STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Wednesday, November 20, 2002

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Blazing Star Conference Room

Ground Level, Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

Meeting was called to order by Chair Kelley.

Members present:  Chambers, Fluegel, Kelley, Miller, Pauly, Spear

Others present:  Olson, Sigurdson, Swanson, Drilias, staff; Huwe, counsel

MINUTES  (October 23, 2002)

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                To approve the October 23, 2002, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed by five members (Chambers absent).

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

·            Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for December 18, 2002.   

 

·            Board Appointments

 

Chair Kelly noted that the appointments of Ms. Chambers and Mr. Spear expire in January 2003.  Open Appointment Application forms were given to Ms. Chambers and Mr. Spear.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·            Staff Activities

 

Data entry of campaign finance disclosure from the Pre-general Report of Receipts and Expenditures is complete for candidate committees.  Work continues on data entry for political committees, political funds, and political party units.

 

The number of candidate committees that filed electronically for the pre-general reporting period decreased to 144 from the 181 filed for the pre-primary reporting period.  The 144 includes all four of the major party gubernatorial candidates, which will significantly decrease staff data entry.  Electronic reports were filed by 58 political party units, political committees, and political funds, which is up from the 46 that filed pre-primary reports electronically.    

 

On Monday, November 4th, the Board's website began listing the names of candidates, political party units, political committees and political funds whose reports had not been received.  The information is updated nightly as reports are received.

 

·            Legislation

 

The Legislative Recommendations Subcommittee met on November 13th.  A list of proposed recommendations was available for Board review.  Board members discussed and made minor changes to the proposed list.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                        To approve the list of Board Legislative Recommendations as amended in discussion and direct staff to send a final copy to the Revisor of Statutes office.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed. (See copy Board Legislative Recommendations attached)

 

Ms. Olson was directed to schedule meetings with legislative leadership for January 2003.  Mr. Fluegel, Chair Kelley, Mr. Miller, Ms. Pauly, and Mr. Spear will accompany Ms. Olson when available and appropriate.

 

·            Personnel

 

Joyce Larson, Program Administrator, will be out of the office for 4 to 6 weeks following surgery.  Other staff members will take over her responsibilities while she is gone.

 

Patti Klingner obtained another part-time job and will work fewer hours for the Board as a result of the new position.

 

·            Miscellaneous

 

An updated version of Chapter 10A was made available to Board members. 

 

Enforcement Report

 

Consent Items

 

Board Action:                        Authorization for an inactive committee to maintain active status

 

 

Bob Anderson, candidate, Volunteers for Bob Anderson – Bob Anderson requested that the Volunteers for Bob Anderson committee be allowed to remain active until December 31, 2004.  Mr. Anderson is considering filing for office in 2004.

 

Board Action:                        Authorization of a certified letter for late filing fees, which accrued because of the late filing of the Pre-primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the fee is not paid.  Two reminder notices have been sent to each treasurer and candidate and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

 

                                                Jim Pearson, Local 59 Political Fund:  $50

                                                Tim Bonham, Minneapolis DFL Committee:  $50

                                                Matthea Little Smith, Minnesota Black Political Action:  $150

                                                Jim Farrell, Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association:  $100

                                                Jim Meffert-Nelson, Minnesota Optometric Association:  $500

                                                Jeff Ross, Zelle, Hoffman, Voelbel, Gette, LLP:  $500

      

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

 

Request to administratively terminate a political committee with a cash balance in excess of $100

 

New Democrat Network (NDN) – Brian G. Svoboda, legal counsel to NDN, requested that the committee be allowed to terminate its registration with a cash balance in excess of $100 retroactive to January 1, 2002.  The committee was not required to register with the Board and, with the exception of a one-time contribution, the funds “were not raised for Minnesota purposes [and] were not spent in connection with Minnesota elections."

 

Mr. Spear's MOTION:                        To approve Mr. Svoboda's request and allow the New Democrat Network committee to terminate with a cash balance in excess of $100.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

 

Waiver Requests

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31 and August 26, 2002

 

       Greg Dolce, treasurer, 61st Senate District RPM, $100 and $500 - The reports were received on October 28, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Dolce stated that he has serious health problems.  

