Saturday, October 30, 2010

If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, quacks like a duck....

The opposition to Prop. 107 keeps saying that race and gender quotas don't exist at the University of Arizona. If these aren't quotas, then we don't know what is.

Goals by Job Group Report
Administrators-Director Level
Administrators-Assistant Director Level

Faculty-Agriculture-Tenure Track
Faculty-Education-Not on Track
Faculty-Fine Arts-Tenure Track
Faculty-Humanities-Tenure Track
Faculty-Science-Tenure Track
3240Research Support-Specialists-Appointed 24%
Research Scientists

Curators, Curatorial/Museum Specialists
3540Computing Managers 33%
Computer Specialists-Appointed
Computer Specialists-Staff, Senior/Principal
Computer Specialists-Staff, Other
TV, Radio Broadcast Occupations
Animal Technicians
Media Technicians
Staff Technicians

General Maintenance
Agricultural Related Occupations

Food Preparation Service Occupations
Materials Handlers, Controllers, Trades Helpers

This chart is prominently posted on the University of Arizona's website here.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Not true that Yes on 107 has gotten it wrong on higher education

Blog for Arizona has written a piece entitled, "How the Yes on Proposition 107 side gets it wrong on higher education." The article's premise is that gender preferences in universities aren't bad, because women do well anyways, and race preferences for minorities aren't bad, because they aren't doing as well. Note the contradictory arguments. 

The article selectively uses a few cherry-picked success rates for women in higher education, and says that is evidence there is nothing wrong with using affirmative action to put them in more academically competitive universities than they would have qualified for on their own merit. But that is ignoring the whole picture. Just because more women go to college now than men, and do fine at universities like Harvard, does not mean the vast numbers in the middle will do well at some of the middle-to-top-tier universities. Statistics show that the failure rates for women and minorities increase at those middle-to-top tier universities when they are artificially pushed ahead of their abilities. 

Even if women were doing wonderfully as a whole everywhere in higher education, isn't that an argument to get rid of preferences for them?

Regarding minority preferences in higher education, the article claims that because one school, George Washington University, claims to have high minority graduation rates due to its aggressive affirmative action policies, it must not be true that minorities suffer poor graduation rates when pushed into schools beyond their academic abilities. Well, that bold statement from a school which obviously has an agenda contradicts actual evidence from schools after the passage of California's Prop. 209, a similar initiative in California. The 4-year graduation rate for blacks and Latinos at UC-Davis prior to Prop. 209 was a mere 26%, whereas after it passed, it doubled to 52%. That is a huge difference. 

This doesn't mean that some women or minorities are dumber or less capable than others. It just means you can't paint everyone with the same broad brush. Individuals are unique. If there are some who don't perform as well academically, there will also be some white males who don't perform as well academically. Maybe much of it is due to a disadvantaged upbringing. But disadvantaged upbringings aren't a race or gender problem. Putting a band-aid on the problem isn't going to fix the problem. By the time a student makes it into college, it's usually too late to try and catch them up, teach them better study habits, etc. Efforts to help the disadvantaged need to be made earlier on in a child's life, and shouldn't be based on skin color or gender. A Harvard study of affirmative action found that 86% of the blacks at the 28 universities looked at were middle or upper class - affirmative action is primarily helping non-disadvantaged blacks. 

Prop. 107 won't eliminate minority and women recruitment and retention programs, as the article claims. Where similar initiatives have passed in other states, those programs have remained. Not a single one has been eliminated. They have simply made minor adjustments and opened up their membership to non-minorities and men. 

It is time to end the cherry-picked sob statistics and look at the the whole picture. Martin Luther King, Jr. once had a vision of a society where his children wouldn't be judged by the color of their skin. We're never going to get to that stage if we turn around and judge people by their skin right back. 

Refuting the "5 reasons to reject Prop. 107" article

The blog Three Sonorans has written a piece on why to vote against Prop. 107. All five of their arguments can be easily refuted.

1) The article claims that Prop. 107 does not come from Arizona. This isn't accurate. The Arizona State Legislature referred it to the ballot - every single Republican state legislator (except one who was absent) voted to refer it to the ballot. The article points out that funding for Prop. 107 - now that it is already on the ballot - comes from Ward Connerly's Civil Rights Institute, out of California. The article conveniently overlooks the fact however that virtually all of the funding for the opposition also comes from out of state - from unions, and one in-state union. Their biggest contributor to the opposition is the Service Employees International Union, based out of Washington, D.C. If they don't have a problem with their money coming from out of state and unions, why do they have a problem with the other side? At least Yes on Prop. 107 follows the law and puts "out of state funding" on their signs. The opposition committee doesn't bother to put that on their signs.  

