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The last stand of the 'birther queen'?

June 9, 2010 | 12:01 pm
Orly Politico.com raised a stink Tuesday over the possibility that "birther queen" Orly Taitz may win the GOP primary for secretary of state and put California Republicans in the embarrassing position of having a thoroughly discredited conspiracy theorist on their November ticket. The piece contained little evidence (perhaps because there isn't much) but leaned almost exclusively of the kind of why-not speculation popular in American punditry. Here's an excerpt:

California Republicans optimistic about their prospects in November could find themselves with a bit of a problem after the votes are counted in Tuesday’s primaries -- a statewide ticket with the so-called “Birther Queen” as one of their candidates.

Orly Taitz is an Israeli émigré who has spent the last two years filing lawsuits challenging President Barack Obama’s right to be president on the grounds that he was born in Kenya. In the process, she has earned herself $20,000 in court fines.

Now she’s running for the GOP nomination for secretary of state, and with her establishment-backed primary opponent mounting a less-than-stellar campaign against her, operatives say there’s a chance she could win.

“It’d be a disaster for the Republican party,” says James Lacy, a conservative GOP operative in the state. “Can you imagine if [gubernatorial candidate] Meg Whitman and [candidate for Lt. Gov.] Abel Maldonado — both of whom might have a chance to win in November — had to run with Orly Taitz as secretary of state, who would make her cockamamie issues about Obama’s birth certificate problems at the forefront of her activities?”

“There is no Republican candidate for statewide office that would be willing to have her campaign with them,” says Adam Probolsky, a spokesman for the Orange County Republican Party.

But longtime California GOP strategist Allan Hoffenblum, who publishes the California Target Book, says a Taitz victory is entirely possible. “It will be a complete embarrassment if she wins, but these things can happen,” he said.

And the results? Damon Dunn, the former pro football player whose campaign Politico deemed "less-than-stellar," easily sent Taitz back to her dentistry practice in Orange County, besting her by a 3-1 margin.

If only political scientists, not political junkies, dominated punditry.

-- Paul Thornton

Photo: California attorney and dentist Orly Taitz, left, of the Defend Our Freedoms Foundation, speaks to reporters on the steps of the federal courthouse in Columbus, Ga. in September.

Credit: Chuck Williams / Columbus (Georgia) Ledger-Enquirer

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