Original URL: http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E64%257E967096,00.html

Amend. 31 backer tries to pull erroneous ad
By Denver Post staff
Sunday, November 03, 2002 -

The chief financial backer of a ballot measure that would nearly ban bilingual education in Colorado told The Denver Post on Saturday that he was trying to withdraw radio advertising that misrepresents The Post's editorial stance on Amendment 31.

The ad incorrectly quotes The Post as describing ads opposing Amendment 31 as "setting records for deceit and deception."

That language has not appeared in any Post editorial. A similar phrase, "setting records for deceit and distortion," was used in an Oct. 23 personal column by Post staffer Al Knight. Although Knight is a member of the Post's editorial board, his column reflects his own views, not those of the newspaper.

Rocky Mountain News criticisms of the anti-31 advertising are accurately quoted in the commercial. Both the Post and News, however, have urged "no" votes on Amendment 31.

Ron Unz, the California businessman who is Amendment 31's main financial backer, told the Post on Saturday that the commercial had originally been drafted to attribute the language to "editorial writers" at both newspapers but that language somehow got changed as the radio spot was being produced.

The commercial is narrated by former Gov. Dick Lamm, who signed the state's original Bilingual Education Act in 1975. That measure was repealed in 1981 and replaced by the English Language Proficiency Act, which remains in place. The repealer was co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, then a member of the state House, and signed into law by Lamm.


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