This just in from a NNN reader in Columbus. It shouldn't come as any surprise that Nebraskans are seeing some very suspicious and outright deceptive tactics being used to gather enough signatures to place a constitutional amendment to end affirmative action on the November ballot:
Thought you might want to hear about petition gatherers tactics in the Columbus area.
I went to Wal-mart this morning (not my first choice of retailers but there isn't a whole lot to choose from here) and noticed a table set up outside one of the doors. The table had two small signs saying:
"SIGN UP TODAY"
"Are you concerned about jobs?"
Then it had some smaller print that I couldn't read as I rushed past the table knowing what this person was trying to pull on the customers. When I came out of the store, I heard the pitch:
"Are you concerned about jobs in Nebraska? Sign up today to eliminate gender and race as a factor in hiring decisions."
The scruffy, homeless looking, mid-twenty year old was only making this pitch to white, middle-aged men.
In this instance, the petition gatherers appear to have completely obscured the fact that this amendment would only affect hiring decisions by the state and by those contracting with the state. Of course, there's a very good chance they didn't understand that distinction for themselves. Such matters are of little concern when they're just trying to make a buck and some misleading language playing on Nebraskans' economic fears can help them to that effect.
I'd assume this "scruffy, homeless-looking" gentlemen was one of the out-of-state, paid petition-gatherers those orchestrating this effort were so excited about bringing to Nebraska after it was reported they'd failed with similar efforts in Oklahoma and Missouri. If this story is any indication, it seems they've also brought with them the same types of deception and fraud employed in those other states.
It's up to us to remain vigilant and strong if such tactics are to meet with a similar fate, failing in Nebraska as well.