Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Super Tuesday for the end of affirmative action 

Ward Connerly is seeking a set of state referenda in 2008 in which to follow up on his successful initiatives in Washington, California and most recently Michigan to end racial preferences in state agencies including public universities.

Connerly said he will visit Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Wyoming and Utah over the next 60 days and then decide how many campaigns to launch.

"Three down and 20 to go," Connerly said during a conference call. "We don't need to do them all, but if we do a significant number, we will have demonstrated that race preferences are antithetical to the popular will of the American people."

Connerly said he hopes for a "Super Tuesday of equality," a win across the board, in the November 2008 elections. He led the campaign for Prop. 209, which passed with 54 percent of the vote, pushed a similar initiative in Washington state that passed in 1998 with 58 percent and helped with the Michigan law that passed Nov. 7 with 58 percent. The California business consultant said he chose the nine states based on the interest residents have expressed in an initiative campaign and on the degree of awareness of the issue.

While Connerly's efforts in Michigan didn't have enough of an effect to flip races to the Republicans this year, it is noteworthy that all but one of the states are midwest and western states that Republicans will likely need to hold to keep the White House. Much like the use of the marriage amendment, the civil rights initiatives of Connerly could be a turnout mechanism for Republicans.