The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has found an “organized and widespread” pattern of misrepresentation by organizers of the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) in their effort to get the MCRI on the November ballot. According to Michigan Civil Rights Department spokesman, Harold Core, organizers of the MCRI purposely misled signers of petitions into believing that the MCRI would support and expand affirmative action programs rather than eliminate them. Allegations of misrepresentation were widespread at a Civil Rights Commission hearing into fraud and the MCRI held last month in Grand Rapids, with numerous people testifying that they were lied to about the purpose of the petition or told it was for something entirely different, only to later find their names on the list of MCRI signers. In light of such testimony at four hearings across the state, the Michigan Civil Rights Commission is recommending that the Attorney General launch an investigation into the allegations and implement laws to prevent deception, while the Michigan Supreme Court is being urged to define whose responsibility it is to look into allegations of fraud before the Board of State Canvassers is allowed to place issues on the ballot. Additionally, the Supreme Court is being asked to reconsider a ruling that placed the proposal on the November ballot and to allow opponents of the MCRI the opportunity to appeal that ruling.
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission will host press conferences on Monday, June 12 to formally announce the results of their investigation and to outline recommendations for action by the state Attorney General, the Michigan Supreme Court, and the Michigan Legislature. A press conference will be held in Grand Rapids at 4:00pm at the Grand Rapids Public Schools Administrative Offices as 1331 Franklin Street SE.