Saturday, November 08, 2008

Colorado preserves affirmative action

Yet another piece of good news from Tuesday's elections was that one of the ballot initiative industry's true lowlife's got his slime kicked back at him.

Ward Connerly's latest effort to outlaw programs that strive for equality of opportunity was defeated by Colorado's voters. Opponents, including politicians, like Governor Bill Ritter and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, educators, and even NCAA basketball coaches, feared this threat to racial and sexual equality would get lost in the noise of the Presidential race and the long ballot. But voters proved too smart to let that happen by a slim margin.

Connerly is a California businessman, himself a beneficiary of affirmative action in contracting, who has made a career of fronting for killing the programs that help minorities and women. The guy has traded on his own mixed race heritage to push for discrimination in several states around the country, after pioneering the scam in his own home state in 1996. He draws millions from his phony nonprofits.

Here's clip from the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center about this con man.

As we mourn and rage against the passage of California Prop. 8, voter-mandated discrimination against gays, we need to remember that it was Colorado that in 1992, by popular vote, tried to write broad discrimination against LGBT people into its constitution. Fortunately, the US Supreme Court (a better one before so many Republican appointments) said no to this measure in Romer v. Evans. California lawyers have gone to court to preserve the marriages denied in California on Tuesday. This challenge may or may not succeed. But outraged Californians should take hope from Colorado's historic shift toward inclusion and equity.