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Dolce's request to waive the two late filing fees totaling $600 due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

·            Pre-primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002

 

       Tom Paulson, treasurer, Ken McInnis Volunteer Committee, $500 - The report was received in the Board office on September 17, 2002.  No motion was made.

 

Joan Molenaar, treasurer, Champlain DFLers, $150 - The report was received in the Board office on September 4, 2002.  Ms. Molenaar paid $50 of the late filing fee.  In a letter Ms. Molenaar requested that the remainder of the fee be waived or allow her to arrange a payment plan for the remaining $100. 

 

Ms. Chambers' MOTION:            To: 1) approve Ms. Molenaar's request for a payment plan; 2) direct staff to notify Ms. Molenaar that she is to pay $50 a month beginning on December 1, 2002; and 3) notify Ms. Molenaar that if the payments are not timely made, the remainder of the late filing fee will be due immediately.   

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Christopher Kopka, co-chair and Merle Pettersen, treasurer, Hennepin County DFL, $500 – The report was received in the Board office on September 18, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Kopka stated that Ms. Pettersen has had four hospitalizations in the past year and they are seeking a deputy treasurer to assist her in her duties. 

 

Mr. Spear's MOTION:                        To approve Mr. Kopka's and Ms. Pettersen's request to waive the $500 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances. 

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Geoff Baker, chair, Mower County Republican Party, $400 – The report was received in the Board office on September 12, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Baker stated the committee's treasurer moved out of Minnesota in August 2002.

Ms. Chambers' MOTION:           To approve Mr. Baker's request to waive the $400 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:   Unanimously passed.

 

Thomas Keliher, Deer Hunters of Minnesota Political Action Committee, $500 – The report was received in the Board office on September 19, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Keliher stated that the committee was “practically dormant."   No motion was made.

 

Bob Mlynar, treasurer, Minnesota Conservation Officers Legislative Action Committee, $500 – The report was received in the Board office on September 20, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Mlynar stated that he had a “full desk of paperwork".  No motion was made.

 

Jennifer O'Rourke, treasurer, Minnesotans for a Democratic Majority, $500 - The report was received in the Board office on October 28, 2002.  In a letter Ms. O'Rourke indicated that she failed to check the Minnesotans for Democratic Majority mailbox.  No motion was made. 

 

·            Pre-general Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002

 

Mona Carter, treasurer, Darrell Carter for Senate, $50 - The report was received in the Board office on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Ms. Carter indicated that one of her children became ill on October 30, 2002.  No motion was made.

 

Greg Hansen, candidate, Greg Hansen Volunteer Committee, $50 - The report was received in the Board office on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Hansen indicated that his report was late due to the death of a colleague.  No motion was made.

 

Bob House, candidate, Bob House Campaign Committee, $50 - The report was received in the Board office on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Mr. House indicated that he believed he did not have another report due until the end of the year.  No motion was made.

 

Eileen Weber, treasurer, 2nd Congressional District DFL, $50 - The report was received in the Board office on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Ms. Weber indicated that she was confused about the date on which late filing fees would begin to accrue.  No motion was made.

 

Virgil Gunnarson, treasurer, 2nd Senate District DFL, $50 - The report was received in the Board office on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Gunnarson stated that the report was mailed on October 25, 2002.

 

Ms. Chambers' MOTION:            To approve Mr. Gunnarson's request to waive the $50 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.  

 

Robert Saxton, treasurer, 11th District Green Party, $50 – The report was received on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Saxton indicated that he was confused about filing deadlines.  No motion was made.

 

John Heinrich, treasurer, 45th New Senate District DFL, $50 – The report was received on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Heinrich stated that he suffered a back injury three weeks prior to the report's due date.  No motion was made.

 

Jason Amundson, treasurer, 59th Senate District DFL, $500 – The report was received on November 19, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Amundson stated that he was on military leave when the postcard informing him of late filing was received. 

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To deny Mr. Amundson's request to waive the $500 late filing fee and reduce the late fee to $100.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

       Isaac Carter, treasurer, 66A House District DFL, $50 – The report was postmarked on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Carter stated that mailed the report on September 25th as he was leaving for vacation.  He remailed a copy of the report when he got home and saw the late notice.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:     To approve Mr. Carter's request to waive the $50 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION:     Unanimously passed.

