DETROIT (AP) — A pro-affirmative action group has accused a Michigan group behind an anti-affirmative action ballot initiative of money laundering and other campaign finance violations.BAMN claims that the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative and California affirmative action opponent Ward Connerly have unlawfully refused to disclose who has donated most of the funding for their efforts.“Public accountability is fundamental to open, democratic debate on public policy,” Shanta Driver, a spokeswoman for BAMN, said in a statement released by the group. “The people of Michigan have a right to know who is trying to outlaw affirmative action for women and minorities.”But officials speaking on behalf of MCRI called BAMN’s claims “frivolous” and maintained that all the donations in question were properly disclosed.A formal complaint was faxed and sent by mail to the Michigan Secretary of State on May 24, Driver said.According to the complaint, MCRI received $713,464 in 2004, with $545,693 of that coming from Connerly’s California-based American Civil Rights Coalition.But the Michigan group didn’t include a list of people who gave money to ACRC in their state campaign finance report, thus concealing the identities of the people who contributed about three quarters of their funding, the complaint says.Diane Schachterle, director of public affairs for ACRC, said the donations in question were included in committee reports in accordance with Michigan law. She said her group also plans to file complaints over possible campaign finance violations by BAMN.“Every single dime is disclosed. I just don’t know how they can do that,” she said. “We are going to file an accurate and well-researched complaint against BAMN instead of just wild accusations.”BAMN asks in the complaint that Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land subpoena Connerly and ACRC and force them to reveal the identities of the people who donated the $545,693. It also asks that MCRI be fined the full amount of those donations.Land spokesman Ken Silfen said when it’s received, the complaint will be referred to the office’s attorneys for review.The proposed ballot initiative would stop public agencies and universities from granting preferential treatment based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin or sex.The campaign began after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2003 that the University of Michigan’s law school could consider race when admitting students.At the same time, the court struck down the university’s undergraduate policy that automatically gave minorities a bonus in a point-based screening system for applicants. University officials later revised the policy.

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