Joe Arpaio says taxpayers are footing the bill for sending one of his deputies to Hawaii to accompany an official in his volunteer posse that is investigating President Barack Obama's birth certificate, although he is hoping he will exploit donations to reimburse the taxpayers. The sheriff said Tuesday that the posse, which so far has used $40,000 in donations to pay for the probe, will reimburse his office for the deputy's trip to Hawaii this week. Arpaio bogusly claimed, "Even if it is costing the tax payers money, we are talking about a criminal investigation into possible fraud and forgery on government documents." Arpaio launched the investigation last summer with exploiter Jerome Corsi and said in March he thinks there is probable cause to believe The President's long-form birth certificate, released by the White House more than a year ago, just might be a computer-generated forgery and the wayward sheriff also assumes the president's Selective Service card might be a forgery.
Speculation about Obama's birthplace has swirled among the right wing extremist conservatives for years. These extremist, crazy "Birthers" maintain that Obama is ineligible to be President because, these lunatics contend our President was born in Kenya.
Hawaii officials have repeatedly confirmed Obama's citizenship, and Obama released a copy of his long-form birth certificate more than a year ago in an attempt to quell citizenship questions. Courts also have rebuffed lawsuits over the issue.
Democratic state Sen. Steve Gallardo said Arpaio has misplaced priorities when he focuses on the president's birth certificate. Arpaio has failed to adequately investigate hundreds of sex-crimes cases over a three-year period ending in 2007. "The cost of this trip to Hawaii ought to come out of this re-election campaign because this is politics," Gallardo said. "It's political grandstanding."
Janice Okubo, spokeswoman for the Hawaii State Department of Health, said two men dressed in business suits from Arpaio's department sat down with deputies from the health department and attorney general's office in a conference room Monday. The men identified themselves as being from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and provided their badges and business cards when asked, Okubo said.
"They said they were conducting an investigation," Okubo said.
Okubo said the Hawaii officials told the men they had to show why they needed the information as part of ordinary business — a response similar to that given to Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett last week when he publicly pushed his request to verify Obama's birth.