View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Ward Connerly's Brother-in-Arms

If Charles Krauthammer and Ward Connerly are right, and the next step in the Quota Wars is a state-by-state legislative fight, then it looks like it might start here in Colorado. Governor Owens has announced that he'd like to sign legislation removing race as a factor in state college admissions. (John Andrews, the reliable if fire-eating State Senate leader, wants to extend this to all government activities, but let's just get a bill passed, John.) It looks like the legislative leaders will cooperate, and we may get a bill this year.

It's ironic that Owens made the announcement at a reception for the Brazilian Ambassador. Brazil traditionally had a social awareness of race, with some loose classifications, but no official government rankings. They have only just instituted affirmative action, and in a country where the vast majority of people are mixed-race, it's causing confusion and exacerbating tensions it was supposed to have assuaged.

More problematic may be the state's Democrats. Attorney General Salazar. who's clearly running for Governor 3 years from now, will probably oppose it, either with a suit of his own, or by filing an amicus brief in someone else's case. He's done this before, with the redistricting bill, but there he had to fight on procedural grounds. Here, he'd probably have to argue that "diversity," as a "compelling state interest" not only permits, but compels the universities to take race into account.

But leave it to State Senator Ken Gordon, sadly, my own state senator, to show everything that's wrong with the Democrats on this issue:

"I can't think why anyone would oppose the university's attempt to have diversity in its student body," Gordon said. "It's not like the Bible says that SAT scores are the only legitimate method of evaluating prospective students."

Of course, Ken, you can't see why anyone would oppose you on this. So sure you are of how right you are, you can't imagine anyone disagreeing. And no, Ken, nobody ever said that SATs were the only measure of a student's worth. Just not skin color. There are grades, teach recommendations, extracurriculars, although, Ken, apparently not religious extracurriculars, huh? That smarmy little jab at the end, taking a shot at the Governor's religiosity, is so typical.

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