Don’t be fooled by these fake minimum wage ads

Don’t be fooled by these fake minimum wage ads

An anonymous website, Facebook page and a series of Facebook ads have popped up in Maine attempting to trick supporters of raising the minimum wage into actually calling on their legislators to undermine the minimum wage referendum on the ballot this November.

The website at www.raisethewagenow.com, which has no authorship information, claims that a vote for LD 1695 means “giving minimum wage workers across our state millions in raises, right away.” In fact, the bill sponsored by Governor Paul LePage and amended by Republican Senator Amy Volk would create a competing measure to the November ballot initiative this fall, splitting the vote and potentially preventing any minimum wage increase from passing.

“Make no mistake: This bill is a competing measure,” said Sen. Bill Diamond, who previously oversaw the citizen initiative process for eight years as Secretary of State, after Senate Democrats voted down the bill on April 14th.

Governor LePage actually admitted the intent of his legislation over the weekend, telling delegates to the Republican convention that “Representative Fredette and the Senate President, Thibodeau, have been trying to get a competing measure so that we’d have a fighting chance and the Democrats said no.”

The legislation is supported by a coalition of corporate lobbyists, including the Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, who have a history of deceit on this issue. Last month, researchers at the University of California asked them to cease and desist misusing their research to support their proposal.

The referendum on the ballot this November would gradually increase Maine’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020 and align future increases with the cost of living. It would also gradually raise the sub-minimum wage for workers who receive tips up to the full minimum wage after 2024.

The competing measure bill will likely be taken up by the House when the legislature returns to session to consider vetoes next week.

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