ON-Lion Letter
In the wake of voters’ approval of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) in November 2006, civil-rights activists led by California business consultant and 2005 Bradley Prize winner Ward Connerly are planning to explore similar efforts in other states, trying to make Election Day in November 2008 a “Super Tuesday for equality,” in Connerly’s words.

The MCRI, which passed 58%-42%, bans race- and sex-preferential treatment in public-university admissions and state-government hiring.

Connerly is also co-chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI) in Sacramento, Calif., to which The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee provides substantial support.  ACRI conducts research of and public education about the use of race- and sex-preferential policies by all levels of government.

The activists publicly announced in December 2006 that they are now examining the viability of mounting MCRI-like ballot initiatives in nine other states -- Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.  Similar equal-opportunity initiatives have already passed in California in 1996 and Washington State in 1998.  Twenty-three states allow citizen-initiated referenda.

“Three down and 20 to go,” Connerly said during the announcement.  “We don’t need to do them all, but if we do a significant number, we will have demonstrated -- without doubt -- that race preferences are antithetical to the popular will of the American people.”

In mid-December in Madison, Wis., Connerly testified before the crowded meeting of a committee set up by the Wisconsin state legislature to explore similarly banning differential treatment of citizens by government.

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