2) The article claims that discrimination is already illegal, under state law and the Constitution. State law prohibits some kinds of discrimination, and the Constitution vaguely prohibits discrimination, but the truth is reverse discrimination is occurring in many places. Every time a woman or minority-owned business gets a 7% bid preference from the City of Tucson, reverse discrimination occurs against the equally qualified bidder who bid less but was denied the contract. Every time a woman or minority is admitted to our universities over someone else equally qualified due to their race or gender, reverse discrimination occurs. Every time a woman or minority receives a faculty position at the University of Arizona that is denied to someone else due to their race or gender, reverse discrimination occurs. And these are just a few of the many places this is occurring in Arizona. Why should my daughter receive a benefit but not my son? Why should my half-Hispanic child receive a preference but not my other child? 

3) The article claims that Prop. 107 is anti-Civil Rights and will roll back equal opportunity. Not sure what this vague statement means. If it means Prop. 107 will roll back race and gender preferences that cause reverse discrimination, well that's true. When affirmative action was implemented in the 1964 Civil Rights Act, it was only meant to stop discrimination against someone. Not push people ahead of others. Unfortunately extreme activists have turned the 1964 Civil Rights Act on its head, and gone way beyond the affirmative action it intended, morphing it into preferences which now reverse discriminate. Prop. 107 would eliminate that reverse discrimination and follow through with the true intent of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which was to treat people equally and not discriminate based on race or gender.

4) The article says that Prop. 107 claims to be about ending quotas, but quotas don't exist in Arizona. This isn't true. Quotas blatantly exist everywhere, although the wording is disguised to pretend they're not quotas. For example, look at the University of Arizona's blatant quotas for faculty hires. They refer to these quotas as "federally mandated placement goals" instead of "quotas." Clever. But they're not fooling anyone. If they're not quotas, then what are they? They list a distorted quota goal of 63% women for Administrators at the Assistant Director Level. Women barely make up more than half the population! They want 53% of General Maintenance positions to go to minorities. These  are outrageous and only some of many listed on that page. 

5) Finally, the article claims that Prop. 107 will cost Arizona jobs, saying where it has passed in California, minority and women owned businesses went out of business. But there is no evidence that those businesses went out of businesses due to the initiative there - they could have gone out of business for other reasons. 
If anything, Prop. 107 will create more jobs, because it will take away the expensive bid preferences given to minority and women owned businesses that are costing taxpayers more money. Instead, the most cost-effective businesses will win the bids, the ones that are the most prudent about cutting costs, therefore creating more employment. 

For other myths from the Prop. 107 opposition and the response refuting them, click here

New Poll: Independents Support Prop. 107

For Immediate Release
October 29, 2010
Contact Leon Drolet at 602-845-0107

New Poll: Independents Support Prop. 107

Registered independents strongly support Proposition 107, the proposed constitutional ban on affirmative action, according to a new poll conducted October 28th – 29th. The state-wide poll of 556 likely-voting registered independents reveals that independents support Prop. 107 by a margin of 58% - 42%. The poll was conducted by Dynamic Interactive and commissioned by the Yes on 107 campaign.

Proposition 107 would amend the Arizona Constitution to ban race and gender based affirmative action in public hiring, contracting and public education.

Poll participants, all of whom are registered independents with active vote histories, were asked the following question:

“Proposition 107 would make it unconstitutional for the government to use “affirmative action” programs that grant preferential  treatment based on race, skin color or sex in hiring, promotions, public contracting or college admissions.  Do you plan on voting yes on 107 to end quotas, diversity goals, and set-aside programs or do you plan on voting no on 107 to keep affirmative action in place?”

Voters were then asked who they were supporting for Governor: Republican Jan Brewer or Democrat Terry Goddard. Brewer led Goddard with registered independents by a 53% - 47% margin. Eighty percent of independents polled who supported Brewer also support Prop. 107, and 33% of independents supporting Goddard support Prop. 107.

“Arizonans are a fair people,” said Rachel Alexander, Chair of the Yes on 107 campaign. “The principle of treating every citizen equally crosses all political party lines. Independent voters support 107 because they want to end government ‘affirmative action’ policies that divide citizens by race and treat us differently.”

Opponents of Prop 107 now believe that admitted colorblind policies promote institutional racism!!

Listen to this clip from a No on 107 spokesperson (recorded at a press conference that they held on 10/27/2010) who first says that Prop 107 will continue institutionalized racism and then admits that Prop 107 is a colorblind policy. Even George Orwell couldn’t do enough mental gymnastics to follow this logic.

Vote YES on 107 to end “affirmative action” policies that give preference based on race or sex in college admissions, public contracting, and public employment. A Yes vote on 107 will promote the original ideal of the 1964 Civil Rights Act: Colorblind government.

Click here to listen

Radio interview with Ward Connerly about Prop. 107

Click here to listen

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Arizona Republic editorializes in favor of Prop. 107 - AGAIN

Affirmative action no longer needed

Oct. 26, 2010
The Arizona Republic

Affirmative action wasn't meant to be a perpetual-motion machine. The policy served an important purpose, making up for missing opportunities in education and the workplace. But over time, the drawbacks have come to outweigh the advantages.

