STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

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Ladyslipper Conference Room

Ground Level, Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Chair Miller.

 

Members present:  Ashmore, Fluegel, Kelley, Milbert, Miller, Pauly

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

 

MINUTES  (April 23, 2003)

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                To approve the April 23, 2003, minutes as drafted.

 

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

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for June 25, 2003.   

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

Staff Activities

 

Jeff Sigurdson attended the annual Heartland conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, on April 28th and 29th.  He presented information about the Board's recently compiled data regarding registration fees for lobbyists, candidates, public officials, etc. charged by agencies through out the 50 states.   

 

The Review of States' Registration Fees for Lobbyists, Political Committees, Candidates for Office, and Public Officials was sent via e-mail to all United States members of the Conference on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL).  The document has been well received and will be updated yearly by COGEL.

 

 

Information technology staff is working on a process to allow lobbyists to register and report electronically via the internet.  Based on the new requirement for fee collection, we will consider the possibility of establishing a mechanism for payments to be made electronically on the Board's website using credit cards.

 

Legislation

 

The following items are provided for in the special session:

 

·            The Board's annual appropriation is $712,000.  This figure includes $15,000 in technology infrastructure money for small agencies and a small increase to assist in the development of a fee collection process.

 

·            The fee structure in the bill calls for each lobbyist registered on January 15, 2003, to pay a fee of $50 per client by August 1, 2003.  Each lobbyist principal required to file a report on March 15, 2003, is required to pay a fee of $50 by August 1, 2003.  Both provisions sunset on June 30, 2004. 

 

·            The Board is directed to work with the regulated community (lobbyists, political committees, political funds, political party units, and principal campaign committees) to develop a fair and equitable fee schedule to begin in fiscal year 2005. The recommended fee schedule must be completed by January 15, 2004.

 

·            The lobbyist definition is amended to read, in part, that a lobbyist is an individual who is paid more than $3,000, from all sources, in any year.  The five-hour time provision is removed. 

 

·            There is new clarifying language that provides that volunteers who are not paid are not required to register nor are lobbyist support staff if their salary and associated administrative costs are reported by the lobbyist.

 

·            The legislation provides for the elimination of one of the Lobbyist Disbursement Reports.  Currently reports are due January 15th, April 15th, and July 15th.  Beginning in 2004 reports will be due January 15th and June 15th.  As stated above, the Board is also directed to allow for electronic filing of lobbyist registration and reporting forms.  These provisions attempt to decrease the Board's administrative costs for the lobbying program and thereby decrease lobbyist registration fees.

 

·            New legislation allows the Board to accept electronic signatures consisting of passwords assigned by the Board.  This will facilitate the electronic filing of lobbyist's registrations and reports immediately and all required reports in the future.

 

·            The Political Contribution Refund program, public financing check-off, and the $1.5 million appropriation to the general account of the state elections campaign fund remain as they have been. 

 

·            The Board's legislative recommendations passed the Senate.  The bill was not heard by the full House.  The Senate removed the proposed change in the definition of ‘first-time candidate'. 

 

Personnel

 

Jeff Sigurdson reviewed the performance of Joyce Larson for the past year.  Ms. Larson's performance exceeds expectations and she will receive a step increase under the terms of the AFSCME contract.

 

The Board's student worker, Monica Fuentes, position ended on May 22nd. 

 

Miscellaneous

 

The annual COGEL conference is scheduled for September 21 – 24 in Austin, Texas.  Generally, two staff and two Board members attend the conference. 

 

Enforcement Report

 

Consent Items

 

Board Action:             Authorization for referral to the Office of the Attorney General for failure to file the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 2003, and imposition of a $1,000 civil penalty.  A late filing fee of $5 per day began to accrue on May 12, 2003.  Two certified letters have been sent and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

 

                               Bridget Cronin, Families for Effective Autism Treatment

Ray Egan, ABATE Minnesota

Ray Egan, Minnesota Motorcycle Riders Association

Kathleen Maher, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

Suzanne McIntosh, Clean Water Action Alliance

Carol Overland, Public Intervenors Network, Inc. [Editor's note:  Ms. Overland's report was received in the Board office on May 28th]

 

Board Action:                        Authorization of a certified letter for payment of late filing fees, which accrued because of the late filing of the Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal due March 17, 2003.  Two reminder notices have been sent to the individual who filed the report and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

