Brainless Baiting in Maine

blackbearWe had to laugh at Wednesday’s blog post from Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle (who has said “I don’t love animals or think they are cute”). Pacelle is in the middle of a ballot initiative campaign in Maine to ban the practice of using bait (food) to hunt black bear. In his blog, Pacelle sniffs that some of the opposition support has come from groups based outside of Maine, such as the NRA.

If that’s his complaint, Pacelle should point his finger at his own carpetbagging organization. At least 47% of the money opposing HSUS has come from Maine. Meanwhile, only 1% of “Yes” money has come from Maine, according to the campaign finance records, and 96% of the money has come from HSUS. The HSUS campaign is not even run by a Mainer, but by a Massachusetts lawyer and HSUS employee.

Translation: The anti-bear hunting campaign is a contrived, astroturf initiative that wouldn’t even be on the ballot unless HSUS wanted to spend a few million dollars putting it there. This is really about HSUS’s agenda to ban all hunting.

Pacelle, of course, doesn’t mention the funding disparity on his blog—hardly the first instance of intellectual dishonesty at HSUS. And today, there’s news of another flop from the HSUS “Yes on 1” campaign.

According to the “No” campaign, the HSUS campaign sent out a mailer and created a Facebook image using grizzly bears. That’s a big faux pas: There are no grizzlies in Maine—only black bears. The HSUS campaign is already opposed by Maine wildlife biologists; if HSUS can’t even get the species right in its promotional material, it speaks volumes for how little HSUS knows.

It’s a reminder too that HSUS is not a group of veterinarians, farmers, wildlife biologists, animal scientists, or other experts. It’s a group of activists with a radical ideology who need to mislead voters in order to overcome expertise. In Maine, HSUS comes in with cute pictures of bears to try to sway votes—a typical M.O.

That’s not a scientific approach, it’s a political one. And it may not work in Maine—one of the latest polls has HSUS losing by 21 points.

As for Pacelle’s mental errors, maybe he’s overworked, or maybe he has a lack of B12 in his diet. Or perhaps he sees his campaign going down in flames. We’ll see on Tuesday.