An “I Can’t Bear to Look” Elections Night Live-Blog

I really am not sure I can bear to watch the results tonight.

Polls on the East Coast have just closed, and Election Night coverage has started. Since I am actually in the midst of some writing for my day job, I’m going to do a slow live-blog of the results as they role in. Please refresh this post as the night drags on to get my take on the latest, and post your discussion in the Comments.

Also, please follow me on Twitter (@Reappropriate) where I will be Tweeting some of the updates.

4:47pm Rand Paul projected to win Senate seat in Kentucky, which we might not have predicted immediately following his victory in the primary (and consequent crazy-talk on mainstream media). Paul apparently did a good job of keeping his head down and distancing himself from his statements. The GOP also picked up two Senate seats from the Dems: Portman in  Ohio and Coats in Indiana. The night looks to be shaping up not so great for Dems.

5:00pm Chris Coons wins in Delaware. No surprise there, considering how terribly Christine O’Donnell did, although it makes one question exactly how powerful the Tea Party will be this year. In any event, Coons is awesome and brilliant. Marco Rubio wins in Florida which also is not much of a surprise to me. Exit polling puts the Senate seat in Illinois that Obama held at a dead heat.

5:03pm Woot! Dems picked up Congressional seat in Delaware!

5:10pm Nothing is sadder than seeing live coverage from the O’Donnell Election Night Party…

5:21pm Electroman notes that, after all the districts that turned blue in Virginia in 2008, he now hails from the only district — District 3 — that is still blue in the entire state after tonight. It’s not going to be a good night for Dems.

5:32pm Democrat Blanche Lincoln is defeated in Arkansas. You might remember Lincoln from this racist attack ad controversy that targeted Asian Indians and outsourcing. In related news regarding South Asians and politics this year, Nikki Haley is polling well in the South Carolina gubernatorial race, and will probably take it.

5:34pm Linda McMahon defeated. At least Connecticut hasn’t Jesse Ventura’d itself.

5:40pm YES! John Raese was defeated by Joe Manchin in the West Virginia Senate race. This was a seat that Republicans needed in order to take the Senate, which means that Democrats should maintain control! Although Republicans taking both House and Senate was a long-shot, I’m still happy to see that tonight isn’t a complete sweep for the GOP.

5:44pm Prerna reminds us via Twitter that Blanche Lincoln voted against the Dream Act.

6:00pm No surprises in New York: Gillebrand and Schumer both re-elected, Cuomo elected. Exit polls put it a dead heat in Wisconsin between Fengold and his challenger.

6:16pm CNN projects that Republicans will take control of the House. Sad, but not surprising. I’m saddened, because I think Nancy Pelosi has been an adept and fair Speaker.

6:34pm APAICS is live-blogging results for APIA candidates tonight. Great resource!

6:38pm Christine O’Donnell currently making concession speech. Now, can we hear Chris Coons’ inner monologue having had to run against her? Please? Pretty please?

6:43pm Arizona ballots close in twenty minutes. I’m getting butterflies thinking of the projections.

6:49pm Okay, I’m going to be leaving my computer for a bit, and will hopefully have Wi-Fi at my new location. I will attempt to continue to live-blog. See you on the other side, folks!

9:15pm Okay, sorry for the long break. I’m back by my laptop. I had heart palpitations when polls first closed in AZ. Looks like the Tea Partiers (Kelly and McClung) swept early ballotting, but the seats look like they might stay Dem now. I called that Proposition 107 is losing.

9:18pm Nikki Haley, first Asian Indian governor, elected tonight. Yay? Kind of?

9:21pm Was anyone shocked that John McCain won? Anyone? Anyone? *Cricket, cricket* Also, Brewer has won, someone should just call it.

9:33pm Kirk, a Republican, takes Obama’s old Senate seat. The third party Green candidate spoiled Democrats’ chances; had the Green not been in the race, Democrats probably would have retained the seat. This is truly an embarassment for Obama.

9:35pm At the end of the night, there will not be a single African-American in the Senate. And they say the Tea Party’s not racist.

