Friday [Updated: OK ballot measure] 28 March 2008Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
Mistress Liliane again, from the Folsom St Fair, 2007
I read a few weeks ago that several states would have ballot measures to ban Affirmative Action schemes… and Newsweek has done an article on it. This go round it is only 5 or 6 states, not 13 as was done for the anti gay measures in 2004.
Ward Connerly, whom we know very well out here in CA, is the heavily backed mover:
The next test of Barack Obama‘s “postracial” persona may come from some unlikely places: Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. That’s where Ward Connerly, the country’s most innovative and successful opponent of affirmative action over the past decade, is launching an effort to get an initiative on the ballots that would prohibit public institutions from considering race, sex or ethnicity in areas such as hiring and college admissions. Connerly’s political savvy on matters of race is worth considering. Since cutting his teeth in 1996 as a key backer of the California ballot initiative known as Proposition 209–which amended the state Constitution to prohibit affirmative action in the public sphere–Connerly has steered successful ballot drives in Washington and Michigan to do the same.
His decision to target these five states in 2008 has less to do with their electoral impact than the fact they allow for ballot initiatives and that Connerly thinks he can win big in all of them. But given Obama’s oft-declared intention to redraw the political map, it’s hard to see how he can avoid the issue of affirmative action in some, if not all, of the states Connerly is targeting.
Mounting a ballot initiative in even one state, much less five, can be prohibitively expensive and logistically tough. Thousands of voter signatures have to be gathered in support and verified months ahead of time, all while building a war chest to pay for issue ads in the fall. But Connerly, who describes himself as one-quarter black, appears to have a wealthy donor base; his nonprofit American Civil Rights Institute has drawn big contributions from right-wing tycoons like Rupert Murdoch (two donations totaling $300,000 during one 2003 campaign) and Joseph Coors (a $250,000 loan for the same race). (Connerly is not required to disclose current donations. Those donor disclosures were compelled due to a California lawsuit over that particular campaign, though current contributions to his group are private by law.)
In all the years I had not read that Connerly makes mention of being “one-quarter black”, which certainly brings up the old words for mixed race in the US, mulatto, in his case quadroon. Octoroon. Thank you Ward. We so needed that slap back to the past. “A single drop of blood” will be mentioned soon…
“Bi-racial” or “multi-racial” seems aligned to ideas of fusion which, as I see it, is an ultimate form of resolution, rather than division. But of course division is what Ward is all about. And, since the passage of 209, minority admissions to universities and colleges has declined. Which was the point.
UPDATE, 9:12 am
James added information about the Oklahoma ballot measure:
James | | |
Some of our self-styled pwogs have fallen hook line and sinker for the Ward Connerly ballot initiative in my state of Oklahoma. I called out one of them (a blogger who goes by the misnomer “SoonerThought”), when he chose to misrepresent video footage of a protester opposing the Orwellian titled Oklahoma Civil Rights Initiative. I have a bit more about the initiative under the title, The Civil Rights Initiative That Wasn’t.
Mar 28, 9:01 AM —