STATE OF MINNESOTA
CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD
FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT REGARDING
THE BOIS FORTE POLITICAL EDUCATION FUND
On March 14, 2001, David Hoch (Complainant) filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (Board) alleging that the Bois Forte Political Education Fund (Fund), failed to register a political fund within 14 days after making contributions to principal campaign committees, as required under Minn. Stat. 10A.14.
The complaint is based on the Funds Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering January 1, through December 31, 2000, and its Registration and Statement of Organization. The Complainant states that the Fund made eight contributions to principal campaign committees on October 25, 2000, but did not register with the Board until December 13, 2000.
By letter dated March 15, 2001, staff notified the Fund of the complaint and afforded them an opportunity to respond.
Gordon Adams, treasurer for the Fund, replied by letter dated March 23, 2001. Mr. Adams states that the Fund was created in early October, 2000, and first received a contribution on October 13, 2000. He further states that the Fund began establishing a bank account, applying for a taxpayer identification number and preparing the registration form within several days of receiving the contribution. Mr. Adams states that it was the intent of the Fund to register timely, but inadvertently did not.
The Board considered this matter in executive session on April 17, 2001.
Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:
STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE
1. The Bois Forte Political Education Fund is a political fund, which registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board on December 13, 2000.
2. On its Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering January 1, through December 31, 2000, the Fund disclosed contributions totaling $7,500 received on October 13, 2000. It also disclosed that on October 25, 2000, the Fund made contributions to eight principal campaign committees totaling $1,914.
3. Minn. Stat. 10A.14, subd. 1, states in part that the treasurer of a political fund must register a statement of organization with the Board no later than 14 days after the fund has made a contribution, received contributions, or made expenditures in excess of $100.
4. Minn. Stat. 10A.14, subd. 4, requires the Board to notify by certified mail or personal service any individual who fails to file a statement of organization required by Minn. Stat. 10A.14 within the required time. It further provides that a late filing fee of $5 per day (maximum of $100), may be imposed beginning on the eighth day after the individual responsible for filing the statement receives notice from the Board.
5. The Fund filed its Registration and Statement of Organization with the Board on December 13, 2000, more than 14 days after it received contributions and made expenditures and contributions in excess of $100. However, the registration was filed prior to the Board sending the written notice. Therefore, no late filing fee may be imposed under the statute.
Based on the above Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:
FINDINGS CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE
1. There is probable cause to believe that there was a violation of Minnesota Statutes 10A by the Bois Forte Political Fund.
2. Because the Bois Forte Political Fund filed its Statement of Organization before being notified of the violation, no late filing fee may be imposed and no further action will be taken.
Based on the above Findings Concerning Probable Cause, the Board issues the following:
The complaint regarding the Bois Forte Political Education Fund is dismissed and the record in this matter is entered into the public record in accordance with Minn. Stat. 10A.02, subd. 11.
Dated: April 17, 2001
Will Fluegel, chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board