9:37pm AP is projecting that Harry Reid has retained his seat against Sharrrrrron Angle. Great news out of Nevada!

9:44pm Disgrasian tweets: “Sharron Angle will not be the Senate’s first Asian American Senator.” HA!

9:51pm Prop 107 isn’t winning in any county except Apache. No on 107 apparently seriously dropped the ball on this one!

9:58pm Are we calling Huppenthal’s win for AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction, yet? This is the end of ethnic studies in this state.

10:01pm My fellow blogger, Mike, over at Blog for Arizona writes: “Clean sweep for the GOP in statewide races. Well, they can’t blame us for shit anymore.” Is this really the silver lining?

10:57pm Giffords and Grijalva have kept their seats in CD 7 and CD8. Otherwise, it’s a GOP sweep, and none of the propositions except 301 and 302 have gone favourably for Democrats.

And that’s Election Night 2010. Anyone else needing to be talked back from the ledge?

Yes on 107: Voters Shouldn’t Hear the Ramifications of this Ballot Measure?

Please vote No on 107, if you haven't already done so. I promise, the chances of nuclear war are pretty slim, but the chances of targeted programs like battered women's shelters coming under assault are pretty high.

Two hours ago, Intellectual Conservative Arizona, who is blogging on behalf of Yes on 107, posted a little “clap back” on their Tucson Citizen blog in response to me:

The left wing Blog for Arizona/Reappropriate has a post claiming that “Yes on 107 wouldn’t mind if battered women’s shelters and breast cancer screenings closed their doors.” How does the author come to this bizarre conclusion? We pointed out that those services will NOT have to close their doors if Prop. 107 passes, it is a scare tactic used by the left in order to frighten people from voting

(Please note that I changed the title of my post this morning after realizing that the first one was super-long and unwieldy. Apparently IC Arizona did not refresh their cache.)

The logic is fairly straightforward, and in fact taken from Yes on 107’s own words.

Bascially, Yes on 107 says that programs that currently target their services… simply have to open their doors to men. Here’s their quote:

Secondly, any program in risk of being eliminated just has to open its services up to men. 

Yes on 107 then goes on to defend the rights of “men’s rights” groups to file lawsuits against battered women’s shelters, presuming that judges will throw them out. Yes on 107 ignores the political and financial costs of such lawsuits against battered women’s shelters, let alone the sheer inhumanity of their argument.

What Yes on 107 fails to acknowledge is that California specifically protects funding for women’s health in their statutes, and that was the basis for the rejection of these lawsuits in California. Arizona, to my knowledge, does not have such protections.

So, if men’s rights groups filed lawsuits against battered women’s shelters in this state, judges could not turn to similar protections to defend shelters in this state. And, as for criticism that this is all hypothetical, I ask: what makes one think that “men’s rights” groups wouldn’t file such lawsuits? This is what men’s rights groups do. Just Google “NCFM” to see the long history of lawsuits they have filed around the country on a wide range of topics.

Bottom line, I say that Yes on 107 appears to not mind the closing of battered women’s shelters because they offered only two options for shelters: accept men, or be ready for lawsuits to determine their status under Proposition 107. Both options are punitively damaging to battered women’s shelters and their very day-to-day operation, but Yes on 107 simply doesn’t acknowledge this fact. Yes on 107 doesn’t acknowledge that battered women’s shelters cannot operate optimally when being sued, or having to accept men. Yes on 107 basically doesn’t care about those concerns, or the thousands of women who do care.

Meanwhile, Yes on 107 deftly side-steps the bulk of my argument: which is the long litany of lawsuits that the state will be needed to establish scope. They haven’t denied their group’s involvement in Connerly vs. State Personnel Board, or that Proposition 107 is carefully worded in order to help support a lawsuit that will expand the scope of this ballot measure against the voters’ wishes. Reams of digital ink have been used defending themselves in regards to battered women’s shelters, but on the subject of whether a lawsuit will be filed to expand the scope of this ballot measure? Silence.

