STATE OF MINNESOTA
CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD
FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF A CONTRIBUTION
DURING THE REGULAR 2000 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
BY THE VOLUNTEERS FOR (SHELDON) JOHNSON COMMITTEE
By letter dated August 25, 2000, Mary Cahill, treasurer for the Volunteers for (Sheldon) Johnson Committee, #15197, ("Committee") disclosed that the Committee had accepted a $50 contribution on or about March 12, 2000, from Minn. PACE, a political fund registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ("Board"). The regular 2000 Legislative Session commenced on February 1, 2000, and adjourned on May 18, 2000.
In her letter, Ms. Cahill stated that Sheldon Johnson was a first time candidate and did not realize that he was prohibited from accepting PAC money during a legislative session. She did not discover the error until 60 days had passed.
The Board considered the matter in executive session on October 17, 2000. No one requested to appear before the Board on behalf of the Committee.
Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:
STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE
1. The Volunteers for Johnson Committee reported accepting a $50 contribution on or about March 12, 2000, from Minn. PACE, a registered political fund. The regular 2000 Legislative Session commenced on February 1, 2000, and adjourned on May 18, 2000.
2. The Committees treasurer acknowledged acceptance of the prohibited contribution in a letter dated August 25, 2000.
3. Board records show that this is the first calendar year in which the Volunteers for Johnson Committee reported acceptance of a contribution from registered lobbyists, political committees or political funds during the regular legislative session.
Based on the above Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:
FINDING CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE
There is probable cause to believe that the Volunteers for Johnson Committee violated Minn. Stat. §10A.273 by accepting a contribution from Minn. PACE, a registered political fund, during the regular session of the Legislature in 2000.
Based on the above Finding Concerning Probable Cause, the Board issues the following:
1. In lieu of forwarding the above public finding of probable cause to the county attorney in Ramsey County to pursue a judgment in district court, the Board imposes a civil fine of $50, for acceptance of a $50 contribution from Minn. PACE during the regular 2000 Legislative Session.
2. The Volunteers for Johnson Committee is directed to forward to the Board payment of the civil fine of $50, by check or money order payable to the STATE OF MINNESOTA, within thirty days after receipt of this order.
3. If the Volunteers for Johnson Committee does not comply with the provisions of this order, the Boards Executive Director shall refer this matter to the Ramsey County Attorney for civil enforcement pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 10A.273.
4. The Board investigation of this matter is entered into the public record in accordance with Minn. Stat. §10A.02, subd. 11, and upon payment by the Volunteers for Johnson Committee of the civil fine imposed herein, the matter is concluded.
Dated: October 17, 2000
Will Fluegel, chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board