Birther Bill Surfaces (and Dies) in New Hampshire (UPDATED)


Birthers are making inroads in the New Hampshire statehouse, which is slated to examine a bill that would require presidential candidates to provide a long-form birth certificate to get on the ballot, the Associated Press reports. State Rep. David Bates, Republican chair of the election law committee, is behind the measure—an outgrowth of the conspiracy surrounding President Obama’s birth in Hawaii. Arizona was among the first states to introduce a birther bill in January, and a handful of other states are trying to follow suit, as my colleague David Corn reported.

The New Hampshire House’s election law committee will take up the birther bill on Wednesday, according to the AP. It’s unclear whether it will go anywhere: Arizona’s birther bill died in a Senate committee last month. Bates has tried to quiet some of the controversy surrounding his New Hampshire bill by offering to push its start date to 2013, in an effort to prove that it’s not directed at President Obama. But even other GOP lawmakers in the state—which has long prided its position as one the first states to kick off the presidential primary contests—aren’t having any of it.

“It is unnecessary and detracts from important business, namely our economy… Moreover, this potential amendment could represent a threat to our first in the nation primary as it gives other states reason and desire to try to jump us in line,” New Hampshire House GOP Leader D.J. Bettencourt said in a statement.

*Update: New Hampshire’s birther bill died in committee, 10-8, on Wednesday, which will likely end its chance of passing any time soon.

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  • Suzy Khimm was a reporter in the Washington bureau of Mother Jones from March 2010 until June 2011. For more of her stories, click here. Follow her on Twitter here.