Skip to comments.Suit: Race, gender a factor in Caltrans deals (quotas supported by Obama administration)
Posted on 06/14/2009 2:19:02 PM PDT by reaganaut1
An association of contractors accused Caltrans in a lawsuit Thursday of colluding with the Obama administration to flout California's ban on race and sex preferences by reserving some state road-building contracts for companies owned by minorities and women.
"Caltrans is sideswiping the important principle of equal opportunity by using race, not lowest cost by a responsible bidder, to decide who gets government road and highway contracts," said Sharon Browne, a Pacific Legal Foundation attorney who filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Sacramento.
The plaintiffs, the Associated General Contractors' San Diego chapter, seek to overturn the state Department of Transportation's decision in March to set aside 6.75 percent of federally funded road contracts to minority- and female-owned firms or to require contractors to make good-faith efforts to reach that goal.
Caltrans scrapped race-conscious contracting programs in 2006, after a federal appeals court ruled against similar programs in Washington state. The court ruled that a law, comparable to Proposition 209, California's 1996 ballot measure, forbade preferential treatment.
The Schwarzenegger administration adopted the current program in March with the approval of the Obama administration, based on a Caltrans study that found minority- and female-owned companies were persistently underrepresented in state transportation funding - receiving only 2.2 percent of federal contracting dollars, compared with a stated goal of 13.5 percent.
A Federal Highway Administration official told Caltrans in a Feb. 25 letter that failing to take immediate steps to reach that goal could bring penalties that "may include withholding federal funds," particularly the congressionally approved stimulus funds.
Prop. 209 allows contracting based on race or gender if necessary to avoid federal financial penalties. Thursday's lawsuit will test [...] that provision.
Browne said the department had unsuccessfully sought federal approval for race-conscious contracting for two years and finally got it after Obama took office.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
The Republicans need to make an issue of Obama's sex and race favoritism. They'll know it's working when they are called "divisive".
The Republicans should take the lead in removing all race, ethnic, and gender biased programs like affirmative action and minority business set asides. By 2023, half of the children 18 and under will be minorities and by 2042, half of the country will be minorities, as defined by the USG.
That’s a great idea. Let’s award federal funding based on .02% of genetic variance. Makes sense.
Where have all the promises gone? Instead of leadership, we have a switch and bait, clueless kid with big toys like AF1, theater trips, expensive cocktail parties....let 'em eat cake...apologies for what Obama sees as a failed nation, not a great nation. Put him under house arrest
2010 is the most important date in our history since 1865!