AAVIP NewsLetter

Affirmative Action in the News

Both Sides in Affirmative Action Battle Say Pace Might Pick Up
Matthew Hansen
Article, Omaha World-Herald
August 8, 2008
The two groups fighting over the future of affirmative action in Nebraska have already spent almost $1 million combined, according to campaign finance reports. By Nov. 4, when Nebraska voters could decide the affirmative action ban, the $1 million amount may seem small.
full story

Dueling Civil Rights Amendments May Vie for Votes
Kevin Flynn
Article, Rocky Mountain News
August 8, 2008
A leading national civil rights organization is providing the campaign against the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, the proposed Amendment 46. And if that sounds confusing, hang on as this year’s edition of dueling amendments takes voters into a world of political spin and wordsmithing meant to entice support for both sides.
full story

A Proactive Progressivism
Erica Williams
Article, Campus Progress
August 6, 2008
For years, progressives have been playing whack-a-mole with ballot initiatives in state after state. That is, instead of using their time and resources to proactively push for proposals, progressives have been repeatedly forced to fight against anti-progressive initiatives proposed by cynical conservatives.
full story

Affirmative Action: How Obama and McCain Stack Up on the Issue
Daryl C. Hannah
Article, DiversityInc Magazine
July 23, 2008
What will happen to affirmative action if Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. John McCain is elected president? Why is affirmative action still a key issue in this presidential election?
full story

Diversity Gap Grows in UC Med Schools, Says Report
Ekaterina Basilaia
Article, New American Media
July 22, 2008
Juan Jose Guerra is now an obstetrician and gynecologist at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif. But when he was going to medical school in the 1980s, he got little encouragement to do so. “I battled through college, I did not have the highest grade point average.
full story

Minority Businesses Get Little State Work
Summer Harlow
Article, Delaware Online
July 22, 2008
William Holley has pretty much given up on the idea of doing business with the First State. The bulk of business for his 19-year-old masonry and demolition company, Holley Enterprises in Wilmington, comes from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland — states that set written goals for working with minority-owned companies
full story

Student Groups Target Minorities
Sara Lynne Thelen and Elaine LaFay
Article, The Michigan Daily
July 21, 2008
Britney Littles, vice president of the University’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that the group will amp up its tutoring of minority high school students from the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas to help them prepare for college. More difficult than teaching ACT or SAT preparation, she said, will be convincing them that college is within their reach.
full story

Amendment 46, Initiative 82 Backers Go Toe-to-Toe in Accusations
John Schroyer
Article, The Colorado Statesman
July 18, 2008
The political finger-pointing over Amendment 46, also known as Colorado’s “Civil Rights Initiative,” has escalated in recent weeks, with each side continually accusing the other of lying in order to get onto the ballot.
full story

Neb. Republicans Back Ban on Affirmative Action
Associated Press
Article, KNEB Radio, Nebraska
July 13, 2008
Nebraska Republicans have voted to adopt a resolution to support a ban on race-based affirmative action in the state. The Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative says it turned in more than 167,000 petition signatures to get the issue on the November ballot.
full story

Obama’s Success Fuels Affirmative Action’s Foes
Charles Babington
Article, Associated Press
June 30, 2008
Barack Obama’s political success might claim an unintended victim: affirmative action, a much-debated policy that he supports. Already weakened by several court rulings and state referendums, affirmative action now confronts a challenge to its very reason for existing. If Americans make a black person the leading contender for president, as nationwide polls suggest, how can racial prejudice be so prevalent and potent that it justifies special efforts to place minorities in coveted jobs and schools?
full story

Woman Wants Name off Ballot Petition
Carrie Watters
Article, The Arizona Republic
June 30, 2008
Jennine Jo Shull said she recently walked out of a state Department of Motor Vehicles facility in Glendale and was approached by a man circulating a petition for a ballot initiative that he said ensured equal rights and prohibited discrimination. … It was hot, Shull had her grandmother with her, and she signed her name based on information that she later said was misleading.
full story

Are We There Yet?
Doug Thorburn
Op-Ed, Daily Camera
June 29, 2008
Read Amendment 46, the so-called “Colorado Civil Rights Act” on the ballot in November, very carefully. It is not civil and it is not right!
full op-ed

