If you’ve been following the media coverage of our campaign to create a nonprofit, consumer-owned utility, you might have noticed the same few suspicious accounts in the comments section of every article, spreading misinformation through the same polished talking points that CMP and Versant employ.
We certainly did and luckily so did Spectrum News. They looked into it and couldn’t make contact with anyone behind the Twitter and Facebook accounts with bios showing generic pictures of dogs or lighthouses that post exclusively about our campaign and doth protest too much that they’re “real Mainers,” “Just a girl from Maine!” and definitely “Not from away.”
Spectrum News talked to Indiana University researcher Kevin Yang, who ran the accounts through the ol’ bot detector. “I wouldn’t be 100% sure that they are bots per se, although they are suspicious,” he said.
We may never know if these CMP superfans are bots, paid posters found on Craigslist, or the sockpuppet accounts of political-operative-for-hire Willy Ritch, who runs the 100% CMP-funded Maine Affordable Energy “Coalition” and was recently accused of trying to influence Portland’s Charter Commission. But we can assure you that Maine Public Power is 100% powered by real people.
If you have any doubts, come meet us at one of our Sunday or Tuesday signature-gathering canvasses to get Pine Tree Power on the ballot in 2023. We’re a friendly bunch. I’m real and last Tuesday, while knocking on doors, I had a very real conversation with a woman who said her rising electric bills had forced her to rearrange her life.
This is serious work and people are suffering the results of corporate greed. But we’re slowly building something CMP can’t buy — a people-powered movement. We have the momentum. Join the movement to build a democratic electric utility that serves our needs, not corporate investors.
The best thing you can do to get started with Maine Public Power is to take the 100-signature pledge. Cyr, one of our canvassers, has collected 45 signatures in only a few weeks. Join him, and the rest of the MPP canvassing community, by RSVPing to an upcoming canvass.
If you prefer, you can get involved in non-canvassing volunteer roles:
- Data entry. Contact Wil Thieme at firstname.lastname@example.org. Data entry is wildly important, is done from home, and great if you aren’t comfortable canvassing.
- Scanning documents at the Our Power office. Contact Aaron Berger at email@example.com.