Voters should pull the plug. They should approve Proposition 107, which would amend the Arizona Constitution to ban affirmative-action programs in public employment, public education or public contracting.

Activist Ward Connerly, a former University of California regent and founder of the American Civil Rights Institute, argues persuasively against racial and gender preferences. Instead of creating a level playing field, they skew the game. Qualifications are subordinated to minority or gender status - certainly not the fair play that Americans value.

Affirmative action can raise unjust doubts about genuine achievements. Connerly tells how the African-American pilot of a commercial airliner thought he saw fear in the eyes of passengers, who wondered if he was truly qualified for the job.

Discrimination hasn't disappeared in America. But we have legal tools, including the authority of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, to deal with it directly.

When former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor voted to support affirmative action in 2003, she voiced the expectation that racial preferences would no longer be needed some day. O'Connor thought it would take another 25 years.

There's no reason to wait that long.

The time has come to end affirmative action. Arizonans should vote "yes" on Prop. 107.

Lame article by "Arizona University Watch" repeats same old myths about Prop. 107

Where do we begin, this article was so full of hysteria and sky is falling rhetoric. First of all, the article attempts to compare Prop. 107 to SB1070 and a bill that banned Ethnic Studies. Whether you agreed with those bills or not, they were passed by our democratically elected state legislature, and have nothing to do with Prop. 107. Second, the article brings up the tired old argument that programs for the disadvantaged will be cut. As has been shown time and time again, where this initiative has been passed in other states, none of those programs have been cut. Either they've modified themselves slightly to admit men/non-whites, or they simply don't fall under Prop. 107's areas of government contracting, employment and higher education -- like domestic violence shelters. The author moans about where he or she would be without ASU's Summer Bridge program, a transitional program for "minorities and underprivileged college students." Bingo - did you see the language used? "and underprivileged college students." If this program admits non-minorities, it will not be eliminated. He or she is whining about nothing. Not surprisingly, the author doesn't disclose his or her full name, and the blog is anonymous.

Apology given for Twitter threat against Ward Connerly

The Arizona Republic is reporting that the Interim Executive Director for the Arizona Students' Association has apologized on behalf of a spokesman for the anti-Prop. 107 campaign, who is an intern there. Steve Russell had made a threat against Ward Connerly on Twitter, tweeting that he would punch him in the face if he was in the same room with him. Connerly obtained a restraining order against Russell immediately afterwards, due to that and other hostile behavior Russell has displayed towards Connerly. An apology from Russell himself would be appropriate, as well as a statement from Kyrsten Sinema denouncing the threat. Sinema is leading the opposition to Prop. 107, and has stated that there must be civility. We wonder why she has been conspicuously quiet.

Monday, October 25, 2010

UA law students' arguments against Prop. 107 are full of holes

A couple of University of Arizona law students, claiming to represent 98 other law students, have written a letter to the Yuma Sun complaining about Prop. 107. They gripe about the words the Prop. 107 campaign is using - but then play with words themselves. They claim that the Prop. 107 campaign is falsely asserting that "quotas" exist at UA law school, since the Supreme Court has ruled quotas are unconstitutional.  Well you decide. Look at these "placement goals" at the University of Arizona, which require distorted percentages of women and minorities in faculty and employment positions. Prop. 107 opponents are simply using semantics to pretend that quotas no longer exist. And here is evidence that race-based admissions are occurring at the law school itself. 
CEO chairman Linda Chavez said: “Racial discrimination in university admissions is always appalling. But the degree of discrimination we have found here, at both schools but especially at Arizona State, is off the charts.” She noted that the odds ratio favoring African Americans over whites was 250 to 1 at the University of Arizona and 1115 to 1 at Arizona State. “As a result, nearly a thousand white students during the years we studied were denied admission even though they had higher undergraduate GPAs and LSATs than the average African American student who was admitted--and over a hundred Asian and Latino students were in the same boat with them.”
The law students then contradict themselves. First they complain there are no quotas at UA Law School. Then they claim that if Prop. 107 passes, it will hurt the admissions process. Well you can't have it both ways - either race and gender preferences are or aren't occurring. In reality, if Prop. 107 passes, it will change the admissions process, but in a positive way. Minority and women students who are not academically qualified will attend less competitive schools instead, resulting in higher levels of academic success and graduation rates, as has occurred in other states where versions of Prop. 107 has passed. The sky will not fall, instead these students will have better chances of success, and will be spared the embarrassment of possibly failing. 

Finally, the law students complain that Prop. 107 is funded by out of state Ward Connerly. They fail to tell you that the biggest contributor to thei anti-Prop. 107 campaign is funded by - that's right - an out of state union, SEIU. They also fail to tell you that Prop. 107 was referred to the ballot by our Arizona state legislature. Not Ward Connerly, not outside interests, but our very own legislature. To try and describe this as as pushed by "out out of state interest groups" is misleading and dishonest. 

Very disappointing to see this kind of disinformation coming from two law students who should know better. 

