From MIRS, Friday May 2nd:
The group pushing to put a statewide fracking ban question before voters is now aiming for a 2016 ballot appearance, its leader said Thursday.
The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan is spending this next year fundraising to pay signature-gatherers in 2015 for a possible ballot appearance in 2016, said LuAnne KOZMA, the campaign manager for the committee.
Kozma and about two dozen others were gathered outside the Lansing Center Thursday protesting the state’s twice-a-year oil and gas lease auction.
Kozma said the group is not in the process of signature-gathering now, skipping out on trying to make the May 28 deadline to file 258,088 signatures for the November ballot. The group acknowledged it came up 188,000 signatures short after six months back in October, but had vowed to keep gathering them.
According to its quarterly campaign finance report filed last week, the committee has raised $45,300 this election cycle, but was left with just $17,300 when the quarter ended April 20.
Rather, Kozma said the group plans to raise $500,000 from individual donors and local businesses to help pay for signature-gatherers next year.
The campaign is relying on mostly grassroots support — Kozma said they’re touting about 500 volunteers — and from groups like the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation. Kozma said she’s talking with more people who support the group’s position that banning fracking, rather than regulating it, is the best option for the state.