 

       Dale Wilkinson, treasurer, Grassroots Party, $50 – The report was received on November 6, 2002.  Mr. Wilkinson sent a check for $11, the balance remaining in the committees account, and terminated the committee registration with the Board.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                        To accept Mr. Wilkinson's payment of $11 and waive the remaining $39 of the late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Bart de Malignon, treasurer, Northfield Green Party, $500 – The report was received on November 18, 2002.  In a letter Mr. de Malignon stated that he mistakenly believed the committee's next report would not be due until January 31, 2003. 

 

Mr. Spear's MOTION:                        To deny Mr. de Malignon's request to waive the $500 late filing fee and reduce the late fee to $100.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Greg Hansen, treasurer, Wright County DFL, $50 – The report was received on November 4, 2002.  In a letter Mr. Hansen indicated that his report was late due to the death of a colleague.  No motion was made.

 

Chung Hui, assistant to William Lucy, treasurer, AFSCME, $500 – The report was received on November 19, 2002.  Mr. Hui provided a copy of a facsimile transmission confirmation indicating that the facsimile was received on October 25, 2002. 

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:                        To approve Mr. Hui's request to waive the $500 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Sharon Vangsness, treasurer, VET-PAC of Minnesota, $200 – The report was received on November 7, 2002.  In a letter Ms. Vangsness stated that she had surgery on October 28th and did not return to work until November 4, 2002, at which time she had the report forms faxed to her. 

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                        To approve Ms. Vangsness' request to waive the $200 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Reconsideration of Waiver Request for Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002 (see September 25, 2002, Board minutes)

 

Barbara Allen, treasurer, Brainerd Green Party, $100 – In a letter Ms. Allen stated  “it is very difficult for parties which are just becoming established to know all the rules and regulations regarding filing of various paperwork, especially during election years."   No motion was made.

 

Authorization to impose a $1,000 civil penalty for failure to file the Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002.   Two reminder notices were sent to each candidate and treasurer.  The second notice informed these individuals that they were subject to a $1,000 civil fine.  Staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.  These individuals were referred to the Attorney General's Office following the October 23, 2002, Board meeting. 

 

Mark Borsheim, candidate, (Mark) Borsheim for Representative

Bill Dahn, candidate, Bill Dahn for Governor 2002

Kristin Fallenstein, treasurer, (Troy) Haefner for Senate

Brenda Welborn, treasurer, Darryl Spence for State Representative

Sheila Sudbeck, candidate, Citizens for Sheila Sudbeck

Christopher Berg, treasurer, 4th Congressional District Republican Labor Federation Marianne Beck, treasurer, 43rd Senate District RPM

Mr. Spear's MOTION:                        To impose a $1,000 civil penalty for failure to file a Pre-primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures on Mark Borsheim, Bill Dahn, Kristin Fallenstein, Brenda Welborn, Sheila Sudbeck, and Christopher Berg, and Marianne Beck.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.    

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of late filing fees
 
·         Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2002

 

Greg Dolce, candidate, Campaign to Elect Greg Dolce:  $100

 

·         Pre-Primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due   August 26, 2002

 

Mark Jorgensen, candidate, (Mark) Jorgensen for State House:  $50

Eldon Marier, treasurer, 39B House Republican:  $150

Betty Boeck, treasurer, 61st Senate District DFL:  $50

Barbara Allen, treasurer, Brainerd Area Green Party:  $100

Jennifer Paulson, treasurer, Brooklyn Center DFL:  $50

Daniel Kimmel, treasurer, Dakota County Green Party:  $50

Peter J. Kitzberger, treasurer, Nicollet County DFL:  $100

Randy Kamrath, treasurer, Yellow Medicine County RPM:  $150

Florence Jaeger, treasurer, Branch 28 NALC Political Fund:  $500

John Caile, treasurer, CCRN-PAC:  $100

Joan Molenaar, treasurer, Champlain DFLers:  $50

Julia Slapp, treasurer, DFL Feminist Caucus:  $50

       Scott Malcolm, treasurer, Lakes & Plains Regional Council of Carpenters and Joiners:  $100

Sander Grotjohn, treasurer, Minnesota Federation of Teachers-Greenway:  $200

 

·         Pre-General Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002

 