Prop. 107 opposition wrong to complain that less women/minorities will be admitted to higher ed

One of the arguments opponents to Prop. 107 like to use is that less women and minorities will be admitted to higher education if it passes. They point to lower admissions at the top public universities in the states where similar initiatives have passed; California, Michigan, Washington and Colorado. But they're only telling you half the story. Instead of attending the top couple of public universities in those states, more women and minorities are attending less competitive colleges, where their chances of graduating are much better. Instead of shunting them into universities they are not academically prepared for, leading them to embarrassing failure, they are able to obtain a university education in a school where they have a realistic chance of graduating. 

In fact, women are actually hurt in higher education by race preferences. Preferences favor minorities over women, and there have been several high-profile lawsuits by women alleging reverse discrimination, where women won. And due to the fact that more women than men attend college nowadays, MEN are most likely of all to benefit from preferences as colleges attempt to retain balance! 

There may be a valid argument that we need more women and minorities in better schools. But trying to force them there after they complete high school, when they haven't been adequately academically prepared, isn't the right way to do it. It only serves to embarrass them and ensure they will fail. 

FACT: “If you compare 1995-96 with 1999-01 — a clear before-and-after Prop 209 comparison,” says Sander, a longtime liberal civil rights activist, “you’ll see that, for African-Americans, the 1995 class had a four-year graduation rate of 26%, while the 2001 class had a 52% graduation rate [Hispanics numbers are comparable]. For whites and Asians, it barely changes. This is almost certainly due largely to the reduction of preferences. The five and six-year grad rates for minorities get pretty close to the white rates [within five points], which of course means that differences in academic performance have also narrowed a lot.”
Prop 209 has largely worked as advertised, has not adversely affected women, and, most impressively, has benefited minorities by dramatically increasing graduation rates, thus boosting their chance for success in the job market.

In 2005, Sander cited race preferences for blacks failing the bar exam at four times the rate of whites nationally: “Black students admitted through preferences generally have quite low grades — not because of any racial characteristic, but because the preferences themselves put them at an enormous academic disadvantage.” The perverse result is that “the benefits of attending an elite school have been substantially overrated...job market data suggests that most black lawyers entering the job market would have higher earnings in the absence of preferential admissions, because better grades trump the costs in prestige.”


Cheryl Hopwood sued the University of Texas Law School. Cheryl worked part time while attending community colleges. She could not afford to go to Princeton (where she was accepted) for undergraduate school and therefore, when applying to law school her 3.8 GPA was discounted and ultimately she was rejected from the University of Texas’s Law School. She filed suit alleging racial discrimination.



Jennifer Gratz, daughter of a police officer and a secretary, grew up in a blue collar suburb of Detroit. She would have been the first in her family to graduate from college and hoped to attend the University of Michigan. The University judged blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans by one admission standard, and everyone else by a separate, higher standard. Jennifer Gratz was rejected and filed suit in 1997.

Barbara Grutter had 2 children and was in her mid-40s when she applied to the University of Michigan’s Law School. Prior to applying Barbara ran her own IT consulting business. Despite higher grades and test scores than some of those who were accepted, Barbara’s application was rejected. When she learned that had she, for example, been a “minority” her credentials would have been enough to be accepted, she filed a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination. 


Katuria Smith was born when her mother was 17, was reared in poverty, and dropped out of high school. From the time her parents divorced when Smith was 11, she lived "hand to mouth" and moved between twelve jobs, detailing cars, cleaning floors, and doing anything else she could get. Click here to read a Seattle-Post Intelligencer story on Katuria's background.
"I was desperate to get out of poverty," Smith told columnist Michelle Malkin. So when Smith was 21, she enrolled in night classes at a community college paralegal program. Holding down jobs during the day, she graduated and enrolled in the University of Washington, where she earned a business degree in 1994. With her 3.65 GPA and LSAT score of 165 (94th percentile), she fully expected to be admitted. Instead, she was rejected with no chance to appeal. Smith filed suit in 1997.

“But a gender gap has reopened: if girls were once excluded because they somehow weren't good enough, they now are rejected because they're too good. Or at least they are so good, compared with boys, that admissions committees at some private colleges have problems managing a balanced freshman class. Roughly 58% of undergraduates nationally are female, and the girl-boy ratio will probably tip past 60-40 in a few years.”

Source:,9171,1727693,00.html  And: Britz, Jennifer Delahunty (March 23, 2006) To All the Girls I Rejected, The New York Times. (Copy of article available)


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Prop. 107 opposition is hypocritical - their biggest donor is a union OUTSIDE the state

One of the biggest arguments the opponents of Prop. 107 use is that Prop. 107 is funded by an out of state contributor (note they conveniently forget to mention that Arizona's legislators referred Prop. 107 to the ballot - which has nothing to do with anyone out of state). Well come to find out, guess what, THEIR funding also comes from out of state! According to an article in the Arizona Republic today, outsiders account for all of the big donors to the anti-Prop. 107 campaign. Sure enough, if you look at the misnamed "Protect Arizona's Freedom" campaign finance reports, you'll see that $10,000 came from the Washington, DC union Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Notice most of the rest of their funding also came from a union, $5000 from the Arizona Education Association. 

