Wednesday, August 20, 2008

AzCRI Opponents Believed to have Engaged in Signature Sabotage Effort

Reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved

Based on preliminary investigations, the American Civil Rights Coalition (ACRC) believes that a systematic, deceptive effort, led by the group By Any Means Necessary, was attempted to sabotage Civil Rights Initiative campaigns. Jennifer Gratz, ACRC’s Director of State and Local Initiatives, stated, “BAMN is a radical, thug organization that has proven time and time again that they are willing to live up to their name and use ‘any means necessary’ to stop voters from deciding if race and gender preferences policies should be legal.”

ACRC has announced a $10,000 reward to anyone who brings forward information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone who engaged in such efforts in the state of Arizona.

During the Arizona signature gathering effort – especially during the month of June, the last month of signature collection – rumors were confirmed that the group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) engaged in election fraud. BAMN perpetuated this fraud by offering to purchase signatures from petition circulators and then BAMN members attempted to submit the signatures that they bought or coerced from circulators to organizers of the signature effort. Knowing that this type of activity occurred, it would not be surprising if rumors were validated that BAMN members were signing petitions with ficticious names and falsely signing circulator affidavits.

“It’s the same tired tune -- in every state in the last decade where Civil Rights Initiatives have been introduced BAMN has attempted to smear the campaign, its proponents, and signature circulators in an attempt to sway voters. Since BAMN has lost in every state where Civil Rights Initiatives have been introduced, now BAMN has raised the stakes and, we believe, is committing outright election fraud,” continued Ms. Gratz. “Anyone who stands by silently and lets these actions continue is simply condoning the anti-democratic tactics of BAMN.”

The American Civil Rights Coalition is confident that the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative was committed to gathering the required signatures in an honest and straightforward manner. Based on the over 300,000 signatures collected, we also believe that there is a strong interest in the issue of race preferences and that the voters of Arizona have a right to vote to end the government’s practice of discriminating against some while granting preference to others based on race and sex. The integrity of the democratic process must be upheld and individuals like Candace Young and Alejandra Cruz from the group By Any Means Necessary who have been videotaped purchasing and/or attempting to coerce signatures from circulators should be prosecuted for election fraud. We encourage anyone who has additional evidence of an effort to sabotage the Arizona Civil Rights Initiative campaign to bring such evidence forward now and if it leads to an arrest and conviction for sabotaging the AzCRI signature gathering, a $10,000 reward will be awarded.

August 19, 2008
Contact: Jennifer Gratz
Phone: 916-444-2278

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