November 21, 2017

HSUS Declares Maine Bear Hunting a Target in 2016

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Press Release from the U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance:

Just months after a resounding defeat by Maine voters, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has announced plans to bring yet another ballot issue on bear hunting back to Maine.

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, lawyers for HSUS and the state of Maine were in court to debate the lawsuit brought by HSUS against the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. That suit sought to stop the state’s wildlife experts from explaining to voters the true dangers of HSUS’s bear hunting ban. Despite an overwhelming decision by Maine Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler that sided with the state’s right to provide comments, HSUS continues to pursue a legal challenge.

As part of the discussions about the pending litigation, an attorney for HSUS, Rachel Wertheimer, advised the court that they will again put the question on the 2016 ballot, and will be filing the initial paperwork soon.

“I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that these guys will stop at nothing to pursue their radical, anti-hunting agenda,” said Nick Pinizzotto, USSA president and CEO. “They spent more than $2.5 million dollars trying to buy an election. When it was clear they were about to lose, they sued the state to prevent the true experts from explaining the dangers of the issue to voters. And now they are making it crystal clear that they do not respect the will of the voters – who have twice sent HSUS and their allies packing.”

In November, voters rejected the bear hunting ban (Question 1) by a 53.6 to 46.3 percent margin, just as they did in 2004 – the last time HSUS brought the issue to Maine.

“How many times are we going to have to debate this? They’ve lost before the legislature, they’ve lost at the ballot box, and they’ve lost in the courts,” Pinizzotto continued. “This is nothing more than a direct look straight into the heart of the anti-hunting movement, a movement that will obviously stop at nothing to accomplish their agenda.”

  • alrem

    I guess the HSUS will keep trying to skin that bear alive over at the “Department” for all it’s worth. Until HSUS is legislated to pay for it’s failed attempts at sabotage, stripped of their capacity to foster another attempt, and stop interfering in State affairs, what’s to complain about?

  • Chandie Bartell

    Todd Tolhurst speaking to LD 176, President of Gun Owners of Maine, in Augusta today. His testimony:

    My testimony on today’s public hearing on LD 176, “An Act To Amend the Law Governing the Gathering of Signatures for Direct Initiatives and People’s Veto Referenda”:


    Good morning, Senator Cyrway, Representative Luchini, and members of the Committee.

    My name is Todd Tolhurst of China. I am also the President of Gun Owners of Maine, a nonprofit volunteer gun rights organization, representing the interests of thousands of our members and gun owners across the state. Today, I am here to offer testimony in favor of LD 176.

    The Constitution of the State of Maine provides for direct initiative of legislation by the people of Maine. But recently, our Citizen Initiative process has been turned against Mainers by well-financed interests from out-of-state who seek to effectively buy their way onto Maine’s ballot, and then purchase a victory at the polls. The Bear Baiting question made it onto the 2014 General Election ballot in just this way, quietly, with out-of-state money paying for out-of-state professional signature gatherers to do whatever is necessary to get Mainers to sign a petition written by and for out-of-staters. Such a petition might never have found enough Mainers willing to circulate it. Such a petition might not have attracted enough signatures to succeed, if Mainers knew the circulator asking for their signature was a professional employee of an out-of-state firm.

    Now, other out-of-state groups with an agenda to impose on Maine and millions of dollars to spend to achieve their goal openly talk about placing questions on our ballot, although they will still prefer voters to remain in the dark about who is asking for their signature.

    Our Citizen Initiative process properly belongs to the people of Maine, not the billionaires of New York, or the interest groups of Washington, DC, or to the professional petition organizations of California. We do not allow New Yorkers to vote in our elections, and we do not permit Californians to run for our public offices; direct involvement in our elections and lawmaking is reserved for Mainers alone. Those who circulate direct initiative petitions have direct, hands-on involvement in our elections and lawmaking process, and properly ought to be Maine citizens as well.

    I urge the members of this committee to support LD 176, and ensure that Maine’s ballot belongs to Maine.

  • Chandie Bartell

    Daryl is not hiding how he feels…………….

    Wildlife Alliance of Maine Doesn’t matter what you think Kenneth. This time the hounders and trappers are going down.