March 21, 2023

Out-Of-State Money and Signature Seekers Illegally Promote their Gun Ban Effort

According to the Portland Press Herald:

“Leading the pack in terms of total payout as of Dec. 31 was Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, a group that wants to require background checks on private gun sales.

The organization, which submitted more than 85,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office last week, had paid the Washington, D.C.-based campaign consulting firm FieldWorks LLC more than $570,000 between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. During the same period, Maine Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense received $750,000 from Everytown for Gun Safety, the national gun control group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The Maine Moms group used both volunteer and paid signature gatherers.

“Maine Moms Demand Action was delighted to have more than 200 Mainers volunteer their time to gather signatures, which allowed us to collect signatures from all 503 cities and towns across the state,” Beth Allen, field director for the campaign, said in a statement. “We saw up close how committed Mainers are to bringing criminal background checks for all gun sales to our state. There are always start-up costs associated with a ballot measure campaign.”

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine responds:

“Abuse of our Referendum System Exposed

“Last year I wrote this expose that revealed how the Humane Society of the United States exploited our referendum system by using paid signature collectors from all over the country. It names individuals and groups that took advantage of Mainers, our Constitution and lack of real laws governing paid signature collectors. You might be surprised how many legislators and ex-legislators make money off our system.”<<<Read Expose>>>

The Ellsworth American explains the law and the abuses:

“State law requires that persons who collect signatures for citizens’ referendums be residents of Maine and that their names be listed before the signatures are gathered.

“Right now we don’t have individual names,” Kristen Muszynski, director of communications for Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, said Jan. 19. “The form is supposed to include the individual names.”