Two Thirds of Michigan Voters Oppose Affirmative Action
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2003 10:23:20 -0800 Reply-To: AADAP-L@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM Sender: Americans Against Discrimination and Preferences <AADAP-L@HOME.EASE.LSOFT.COM> From: AADAP <email@example.com> Subject: MCRI: Racial preference ban could win at polls, survey shows Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
AADAP-L, a free, moderated email list with daily postings, is a project of Americans
Against Discrimination and Preferences (www.aadap.org). Thomas E. Wood, President and Moderator ***************************************
<< Tim O'Brien, an organizer of the Michigan effort, said the group will kick off a signature drive Jan. 12. Volunteers will be used the gather signatures at first, but the group may end up paying for professional help in getting the required number of signatures.
"Getting 320,000 signatures is always a problem,'' O'Brien said. "It's just a logistical problem even for something as popular as this.''>>
Racial preference ban could win at polls, survey shows
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
By Judy Putnam Lansing Bureau
LANSING -- Nearly two-thirds of Michigan voters surveyed would ban racial preferences in college admissions and government hiring, a new poll shows.
A survey of 600 voters taken the week before Christmas by EPIC-MRA, a Lansing-based polling firm, shows 63 percent favor a ballot proposal that would change Michigan's constitution to ban preferential treatment based on race and other factors. Twenty-nine percent were opposed, while 8 percent were undecided. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Ed Sarpolus, vice president of EPIC-MRA, said the measure's strong support shows opponents have a lot of work to do.
"They're going to have to spend money to defeat this,'' he said.
The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, an offshoot of the California-based America Civil Rights Institute, is hoping to gather the 317,757 signatures needed to put the issue before voters in November.
The ACRI, led by University of California regent Ward Connerly, targeted Michigan after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that said the University of Michigan could consider race in college admissions, although it had gone too far with its points system in undergrad admissions.
Tim O'Brien, an organizer of the Michigan effort, said the group will kick off a signature drive Jan. 12. Volunteers will be used the gather signatures at first, but the group may end up paying for professional help in getting the required number of signatures.
"Getting 320,000 signatures is always a problem,'' O'Brien said. "It's just a logistical problem even for something as popular as this.''
A group opposing the measure, Citizens for a United Michigan, is hoping to use prominent Michigan citizens to point out flaws with it.
Already, unions, the Detroit Renaissance, the American Civil Liberties Union and businesses are forming the opposition, said Brig. General Mike Rice, a former director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs.
"This is going to have the unintended consequence of making our universities, our police forces and our fire departments less diverse,'' he said. The group will try to raise several million to oppose the ballot measure, Rice said.
Neither side is calling this an affirmative action fight. O'Brien said the group doesn't oppose affirmative action, as defined by using extra measures to recruit underrepresented minorities. The words "affirmative action" are not even contained in the ballot proposal.
Rice said his group also is avoiding the words affirmative action, because some voters will view it as quotas, which it is not, he said.
Instead, his side will try to tell voters that the measure will hurt diversity.
Sarpolus said surveys show even greater opposition when the words "affirmative action" are used.
His poll avoided the term, instead asking voters if they would support a proposed ballot measure that would prohibit government and universities "from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.''
On another controversial issue, most voters in the same poll said they opposed a ban on partial birth abortion. Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed such a ban in October.
The poll showed 44 percent favoring a ban, while 49 percent opposed it. Backers are trying to get around the veto using a citizens initiative, which would put the measure before lawmakers again with 254,206 signatures. It would not be subject to a governor's veto.