Video: Champaign, Illinois Mayor Jerry Schweighart Says He Doesn’t Think Obama’s American


Mayor Jerry Schweighart: If you’re not willing to produce an original certificate — birth certificate — then you’ve got something to hide. If he doesn’t have something to hide, produce it.

Champaign mayor Jerry Schweighart expressed doubt Thursday April 15, 2010 at a Tea Party gathering at West Side Park in Champaign about President Obama’s citizenship, saying, “I don’t think he’s American, personally.”

As reported in the 2000 U.S. Census, the city was home to 67,518 people. Champaign, Illinois held a special census in 2007 that showed that its population had grown to 75,254. Champaign shares the title of the holding the location of the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Urbana, Illinois. Mayor Gerald Schweighart’s term expires in 2011.

The Conspiracy of Birthers
Conspiracy theories about the citizenship of Barack Obama are ideas that reject the legitimacy of President Obama’s citizenship and his eligibility to be President of the United States. Some of these conspiracy theories allege that Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii, and that his birth certificate is a forgery. Others allege that Obama is a citizen of Indonesia, or that because he had dual citizenship at birth (British and American), he is not a natural born citizen of the United States, which is a requirement to be President of the United States under Article Two of the United States Constitution. Other conspiracy theories also exist. The conspiracy theories received attention in mid-2008 following Obama’s victory in the Democratic primaries, in late 2008–early 2009 with regard to the Electoral College vote and Obama’s inauguration, and again in mid-2009 following a lawsuit by Army reservist Stefan Cook.


FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania produced an in-depth summary of the conspiracy claims and assure readers that the conspiracy claims are reasonably refuted. June 2008, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document’s authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is “fake.” The FactCheck.org article goes on to clarify and debunk the conspiracy claims

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania developed FactCheck.org. Factcheck.org monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. However, the fair and unbiased reporting of FactCheck.org has come into question by those who point out that Barack Obama once chaired the Annenberg Challenge Project that involved a $50 million grant to match local private funds to improve schools. The relationship with the foundation was significant, and included combined work with William Ayers, who fought to bring the grant to Chicago. But according to Stanley Kurtz, a conservative researcher, the money went to radical community organizers instead of directly to schools when it was assigned to the Chicago area. The project shut down in 2003 after achieving “little impact on school improvement and student outcomes,” according to its own report. The chairmanship of the $100 million Annenberg board helped promote Obama from a South Side lawyer to political player.

CNN: Ayers and Obama crossed paths on boards, records show

FactCheck.org: Born in the U.S.A.