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LETTER: An all-volunteer effort? Never mind

McVILLE, N.D. — You can’t have it both ways. But it looks like the supporters of the proposed Clean Water, Wildlife and Parks Amendment want exactly that.

They made a promise that they were going to do things differently this time around by not paying people to gather signatures to get their measure on the November ballot. Last September, in a Bismarck Tribune article, it was reported that the group’s “goal is to have all petition circulators be volunteers if possible.” That same week, the Herald reported that “this time, only volunteers are being sought to gather signatures.”

Even the group’s own website clearly states: “Our campaign is aiming to run an all-volunteer signature gathering effort to ensure we make the November 2014 ballot.”

But now they’re looking to pay their signature gatherers once again. Take a look at Craigslist (the classified ad website) or the group’s Facebook page, and you’ll see the organizers want to hire signature gatherers.

Keep in mind, this is the same group that had their earlier attempt to get this measure on the ballot thrown out because of petition fraud.

But then, what do you expect from a select group driven and mostly funded by out-of-state special interest groups who don’t understand what we’re about as North Dakotans? It’s no wonder they can’t find enough volunteers and instead now have to pay people to gather signatures for them.

You can’t tout that you are all volunteer driven in one breath and then admit you’re paying signature gatherers in the next. You can’t have it both ways.