Hmm, I wonder why that is?

Instead, Yes on 107 chides me for exploring the end-game of Proposition 107. The title of their post: “Since there’s a remote chance of a nuclear war if Proposition 107 passes, you must be in favor of nuclear war if you support it.” Apparently Yes on 107 doesn’t believe that voters should actually think through what happens with the passage of a ballot measure, including weighing all the possible consequences of their vote.

If there’s a chance that voting on a ballot measure could threaten battered women’s shelters, shouldn’t voters have a right to know how that will happen? Apparently, Yes on 107 doesn’t think so. They would rather that voters vote, dumbly and without appropriate education and awareness.

I also wonder why Yes on 107 continues to call the chances  “remote” that battered women’s shelters would be targeted. 1) I’m actually drawing on legal precedent in California, and 2) Yes on 107, themselves, argue that battered women’s shelters should open their doors to men in order to remain in compliance with state law should Propostion 107 pass.

Yet, in the same post, Yes on 107 argues that battered women’s shelters are unlikely to be threatened by Proposition 107 because: “Well, it happened once in California, so the chances are unlikely that it’ll happen again.” Really, now, don’t you think that Arizona voters are smarter than that?

If you’re still deciding your vote, please Vote No on Proposition 107.

Cross-posted:  Blog for Arizona

PS: Gee, Intellectual Conservative Arizona, you call me “left-wing” like it’s a bad thing…

Jenn’s 2010 Voting Guide

Today is election day!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that today is election day. And, I’m urging you — please, take some time out of your schedule to go vote.

I’ve heard so many excuses about why people don’t vote. There’s only one good one: I can’t (because I’m not a citizen or I’m a former felon). Strangely, these are some of the most dedicated and passionate folks when it comes to politics; those who can’t vote know exactly how valuable a single vote is. But, there are so many people who can vote, who are registered to vote, who simply don’t vote. They simply don’t care enough.

Please care, and please take the hour today to vote. If every one of my daily readers were not a regular voter, but took the time to vote, they could decide a local election. Asian Americans may be a small community, but we can help to sway the margins of a big race, and sometimes that’s all that’s needed. We have so little political representation as it is — it’s time we stood up and were counted.

To that end, I’m putting up a short Voter’s Guide. It’s a little haphazard with some contested national races I’ve been following, and predominantly Arizona-focused because of where I live. Hopefully, it will help you decide some races.

Arizona

Governor
Terry Goddard (D) is squaring off against Jan Brewer (R). While I’ve been disappointed with how mediocre the Goddard campaign has been, I simply cannot abide another term of Jan Brewer, who seems hell-bent on running this state into the ground. Brewer has failed to balance the state budget, and she is in large part responsible for SB 1070. The better question we must ask is what Brewer has done right for this state. So, I’m asking you to please choose Terry Goddard.

Congresspersons
Gabrielle Giffords (D) is running against Jesse Kelly (R). Raul Grijalva (D) is running against Ruth McClung (R). Now, I’m not a huge fan of either Democrat in these races — Gabby is too moderate for my tastes, and I opposed Grijalva’s stance on the boycott (I don’t think a sitting Congressperson should advocate a boycott of his own constituents). But, Jesse Kelly and Ruth McClung are Crazy with a capital C. Just on women’s rights alone: neither candidate supports abortion, even under conditions of rape or incest. That’s enough for me: vote Giffords and Grijalva to help preserve women’s rights over their own bodies.

Attorney General
Felicia Rotellini (D) has run a great campaign, focusing on her legal background. Her opponent, Tom Horne (R), is prevented from trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission because he committed fraud. I think it’s clear which choice for the state’s top lawyer would be better.

Superintendent of Public Instruction
John Huppenthal (R) recently told us that his top priority would be to wipe out ethnic studies programs throughout the state, including at the university’s public universities. Meanwhile, Penny Kotterman (D) has had a long history of teaching and setting education policy. Although I supported Penny’s Democratic opponent, I also said that both of the Democratic candidates were far better candidates than the woefully unqualified Republicans. No matter how you stand on ethnic studies, please choose Penny Kotterman, even if only because she is actually campaigning on a platform of fixing education in this state, not on a wedge issue.

