Archer Says Connerly 'Hustling' MCRI
Former Detroit Mayor Dennis ARCHER accused the leader of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) of trying to kick some people "under the bus" with his statewide ballot proposition on affirmative action.
"We don't need Ward CONNERLY in Michigan to tell Michigan what to do," opined the former associate justice of the state Supreme Court. "He's not in any kind of position as a benefactor of affirmative action to try and kick somebody under the bus."
Warming to the subject during his appearance on the Off the Record public TV broadcast this week, Archer sounded a bit like a former jurist saying, "Ward Connerly does not have the kind of validation in anybody's community that deserves respect, so his words are without merit."
When he appeared on the same program a couple weeks ago, Connerly said his internal polling data showed the issue passing but Archer said he is concerned about the "sub vote," those people who lie to pollsters about their true voting intentions.
"I'm very concerned," Archer suggested.
At one point he accused Connerly of "hustling this kind of initiative," which earns the Californian a "million dollars a year."
Asked if Archer was calling Connerly a hustler, Archer shot back, "I didn't call him a hustler. I just said he's hustling."
But wouldn't a hustler, hustle? Archer was asked.
He laughed it off saying, "That's by your definition."
After the program Archer predicted Gov. Jennifer GRANHOLM would carry 85 to 90 percent of the Detroit vote and summarily dismissed the support that Republican gubernatorial challenger Dick DeVOS was picking up in segments of the black church community.
Archer bluntly described pastors who support DeVos as "fringe ministers who really have no real impact" in Detroit because their congregations are not that large.
CRC: MCRI Packs Small Punch
Outside of marginally changing the University of Michigan's student enrollment procedures and opening a Chicano/Latino studies program at Wayne State University to include all students, a Citizens Research Council (CRC) report couldn't find much tangible pop in the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MRCI) if passed by voters this fall.
For all the public debate and controversy surrounding MCRI, which appears on the Nov. 7 ballot as Proposal 2, the Michigan-based think-tank found little hard evidence of anything a passed MCRI would do to impact how state government, local government and public education operates.
MCRI, pushed by Californian Ward CONNERLY to ban "racial and gender preferences" from taxpayer-funded institutions, is being framed as killing affirmative action by opponents, although CRC argues it only sacks affirmative actions programs as they relate to race and gender. And, in its analysis, it didn't find many examples of these types of considerations still in existence.
The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is the only taxpayer-funded institution that uses race and ethnicity as contributing factors to accepting a student who applies to its university. Academics is and would continue to be the most important fact in determining admission into the school.
Another potential impact could be felt at the "Center for Chicano-Boricua Studies" at Wayne State, which recruits Latino students into a two-year academic program to help them make the transition from high school to college. The program doesn't appear to be open to other ethnicities and would need to be opened in order to comply with MCRI.
The research council noted that it did not research the policies of all 1,859 local units of government in Michigan, but it struggled to find any concrete examples of how MCRI would change the way any of them did business. If a city gives preferences to minority-owned businesses in contracting or to prospective employees in hiring, those procedures would be banned.
The one example the report used was the city of Pontiac, which * for financial reasons * recently abandoned its legal challenge against the U.S. Department of Justice for its policy that one out of three new hires at the city's fire department be a minority or a female.
But outside of adjusting some of the minority or women outreach efforts, MCRI would not impact state hiring since a pair of U.S. Supreme Court decisions already keep the state from granting preferences to women or minorities based on race or gender. On a statewide level, the report noted that salary parity for minority state employees rose to 99 cents for every dollar in 2001, an all-time high.
"Females and minorities have been making progress and increasing their numbers in state employment over the years," the report reads. "State hiring policy does not currently involve affirmative action preferences, therefore if Proposal 2006-02 passes, it should not have a strong impact on state government diversity."
The analysis also looked at state grants and education programs through the Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG).
The report notes that affirmative action programs dealing with socio-economic status and geographical differences would still be allowed and there are likely to be numerous lawsuits filed to test the boundaries of the amendment if it were to pass.