Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Montana Anti Trapping Initiative

Sent: 7/20/2010 6:27:54 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time
Subj: Montana Anti Trapping Initiative

To All;

I 160, the anti trapping ballot initiative, failed to qualify for the November 2010 ballot.
The MEWM Steering Committee, Pac/West, the hundreds of organizations, businesses & individuals who contributed monetarily, as well as the many individuals who have actively dispelled the inaccurate statements of the antis through press releases, letters to the editor and personal appearances; you deserve thanks and praise. It was through your donations and efforts that a sufficient number of signatures to qualify I 160 were not obtained.

How close was it? Speaking with a local clerk at the county courthouse, there were 34,586 signatures turned in statewide at the county level, but only 20,318 were accepted and sent to the Secretary of State. The AR’s failed in their voluntary efforts and began paying signature gatherers; according to their financial data filed to date, signature gatherers were paid a little over $12,000.00 in this campaign. These same documents reveal that Anja Heister (Footloose Exec Dir) was paid $10,768.04 for her efforts and a cell phone bill; also $915.00 was paid to Footloose Montana by the MTFPL Committee for rental of Footloose’s RV. Perhaps we also owe Anja & Footloose a thank you for siphoning off the $11,683.19; rather than hiring additional signature gatherers.

I will be obtaining information as to which legislative districts qualified the initiative and how many signatures were gathered in each legislative district; we will then know where to direct our efforts in the future.

The battle is not over, as Connie Poten (Footloose Montana) said, “If we didn’t make it, it’s just practice because we’ll be doing it again”. Any funds left over from the campaign, as well as additional monies will be put into efforts to seek a legislative solution to end or slow down the management of Montana’s wildlife through the ballot initiative process. A skirmish has been won, now we move to the legislative battlefield.

Once again - Thank You and forward to those whom you feel would be interested.

Take Care

Jim Buell
Montana Trappers Association

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