CALIFORNIA ELECTIONS / PROPOSITION 187 : Dispute Erupts Over Planned Radio Spots for Prop. 187
With two weeks left before Election Day, the battle over Proposition 187 continued to heat up Tuesday with controversy erupting over a planned last-minute pro-187 radio ad campaign by a national immigration reform organization.
Meanwhile, LAPD Chief Willie L. Williams and the Board of Rabbis of Southern California issued statements opposing the sweeping ballot measure, which seeks to eliminate most government services for illegal immigrants and require educational, health and law enforcement officials to report suspects to federal authorities.
The radio flap concerns purchase of ad time by the Washington-based Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group known as FAIR that previously had indicated it was making no financial contributions in support of Proposition 187.
FAIR Executive Director Daniel A. Stein, acknowledging that the organization has reserved radio time for the last week of the campaign, said it is doing so only to be able to respond to recent ads aired by Taxpayers Against 187, a coalition of organizations opposed to the ballot measure.
But spokesman Joel Maliniak of Taxpayers Against 187, which made public the pending FAIR radio campaign Tuesday, said that FAIR officials have “been caught lying with their pants down.”
During the campaign, FAIR, whose former Sacramento lobbyist, Alan Nelson, co-authored Proposition 187, has come under repeated attack from the taxpayers group for receiving a portion of its annual funding from the New York-based Pioneer Fund. The latter is a group that has also sponsored research by various scientists, including the late William B. Shockley, who contended that blacks are inherently intellectually inferior to whites.
Citing the indirect link between Nelson and the Pioneer Fund, Taxpayers Against 187 have charged in their radio ads that the ballot measure is backed by white supremacists.
Stein said any ads that FAIR now runs would be “to defend ourselves.” Stein, who has previously taken pains to point out that his organization had nothing to do with the drafting of Proposition 187, added that his group’s ad “may (also) say vote for 187--it won’t say vote against it.”
“FAIR has attempted to distance itself from Proposition 187,” responded Maliniak. “This latest development completely contradicts FAIR’s denials and leaves absolutely no doubt about its involvement behind the scenes at the Yes on 187 campaign.”