Immigrant initiative backers stand by media policy - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Immigrant initiative backers stand by media policy

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Posted: Friday, July 25, 2003 10:48 pm | Updated: 1:17 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

A group promoting a state initiative targeting illegal immigrants removed a statement on its Web site Friday that said its members won't speak to Spanish media.

But Kathy McKee, chairwoman of Protecting Arizona NOW, said the group isn't backing down. McKee said she had the statement removed by the site manager on the same day of a Tribune story because of a high number of interview requests from other newspapers and television stations.

"I just had him to take it off because I don't have time to talk to these people right now," McKee said. "The policy is still in place."

The group says it would lift the ban if state Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix, and an outspoken initiative opponent, apologizes for recently referring to Rep. Randy Graf, R-Green Valley, as a "racist or a fool" for supporting it.

McKee said the group decided on a ban after two news conferences where supporters believe they were treated poorly by reporters for Spanish outlets. McKee said the ban applies only to Valley organizations.

News about the ban drew sharp criticism from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Raefel Olmeda, chairman of the association's issues committee, said it was "childish" to blame reporters for comments made by initiative opponents.

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