Wisconsin’s Grothman wants to rid state of ‘huge diversity bureaucracy’


By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. — Affirmative action in America appears to be dying by degrees.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman would like to hasten the death of race-based preferences in Wisconsin.

The West Bend Republican is dusting off his old proposal to ban affirmative action policies and, at the same time, staking his claim, perhaps, as the core conservative’s conservative in a crowded race for the 6th Congressional District seat.

AFFIRM THIS: Wisconsin State Sen. Glenn Grothman says he plans to reintroduce a bill that would effectively ban affirmative action in Wisconsin. He says doing so would help get rid of the “huge diversity bureaucracy” on Wisconsin’s campuses.

“First of all, I think the fact that Barack Obama was elected president and then reelected puts to death the idea that America is some sort of horrible, racist country,” Grothman told Wisconsin Reporter.

The senator laid out his ideas within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling Tuesday upholding Michigan’s ban on the use of race as a driving force in admissions to state universities. That decision followed the high court’s ruling last June in which it ordered tighter restrictions on race-conscious admissions.

Grothman said the momentum is there to make a change in Wisconsin.

Putting his campaign cap on, Grothman said affirmative action is “even worse” at the national level. The long-entrenched system demands that businesses that do $10,000 or more business with the federal government are bound by mandatory affirmative action requirements.

Grothman is one of three Republican candidates running for the 6th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, who is retiring after 35 years in Congress.

He faces stiff challenges from state Sen. Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan, and state Rep. Duey Stroebel, of Saukville. Each man, thus far, has tried to out-conservative the other, although Liebham is seen by political observers as a Petri clone, more moderate in his politics than Stroebel or Grothman.

Grothman long ago staked his position on affirmative action, pushing a bill several years ago that didn’t get much traction.

He said there’s another benefit to banning race-based preferences in Wisconsin.

“It also would be good to get rid of this huge diversity bureaucracy we have at our campuses,” he said. “The whole idea behind these diversity bureaucrats is that people shouldn’t feel themselves as individuals but as a put-upon member of society, which isn’t healthy and, frankly, as long as they exist, shows that the University of Wisconsin System has too much money.”

UW-Madison Provost Paul M. DeLuca, Jr. has said the university practices a holistic approach to admissions.

When making decisions involving admission to undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, UW-Madison considers academic credentials as the most important factor, DeLuca said in a statement.

“However, GPA, class rank, and test scores do not always predict classroom success. For this reason, the university performs a comprehensive review of an applicant’s entire record,” he said. “We celebrate the benefits of a diverse student body at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We believe the educational benefits provided by a multitude of viewpoints, backgrounds, talents, perspectives and experiences are essential components of higher education.”

Contact M.D. Kittle at mkittle@watchdog.org