Civil Rights or Civil Wrongs?

October 27, 2008

Civil rights or civil wrongs?
A trail of fraud, deception and suspect motives follow Ward Connerly into Nebraska

by Bryan Cohen -Omaha Weekly Reader

This was supposed to be Ward Connerly’s year.

Following successes in California and Michigan, Connerly announced in March 2007 his “Super Tuesday for Equal Rights” campaign — a push to effectively ban affirmative action policies by amending as many state constitutions as possible in 2008. From a list of 10 states, Connerly narrowed his efforts and petition signature gathering machine to five: Arizona, Oklahoma, Colorado, Missouri and Nebraska.

Connerly is controversial as his campaigns. In interviews he has praised the Klu Klux Klan for supporting his initiatives and questioned the legitimacy of the civil rights landmark decision in Brown v. The Board of Education. His “civil rights” efforts have earned him over $7 million since 1996.

But November 4 is panning out to be less super than he hoped.

Connerly has dropped three campaigns. His petition gathering company, National Ballot Access, has been dogged by lawsuits. In Oklahoma, the state with the shortest petition period at 30 days, the machine failed to get enough valid signatures. In Arizona and Missouri, opponents pressed legal and administrative charges of fraud, over 130,000 signatures were found invalid and his amendment failed to make the ballot.

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