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Ad Likens Measure to Sept. 11, Katrina

Friday, October 13, 2006

LANSING, Mich. —  Opponents of a ballot proposal that would ban some affirmative action programs in Michigan are running a statewide radio ad that warns the measure is as dangerous as the Sept. 11 and Hurricane Katrina disasters.

"If you could have prevented 9/11 from ever happening, would you have?"an announcer asks in the ad."If you could have prevented Katrina from ever happening, what would you have done? On November 7th, there's a national disaster headed for Michigan: the elimination of affirmative action."

The announcer then repeatedly urges listeners to vote against the proposal.

The ballot proposal's backers condemned the ad Friday.

"This is very disgusting. How can they talk to a widow of a fireman and say that this is equivalent to 9/11?"said Doug Tietz, spokesman for the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative.

A spokesman for One United Michigan, the group airing the ad, stood by it.

"Taking away opportunities from families and women is exactly like taking away their lives,"Dave Waymire said.

The proposed constitutional amendment would ban the use of race and gender preferences in university admissions and government hiring. Similar proposals have passed in California and Washington state.

(Story continues below)

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