The citizen control cultists from Moms Demand Action were almost giddy on their Twitter feed today, noting that the reliably left wing Huffington Post had written an article about their attempt to bully the office supply store chain Staples into infringing upon the rights and liberties of their patrons.

Did Moms Demand bother to read the Huffington Post article first, or did they just assume that their dishonest and overwrought claims would be taken at face value?

As luck would have it, HuffPo’s Ben Hallman presented a relatively balanced story that poked a gaping hole in the claimed economic strength that the group is attempting to use to bully retailers into submission.

Advocates on both sides claim they have the economic clout to get what they want. In less than a year, Moms Demand Action has grown to include 120,000 members, with chapters in every state, Watts said. The organization, which models itself after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says its members will boycott businesses that don’t choose its side.

“Moms make 80 percent of spending decisions” for families, Watts said, citing a disputed figure often used by marketing groups.

Pro-gun groups say their members are better organized and far more numerous.

By clicking through that “disputed figure” link to the Wall Street Journal, we find out that the “80 percent of spending decisions” claim that Moms Demand leans upon for their economic terrorism seems (quite appropriately) to be an old wives tale:

My print column this week examines the basis for the oftenrepeatedstat that women in the U.S. control 80% of consumer spending. It turns out that there isn’t much of a basis for it.

I found that articles and websites that include the claim either don’t attribute the information, or if they do, the sources cited said they aren’t sure where the numbers come from. For instance, some cite the management consultancy A.T. Kearney, but a spokesperson for the company said, “We have been trying to track down that source for years, but no one in the firm knows anything about it.” Others have attributed the number to Yankelovich, but Emily Parenti, director of marketing for the Futures Co., which was the result of a merger between Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008, said that the statistic “did not originate with our research, but appears to have been manufactured by a source we haven’t yet been able to identify.” And others cite the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Census Bureau, but spokesmen for both organizations said they don’t collect such data.

It seems that like almost everything else the group has claimed, the Moms Demand bullying campaign targeting Staples is based up deception.