Maine’s ethics commission has ruled against supporters of a ban on bear hunting methods who argued that appearances by Maine game wardens in television ads should be reported as a campaign expense.

Maine Public Broadcasting Network reported Monday that the ethics panel rejected Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting’s argument by a 3-1 vote.

Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting is campaigning in support of a Tuesday referendum that would ban hunting bears with bait, dogs and traps.

Maine wardens and biologists appear in ads opposing the ban, explaining why they believe the methods are necessary.

The pro-ban group says it is unfair for state workers to express their opinions while being paid by taxpayers. The group also lost a court challenge after it attempted to get the ads pulled.