Thursday, August 11, 2005

Michigan Meets Malcolm X

S. D. Melzer wrote in OpinionJournal Liberals have been beating their collective breast in recent years over the Bush administration's post-9/11 assault on civil liberties. But Michigan Democrats--from Gov. Jennifer Granholm to the State Board of Canvassers--have joined ranks with a radical, 1960s-style Trotskyite group to deny state residents the most basic of all rights: the right to vote.

I guess the Dems dont think they can fake up enough votes to win, so they block the vote altogether.
The group, which lives in a Malcolm X-inspired fantasy world and calls itself By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), has been engaged in a long guerilla campaign to prevent the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) from getting on the state ballot. This initiative, backed by Ward Connerly, the California businessman who successfully spearheaded a similar effort in his home state, seeks to end, once and for all, racial preferences in public universities and state government. Polls have repeatedly shown that over 60% of Michigan voters oppose preferences, even though the U.S. Supreme Court last year ruled them constitutional in a lawsuit challenging University of Michigan admission polices.

But instead of doing the hard work required in a democracy to convince voters, BAMN has been using its patented formula of political intimidation and legal harassment in an attempt to strangle the initiative in the crib. Last year, it disrupted initiative meetings on college campuses and tailed initiative signature-seekers, denouncing through bullhorns any student who approached them.

At the same time, it mounted a legal challenge questioning the language of the petition. Even though it lost twice, including in the Michigan Supreme Court, the delay made it impossible for MCRI to gather enough signatures for the 2004 ballot deadline. That will not be a problem for the 2006 ballot. MCRI has already obtained 500,000 signatures and the secretary of state's office has certified around 450,000 of them--about 125,000 more than necessary.

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