Affirmative-Action Face-Off

Florida Republicans are resisting Ward Connerly's fight against racial preferences

It's lunch hour in downtown Tampa, Fla., and a team of paid petitioners is doing a brisk business signing up opponents of affirmative action. "White men love it," Gloria Brown, the bubbly grandmother heading up the petitioners, says with a laugh. "They might already have walked past me, but when I tell them it's anti-affirmative action, they come back and sign." But Brown is also getting plenty of signatures from white women, Hispanics and blacks.

The Florida petition drive is aimed at putting a referendum on the ballot next year to bar state and local governments from using race in hiring,...

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