Propositions

  • NO on 106: This ballot measure attempts to reverse federal healthcare reform and is probably unconstitutional.
  • NO on 107: This is a no-brainer. I’ve talked about how this proposition will negatively affect the state’s economy, higher education, and battered women’s shelters. No, no, no!
  • NO on 109: This ballot measure does some sleight of hand with the Department of Game and Fish that is absolutely unnecessary and probably harmful to both hunting and wildlifeconservation efforts.
  • YES on 110: This measure appears to help conservation efforts and is endorsed by the Sierra Club
  • NO on 111: This measure gets rid of run-off elections. ‘Nuff said.
  • YES on 112: There’s both good and bad on this one. It moves the deadline for signatures up a month, to give the Secretary of State’s office more time to verify those signatures. It reduces fraud, but also makes it difficult on grassroots efforts. I tend to favour less fraud, because I think grassroots efforts will adapt.
  • NO on 113: This measure makes union participation more difficult.
  • NO on 203: This is medical marijuana. I don’t use pot, never have and probably never will. I’m unconvinced by the medical benefits of marijuana, hemp, or any oils made from them. I don’t like how this measure is a smokescreen for legalizing pot, and wish its supporters would be honest — this is the gateway legislation for the “gateway drug”. But, this is one of those polarized ballot measures where people know exactly where they stand already. So vote as you will.
  • NO on 301: Preserve the Land Conservation Fund!
  • NO on 302: This measure keeps the tax on cigarettes and gets rid of the children’s programs they fund. Heck no!

Nation-Wide

California (Governor)
Both Meg Whitman (R) and Jerry Brown (D) have been actively pursuing the Asian American vote this year. Brown is endorsed by several top Asian American community leaders, including Congressman Mike Honda. Meg Whitman has picked up 80/20’s endorsement. I worry, however, that Whitman’s seeking of the APIA vote is mere pandering, and that her support of our community is only as deep as the votes she thinks she needs to win. Threfore, I support Jerry Brown, because I think he has a demonstrated history of helping our community.

Delaware (Senate)
I know, I know — Christine O’Donnell (R) is not a witch. She’s crazy. She’s polling terribly. She’s not going to win. But, please vote Chris Coons (D). He’s not just the anti-O’Donnell vote, he’s actually a great, intelligent, reasoned progressive candidate. I’ve been pleasantly shocked with how well Coons has carried himself in such a “silly season” race. I would vote for him (if I lived in Delaware) just because I haven’t seen such a great representative of progressive politics in such a long time.

Nevada (Senate)
Please vote Harry Reid (D) over Sharron “Some of you look a little more Asian” Angle (R). I can’t understand how Angle is doing so well — she’s just plain psychotic.

Cross-posted: Blog for Arizona

“Yes On 107”: Battered Women’s Shelters Should Be Open to Men

Yes on 107 reveals their true colours on battered women's shelters. (Sorry for the crappy Photoshop job above.)

Things that disturb me definitely include having a registered ballot proposition group follow my blogging actions so closely as to post not one, but two, response pieces to my writing within 24 hours of their publication. Me? Really? Shouldn’t you be canvassing or fund-raising or something remotely — I don’t know — political on the night before Election Day, and not fanatically pestering some random blogger with attempts to start blog beef?

In this case, in response to my piece on Proposition 107 and battered women’s shelters, Yes on 107 (aka Intellectual Conservative Arizona) labels me a “Chicken Little” for laying out exactly how battered women’s shelters and breast cancer screening programs are threatened by Proposition 107.

Let’s lay this one out, shall we?

Yes on 107 trots out the same tired argument that I originally, and explicitly addressed in my post:

First of all, the language only bans government preferences in hiring, contracting and higher education. Domestic violence shelters and breast cancer screening programs do not fall within those areas. 

