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BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN

Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump received international publicity recently when he dispatched an investigative team to Hawaii to find President Barack Obama’s long form certificate of live birth. More Americans began to question whether Obama was born in the United States with a recent poll showed just 38 percent of Americans were positive that Obama was born here.

In response, On April 22, 2011, President Obama sent a letter to the Hawaii state Department of Health Director Loretta Fuddy, requesting two certified copies of his original Certificate of Live Birth.  The same day, Judith Corley, the President’s personal attorney, also requested the birth certificate copies. Obama released a copy on Wednesday, April 27, from The White House.

“We hope that issuing certified copies of the original Certificate of Live Birth to President Obama will end the numerous inquiries related to his birth in Hawai‘i,” Fuddy said.  “I have seen the original records filed at the Department of Health and attest to the authenticity of the certified copies the department provided to the President that further prove the fact that he was born in Hawai‘i.”

On Obama’s birth certificate, it says he was born at Kapiolani Medical Center, on August 4, 1961 at 7:24 p.m. His mother, Ann Stanley Dunham, originally from Witchita, Kansas, was 18 years old at the time of Obama’s birth, and had no occupation listed.  His father, Barack Hussein Obama, 25, born in Kenya, East Africa, lists his occupation as student. Their address at the time is listed as 6085 Kalanianaole Highway in Honolulu.  Dr. David Sinclair, a well known obstitrician who died 8 years ago, was his attending physician.

Fuddy said as of 2001, the Hawai‘i State Department of Health computer-generated vital statistics records, and its policy is to issue  only computer-generated Certifications of Live Birth, not photocopies of actual records. However, she made an exception for Obama and issued original copies of the birth certificate.

“The exception made in this case to provide President Obama with a copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth was done according to the letter of the law,” Hawaii Attorney General David Louie said.  “Director Fuddy exercised her legal authority in a completely appropriate manner in this unique circumstance.  We will continue to maintain the strict confidentiality requirements afforded to vital statistics records, such as birth certificates.  These requirements help protect the integrity of the records, and keep us all safe from crimes, such as identity theft.”

The controversy over Obama’s birth certificate began during the Presidential primary election in 2008, when then strategists for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign began to question whether Obama was born in the United States or whether he was born in Kenya.

“Birthers” took up the cause, demanding to see Obama’s birth certificate. Obama released his short form birth certificate as detailed in his statement on the White House web site: “In 2008, in response to media inquiries, the President’s campaign requested his birth certificate from the state of Hawaii. The state sent the campaign the President’s birth certificate, the same legal documentation provided to all Hawaiians as proof of birth in state, and the campaign immediately posted it on the Internet. That birth certificate can be seen here (PDF).

“When any citizen born in Hawaii requests their birth certificate, they receive exactly what the President received. In fact, the document posted on the campaign website is what Hawaiians use to get a driver’s license from the state and the document recognized by the Federal Government and the courts for all legal purposes. That’s because it is the birth certificate. This is not and should not be an open question.”

Birthers were not satisfied and demanded to see Obama’s certificate of live birth – or long form birth certificate – but until today, the President did not comply. The controversy, which died down in 2009, gained new life in December 2010, just weeks after Neil Abercrombie was elected governor of Hawaii. Abercrombie vowed to prove – once and for all – that Obama was born in Hawaii.  Abercrombie knew Obama’s parents and said he was there when Obama was born. Later he clarified that he was not in the birth room, but had seen Obama as an infant in Hawaii just days after he was born.

Obama was vacationing in Hawaii at the time Abercrombie made this statement – just a 20-minute drive from the state capitol – and could have obtained the birth certificate himself from the Department of Health, but did not.

March 23, Trump, then a guest on ABC’s The View, questioned whether the President was born in the United States. That set off a firestorm of media attention on Trump and his challenge to Obama to show his long form birth certificate and other personal information including his school and employment records.

In early April, Trump sent investigators to Hawaii to see what they could uncover about the birth certificate and Obama’s past. Since, Trump has announced he may run for President on the GOP ticket.

Even with the release of Obama’s long form birth certificate, Trump hasn’t stopped his campaign to get information on Obama’s past. He continues to demand that Obama release his school and other records.

Abercrombie said in a statement today that the matter should be settled:  “Considering all of the investigations that have been done and the information that has been provided, no rational person can question the President’s citizenship.  We have found a way – once again – to confirm what we already knew: the President was born here in Hawai‘i.  State officials of both parties have verified that President Obama’s birth records show that he was born in Honolulu.   

“President Obama’s mother and father were dear friends of mine, and we must respect their memory.  It is an insult to the President, his parents and to the Office to suggest that he was not born in Hawai‘i.  The State of Hawai‘i has done everything within our legal ability to disabuse these conspiracy theorists.  We granted the President’s request for certified copies of his birth certificate so we can all move on from this unfortunate distraction and focus on the real issues affecting people today.”

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Malia Zimmerman is the editor and co-founder of Hawaii Reporter. She has worked as a consultant and contributor to several dozen media outlets including ABC 20/20, FOX News, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal, UPI and the Washington Times. Malia has been listed as one of the nation’s top "Web Proficients, Virtuosi, and Masters" and "Hawaii's new media thought leader" by http://www.thewebstersdictionary.com Reach her at Malia@hawaiireporter.com