DECATUR - President Barack Obama's campaign for re-election in Illinois isn't going forward without at least one objection.
The Illinois State Board of Elections confirmed Friday that they rejected a Decatur man's objection to Obama's candidacy on the grounds that Obama's father was not a U.S. citizen. Benjamin C. Freeman, who filed the objection, said he will take the matter to court.
Bernadette Harrington, legal counsel for the board, said the board's hearing officer recommended it be dismissed, the board's general counsel concurred, and the board adopted the hearing officer's recommendation on Thursday.
Obama's campaign responded to the objection with a copy of the president's birth certificate and a motion to dismiss the case.
Freeman, however, is determined to go on. He is waiting to see if Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan will agree to represent him in a case he'll file in Sangamon County Circuit Court.
Freeman said Obama's father, Barack Obama I, was not a naturalized citizen at the time of Obama's birth, thus meaning the president is not a "natural-born citizen." A November 2011 Congressional Research Archive report said there is no provision in the Constitution and no case law stating that the citizenship of one's parents affects the eligibility of a native-born U.S. citizen to be president. Any person born in the United States is considered a U.S. citizen, regardless of parentage. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961.
"I am asking Lisa Madigan to make a decision whether she will be for Obama or for myself," Freeman said. "We have not heard Obama's side, and we have not heard the State Board of Elections' side."
Similar attempts to discredit Obama's citizenship have been traveling through the courts since his first campaign for the presidency in 2008. A Georgia judge recently rejected a similar objection to Obama's name being on that state's Democratic ballots for the March 6 primary.
Obama could not be reached for comment Friday.