Affirmative Action Ban Would Take Away Opportunities
James B. Milliken and John P. Schlegel
Op-Ed, Lincoln Journal Star
June 29, 2008
Nebraska’s future will depend on our ability to attract and retain talented individuals who will work, raise families and contribute to our communities. We must start at home, by ensuring educational access for all Nebraskans and we must be open to attracting and developing the talents and gifts of all people.
full op-ed

Group Challenges Legitimacy of Affirmative Action Petition
Staff
Article, KETV 7
June 25, 2008
A challenge was filed Wednesday to the petition drive seeking a change in Nebraska affirmative action policies. The group seeking to change Nebraska’s constitution wants it to say the state “shall not grant preferential treatment” to any group.
full story

Audit: DOJ Played Politics, Broke Law in Hiring
Staff
Article, ABC News
June 25, 2008
According to the report, McDonald was assigned to the selection committee only weeks after having joined the Justice Department in late 2006. In a Nov. 29, 2006 e-mail, McDonald had noted one candidate was unacceptable because he belonged to a “leftist” group….
full story

The Obama Victory: Giving Affirmative Action Its Due
Hugh B. Price
Opinion, The News & Observer
June 24, 2008
Voters of varying ethnic and economic backgrounds have put an African-American one election away from smashing the loftiest glass ceiling in American society. Predictably, Barack Obama’s capture of the Democratic Party nomination for president has triggered a flurry of post-mortems about why this point of inflexion in our nation’s history has occurred.
full story

Democrats Oppose Initiative Attacking Affirmative Action
Don Walton
Article, Lincoln Journal Star
June 23, 2008
Nebraska Democrats Sunday declared their opposition to the initiative proposal to eliminate affirmative action programs. They also declared their support for a hand count of ballots in election recounts. Those were two of the resolutions adopted by a dwindling number of delegates at the closing session of the party’s state convention.
full story

Shoot Down Anti-Affirmative Action Initiative
Marjorie Mead
Letter to the Editor, East Valley Tribune
June 23, 2008
I am writing to express my concern about the proposed Ward Connerly ballot initiative to do away with equal opportunity programs in Arizona and the deceptive and deceitful tactics that petition circulators are using to force the initiative on our ballot. … I’ve always taught my children that anything is possible. Educational opportunity programs helped each of us fulfill our dreams. If the Connerly ballot initiative is passed, the dreams of many will never be fulfilled.
full story

Women’s Groups Oppose Affirmative Action Initiative
Staff
Article, KETV 7
June 18, 2008
Women’s groups on Wednesday came out in opposition to a Nebraska initiative that would change the state’s affirmative action laws. … The YWCA, Girls Inc., the College of St. Mary and the Women’s Fund said Wednesday that the initiative and those circulating the petitions are misleading voters. They also said that the petition is being driven by outside influences.
full story

Are Petition Gatherers Misleading Voters?
Staff
Article, KETV 7
June 17, 2008
Nebraska voter Terra Johnson recently signed her name to an affirmative-action petition circulating in the state, then turned around and asked to scratch her name off the role. The Nebraska Civil Rights Initiative petition would end race- and gender-based affirmative action. Some people have complained that they were misled into signing it.
full story

New Affirmative Action Ads Launched amid Controversy
Melissa Lee
Article, Lincoln Journal-Star
June 16, 2008
A pair of new radio ads from supporters of affirmative action is under fire from critics who say the ads are deceptive and inaccurate. The ads were launched Friday by Nebraskans United, a coalition fighting a proposed statewide ban on race- and gender-based affirmative action.
full story

Barack Obama Comes out against Ward Connerly’s Latest Campaigns
Peter Schmidt
Article, The Chronicle of Higher Education
June 11, 2008
Ward Connerly—the former University of California regent, prominent affirmative action critic, and Republican activist—announced back in February that he had donated $500 to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign…Senator Obama, however, had already showed that he disagreed with Mr. Connerly on affirmative action, having appeared in a 2006 radio advertisement opposing Proposal 2, the Michigan ballot measure banning the use of racial, ethnic, and gender preferences by public colleges and other state and local agencies. (The measure passed overwhelmingly that fall.
full story

