STATE OF MINNESOTA
CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD
FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT REGARDING TIMOTHY GRANT
On August 14, 2003, Senator Wes Skoglund ("Complainant") filed a complaint against Timothy Grant ("Respondent") alleging that the Respondent violated Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A.
The Complainant alleged that the Respondent's activities on behalf of the American Association of Certified Firearms Instructors to influence legislative action met the definition of lobbying found in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A, and required the Respondent to register and report as a lobbyist to the Board.
In support of his complaint, the Complainant provided a copy of a July 9, 2003, Star Tribune article in which the Respondent was quoted as stating he spent $100,000 of his own money in efforts to get legislation passed. The Complainant also provided a print-out from the American Association of Certified Firearms Instructors website, on which the Respondent is described as "one of Minnesota's leading firearms lobbyists."
By letters dated August 19, 2003, and September 4, 2003, the Respondent was notified of the complaint and offered an opportunity to reply. Mr. Grant responded on September 10, 2003, and stated that he was not compensated for efforts to influence legislation nor authorized to spend funds relating to the passage of legislation nor did he spend more than $250 of his own money in an attempt to influence legislative action in any year. Further, he stated, "the dollar amount referenced in the article attached to your letter refers to personal savings I spent to support my family while unemployed and volunteering full-time on behalf of Concealed Carry Reform Now."
On September 15, 2003, and October 1, 2003, the Board sent additional letters to the Respondent requesting information regarding any potential relationship between American Association of Certified Firearms Instructors and Concealed Carry Reform Now or American Association of Certified Firearms Instructors and the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance. Mr. Grant responded by letter dated October 21, 2003, and stated that there is no organizational or legal relationship between the American Association of Certified Firearms Instructors and Concealed Carry Reform Now nor between the American Association of Certified Firearms Instructors and the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.
On October 24, 2003, the Board requested information from Joseph Olson, Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, regarding the Respondent's relationship with the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance. Mr. Olson responded by letter dated November 5, 2003, and stated that the Respondent was never engaged for pay or other consideration nor authorized to spend money on behalf of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance.
This matter was considered by the Board in executive sessions in its meetings on August 27, 2003, September 17, 2003, October 22, 2003, and November 19, 2003. The Board's decision was based upon the complaint, the documents provided in support of the complaint, Mr. Grant's responses, Mr. Olson's response, and Board records.
Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:
Based on the above Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:
FINDINGS CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE
There is no probable cause to believe that the Respondent met the definition of lobbyist as provided for in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A, and thus there is no probable cause to believe the Respondent was required to register with or report to the Board.
Based on the above Findings, the Board issues the following:
1. The complaint alleging that Mr. Grant violated Minn. Stat. 10A.03, subd. 1, by failing to register as a lobbyist with the Board is dismissed in its entirety.
2. The complaint alleging that Mr. Grant violated Minn. Stat. 10A.04, subd.1, by failing to report to the Board is dismissed in its entirety.
3. The record in this matter and all correspondence is entered into the public record in accordance with Minn. Stat. 10A.02, subd. 11. Board staff shall provide copies to Senator Skoglund and Mr. Grant.
Dated: November 19, 2003 _________________________________________
Clyde Miller, Chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board