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Posted on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

Affirmative action foe Ward Connerly faces accusations by former ally Jennifer Gratz

By Cindy Heflin

Ward Connerly, who campaigned for the passage of Proposal 2, which banned the use of race and gender preferences in public education, public hiring and public contracting in Michigan, has come under fire from a former employee and a one-time ally in his fight against affirmative action.


Ward Connerly and Jennifer Gratz in 2005 while campaigning for the passage of Proposal 2.

AP photo

Jennifer Gratz, who successfully took a lawsuit challenging the University of Michigan’s race-based admissions practices to the Supreme Court, accuses Connerly of mismanaging donations for personal gain, the Los Angeles Times reported. Gratz and Connerly worked together for the passage of Proposal 2.

Gratz, who resigned in September from Connerly's American Civil Rights Institute, made her allegations in a letter to the organization’s board. Among them: Connerly took compensation amounting to more than $1 million in recent years and that the organization and an affiliated advocacy group have not been able to do work related to their missions because they are in financial crisis.

Proposal 2 was passed by Michigan voters in 2006 but overturned in an appeals court ruling last year. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he would appeal the ruling.



Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

She's been a puppet for a long time. These groups are always funded for te benefit of the founder. It just took a little longer for her to figure that out. Welcome to the good ol' boys club of the privaledged class, Jennifer. You didn't think you really had a long term ticket to ride did ya?

Ron Granger

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

Are they married or divorced?


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Ward Connerly should stick to picking his nose, not Michigan law.

rusty shackelford

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

So either Connerly is a sleazebag or Gratz is making unfounded accusations. Honestly, didn't we know both of these things were true already?


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 4:52 a.m.

Roadman - While many white people (and, as you point out, a few Black people) may share this view, most minorities don't agree. But in any case, AA's purpose -- to promote diversity in the educational setting and the workplace -- has not been attainable any other way. That is why the US Sup. Ct., stacked as it is with conservative Reagan/Bush I/Bush II appointees, continues to endorse the principle. And that's why not only educational institutions, but other improbable entities -- for example, GM, Procter & Gamble, and the US Military, among scores of others -- have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in past US Sup. Ct. cases in which AA is an issue. In short, they see AA in educational settings as the only way to get students (i.e., their future employees) prepared for a diverse workplace and customer base. As for Schuette, his job as AG is to defend state offices and universities (they're his clients). That he is refusing to do so because of his differing political view is outrageous. If he's not ready to represent his client, he should get a different job. Perhaps he should replace Ms. Gratz at Connerle's organization.


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 4:25 a.m.

This dispute is unfortunate. Jennifer Gratz and Ward Conerly are trailblazers in making inroads against affirmative action. Affirmative action demeans the African-American community by implying they need special help to enter colleges and professional schools due to their race. That view was also embraced by James Meredith, the black man who integrated the University of Mississippi despite threats from racists and was later shot in an assassination attempt. Meredith later completed law school at Columbia University and was hired as an aide to Sen. Jesse Helms. Meredith's proudest accomplishment was seeing his son earn a PhD and join the faculty of Ole Miss, as it showed his son needed no preferences as a black to succeed. We need pepole like Attorney General Schuette fighting oe enforcement of the public good.

Monica R-W

Sat, Jan 21, 2012 : 6:31 a.m.

What? Are you African-American while speaking for the African-American community? If not...please shut your thoughts on what African-Americans think or believe, will ya!


Fri, Jan 20, 2012 : 4:38 a.m.

Yeah!!!! Let's honor Gratz & Connerly for being trailblazers for the ignorance of people who actually believe that students who are academically equal to their white counterparts don't deserve acceptance to a university over them. Let us also celebrate MI Attorney General Schuette who support discrimination over one group (gay/unmarried), use state money to fight against a law that its citizens support (marijuana) and believe providing affordable healthcare for people. As one the other stuff...sounds like too much Fox News & Rush