This doesn't even include the sham organization Arizona Taxpayers Association, which has gone to great lengths to hide its contributors through shadowy campaign finance organizations. It reports a contribution of $2900 from corporate contributions, but doesn't disclose the businesses. 

Ward Connerly in Green Valley discusses the term "African-American"

Prop. 107 leader makes GV push


By Karen Walenga
Green Valley News
Published: Saturday, October 23, 2010 9:01 PM MST

While watching TV together, Ward Connerly and the uncle who helped raise him in Washington state heard Connerly called an “African-American.”

Uncle James made it clear to his nephew, a nationally known advocate of equal opportunity, that Connerly was an American.

“You never been to Africa and you ain’t going,” Uncle James told him.

Connerly shared that anecdote and more with about 60 members of the Republican Club of Green Valley/Sahuarita when he spoke in favor of Proposition 107 Friday morning at Friends In Deed.

The proposition, the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative, would amend the state Constitution to ban affirmative action programs that give preferential treatment to or discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.

Opponents say that it deceptively claims to “level the playing field,” even though they say no level playing field exists in educational programs, jobs, and businesses where girls, women and people of color are under-represented.

They say passage of 107 will eliminate many programs that support academic progress and improved student achievement, and that state employers are already prohibited from considering race or gender in hiring practices.

But Connerly, founder and president of the American Civil Rights Institute, disagrees that it will hurt minorities. His national, not-for-profit organization focuses on educating the public about the need to move beyond race and, specifically, racial and gender preferences.

Author of “Creating Equal: My Fight Against Race Preferences” and “Lessons from My Uncle James: Beyond Skin Color to the Content of Our Character,” he has gained national attention as an advocate of equal opportunity regardless of race, sex, or ethnic background.

California victories

During his tenure as a University of California regent, Connerly took aim at race-based admission preferences and was the public face of a 1996 ballot initiative in which California banned race and gender preferences in state-funded programs and institutions.

Since then he has led successful efforts in Washington, Michigan and Nebraska to make the practice illegal in state and city hiring and university admissions, and now has brought the fight here.

Connerly told his Green Valley audience that his Uncle James was a salt-of-the-earth type of man who insisted Connerly shine his own shoes, wash the car and mow the lawn, thereby keeping his feet planted on the ground and showing respect for himself and his neighbors.

Connerly, born in 1939 in Leesville, La., said his father left home when Connerly was 2 and his mother died when he was 4. He then went to live with his aunt and uncle in Washington state.

Although they faced discrimination when visiting in the South, Connerly learned that there is no room for self-pity, even if someone discriminates against you.

“You rise based on your own preparation,” Connerly said. “You accept the cards you are dealt” instead of focusing on how someone else is treating you.

“Be the best you can be,” he said. If you focus on what others think of you, you can miss opportunities.

“Race seeps out of every pore of the body politic. I abhor discrimination, but I am not obsessed with it,” Connerly said.

“We are not free if we are not equal. We are wards of the state.”

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sonoran News: Jen Gratz on affirmative action and Prop. 107

Yes on 107: Ending “Affirmative Action” guarantees fair treatment for all

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Over ten years ago I filed a lawsuit against the University of Michigan for racial discrimination because their admissions policy gave an unfair twenty percent boost to black and Hispanic applicants. I know firsthand how horrible it is to be discriminated against when “affirmative action” and “diversity quota” policies employ different admissions standards based on race. Although I personally won my lawsuit after it was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, many universities and government agencies all over the country - including in Arizona – continue their policies that grant preferential treatment based on race to some, while discriminating against others.

Affirmative action job quotas, “minority” contract set-asides and extra points in college admissions are wrong and it’s time to get rid of them. Achieving “diversity goals”, however well-intentioned, often amounts to the functional equivalent of a quota. Achieving “diversity” should never be an excuse to discriminate against anyone.

Voters should vote Yes on Prop 107 to tell the government to stop picking winners and losers based on race or sex. Prop 107 is simple – it will ban “affirmative action” programs that give preference based on race or sex in three specific areas:  public contracting, public employment, and public education. After all, it is everyone’s, and unlike Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, I really mean everyone’s right, to be treated equally by their government without regard to race or sex.

Radical opponents of Prop 107 like ACORN and By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) falsely claim that health programs, domestic violence shelters, and social support programs that assist women would be banned if Prop 107 passes. But Prop 107 only affects public hiring, contracting and public education - not health programs or domestic violence shelters. Opponents know these facts, but try to deceive the public because they have a lot to lose given the massive industry set up to maintain and advance preferential treatment for the few rather than equal rights for all.

The operative language of Prop 107, which has already passed in four other states and has been in place for as many as 14 years, is simple and clear: “The state shall not grant preferential treatment to or discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting.”

