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July 28, 2003 - Image 8

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-07-28

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8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, July 28, 2003

N.LT

- -. - N

EWS-

CONNERLY
Continued from Page 1
his supporters are hiring National Petition Manage-
ment to collect signatures starting in September, at
a cost of around $800,000-900,000.
Rep. Jack Brandenburg (R-Harrison Twp.) and
Rep. Leon Drolet (R-Clinton Twp.) were chosen to
be co-chairs of the committee.
"We're glad to be working with them," ACRC
spokesman Justin Jones said. "They will oversee
the effort statewide and everything that entails," he
said, adding their duties will
include organizing fundraising, '
signature gathering, and coali-
tion building.
The steering committee's
"responsibilities are to bring
insight, advice and support to
the initiative," Drolet said.
Brandenburg said he first
became interested in working
with Connerly after the
Supreme Court handed down Connerly
its decision on whether or not the University could
use race-conscious admissions.
"It was brought to my attention that we could put
this to the ballot test. Let the people vote on this. It

"Let the people vote on this. It is tax dollars - our tax
dollars, that's funding (the University)."
- Rep.Jack Brandenburg
R-Harrison Twp.

4

is tax dollars - our tax dollars, that's funding (the
University)," Brandenburg said. The University
declined to comment on Connerly or the MCRI.
Brandenburg said he and Drolet are planning to
meet with Connerly and his supporters in the next
week or so to further plan the campaign.
"Ward Connerly's people will be sending in vol-
unteers themselves. What we would like to do on a
county by county basis is get somebody who is a
politically elected person with some volunteers and
signatures - as many signatures as possible from
each county," Brandenburg said.
While getting the issue on the ballot only
requires that they collect around 317,000 signa-
tures, Brandenburg said they would aim at collect-
ing between 400,000 and 500,000, because of the
possibility of invalid signatures. Also, he said the
more signatures they collect, the more voters will
know that the public stands behind the initiative.
Rep. Jack Hoogendyk, a member of the commit-
tee, said it is still in its early stages and he is not

sure how involved he will be. He said he was disap-
pointed by the manner in which opposition to the
MCRI voiced their protest. "They certainly had a
right to be there, butI think they would have done
themselves better by being a little more respectful."
Connerly also commented on the presence of the
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action and Inte-
gration and Fight for Equality By Any Means Nec-
essary at the event, saying, "They're troublemakers.
They don't respect civility.
"Anyone who criticizes racism and segregation
in this country as strongly as we do is likely to
become criticized," LSA senior and BAMN mem-
ber Neal Lyons said. "What's so civil about segre-
gation?" He added that once legal language of the
ballot is finalized, BAMN plans to boycott any
company or organization that signs on asa sponsor.
While Rep. Rick Shaffer (R-Three Rivers) was
originally named as a steering committee member,
he later told the Associated Press that the ACRC
announced his name by mistake.

4

4

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