A couple of weeks ago I wrote a story about North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife & Parks – the group backing a ballot measure to divert hundreds of millions in oil tax revenues to conservation projects – using paid petition circulators again. Which was an interesting development because in the 2012 election cycle this same group saw their measure kept off the ballot because of tens of thousands of petition signatures disqualified by fraud.
Fraud that was perpetrated by paid petition circulators, including a group of North Dakota State University football players.
The conservation folks had promised they wouldn’t use paid petition circulators again, saying they’d “learned our lesson,” but lately – in what is perhaps a sign that signature collection isn’t going so great – they’ve been advertising for paid circulators again.
Valley News Live reporter Mellaney Moore called me about my post, and today has a report about the issue. When she asked the conservation group about hiring petition circulators, they hung up on her.
That doesn’t speak too highly of the integrity of the people backing this measure.