Hmm, arguing against my post by simply re-stating your position? This is the blogging equivalent of repeating your argument, only louder, as if the increase in volume suddenly adds logic to your point. My post, How Proposition 107 Threatens Battered Women’s Shelters and Breast Cancer Screening Programs, already laid out how in California, expansion of the scope of Prop 209 beyond “hiring, contracting and higher education” opened the gates up to other state-funded programs. I wrote how it’s true that the language of Prop 107 doesn’t relate to public services, but I also explained how because its language is vague and subject to legal interpretation, that a lawsuit would be necessary to establish the law’s true scope. In California, that lawsuit was Connerly vs. State Personnel Board.

 Yes on 107 dismisses the fact that lawsuits will need to be filed to establish scope, hanging their entire “Chicken Little” characterization on this bizarre assertion. Yet, any scholar of state law knows that lawsuits that establish scope of new legislation is par for the course. Yes on 107 should be particularly well-versed on this fact: it was their leader, Ward Connerly, who filed Connerly vs. State Personnel Board

Then, Yes on 107 says:

Secondly, any program in risk of being eliminated just has to open its services up to men. 

Which, again, is true. If shelters for battered women opened their doors to men, they absolutely wouldn’t be threatened by Proposition 209 or Proposition 107.

The argument almost makes sense — if you have no understanding of the plight of abused women, who have been raped, assaulted and otherwise psychologically and emotionally tormented by their male partners, and who are seeking a male-free safe space to recover from their trauma. It almost makes sense, if you ignore the fact that the very male-free nature of these shelters is what makes them a viable option for women who have recently been raped and assaulted by men. But, sure, Yes on 107: you’re welcome to claim the “Pro-Psychologically Torturing Battered Women” side of this particular argument. Have at it.

Heck, Yes on 107 even reveals their true colours when it comes to battered women’s shelters:

Would it be unfortunate if some men’s rights groups filed lawsuits to attempt to stop these kinds of services from operating? It might not even cost taxpayers any money, since a judge could choose to require the men’s groups when they inevitably lose to pay costs and fees, based on them losing in the past in California.

Y’know, I — honestly — wouldn’t have even thought to accuse any side of this argument of not being interested in protecting battered women’s shelters from damaging lawsuits. But, you really can’t make so damning and so cavalier a statement up.

For the record, I do think that supporting a men’s rights group’s actions to stop the operation of battered women’s shelters is “unfortunate”. Also, I would say “devastating” to the many silent victims of domestic violence who look to these shelters as their last hope for escape and recovery. I think it’s immoral and unprincipled to even suggest that these shelters — which save lives of abused women every day — aren’t important to our community.

By contrast, Yes on 107 apparently doesn’t find it all that “unfortunate” if men’s rights groups threatened battered women’s shelters with lawsuits, even if they “inevitably” (or not so inevitably: there’s no guarantee that Arizona judges will decide as California judges did in a similar case) lose.

Yes on 107 also supports the National Coalition of Free Men’s argument that breast cancer screening programs should also provide preventative screening services to the same degree for men as they do for women. Never mind that men make up less than two percent of all breast cancer cases, Yes on 107 and NCFM sees prejudice in public screening programs that focus on the women who make up 98% of breast cancer diagnoses, and would rather that these programs shut down than to continue targeting women for prevention and treatment. 

(Also, never mind that Proposition 107 doesn’t provide additional funding to either battered women’s shelters or to breast cancer screening programs in order to handle the additional case loads introduced by catering to both genders. I guess Yes on 107 thinks that money grows on trees — which, if you’re financially backed by a wealthy Northern California political action fund, is pretty close to the truth, I suppose.)

Yes on 107 asserts that breast cancer screening programs might constitute an example of a bona fide sex difference. Yet, even in their very post, they underscore the basic problem of Proposition 107: we have no real idea what the true scope of Proposition 107 actually is. Yes on 107 writes:

Same goes for breast cancer screening programs, and those would probably have even more likelihood of being permitted to remain as women-only, since they likely constitute a bona fide sex difference between men and women. 

