Ward Connerly’s attempt to scuttle Missouri’s equal opportunity programs fell short late yesterday, when he failed to submit signatures needed to qualify his initiative for the state’s November ballot – marking it the second time this year that one of his initiatives have failed.
“People are catching on to Connerly’s shell game,” said Leadership Conference on Civil Rights President Wade Henderson. “His initiatives are written to make people think they’re supporting affirmative action, while cynically doing away with it. This is the beginning of his end.”
Connerly announced last summer that he was taking his anti-equal opportunity campaign into five states: Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona and Nebraska.
But, as voters learn the true meaning of his ballot language and the tactics he uses to secure petition signatures, his initiatives are increasingly failing to gain traction.
- Connerly missed yesterday’s signature collection deadline to get his initiative on the Missouri ballot. It has been reported that his team struggled to gather enough signatures and the necessary statewide support to qualify his amendment for the state’s ballot. Grassroots support for the initiative in Missouri was so weak that he resorted to flying in out-of-state members of hate groups such as the Minutemen to assist with signature collection.
- Connerly filed to withdraw his anti-affirmative initiative in Oklahoma last month when, again, the measure failed to garner the requisite number of valid signatures to qualify.
- In Colorado, Connerly faces allegations of fraud in his attempts to get his initiative on the ballot in that state. In that state, a challenge has been filed questioning the validity of nearly 70,000 signatures.
- In Arizona, Connerly’s campaign is reportedly having difficulty even finding recruits to circulate his petitions.
“Connerly is playing with fire,” said Henderson. “Word is spreading about the dangerous impact his initiatives are having in California, Washington, and Michigan. People see him for the millionaire carpetbagger that he is. He doesn’t have a state’s interest at heart and he’ll be met with organized opposition now wherever he goes.”