A Kansas man dropped his complaint on Friday that could have led to President Barack Obama being removed from the November ballot there.
Joe Montgomery of Manhattan, Kan., wrote in an email to state officials that he no longer wanted them to investigate whether Obama was really a natural-born U.S. citizen or eligible to run for reelection. The email said that he, along with his friends and colleagues, faced a significant backlash after a state elections board took up his case and agreed to look into whether the president’s birth certificate was real.
“There has been a great deal of animosity and intimidation directed not only at me, but at people around me, who are both personal and professional associations,” Montgomery wrote in an email to the office of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, which released it to TPM. “I’m don’t wish to burden anyone with more of this negative reaction, so please immediatley [sic] withdraw any action on this objection.”
The Kansas Objections Board — which consists of Kobach, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer — had agreed to look into Montgomery’s objection on Thursday. The members said they planned to revisit the issue on Monday and wanted to obtain certified copies of Obama’s birth certificate.
Kansas election director Brad Bryant told TPM it wasn’t entirely clear what would happen now that Montgomery has withdrawn his complaint but said they committee will likely still regroup on Monday.
“They don’t just pick issues out of the air. They only meet when an objection is filed,” Bryant said. “They had one filed, they met, they decided to reconvene Monday, then this afternoon an email was received withdrawing the objection, so it’s really hard for me to predict but one possibility is they’ll come together and say, well, the issue that we were considering has been taken off the table now.”
Kobach, an informal advisor to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, told TPM on Thursday that he did not want to comment on whether he personally believed President Obama was a natural-born citizen. Kobach did not respond to TPM’s request for comment on Friday.
Montgomery, who works as communications director for the Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, also did not respond to messages left by TPM at his home and office. But in an interview with the Huffington Post he said he wanted to start a “constructive dialogue” with his objection and admitted he had “not been successful.”
In his 30-page complaint, which was sent on Sept. 10, Montgomery falsely claimed there was “substantial evidence showing that much of Mr. Obama’s alleged birth certificates have been forged or doctored, and have not been confirmed as legally valid, true and accurate.” Most of the complaint centers on the theory that Obama isn’t a “natural-born citizen” because his father wasn’t a U.S. citizen, a standard which would have rendered several former presidents ineligible for office.
Montgomery’s complaint cited a biography of Obama that mistakenly said he was born in Kenya and was drudged up by Breitbart.com. It also cited various news stories that mistakenly say Obama was born in Kenya.
A lawyer for the Obama campaign blasted Montgomery’s motion in a Sept. 12 letter to Kobach.
“Like the scattered remnants of ‘birthers’ in other proceedings, [Montgomery] presents this argument despite a unanimous series of cases in federal and state courts that have unequivocally rejected the same factual and legal contentions, and also despite public records that have been released demonstrating conclusively that the President was born in Hawaii in 1961,” lawyer Kip F. Wainscott wrote. “These tired allegations are utterly baseless, and the Objector’s arguments are entirely without merit.”
Additional reporting by Evan McMorris-Santoro.
Read Montgomery’s original complaint: