Anti-school choice activists in Michigan have now resorted to lying in their effort to stop the voucher initiative, Proposal 1, from winning on November 7.
Television ads, run by “ALL Kids First!”, show a disabled child in a wheelchair featuring the statement, “private schools are allowed to reject disabled students like Angelica.” But as the Michigan Catholic Conference has said, “this is a deliberately false statement and represents a new low in political campaign advertisements in Michigan.” What gives support to this charge is the Michigan law that bars discrimination against persons with disabilities independent of whether the school is public or private.
Catholic League president William Donohue voiced his concerns today:
“There are no taboos in the portfolio of the anti-school choice forces in Michigan. They have distorted the truth, promoted anti-Catholicism and have now resorted to out and out lying. Instead of making their case on the merits of the voucher plan, they engage in demagoguery in order to scare the dispossessed from claiming their rights. Indeed, their interest in the well being of the handicapped is on a par with their interest in the poor: they will exploit both groups in order to protect their monopoly.
“Ironically, the same forces which today feign concern for the handicapped were the very ones who lost in 1993 in their bid to stop public funds from being spent on handicapped children who attend sectarian schools; the Catholic League was proud to file an amicus brief in Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District on behalf of the handicapped.
“It is bad enough to work against the poor and disabled without also lying about it. It is time the leaders of the anti-voucher movement took a course in character education. But not in a public school.”