The quest for data to dim the image of President Obama is picking up steam, and money, even as one conservative critic admitted failure May 23 in his effort to use questions about Obama’s birthplace to block his re-election.

Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, who is co-managing Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s Arizona campaign, said May 23 he had asked Hawaii officials to verify the Obama birth certificate.

Hawaii officials rejected his challenge of the Obama birth certificate, according to the Associated Press. Bennett said that Hawaii’s official verification of Obama’s birth records meets necessary requirements and that the president’s name will appear on Arizona’s ballot in the fall.

Bennett, who has been a leader of the chorus of critics over the birth certificate issue, said Hawaii officials “have complied with the request, and I consider the matter closed.”

The development came two days after another critic, conservative pundit Brooks Bayne, announced that a reward of $20,000 will be paid to anyone willing to produce Obama’s college transcripts while other conservatives said they remain unconvinced about documentation of Obama’s birthplace.

In a message on his website,, Bayne May 22 criticized the mainstream media for not pursuing public access to Obama’s records with the same zeal with which former President George W. Bush’s academic record was pursued.

“You’ve had over three years to vet President Barack Obama,” Bayne said. “Yet in three years in office and over a year of campaigning beforehand, you have either been oddly uninterested or purposefully ignorant of Barack Obama’s educational history. You were, however, quite interested in George Bush’s transcripts.”

Bayne originally offered a $10,000 reward for those transcripts, but that number was doubled by unnamed contributors to $20,000. Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is attacking the integrity of Romney, who is using a dinner with Obama opponent Donald Trump as a campaign fund raising device, according to the Washington Post.

“Once again Mitt Romney is failing the moral leadership test,” DNC spokeswoman Melanie Roussell said in a statement. “Instead of rejecting Donald Trump’s `birther’ conspiracy theories and divisive attacks, he’s endorsing them by campaigning and fundraising with him.”

Romney campaign officials restated an April statement by the presumptive GOP nominee that the Hawaii records are acceptable, adding in a May 23 statement, “I believe the president was born in the United States. And there are real reasons to get this guy out of office.”