Note the words “probably” and “likely”. There is no certainty there. This is, in a nutshell, the problem with Proposition 107: there is deliberate vagueness in the wording of the proposition. If public services programs are outside of the scope of Proposition 107, why the quibbling over whether or not breast cancer screening programs might, or might not, constitute a “bona fide sex difference”? Better yet, how can people who authored this piece of legislation, who call it “carefully crafted and precisely worded”, not really know whether a breast cancer screening program constitute a bona fide sex difference?

The truth is that proponents of Proposition 107 know exactly how vague the wording of this ballot measure are. They know that passage of this ballot proposition is only step one; and that step two is to file a lawsuit, as they did in Connerly vs. State Personnel Board to expand the scope of the ballot proposition beyond the voters’ original intention. They know this, because this is exactly what happened in California.

Finally, Yes on 107 argues that the costs of such lawsuits isn’t so great.

It might not even cost taxpayers any money, since a judge could choose to require the men’s groups when they inevitably lose to pay costs and fees, based on them losing in the past in California. The men’s groups may file lawsuits like this anyway, with or without Prop. 107 being in existence, citing other parts of the Constitution, as they did in the California lawsuits. 

It’s true that NCFM lost their lawsuit, and that a frivolous lawsuit might cost a group like NCFM the cost of legal fees for both sides. Yet, what Yes on 107 isn’t telling you is that in Connerly vs. State Personnel Board, Ward Connerly successfully lobbied to have the state agencies pay the legal fees associated with this case. This decision was upheld by the California Court of Appeals. I couldn’t find the total amount that Connerly vs. State Personnel Board cost the state of California, but I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the ball park of “a lot”.

Why isn’t Yes on 107 letting you know about that cost to taxpayers, let alone the strain that this will put on Arizona’s legal system?

In addition, Yes on 107 complains that my original post depended on a fair amount of “if’s” — yet, this is the very argument that they use to suggest that the lawsuits won’t cost taxpayers money. In fact, my “if’s” aren’t if’s at all; they are based on verifiable legal precedent that took place in California. On the other hand, Yes on 107 relies on an “if” statement to suggest that taxpayers won’t be saddled with a hefty bill with Proposition 107’s passage: IF a group files a lawsuit that fails to win, and IF a judge elects to penalize that group with attorney fees, only then will taxpayers not have to pony up. But, what about all those lawsuits that actually find a state agency or program in violation of the ballot measure? Proposition 107 doesn’t inform you that, as taxpayers, you will be paying for the inevitable lawsuits that will be sorting those issues out, and nothing but tax money will be able to cover the costs of hearing those cases.

Yes on 107 spuriously says:

This time the left wing  Blog for Arizona is claiming that domestic violence shelters and breast cancer screening programs for women could possibly be eliminated. 

[…]

This is just another Chicken Little “sky is falling” attempt to come up with the absolute worst possible case scenario, which isn’t going to happen based on prior history in states where this initiative has passed. 

But, my post was not based in wild conjecture, nor do I even suggest that women’s shelters will actually be eliminated. In fact, in my post, I explicitly state:

It would be non-factual to say that with passage of Proposition 107, women’s shelters and breast cancer screening programs would cease to exist in Arizona; this is not the argument I am making, nor would such an argument be supported by the fact that California statutes, independent of Proposition 209, protect funding for women’s health. Let’s be clear: California still has domestic women’s shelters and breast cancer screening programs.

As I write in my post, Proposition 107 threatens women’s shelters and breast cancer screening programs by targeting them with punitive legal fights that strain the resources of that otherwise allow them to operate. The financial and political costs to these programs are high, as are the dangers to women who might be discouraged from seeking out the services of these programs as a result of the legal battle. And, as Yes on 107 so kindly pointed out for us, supporters of Proposition 107 really don’t mind if battered women’s shelters close their doors as a result.

