Update: California bar now considering disciplinary action against birther lawyer Orly Taitz
The Republican primary race for California's secretary of state is turning unusual -- to put it mildly.
The Orange County registrar has confirmed that Orly Taitz -- the de facto leader of the "birther" movement trying to prove President Obama wasn't born in the United States -- has qualified to run for secretary of state. And her main opponent is a man who has only ever voted once.
Taitz' move appears to be related to her campaign to have Obama disqualified as president. Secretaries of state are responsible for elections.
Taitz, who has filed and so far lost numerous lawsuits challenging Obama's eligibility for the presidency, told WorldNetDaily that if elected, she will use her office to pursue an investigation of Obama's citizenship.
Taitz has criticized the current secretary of state, Debra Bowen, for not investigating Obama's citizenship, reports the OC Register.
But Obama isn't the only politician Taitz is challenging on the grounds of eligibility. She is using the same tactic against her Republican primary opponent for secretary of state, Damon Dunn. Taitz filed a criminal complaint against Dunn, claiming he is ineligible to run in the GOP primary because he hasn't been registered as a Republican long enough.
Taitz asserted that Dunn "is really a Democrat trying to fraudulently run on a Republican ticket in order to prevent a Bona fide [sic] Republican from running against a Democrat."
An investigation by Spencer Kornhaber at OC Weekly into her claims concluded they were "false."
Kornhaber can't help but notice that both Obama and Dunn are black. "Orly Taitz seems to have a thing for raising questions about black politicians' eligibility for office," he quips.
And Dunn himself is also no stranger to controversy. It emerged last fall that the former NFL receiver had only ever voted once.
"Dunn, who has never run for public office and aims to become the state's chief elections official, said he voted for the first - and only - time in his life in May 2009," reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
Dunn is contrite about his shortcomings. He told the Chronicle he grew up in poverty in a Texas trailer park, where voting was not a priority.
"No one in my family voted," he said. "I was not involved in the process ... I have seen how my errors have cost me."
Earlier this week, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $20,000 fine slapped on Taitz by a federal judge in Georgia last year, who described one of her lawsuits challenging Obama's eligibility as "frivolous."
The California bar has now begun to investigate the possibility of disciplinary action against Taitz. According to Talking Points Memo, "When Clay Land, the judge in the Georgia case, imposed the fine on Taitz in October, he also directed that a copy of his scathing 43-page order be sent to the California bar 'for whatever use it deems appropriate.'"
Disciplinary actions can range from private reproval to disbarment if a lawyer is considered to have a "history of misconduct" or to have engaged in a "serious violation."
"Mandela had to spend years in prison, fighting corruption in the government," Taitz told Talking Points Memo in an email. "Responding to an inquiry from the bar is not that bad in comparison."
And, in a sign that at least Obama's home state is getting tired of "birtherism," Hawaii is debating legislation that would allow it to stop responding to requests for Obama's birth certificate. Officials say they still receive 10 to 20 such requests per week.