The Norman Transcript

Election Coverage

September 23, 2012

SQ 759 could limit affirmative action

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The federation is opposing the state question, as is the League of Women Voters, which issued the following statement:

“In states that have passed bans on affirmative action, minorities and women were less likely to advance to managerial positions, a reduction for hiring women went from 52 percent to 13 percent, construction awards to businesses owned by minorities and women decreased from 50 percent to 32 percent, and admission of women and minorities to elite and grad schools dropped.”

The league further claimed that if the measure is passed, “court challenges would cost Oklahoma taxpayer dollars in lawyers and court fees.”

“Quotas have been illegal in Oklahoma for decades, so if that’s what voters are concerned about, then they should rest assured that that law is long settled in the Sooner state,” Kiesel said. “For Oklahoma as a state, affirmative action means ... a commitment to identifying areas where we lack diversity and then recognizing that diversity is a strength.”

As one of the bill’s champions, Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher, believes the measure would ban programs that give preferential treatment to any person on the basis of race, sex, color or national origin.

“I have always believed we should be evaluated by our character and merit, not by the color of our skin,” Johnson said in a press release after the measure’s approval by the legislature.

Kiesel disagrees with that characterization and believes appropriating anti-discrimination language as a means of promoting the passage of this state question is misleading.

“I think that this could have far-reaching consequences for both racial minorities as well as women, Kiesel said.

The president of NAACP in Oklahoma, Garland Pruitt, believes the bill could have a negative impact on multiple groups.

“Any time you remove something that is already in place, the chances are great that opportunities will be diminished or eliminated. It was put into place for a purpose,” Pruitt said. “It was needed then; it is needed now. Affirmative action should be in place, and it is necessary. We haven’t arrived.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Election Coverage
  • Election logo.jpg Editor’s note

    Look here for an ongoing series of stories exploring the six state questions and the local candidate races on the Nov. 6 ballot. Additional stories will be coming weekly until the election.

    September 28, 2012 1 Photo

  • Stiles, Aaron.jpg Stiles retains seat by 18 votes; provisional ballots still in play

    Incumbent House member Aaron Stiles will retain his east Norman seat, according to complete, but unofficial returns from state House District 45 showed early today.

    November 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • Warren 2012 Americans face prospect of status quo Congress

    A barrage of negative ads, more than $2 billion in spending and endless campaign stops all come down to this: Americans likely will ...

    November 7, 2012 1 Photo

  • Voters must show ID

    Oklahoma’s proof of identity law was approved by voters in 2010. It passed with 74 percent of votes cast. The law requires every voter who votes in person at the precinct polling place or during early voting at the Cleveland County ...

    November 5, 2012

  • EarlyVote3 Review of state questions

    What does a ‘yes,’ ‘no’ vote mean? With six state questions on the ballot, voters will have a lot of information to remember when they enter the polls. In an effort to inform and educate voters on the upcoming elections, The Transcript has ...

    November 5, 2012 1 Photo

  • Election day Tuesday

    Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday for the General Election. Jim Williams, Secretary of the Cleveland County Election Board, offered voters some tips on how to make votes count....

    November 3, 2012

  • Election logo.jpg Early voting starts today

    Early voting starts at 8 a.m. today at the Cleveland County Election Board, 641 E. Robinson St., Suite 200 in Norman. Because this is a federal as well as state and local election, office hours are extended until 6 p.m. today for anyone ...

    November 2, 2012 1 Photo

  • Chamber apologizes for sending Switzer letter

    Couple says they didn’t authorize, sign off on letter A letter to the editor supporting State Question 766 — purportedly written by Barry and Becky Switzer of Norman — was not authorized by them and should not have been published in ...

    November 1, 2012

  • Two in county sheriff’s race

    There was some early confusion over whether Oklahoma Republican Rep. Mike Reynolds was running for Cleveland County Sheriff because he shares the same name with a Moore business owner....

    November 1, 2012

  • ID required to vote in election

    Oklahoma’s proof of identity law was approved by voters in 2010. It passed with 74 percent of votes cast. The law requires every voter who votes in person at the precinct polling place or during early voting at the County Election Board to ...

    November 1, 2012