Monday briefing | The Columbus Dispatch
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#1 Jun 14, 2010
Re headline "ProjectOne to make pitch to minority contractors": So, will there be a bouncer at the door to make sure no nonminorities get in? Why isn't this program being advertised as open to one and all? More fundamentally, why are race and ethnicity ever considered in awarding contracts?
It's fine to make sure contracting programs are open to all, that bidding opportunities are widely publicized beforehand, and that no one gets discriminated against because of skin color or national origin. But that means no preferences because of skin color or what country your ancestors came from either--whether it's labeled a "set-aside," a "quota," or a "goal," since they all end up amounting to the same thing. Such discrimination is unfair and divisive; it costs the taxpayers money to award a contract to someone other than the lowest bidder; and it's almost always illegal—indeed, unconstitutional—to boot (see 42 U.S.C. section 1981 and comments we submitted to the Colorado DOT here: http://www.ceousa.org/content/view/655/86/ ). Those who insist on engaging in such discrimination deserve to be sued, and they will lose.
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