Trickery about petition alleged
BY RANDY KREHBIEL World Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Two area lawmakers
say its circulators are
people about its intent.
Two Tulsa-area legislators said
Monday that deceptive tactics are
being used to gather signatures on
an initiative petition that they say targets affirmative action.
Backers of the petition have said it
is "anti-preference" but not anti-affirmative action.
"What this is about is fear and
hate and misleading information,"
Rep. Jabar Shumate said Monday
morning at a news conference at the
Church of the Living God, 1559 E.
Shumate said a petition drive
worker approached him and "asked
if I wanted to end discrimination in government employment," and then offered him a
"When I asked to see more
information, she hurried off,"
His constituents have told
him similar stories, Shumate
said, leading him to believe
that the campaign's workers
are trying to get black people
to sign the petition by misrepresenting its intent.
The petition, filed by W. Devin Resides, an Oklahoma City
lawyer, acting in conjunction
with the California-based
American Civil Rights Institute, would place on a statewide ballot an amendment to
The amendment would prohibit preferences in state government based on race, sex,
color, ethnicity or national origin.
Shumate and others at the
news conference, including
state Sen. Judy Eason-McIntyre, D-Tulsa, said the
measure's real purpose is to
disrupt state government's
equal opportunity efforts and
to energize conservative voters.
Resides could not be
reached Monday for comment.
State officials said when the
petition was filed in September that the state has no hiring
or contracting preferences.
"We don't have quotas in
Oklahoma," Shumate said
Monday. "What we do have
are excellent equal-opportunity policies."
Shumate said those policies
allow state government to
evaluate its hiring policies.
The petition's circulators
have until Dec. 10 to collect
Shumate said he will introduce legislation next session
to tighten disclosure requirements for initiative petitions
and allow residents to remove
their names from petitions
Randy Krehbiel 581-8365
MODERN INITIATIVE-PETITION CONTROVERSIES
1982: Voters approve parimutuel
horse racing. A previous
effort in 1974 had failed.
1984: County option liquor-by-the-
drink approved after two
previous efforts failed.
1990: Voters reject an initiative
petition to repeal House Bill
1017, an education tax and
reform effort. Voters also
approve a petition for legislative
1992: Voters approve an
initiative petition to limit the
ability of the Legislature to
1994: Voters reject a lottery
petition pushed by Gov. David
Walters. The same year, voters
approve a petition to limit the
number of years anyone can
serve in Congress. The U.S.
Supreme Court later nullified
1996: Voters reject an initiative
petition that would have rolled
back property taxes.
2001: Circulators abandon a
petition effort to make English
the state’s official language.
2002: Voters approve an
initiative petition to ban
cockfighting. The petition had
taken years to survive court
2005: Voters reject an initiative
petition that would have raised
fuel taxes for road projects.
2006: A petition dubbed
the Taxpayer Bill of Rights is
killed by the state Supreme
Court. The court rejected
many signatures because they
were obtained by out-of-state
circulators. Also, a petition
effort to raise the state’s
minimum wage failed to get
2007: The Oklahoma Supreme
Court kills an initiative petition
that would require 65 percent
of education funding to be
spent in classrooms. The court
said short written descriptions
at the top of each signature
page did not fairly describe the
State Rep. Jabar Shumate, D-Tulsa, talks with Regina Goodwin after a
Monday press conference at which Shumate criticized an