Ohio & Michigan's Oldest and Largest Latino Newspaper

Since 1989




    media kit    ad rates    classified ad rates    about us    contact us


La Prensa Home

Upcoming Events

La Prensa Photos

La Prensa Links

LatinoMix Radio

La Prensa Scholarships

Directory of Latino Businesses and Services

La Prensa Obituaries

La Prensa Classifieds

Past La Prensa Stories

Submit a Letter to the Editor

La Liga de Las Americas

Op-Ed on Michigan’s Proposal 2: Wardell Connerly—The carpet-bagging million dollar man trying to roll back progress for women, minorities in Michigan

         Did you know that Wardell Connerly, leader of the campaign to eliminate Affirmative Action in Michigan, is being paid more than $1 million a year?

         Connerly is pushing Proposal 2 on this Nov. 8 ballot, a proposal to change Michigan’s constitution to ban affirmative action.  In the past, Connerly has lied to the press about his finances. According to the Ann Arbor News, Connerly told the paper in 2003, “My pockets do not get filled with coins as a result of what I do.”

         Apparently $1 million is small change for Mr. Connerly.

         According to IRS documents, charitable organizations are required to file taxable income.   Recent IRS documents reveal in 2003 to 2004, Connerly earned $1,047,998.  He earned $1, 138,509 from 2002 to 2003 and $910,442 from 2001 to 2002.  Connerly’s organization made $1,014,290 in 2001 to 2002.   

         Most amazing, he puts into his pocket some 60 percent of the entire budget of his organization. That is one of the reasons why Rep. Conyers, D-Detroit, has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate Connerly’s operation. It is clear that he is receiving what the IRS considers "excess compensation."

            “Today, I have asked the IRS to investigate the excessive pay Ward Connerly received from his two tax-exempt nonprofits,” Rep. Conyers said on Aug. 2. “Last year, Mr. Connerly was paid a $1 million salary for a mere 30 hours of work per week.  This compensation package – that well exceeds the national average – raises more than a red flag.  The IRS rules could not be clearer that a non-profit’s purpose is not to pad the pockets of its executives.”

Even more disconcerting is that Connerly is using tax laws to hide the names of those out-of-state millionaires who are funding this massive effort to roll back progress in our state. Thanks to a lawsuit filed in California several years ago, we do know the names of several of his backers. They are a who's, who of individuals and groups who are anti-labor, oppose equal rights for women, support exploitation of immigrants and oppose government programs that attack discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation and income.

         “Whether he makes money, or not doesn’t change my opinion, he’s a misdirected brother . . . it’s unfortunate that some of us think that we have accomplished our successes by ourselves whether than by others who’ve helped us have those opportunities,” Flint native Ernest Garrison, pastor, Vernon Chapel A.M.E Church, said.

         Connerly's plan would roll back progress our state has made in leveling the playing field for minorities and women. His constitutional amendment, which is deceitfully named the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, would ban scholarships for women and minorities, end summer job programs aimed at minority youth, and endanger health-screening programs for breast and cervical cancer.

         María Starr, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, agreed without equal opportunities in education the language gap would widen and pose problems for Spanish speaking Americans.

         “I’m Mexican American . . . the language barrier is a problem.  I still have a hard time with my English (and) as much as I study, I still feel that I need help.  I feel that things need to be explained to me.  I’m 50 now and I’ve gone to college here, so if I’m having that problem I know others are,” Starr explained.  “I think if he’s pocketing money for this that’s a crock to begin with and he shouldn’t roll back our time because we’ve worked hard for this.” 

         Without the protection of Affirmative Action, Native Americans may loose the Indian Tuition Waiver Program, an agreement between the state and Native Americans that ensures students tuition waivers for education in exchange for land in Mount Pleasant. 

         Vice Chair of the Pokegon Band of Potawatomi Matt Wesah never questioned Connerly was profiting from pushing Proposal 2 and said its passing would negatively impact all minorities.

         “The Native American will be impacted exactly the same any minority community would.  I think that he’s misguided in his efforts especially here


in Michigan.  Michigan is the most segregated state in the country in terms of housing, MCRI would just add to additional segregation for us.  You can’t trust people to do the right thing that’s why we need the laws that are there.”

         We can’t let Ward Connerly and his out-of-state millionaires shape Michigan's own constitution. We need to reject Proposal 2, and tell these people to stay out of Michigan, now and in the future.





Web laprensa





«Tinta con sabor»     Ink with flavor!



Spanglish Weekly/Semanal

Your reliable source for current Latino news and events providing English and Spanish articles


Culturas Publication, Inc. d.b.a. La Prensa Newspaper

© Copyrighted by  Culturas Publication, Inc. 2005