The language of Prop 107 mirrors the language of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and advances civil rights by prohibiting discrimination and preferential treatment based on race, sex, and skin color. Prop 107 reinforces the fact that everyone is entitled to civil rights and should have an equal chance to compete for good paying jobs, government contracts, and college admissions – based on individual merit, not skin color or sex.

Vote YES on Prop 107!
Jennifer Gratz was the victorious plaintiff if the 2003 US Supreme Court case Gratz v. Bollinger (University of Michigan) and is Director of State and Local Initiatives with the American Civil Rights Coalition.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yes on 107 files complaint with Secretary of State about sham AZ Taxpayers' Association

Last Friday, the Prop. 107 campaign and Shane Wikfors, Treasurer of the Arizona Taxpayers' Action Committee, filed a joint complaint against the deceitfully named "Arizona Taxpayers Association," which has been posting signs around town urging voters to vote no on all the propositions. The complaint alleged numerous campaign finance violations, as well as violations of IRS and Corporation Commission regulations. 

The letter is below:

Ms. Amy Bjelland
State Elections Director
Arizona Secretary of State
1700 W Washington, 7th Floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85007 October 15, 2010

Dear Ms. Bjelland:

As the Chair of the Proposition 107 campaign and Treasurer of the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee, we write to urge you to take action against the disguised ballot measure committee the “Arizona Taxpayers Association” for a series of campaign finance violations that may rise to the level of ballot fraud. The organization involved has no intent of representing Arizona taxpayers, but has the explicit intent of deceiving voters and fooling them into voting against propositions they otherwise might support. The evidence of this intent is compelling, and given the fact that early ballots are already being sent out, urgent action by your office is requested and required.

As you may know, this group has put up campaign signs all over Arizona urging citizens to vote no on all the ballot propositions. A news item is attached which includes a photo of the signs, which you can find on almost every major street corner in the Phoenix metro area.

This group is clearly attempting to defraud the public by pretending to be a conservative organization and using buzzwords such as "save our constitution" and their very name, the “Arizona Taxpayers Association”. In reality, this group is headed by card carrying members of the extreme left. According to Corporation Commission records (attached), longtime Democrat operative and former chair of the Arizona Democrat Party Bob Grossfeld is the President of the organization, and Jim McLaughlin, union boss for the local United Food and Commercial Workers, which helped lead the boycott charge against Arizona over Senate Bill 1070, is listed as a director.

In addition, Corporation Commission records reveal that the group is headquartered out of the office of ultra-liberal Democrat lawyer and another former Chair of the Arizona Democrat Party, Sam Coppersmith at 2800 N. Central Ave., Suite 1200, Phoenix.

While this campaign is deliberately attempting to hide its ties to the extreme left and cast itself in a false light that in itself is not illegal. However, they are nonetheless guilty of several significant campaign finance violations.

1. “Arizona Taxpayers Association” is a political committee under ARS 16-901(19) and 16-902.01. Although it is registered as an independent expenditure committee, it is clearly really a ballot measure committee. It exists solely to put up these signs around the state opposing several ballot initiatives, nothing else. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…. As such, it is required to register as a political committee, and such registration must include the address, the names, addresses and occupations (and other information) of the Chairman and Treasurer of the committee, the name, address, relationship and type of any sponsoring organization, and any bank accounts. ARS 16-902.01(B)(3). None of this information was provided in its initial filing. This group filed as an independent expenditure committee on September 27, 2010, no doubt in order to hide that kind of revealing information from the voters. In addition, ballot measure committees are required to include the official serial number for the ballot initiative, and whether the committee supports or opposes the measure. ARS 16-902.01 (F). This is also missing.

2. ARS 16-902.01(A) requires a political committee to register "before accepting contributions, making expenditures, [or] distributing any campaign literature..." This committee did not file until September 27, 2010, and their signs were seen up as early as September 25, and there are news reports from September 27 about their signs, which were likely put up before September 27. But even if they went up on that day, there is no way possible that this group could have gathered contributions, had signs printed, and put them up all on September 27. Clearly they have also violated this law.

3. This committee has put the wrong address on its signs. The signs say the committee is located at 2600 N. Central Avenue, when in reality its headquarters are at Sam Coppersmith's law firm at another address, according to records with the Arizona Corporation Commission. The address listed there is 2800 N. Central Ave., Ste. 1200. This is clearly an attempt to hide this organization's ties to the far left, and it amounts to a fraud on the voters.

4. ARS 16-914, which requires notification to the Secretary of State once contributions of $10,000 or more have been received or expenditures of $10,000 or more have been made by a ballot measure committee, has likely also been violated. As yet, no such notifications have been posted on the Secretary of State's website, even though this group must have easily spent well over $10,000 on signs attempting to defraud Arizona voters.

