Texas Republican Legislator Files Birther Bill

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Ed. note – the following is cross-posted from Progress Texas.

On Wednesday, January 23, Republican State Representative Bill Zedler filed House Bill 650 – a birther bill. The legislation would require any candidate for President or Vice-President to submit his or her birth certificate to the Texas Secretary of State in order to be allowed on the ballot. The application to be on the ballot, including the birth certificate, would be matters of public record.

Progress Texas has called on Rep. Zedler to withdraw the bill immediately – and if he should choose not to, for Texas House Speaker Joe Straus to refuse to refer the legislation to a committee, unless Speaker Straus believes there's merit in spending lawmaker's time and taxpayer dollars on a fringe debate that does nothing to improve our public schools, expand our health care, or invest in the future of Texas.

The petition reads:

I am asking you to withdraw House Bill 650, the birther bill you have filed. The people of Texas are embarrassed by your actions. You may be one of the last 15 people on the planet (more or less) who thinks President Obama was not born in America.

The manufactured birther controversy was an obvious attempt by extreme Tea Party members to undermine our first African-American president – and by Donald Trump to remain relevant.

On April 27, 2011, President Obama released his long form birth certificate to the media and the public, putting the issue to rest for all but the fringe element of the Republican Tea Party.

Rep. Zedler – a fringe, Tea Party conservative – is not new to crazy ideas. Rep. Zedler once tried to remove official complaints made against a doctor who injected jet fuel into his patients; the doctor also just happened to have given money to Rep. Zedler's campaign (Texas Tribune). Rep. Zedler has also filed legislation to bar discrimination against professors who teach intelligent design (HB 285), and another to outlaw Sharia law in Texas (HB 288).

Sign our petition today and let Rep. Bill Zedler know Texas has far more important problems than this.

About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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