Saturday, September 11, 2004
From the AP wire, courtesy of Zemblan patriots J.M. and B.K.:
Journalists applying to the Commission on Presidential Debates for credentials to cover the presidential debates are being asked to provide their racial data, a move that has some upset.We note that the first debate is scheduled to take place at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL, on Semptember 30. Does anyone know whether Secretary of State Glenda Hood has commissioned a reportorial purge list?
In addition to requesting that applicants provide their name, Social Security or passport number, gender, address and country and date of birth, the online application asks respondents to describe their race using one of the following: American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, black, not of Hispanic origin, Hispanic, white, not of Hispanic origin. A drop-down list gives respondents the option of not providing the information . . . .
The executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, Janet Brown, said the request for racial data was required by the Secret Service, which said it uses the data to conduct full background checks.
Secret Service spokesman Tom Mazur said the data was one of several identifiers used to search national databases in an FBI crime system.
"The more information we can get initially, it helps us conduct these checks in a timely manner," Mazur said. He said an applicant's refusal to provide information about their race should not affect their chance of getting debate credentials, unless they are flagged for some other reason.