5. The disclaimers “Paid for by No 106, No 107, No 109, No 110, No 111, No 112, No 113, No 203, No 301, & No 302 Committees” were recently added to the signs (although they have not been added to all of the signs, there were some spotted in Flagstaff without the disclaimers), and suddenly reports were filed on October 1 with the Secretary of State’s Office. Since two former Chairmen of the Arizona Democrat Party are behind these committees, they should clearly know better. They attempted to get around the law and hide their identities by not filing as ballot measure committees, but once these signs became public, they filed reports late as ballot measure committees and modified their signs. This was not an innocent correction, but purposely done late into the election when half of the voters have already sent their early ballots back in. The new committees still do not comply with the requirements of ballot measure committees, lacking the name of any sponsoring organization and any bank accounts.

In addition to violating campaign finance laws, this organization appears to be violating IRS regulations and Corporation Commission regulations. It is listed as a nonprofit organization with the Corporation Commission, but nonprofit organizations are prohibited by the IRS from engaging in lobbying as their primary activity. The sole function of this sham committee is to engage in advocacy regarding ballot measures. As such, it is in violation of IRS rules and its status with the Corporation Commission as a nonprofit organization.

This isn’t the first time this dishonest group has tried to deceive Arizona voters. They put up similar signs opposing city ballot measures all over Tucson two years ago.

Based on the evidence presented above, please take immediate action to force the “Arizona Taxpayers Association” to comply with the law and impose appropriate penalties. The public has a right to know who is really behind this shady, left-wing organization. There's not much we can do about their deliberate attempt to mislead Arizonans, but they must be held accountable for their violations of the law. Please let us know if you need documentation of the above.

Very truly yours,

Rachel Alexander
Chair, Yes on 107

Dennis S. Wikfors
Treasurer, Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee

Monday, October 18, 2010

Firefighter Frank Ricci who sued over preferences has op-ed on Prop. 107

By Frank Ricci, for Inside Tucson Business
Published on Friday, October 8th, 2010

On Nov. 2, the people of Arizona will decide whether to amend the state constitution to bar the government from discriminating against or granting preferences to individuals or groups in public employment, contracting, and education. I wholeheartedly support Proposition 107, the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative. A person’s race, ethnicity, or skin color should not be a part of their promotion or the application process. Individuals should be promoted, hired, or admitted based on their qualifications, experience, performance, and scores.

I was among fireighters who learned firsthand the ills of the current system. We had all studied for department promotional exams in New Haven, Conn., which is something we had been doing throughout our careers with hard work and dedication. The taxpayers paid over $100,000 to professionally develop the exams and went as far as providing a road map for success. The job-related exam tested the necessary skills, knowledge and abilities to be a competent leader. When the results came out the city decided to throw out the exams, because too few minorities scored high enough to qualify.

The action denied qualified whites, blacks and Hispanics their earned promotion in the interest of diversity. By most accounts the news media neglected to report some minorities did, indeed, earn promotion and minorities in the department supported our lawsuit. Without knowing where we were on the list, my fellow firefighters and I sued the city. We wanted to protect the process, no matter where we fell on the list.

While diversity is an important goal, it has become a code word for a quota system that thrives on mediocrity. Especially in the area of public safety, the public has the right to know that the men and women who serve were selected based on their qualifications. There are no do-overs on the scene of an emergency.

In our lawsuit, District Court granted summary judgment for the city, which the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. But then, on June 29, 2009, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in our favor. The city had violated our Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when it discarded the exam results. New Haven intentionally discriminated against mostly white firefighters to avoid being sued by black firefighters.

Arizona stands poised to set the right example for the entire country. I implore voters to vote in favor of Proposition 107 to ensure equal opportunity for all. As firefighters, we had to take our case to the highest court in the land to make sure our leaders were selected based on their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The belief that citizens should be reduced to racial statistics is flawed and only divides people.

Moreover, Proposition 107 leaves in place all of the protections against discrimination. No one should be given an unfair advantage. Low expectations are a form of bigotry that result in low performance, holidng individuals back and harming all races. Lowering the bar for some racial groups is demeaning, and granting government-sanctioned favors to certain groups based on race should be illegal in every state. Obtaining a position or contract under a cloud of suspicion only sets people up for failure. Anyone, regardless of race, can succeed in America.

Whatever one believes about institutional racism, perceived bias, or racial disparities, making a race a job or admissions qualification in the form of a racial preference is the wrong-headed “solution.” Promoting, hiring, or admitting one person because they’re the “right” race and denying the same to another because they are the “wrong” race is contrary to what America is and hopes to be. In the words of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”

Do you want to guarantee fairness and equality for all citizens in Arizona, regardless of race? On the Nov. 2 ballot, you have the opportunity to reaffirm the colorblind principles of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by demanding race-neutral law and government policy in Arizona. Vote “yes” on Proposition 107.

Frank Ricci is now a lieutenant with the New Haven Fire Department. As a captain, he was the lead plaintiff in the civil rights lawsuit (Ricci v DeStefano) filed by 20 department employees. Ricci is also an adjunct instructor for the New Haven Fire Department, Emergency Training Solutions, Middlesex County Fire School and a lecturer.

