Now We Know the Who (Kind of) - UPDATED

Update 11/29/08

It seems that the pieces of the puzzle are beginning to come together. This morning I woke up to interesting news. At I found a document from the Chair of the South Carolina Democratic party certifying that the party's candidates were and are eligible to hold the offices they were running for. This would, of course, include the Presidential candidate.

Being interested in the matter, I of course drafted a letter to Ms. Fowler right away. Here it is in its entirety:

Chairwoman Fowler,

According to a document from you to the South Carolina Election Commission dated August 14, 2008, you stated that:

"In accordance with South Carolina Code of Laws 7-13-350 and 7-11-15, as amended, the South Carolina Democratic Party is pleased to submit our list of Democratic candidates for the 2008 general election ballot.

The South Carolina Democratic Party certifies that each candidate meets, or will meet by the time of the general election, or as otherwise required by law, the qualifications for the office for which he/she has filed.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 803-799-7798."

Instead of contacting your office by phone, I thought email might be more convenient. I have three questions that I hope you might be able to answer for me:

1) What individual or group of individuals was legally responsible for certifying that Barack Obama was and is eligible to hold the office of President?

2) Will you please provide a detailed chronology of the certification process, including the date and time that the final determination to certify was made?

3) Will you please provide a complete list of all documentary evidence that was required from then-Senator Obama by your office in regards to the certification process.

If for any reason you cannot provide some or all of the information I have requested, please provide specific and detailed reasoning as to why that information was not or may not be released to the public.

I respectfully request that a written response be sent to this email address ( no later than 12:00 pm, Thursday December the 4th, and thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Your Fellow Citizen,

Justin W. Riggs

Original Post

Here's a good breakthrough. Tonight, based upon the recommendation of a comment left on another site, I went and found the Charter and Bylaws of the United States Democratic Party. After sifting through that, I was led to a document called "The Delegate Selection Rules For the 2008 Democratic National Convention". It was issued by the Democratic Party of the United States, and seems to be approved by Governor Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

In that document, on page 18, it states (I don't seem to have any way to attach the file, but it can be found at

K. 1. Based on the right of the Democratic Party to freely assemble and to determine the
criteria for its candidates, it is determined that all candidates for the Democratic
nomination for President or Vice President shall:

a. be registered to vote, and shall have been registered to vote in the last
election for the office of President and Vice President; and

b. have demonstrated a commitment to the goals and objectives of the
Democratic Party as determined by the National Chair and will participate
in the Convention in good faith.

2. It is further determined that these requirements are in addition to the requirements set forth by the United States Constitution and any law of the United States. (my emphasis)

Here we can see that the Democratic Party explicitly states that their Presidential candidate shall meet several requirements, including those "set forth by the Constitution". What's missing is, of course, a) who within the party makes sure that the candidate meets the requirements, b) when they are supposed to do this, and c) what evidence is required of the candidate to prove eligibility. This is a big step forward, though. Now we know where to focus our efforts.

If there are any readers out there who would like to help in this effort, simply write your state's Democratic Party headquarters, and then the national headquarters. Ask (don't demand) for this information to be released to the public. Write more than once. One lesson I've learned about government is that nothing is achieved through force - it is achieved through constant and steady pressure.

The party has set out its requirements for all to see. Now they need to share with us how they ensure those requirements are met.

Read the Constitution!