Minority Recruiting Is Paying Off, U-M Asserts
Peggy Walsh-Sarnecki
Article, Detroit Free Press
June 13, 2008
The University of Michigan’s 2008 freshman class is likely to show a slight drop in the percentage of minority students when compared to the previous year’s class, a sign that the school’s aggressive recruiting efforts are working since a 2006 state ban on affirmative action in university admissions, U-M officials said Thursday.
full story

Signature Collectors Must Shop Elsewhere
Martha Stoddard
Article, Omaha World-Herald
June 3, 2008
Lincoln shoppers no longer have to run a political gauntlet just to pick up a gallon of milk or a new kitchen faucet. Petition circulators and opponents disappeared from outside private businesses Monday, the day Lincoln officials had said they would start enforcing trespassing laws against those who did not leave when asked to do so.
full story

Affirmative Action Battle Turns Costly
Melissa Lee
Article, Lincoln Journal-Star
June 3, 2008
The battle over whether to end race- and gender-based affirmative action in Nebraska will be a costly one. That much is made clear in new campaign filings with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission, which show both supporters and opponents of an affirmative-action ban raked in the cash during May.
full story

Lawsuit: ‘Pattern of Discrimination’ at Secret Service
Pierre Thomas, Talesha Reynolds, Jack Date and Theresa Cook
Article, ABC News
May 28, 2008
They are the stoic men and women of the Secret Service. Guarding presidents and dignitaries, keeping them safe, even if duty calls one of them to do as he or she is trained and step in front of a bullet. The best of the best, they are immortalized in Hollywood dramas such as “In the Line of Fire.” But now that pristine image is being challenged by a lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 100 current and former black agents which alleges they were discriminated against in promotions.
full story

Judge Refuses to Force U. of Texas to Reconsider 2 Rejected White Applicants
Peter Schmidt
Article, The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 29, 2008
A federal judge has refused to order the University of Texas at Austin to re-evaluate, without any consideration of race or ethnicity, the applications of two white students who have sued the institution, challenging its admissions policies as discriminatory. The lawsuit is continuing.
full story

 

Dry run for new voter database

By Myung Oak Kim , Rocky Mountain News ( Contact )

Originally published 12:05 a.m., April 22, 2008
Updated 12:13 a.m., April 22, 2008

Secretary of State Mike Coffman wants voters to know that the new $13 million statewide voter registration database being implemented this year will work fine for the presidential election.

But he still expects problems to surface during simulated election activities being conducted by county workers over the next two weeks. Coffman and his staff want to fix any issues now so that the Aug. 12 primary and Nov. 4 general elections – expected to draw record turnouts – go well.

“We don’t expect this mock election to be completely smooth. It’s not intended for that,” Coffman said during a press conference Monday. “If you hear issues, don’t be alarmed. This is a spring training of sorts.”

Even with the mock election work and computerized testing, the unfinished system won’t be used statewide in a real election until the primary. That means the state won’t know for sure how the system will handle hundreds of election workers across the state using it simultaneously.

State officials said some counties may still use their local registration systems as a backup on election day.

In addition, the computer system known as SCORE (State of Colorado Registration and Election) has nothing to do with counting votes. That job is left to election officials and the software, electronic scanning and voting machines that were subject to certification reviews over the last year by Coffman’s office.

A lawsuit spurred a strict review process by Coffman’s office that resulted in his decertification last December of thousands of machines used across the state because of security and accuracy problems. With the help of a new law, Coffman later changed course and approved all the machines for use this year.

Coffman said he was careful to follow the law during his certification process, but activists opposed to electronic voting contend that Coffman violated law and should not have approved the machines. They are preparing another lawsuit.

In the meantime, Coffman has been working to implement SCORE to comply with federal law. The system is more than two years late because of problems with the first contractor. The final product is expected by late May, officials said Monday.

Coffman also is spending $2 million more to pay for workers to help county election officials implement SCORE. The system is being designed by Saber Corp., an Oregon firm now owned by EDS. The original Saber contract is $9.7 million. Federal election funds will pay for the implementation of SCORE.