Tempe Chamber of Commerce, East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance and Arizona Farm Bureau Federation support Prop. 107

Even local business groups support Prop. 107. “We want a level playing field for everyone and every business,” said Mary Ann Miller, president and CEO of the Tempe Chamber of Commerce." (The rest of this article is subscription-only at the Phoenix Business Journal).

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AZ Latino Republican GOP Communications Director supports Prop. 107: Race favoritism is simply unjust

1. Affirmative action is unjust no matter what it is called: "quotas," "diversity goals" or "race preferences." Programs that treat people differently because of their skin color are discrimination and a violation of citizens' civil rights, which belong to all people, whatever their race or gender. It is unjust when someone is shut out of a promotion because of a racial quota. Or when a worker's construction firm loses a government contract because of his boss' race. It is blatantly unfair when a student's good grades can't get her into college because she's the wrong skin color - that's just plain discrimination.
2. Affirmative-action programs like the city of Tucson's, which gives bidders on government contracts a 7 percent "bonus" based on their ethnicity, rip off taxpayers by adding unnecessary and excessive costs.
3. Affirmative action poisons race relations. Race preferences pit citizens against each other based on race, promote stereotypes that some ethnicities need an artificial boost to compete, and undermine the legitimate accomplishments of qualified minorities.
4. Affirmative action doesn't help "the underprivileged." Studies show that 83 percent of minorities who are given preferences for university admissions come from middle- and upper-class families.
5. America's economy needs merit, not preferences based on racial favoritism.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Court issues restraining order against anti-Prop 107 spokesperson who threatens to assault Ward Connerly

For Immediate Release
Contact Leon Drolet at 602-845-0107

A Maricopa County Court official today issued a legal restraining order against the spokesperson of the group opposing Proposition 107 after he threatened to physically assault a pro-Prop 107 leader. Anti-Prop. 107 spokesperson Steve Russell was ordered to stay more than 100 feet away from anti-affirmative action leader Ward Connerly after Russell sent a message threatening to assault Connerly Thursday night.
Proposition 107 would ban race and gender based affirmative action in Arizona. Connerly is nationally known for opposing government race and gender preferences and was participating in a debate on Prop. 107 hosted by the Goldwater Institute in Phoenix. Russell is a spokesperson for ‘Protect Arizona’s Freedom’, the group supporting Arizona’s existing affirmative action programs and opposing Prop. 107. Russell was not part of the Goldwater debate.
Maricopa County Justice of the Peace Clancy Jayne issued today’s court order after Russell sent out a threatening electronic message late last night following the debate. Russell’s public message on his Twitter account stated that he “would not hesitate to punch connerly (sic) in the face if I saw him…”
At the taping of a televised Secretary of State Town Hall Meeting in September, Russell publicly accused Connerly, who is black, of being financially supported by the Ku Klux Klan during his official Prop. 107 opposition statement.
“Unfortunately, I must take violent threats seriously, especially when they are in the context of other inflammatory rhetoric, such as has been characteristic of Mr. Russell” Connerly stated. “A  few affirmative action supporters are quite radical and I have been threatened before. Mr. Russell has attempted to incite hatred against me with his bizarre KKK smears, and now feels compelled to brag about his willingness to assault me physically. I don’t know how stable Steve Russell is. I call on the Mayor of Phoenix, Representative Kirsten Sinema and other high profile public officials who are opposing 107 to condemn Mr. Russell and disassociate themselves from his threats. I have been threatened before and have had a pellet gun fired at my office building because of my stance in favor of the principle of equal treatment for all.  No one should be threatened with violence in our nation because of their views." 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Yuma Sun endorses Prop. 107

Discrimination wrong answer for inequality

Affirmative action has long been a controversial subject in America and the debate has been revived on the Arizona ballot in November.

Proposition 107 seeks to amend the Arizona Constitution to ban preferential treatment in public programs in Arizona based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin. Public employment, public education and public contracting would be impacted.

The prohibition would not apply to private affirmative efforts. And the proposition specifically exempts “bona fide qualifications” based on sex, as well as any action needed to retain federal funding or covered by a current court order. It would also not apply to any action taken prior to passage of the amendment.

At the heart of the discussion of affirmation action is discrimination.

Those who support these programs say they are necessary to correct discriminatory policies which hurt certain groups. The programs are intended to take proactive steps to ensure these groups get preferred treatment so they cannot be wrongfully locked out of the system.

Those who oppose affirmative action say these programs have become discriminatory in themselves, unfairly locking out members of majority groups through no fault of their own. Qualified people who are not part of the “affirmative groups” are denied a fair chance to participate in the system simply due to their race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.

Responding to discrimination with discrimination is not the right answer. The goal in America needs to be that all people — regardless of their inherent physical, racial or ethnic traits — are selected on their qualifications alone.

Proposition 107 takes a step in the right direction to ensure equal treatment for all in the public arena.