UPDATE: Early primary returns show Taitz losing nearly 3-1 in heavily populated areas, victory highly unlikely
Even as they celebrate President Obama’s slowly declining approval numbers, California Republicans still have good reason to be worried. After all, their slate of statewide candidates for office in 2010 could very well bear one significant upset to their plans: “birther queen” Orly Taitz.
It’s a scenario that puts the fear into almost any serious California Republican, but it may well happen.
James Lacy, a California GOP operative, told Politico: “ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be a disaster for the Republican party. Can you imagine if [gubernatorial candidate] Meg Whitman and [candidate for Lt. Gov.] Abel Maldonado Ã¢â‚¬â€ both of whom might have a chance to win in November Ã¢â‚¬â€ had to run with Orly Taitz as secretary of state, who would make her cockamamie issues about ObamaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s birth certificate problems at the forefront of her activities?”
Taitz, an Israeli immigrant and practicing dentist, has made a name for herself since the 2008 presidential election by claiming President Obama is a foreign national and thereby ineligible for office. Her claims completely fly in the face of all available evidence. Hawaii, Obama’s birth state, has certified that his certificate of live birth is accurate and valid. The form has been available since the 2008 campaigns, when then-Senator Obama’s staff released it online.
In pursuit of her claims, Taitz racked up $20,000 in fines for filing frivolous lawsuits. That didn’t stop most television media outlets from giving her a platform, at least briefly, which has now grown to the California GOP. She faces Damon Dunn, a former football player for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who has opted to “take the high road,” according to Politico, and not even attempt to wage a campaign against Taitz.
True to her history, Taitz has sued over Dunn’s candidacy, claiming he spent a brief time as a registered Democrat and should be disqualified.
Though most statewide Republicans would refuse to appear on stage with Taitz, she was recently a special guest of the Republican Jewish Coalition, which also hosted famed GOP personalities like Karl Rove, former Senator Norm Coleman and Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), along with California Senate hopefuls Chuck DeVore and Carly Fiorina.
“For professional Republicans right now, the main tactic in regards to Orly Taitz is prayer,” Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College, told Politico. “Down-ballot races in California can definitely take odd bounces. I would say Damon Dunn is the favorite, but I wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bet my next mortgage on it.”
Democrat Debra Bowen, the current secretary of state in California, is seen as likely to retain her seat into the next term.
This video is an interview with Orly Taitz featured by MSNBC in 2009.