement, which will not accept that Obama is a U.S. citizen.
The case has a local connection in the name of John Sampson, a former immigration officer who retired in 2008 and also a candidate for Colorado Senate District 25, facing Sen. Mary Hodge.
Sampson told his story to an adoring audience on KLZ's Grassroots Radio Colorado on Friday.
Sampson said on the radio that he was retained by a leader of the birther movement, Orly Taitz, whom he met in Lake Charles Illinois in November 2009, to investigate President Obama's Social Security number, and he determined that Obama's Social Security number was issued to a Connecticut resident in March of 1977.
Sampson tried hard but can't find evidence that Obama was a citizen of Connecticut, ever.
"Why is [Obama] utilizing a Social Security number that was issued to somebody who was apparently living in Connecticut at the time it was issued?" Sampson asked on KLZ Friday.
Sampson flew to Georgia to present his evidence at the administrative court hearing, compelled, he says, by a subpoena to do so. He testified in court that there is "credible evidence to warrant further investigation" into Obama's Social Security number and birth certificate. He also testified that he'd investigate Obama's passport history.
Sampson was in court when another person who was subpoenaed failed to appear. That would be Obama, whose lawyers contend the president is under no legal obligation to testify.
As a souvenir for his trip to Georgia, Sampson got his photo in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a step up from the publicity he's used to getting in the birther underground. He makes an appearance in Jerome Corsi's Where's the Birth Certificate, for example, he said on the radio. (See a video of Sampson testifying in Georgia here.)
Asked on Grassroots Radio Colorado why the birth certificate released last year by Obama did not put the matter to rest, Sampson responded by saying another expert at the hearing said birth certificate was fake.
Sampson also said his own research raised "concerns" about the legitimacy of Obama's birth certificate, as well as Obama's Social Security number.
"I'm not prepared to tell you whether he was born in the United States, not born in the United States," Sampson stated on KLZ. "I'm not what you would consider a birther, per se. This is an issue of constitutionality. This is an issue of whether or not the provisions of the Constitution requiring a natural-born citizen to be president of the United States have been violated or not."
Hmmmm. I wondered what he meant when he said, "I'm not a birther, per se." But the radio hosts weren't thinking along the same lines, and KHOW's Peter Boyles, who's sharp as a knife on this issue, and proud of it, wasn't there to clarify things.
In any case, Sampson explained on the radio that the Georgia hearing continued without Obama. The administrative law judge is scheduled to rule Feb. 5 on whether the sitting president meets Georgia's citizenship requirements, and at that point, the Georgia Secretary of State will determine if he's eligible to appear on the ballot -- again.
Asked by a caller, who turned out to be yet another conservative talk show host, Jimmy Sengenberger, whether the birth-certificate issue was worth raising, with unemployment and other issues plaguing the country, Sampson pointed out he was hired to investigate the Social Security number and subpoenaed.
Sampson also said: "I am a very firm believer in the Constitution. In June of 1981, I raised my right hand for the first time of many and swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. And to paraphrase what Lt. Col. Allen West has said, that oath did not come with a statute of limitations or with an expiration date. And that's the only reason I'm involved in this. I have not and do not have sufficient evidence that would warrant me to make a statement as to whether or not he is eligible or not eligible."
This satisfied Sengenberger and the Grassroots Radio guys that Sampson isn't really a birther.
But would you be satisfied? I thought a birther was someone who doesn't believe Obama is a citizen. That's what Sampson is saying when he testifies that he doesn't know if the President is a citizen. Same thing. A birther.
I mean, the entire birther movement is about not being satisfied with the citizenship documentation provided by Obama. Where's the birth certificate?
That's exactly what Sampson is saying.