Camo at the Capitol is written by MUCC Legislative Affairs Manager, Matt Evans
The incessant television and radio commercials can be very aggravating, no wait, they are aggravating.  There is not much worse than viewing back to back to back political commercials while you are trying to enjoy your favorite show.  But if I must be honest, they do serve a purpose.  In my opinion they are a perpetual reminder that you can’t just listen to what’s put in front of you by interest groups.  The vast majority of the advertisements you see are built on half-truths, if even that.
For example, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an out of state anti-hunting interest groups who is spending millions of dollars in Michigan to stop wolf hunting.  They are encouraging a no vote on proposals 1 and 2, which will be on your ballot next week.  They are sparing no expense, spending millions in print, television, and radio commercials.  And if you take the time to watch the commercials they will lead you to believe that a 2014 wolf hunt in Michigan can be stopped with your vote.
Ballot examples of Proposals 1 and 2 Ballot examples of Proposals 1 and 2
But what HSUS doesn’t tell you in their commercials is that there will be no wolf hunt in 2014 regardless of what happens at the ballot box next Tuesday.  Both proposals are essentially null and void regardless of how you vote on them.  HSUS doesn’t tell you that the Natural Resources Commission as well as DNR biologists have publicly stated that there will be no wolf hunt this year.  HSUS also doesn’t tell you that in August the legislature passed a citizen initiated law, Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act, which will take effect in late March of 2015, regardless of the outcome of this vote.  They don’t tell you that over 370,000 citizens from across the state signed onto this legislation.  Instead they would have you believe that politicians in Lansing drove this effort rather than the grassroots campaign that it was.
With all that being said, it does not mean you should skip over them or vote no on them. MUCC is advocating for a YES vote on both proposal one & two.  Let’s be clear, a no vote or abstaining from a vote on either of these proposals is the same as supporting the anti-hunting group HSUS.  There’s really no way around it.
If you abstain or vote no, you will be supporting the very people who are trying to ban bear hunting in Maine, the people who recently settled a bribery lawsuit for $15 million, the people who are under investigation by the Oklahoma Attorney General, and the people who have publicly stated they want to ban all hunting in the U.S.  While it may sound harsh and maybe you think I am spewing the same rhetoric you see in advertisements.  That’s a fair critique and is why I encourage you to do your own homework on this issue and on your local candidates.
Take a few hours this week to visit websites like Protect the Harvest or Charity Navigator, who is the nation’s largest independent charity evaluator.  Maybe all that is needed is a quick Google search of HSUS and you can see the multitude of egregious offenses they have committed over the years.  The point is that while the commercials are annoying they serve as a reminder to do your own homework, to be an informed voter this November.
MUCC can’t tell you who to vote for.  But, we can tell you to vote YES on Proposals 1 and 2!  We can encourage you to look up your candidates and vote for the ones who support conservation!
*Edited 11/3/2014

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