Nowhere do I “imagine” a “worst case scenario”. I present to you, as readers, the actual history of lawsuits that has taken place in California as a result of Proposition 209’s passage. You, the voter, deserve to hear all the facts surrounding this ballot measure, which includes simple facts from California like: after Proposition 209 passed, several key lawsuits were filed that threatened the funding of breast cancer screening programs and domestic violence prevention programs and shelters.

The worst case scenario, in this case, is not make-believe: it’s documented. We have the case law from California to prove that the worst case scenario is exactly what supporters of Proposition 107 want to have happen here in Arizona.

Oh, and as an aside —  in the many assertions that Yes on 107 gets wrong in their rebuttal, they got another big one wrong. I am not “the Proposition 107 opposition”. I am not, in fact, affiliated with any No on 107 group. I am not part of some blogosphere-wide conspiracy to launch some “last-minute” effort. I’m just a concerned Arizona resident who writes about politics. So, just so you know — it’s not one great big conspiracy: bloggers really just don’t like Proposition 107, and they’re writing about it.

Please vote No tomorrow on Proposition 107, because apparently the other side just doesn’t believe battered women’s shelters should be protected. And no, I wouldn’t have even made that shit up, but sometimes the other side just hands you a quote you can’t pass up.

Cross-posted: Blog for Arizona

My “No on Prop 107” Piece For the Local ABC Affiliate

Please check out my No on Proposition 107 piece that I wrote for the local ABC affiliate, which (with a limit of 500 words) touches on some of the basic arguments I’ve made on this blog. Bonus points: check out all the racist comments left on the article!

Proposition 107 deceptively appeals to our belief in fairness, while it terminates many state-funded programs that promote equality and economic opportunity in Arizona today. Consequently, students and small business owners will lose much-needed resources that help grow our state’s economic and educational future.

Proposition 107 is the latest effort launched by the American Civil Rights Institute (ACRI), a California-based political action fund, whose members have spent the last two decades traveling from state to state trying to enact harmful, discriminatory laws under the guise of equality.

Supporters of Proposition 107 claim it will end the use of racial quotas in Arizona. That’s false: racial quotas do not exist. Proposition 107 will have no effect on racial quotas, because in 1978, the Supreme Court found racial quotas unconstitutional, and banned their use in all recruitment or outreach programs.

Sadly, ACRI’s misinformation on this subject obscures the real — and damaging — effects of Proposition 107’s passage: the dramatic assault on women and racial minorities in Arizona’s public universities and corporate offices.

To understand Proposition 107’s devastating consequences, just look west. In California, ACRI enacted a similar ballot measure that eliminated or reduced funding to all of the following: public school and after-school reading, science, and math tutoring programs that assist boys and girls; on-the-job apprenticeship programs for women and minorities; recruitment programs for women and minority teachers in K-12 schools and colleges; college scholarships for women and minorities; and outreach efforts for state contracts and federal grant opportunities to women- and minority-owned small businesses.

Enrollment of white, black, and Latino students in California’s state universities plummeted, while enrollment of Asian students skyrocketed, reducing student diversity. Only years of legal wrangling that cost the state thousands of dollars prevented battered women’s shelters that protect victims of domestic abuse from being forced to close their doors.

Proposition 107’s passage will have the same effect in Arizona. Our state’s economy draws upon the strength of our many small business owners, 30% of whom are women and 15% of whom are racial minorities. Our small businesses provide revenue to the state and employ Arizonans of all races and genders.

Our state’s economy also depends upon our three state universities – ASU, UA, and NAU – to educate our children, while also attracting other intelligent and passionate young people from around the world to our deserts. Students from Arizona’s state schools have gone on to become our doctors, our scientists, our co-workers, our business owners, and our children’s teachers.

Yet, the precedents set in California ensure that passage of Proposition 107 will decay our state universities’ appeal to local and out-of-state students, while it weakens our world-renowned research and academic programs.

Arizona cannot afford to be the latest guinea pig in ACRI’s ongoing political experiment. The cost of Proposition 107 is simply too high – too high to our state’s economy, to our state’s educational system, and to our very future.