Arizona debates affirmative action proposition

(Arizona Daily Star) The architect of a ban on affirmative-action programs in other states said Thursday night that adopting one here won’t necessarily kill existing programs to help women and minorities – if they’re opened to everyone else.

Ward Connerly said he has no problems with helping the disadvantaged. But he said programs run by the government that target race, ethnicity, gender or national origin are inherently wrong and should be banned.

That is precisely what Proposition 107, similar to a California law, would do if approved. It would make it illegal to grant preferential treatment based on any of those factors in public employment, education or contracting.

House Minority Leader David Lujan, who debated Connerly, said the state does not give special privileges to anyone. For example, Lujan said he got into law school at Arizona State University based on his ability, without any artificial boost.

But Lujan said he did benefit from a program there aimed at Hispanic students, which paired him with a Hispanic attorney. That would become illegal if Proposition 107 passes.

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