VIDEO: Ward Connerly On Race
VIDEO: Ward Connerly On Race
Last week, Forbes published a love letter to Ward Connerly, the anti-affirmative action activist behind Colorado’s Amendment 46. The so-called Colorado Civil Rights Initiative seeks to end discrimination and preferential treatment for minorities in public education, contracting and hiring and would effectively dismantle affirmative-action programs across the state.
The article paints an altruistic vision of Connerly, who asserts that affirmative action hurts minorities on university campuses by placing less-qualified people into rigorous programs where they are destined to fail. What the article doesn’t mention, however, is that Connerly has paid himself millions from the two non-profits he set up to push anti-affirmative measures around the country.
And though the California businessman has faced criticism for that and other activities, he told Forbes that he is sure that Amendment 46 will pass. And he sketched out plans to ensure that the measure is enforced:
“Will the measures in Colorado and Nebraska win? Comfortably, Connerly insists,” reads the article. “Whenever bans on racial preferences are permitted to go before the voters, they win. And then? Two things will happen. The American Civil Rights Institute, an organization Connerly founded, will join the Pacific Legal Foundation and others in making certain that Colorado and Nebraska comply with the new law promptly and fully. ‘We’ll be right on them,’ Connerly says. And Connerly will start the protracted process of getting initiatives on state ballots all over again. ‘Not long after the election,’ he says, ‘[I] expect to announce campaigns in new states.””
New Nebraska Network
A debate last week between the candidates for the Nebraska Legislature in LD 37 offered some hope in the ongoing affirmative action debate as both Republican candidates spoke up in defense of opportunity and diversity. The Kearney Hub reports:
Responding to a question from a Mexican-American student attending the forum, both [Jim] George and [Galen] Hadley said they oppose the initiative to end affirmative action in Nebraska. If approved on Nov. 4, the initiative would end race- and gender-based preference and strip many ethnic students of the scholarships they need to attend college in Nebraska. “Affirmative action still has a place,” George said. “You want to be fair and give everyone an opportunity.”
Hadley said he worked hard as a college administrator to ensure the applicant pools he assembled for vacancies were a cross sampling of the population. Referring to Lexington, which has more than a 50-percent minority population, Hadley said ending Affirmative Action would deny many youths in that community of 10,000 the opportunity for higher education.
“It means that people have a chance. We need to help so legal immigrants have a shot at higher education,” Hadley said.
There’s nothing simple about the issue of affirmative action. As its future in the state is put to voters, the very least they should expect is their leaders being honest and forthcoming about where they stand. Congressional representatives probably have a lesser responsibility because this isn’t a federal issue. But, an amendment to the state constitution is definitely in the Governor’s domain – especially when it promises to severely tie the hands of state and local governments, public programs and public institutions.
I don’t buy into the demagoguery that has too often surrounded affirmative action from both sides of the debate. To me, much more important than the position taken on this issue is how one actually comes to that final determination. What factors are considered? How does one communicate his or her decision to voters? It’s in these questions that a leader’s true value can be measured. Here, Heineman proves himself practically worthless by his avoidance of the issue. His refusal to answer so simple a question – even if it required a more complicated answer – is outrageous, insulting and downright irresponsible.
New Nebraska Network (9/25/08)
This new ad should soon be appearing on Nebraska and Colorado television, the two states in which it appears constitutionial amendments to ban state-sponsored affirmative action will actually appear on the November ballot. The ad is brought to us by the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC) to shed some light on Ward Connerly, the out-of-state fraud we’d be allowing to rewrite our state constitution if this measure passes.