Supporters of a ballot proposal that would ban bear baiting in Alaska were unhappy at wording from their opponents that appeared in the state’s official pamphlet on the measure.
Alaska’s Division of Elections printed up 300,000 copies of the pamphlet for Alaskan voters. The major groups supporting and opposing the initiative where asked to provide text describing why they supported or opposed the ballot measure.
Opponents of the measure included text claiming that the ballot measure was,
. . . proposed by out-of-state extremists like Greenpeace and PETA . . . [and] is being heavily funded by numerous national anti-hunting, anti-fishing and environmental obstructionist groups.
Citizens United Against Bear Baiting complained that the opponents’ text wrongly linked the measure with outside groups and overstated the effect of the law.
A spokeswoman for the Alaska Outdoor Council told the Anchorage Daily News that Citizens United Against Bear Baiting is part of a larger nationwide anti-hunting movement and that its characterization of the proposal was fair.
Laura Glasier, director of the Division of Elections, said that her agency simply would not get involved in fact-checking statements by either side, which would open her agency up to doing so for dozens of candidates and other issues also included in the pamphlet. Glasier told The Associated Press,
I understand their concern. All I can say is, how many people do I hire to check and recheck every candidate’s statement, every birth date, every address.
Bear baiting foes growl about election pamphlet. Associated Press, September 23, 2004.