Dale Wilkinson, treasurer, Grassroots Party:  $11

James Tarney, treasurer, Neighbors for Life PAC:  $100

Patrick Igo, treasurer, St. Paul Republican City Committee:  $50

Sherry Mattsen, treasurer, Twin Cities Republican Association:  $100

Robert Killeen, treasurer, UAW Minnesota State CAP Council Political Fund:  $100

 

·         Lobbyist disbursement report due July 15, 2002

 

Robert Illingworth, Minnesota Motorcycle Association:  $100

 

Contributions Deposited in the State Elections Campaign Fund

 

·            Anonymous Contributions

 

      Kurt Anderson, treasurer, Tim Penny for Governor:  $250

      P. Fred Storti, treasurer, Minnesota Elementary Schools Principal's Association:  $254.25

 

·            Contribution Returned from Terminated Committee

 

(Vi) Underdahl Volunteer Committee:  $250

 

Civil Fine

 

Brian Biele, candidate, Elect Brian T. Biele Committee:  $100 (last payment on payment plan)

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted reports covering July through October 2002. 

 

 ADVISORY OPINION REQUEST

 

The following advisory opinion request is nonpublic data

 

Advisory Opinion Request #345 – Potential Conflict of Interest from an Associated Business (laid over from the October 23 meeting)

 

Board members reviewed a letter from a public official asking for guidance on Minnesota Statutes §10A.07, Conflict of Interest.  

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve Advisory Opinion 345 as drafted.           

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

 

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #345 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, November 20, 2002:

Serving on both a state board and as an employee of an organization that receives funding from organizations that are regulated by the state board creates the potential for a conflict of interest.   For an action or decision of a board member to be a conflict of interest the board member, or an organization that employs the board member, must benefit from the action or decision to a greater extent than any other individual or organization in the same business, profession, or occupation. 

 

The following advisory opinion request is public data

 

Advisory Opinion Request #346 – Noncampaign Disbursements for the Cost of Serving in Office

 

Board members reviewed a letter from Christopher Dietzen, legal counsel for Governor-

Elect Tim Pawlenty, who asked several questions concerning the appropriateness of paying expenditures for the Governor-Elect's transition committee from the Pawlenty for Governor Committee.  

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:                        To approve Advisory Opinion 346 as drafted.           

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed by five members (Chambers absent).

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #346 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, November 20, 2002:

Costs related to serving in office may occur prior to a winning candidate taking the oath of office.  Such costs may be paid with funds from the principal campaign committee of the candidate and reported as a non-campaign disbursement. 

 

LEGAL COUNSEL'S REPORT

 

Counsel Huwe presented the legal counsel report outlining the status of cases that have been turned over to the Attorney General's office (see copy of memo attached).

 

Counsel Huwe noted that the amended complaint from the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, Inc., David Racer, and The Committee for State Pro-Life Candidates against the Board, et al., was amended on November 15th.  The Board has 30 days to file the responsive pleadings.

 

Ms. Olson stated that the Republican Party of Minnesota (Committee) has not paid the $4,000 civil penalty imposed on the Committee for violation of Minn. Stat. §10A.17, subd. 4 (see October 23rd Board minutes).  Board members directed Counsel Huwe to inform the Committee treasurer in writing that the payment is due.   

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

In the matter of the complaint regarding Carol Overland, Public Energy, Inc and Public Interveners Network, Inc – The Board issued findings showing that there is no probable cause to believe that Carol Overland meets the definition of lobbyist under Minn. Stat. §10A.01, subd. 212 (a) for Public Energy, Inc.  The Board found that there is probable cause to believe that Carol Overland meets the definition of lobbyist for Public Interveners Network, Inc.  The Board ordered that the findings and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board (see copy of findings attached).

 

In the matter of the complaint regarding Meg Tilley for State House of Representatives Committee – The Board issued findings showing that there is no probable cause to believe that the Meg Tilley for State House of Representatives Committee's use of the private residence in Eagan, MN as its campaign headquarters meets the reporting and recording threshold for an in-kind contribution under Minn. Stat. Ch. 10A.  The complaint regarding the Meg Tilley for State House of Representatives Committee is dismissed.  The Board ordered that the findings and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board (see copy of findings attached).

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jeanne Olson

Executive Director