Here’s a hint of the opposition strategy for 2008: “We must keep racial quotas so that we can have appropriate levels of diversity.” Note also that in this article the opposition put the AZ CRI into the same category with people who oppose same sex marriage. They also are clinging to a classic faux defense of quotas: “Race is not the only factor we consider.” tjf
[Excerpted from Arizona Capitol Times April 27, 2007. Emphasis added.]
HEAD: Affirmative action targeted
By Christian Palmer, firstname.lastname@example.org
“A California activist and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced on April 26 they will be initiating a ballot initiative effort to ban race and gender based affirmative action programs and policies in Arizona.
“Democrats already lined up in opposition:
“Several Democratic state representatives in opposition to the yet-to-be-launched initiative banning race and gender preferences for public employment, public education and public contracts attended the press conference at the Capitol.
“(Ward) Connerly traded barbs with Rep. Ben Miranda, D-16, who interrupted the speaker’s responses to media questions to attack Connerly’s use of the phrase “civil rights.” He said race is not the sole factor considered under affirmative action policies.
“He further said the initiative would have harmful effects on public schools when Connerly loudly interjected, “Is there a question some place in here?” The clash continued as he assailed the notion that affirmative action programs are part of citizens’ civil rights, as evident by the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. “It did not say single out blacks or Hispanics or anyone else,” said Connerly, who earlier in the week launched similar efforts in Colorado, Missouri and Oklahoma.
“Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-15, announced she would be forming a coalition to combat the effort, calling its title Arizona Civil Rights Initiative “ridiculous” and contending it would roll back hard-fought civil rights achievements.
“I’m looking forward to another win,” said Sinema, who was instrumental in defeating a 2006 ballot initiative that would have defined marriage as an act between a man and woman and barred state and local governments from granting legal status similar to marriage to unwed couples.
“Non-minorities are not harmed by race and gender based preferences because they already make up the majority of student populations at colleges and universities. Racial quotas are also not used in the state, said Sinema.
“It’s about making sure we have an appropriate level of diversity,” said Sinema, who credited gender preferences with her getting accepted into law school.
“Thomas, it was announced, will serve as the group’s honorary chairman. At the conference he said he was considering whether the initiative would seek to ban separate probation programs used by the Maricopa County Superior Court for Native Americans and Spanish speakers.
Last known link to Arizona Capitol Times story.