According to a press release sent out by North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks, that coalition of conservation and environmental groups has just dumped over 41,000 signatures on the Secretary of State in support of their ballot measure.
The measure, if approved for the ballot and passed in November, would diver hundreds of millions of dollars per biennium into a fund to be used to fund conservation and outdoors projects (up to and including making grants to the conservation groups that are backing this effort, naturally).
“North Dakotans committed to protecting clean water and preserving the state’s long and proud history of hunting, fishing, birding and other outdoor recreation today delivered more than 41,000 petition signatures to the North Dakota Secretary of State to place the Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment on the ballot in November,” the group’s press release reads. “The campaign collected far beyond the required minimum of 26,904 signatures.”
That’s a lot of signatures, but it shouldn’t surprise us given the amount of money the group dropped on collecting them.
In 2013, the North Dakotans for Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks dropped $329,045.99 (they had another $109,148.77 in cash on hand at the end of the year). The group hasn’t filed a report for 2014, but Ducks Unlimited which is the most visible coalition member has dropped $538,948 in independent political expenditures this year.
That is a huge amount of spending, and I’m honestly surprised they didn’t collect more signatures given that sort of lay out.
My gut feeling is that they shouldn’t have gotten more, and that they didn’t may speak to this thing being pretty unpopular.
We’ll see, though. The conservationists clearly have a ton of money to spend, and money in politics matters.