 

Advocates for Marketplace:  $10

American Massage Therapy Association:  $20

Andersen Corporation:  $5

Associated Contract Loggers:  $25

Clean Water Action Alliance:  $25

ClearChannel Outdoor:  $10

Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education:  $5

Minnesota Association of Charter Schools:  $5

Minnesota Hospital and Healthcare:  $10

Minnesota State University Student Association:  $100

Northwest Airlines, Inc.:  $20

Northwest Corridor:  $10

Outfront Minnesota:  $20

Public Intervenors Network:  $30

PureChoice, Inc.:  $25

Sustainable Energy for Economic Development:  $25

 

Board Action:                        Authorization of a certified letter for payment of late filing fees, which accrued because of the late filing of the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due January 15, 2003.  Two reminder notices have been sent to each lobbyist and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

 

C. Scott Cooper, OutFront Minnesota:  $55

Erin Jordahl, Minnesota Humane Society:  $30

Deborah Loeser, Xcel Energy Services:  $20

Joy Sorenson Navarre, Minnesota Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing:  $20

 

Timothy Shields, Minnesota Federated Humane Society:  $40

Francis X. Viggiano, Minnesota State University Student Association:  $100

 

Marie Zellar, Clean Water Action Alliance:  $100

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:                        To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

 

Waiver requests

 

·         Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002, and January 31, 2003

 

       Laverne Turner, candidate, (Laverne) Turner for Senate, $2,600 ($600 in late filing fees, $2,000 civil penalties) - Both reports were received in the Board office on May 27, 2003.  In his request, Mr. Turner stated that he encountered difficulties with his treasurer, and that he was frequently out of town and unaware that the Board was seeking information from him.  Mr. Turner has amended his registration to become his own treasurer. 

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To: 1) deny Mr. Turner's request to waive the $600 in late filing fees; and 2) deny Mr. Turner's request to waive the $2,000 civil penalty and reduce the civil penalty to $1,000.

 

Vote on MOTION:     Unanimously passed.

 

       Judy Gilbert, treasurer, 57th Senate District DFL, $2,600 ($600 in late filing fees, $2,000 civil penalties) – A Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering the period January 1 through December 31, 2002, was received in the Board office on May 7, 2003.  In her waiver request, Ms. Gilbert stated that the treasurer appointed in 2002 provided members of the 57th Senate District with assurances that reporting obligations were being met, when in fact, they were not.  Ms. Gilbert stated that she was unable to obtain records from the previous treasurer until April 24, 2003, at which time she completed a report that she believes contains inaccuracies in the committees bank balance, given the limited information she has been able to obtain from the previous treasurer.

 

Mr. Milbert's MOTION:            To: 1) deny Ms. Gilbert's request to waive the $600 in late filing fees; and 2) approve Ms. Gilbert's request to waive the $2,000 in civil penalties.

 

Vote on MOTION:     Unanimously passed.

 

Ms. Pauly offered an amendment to the motion.

Mr. Milbert's AMENDED MOTION:            To: 1) deny Ms. Gilbert's request to waive the $600 in late filing fees; 2) approve Ms. Gilbert's request to waive the $2,000 in civil penalties; and 3) require Ms. Gilbert to continue working with Board staff to make every reasonable effort to reconcile the committee's reports.

 

Vote on AMENDED MOTION:     Unanimously passed.

 

·         Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal due March 17, 2003

 

       John Bathke, lobbyist, Minnesota Forestry Association, $1,100 ($100 late filing fee and $1,000 civil penalty) – The Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal was received in the Board office on May 12, 2003.  In his waiver request Mr. Bathke stated that this is the first year that this association has not had an Executive Director and that he was unaware of the Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal requirement. 

 

Mr. Milbert's MOTION:            To: 1) deny Mr. Bathke's request to waive the $100 late filing fee; and 2) deny Mr. Bathke's request to waive the $1,000 civil penalty and reduce the civil penalty to $100.

 

Vote on MOTION:     Unanimously passed.

 

Authorization to administratively terminate a lobbyist registration and to waive the late filing fee for the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 2003

 

Nancy Christianson, McDonough Organization with Respect and Equality (MORE) - MORE staff notified Board staff that Ms. Christianson was in a serious accident on February 27, 2003.  MORE staff does not anticipate that Ms. Christianson will return to lobbying and requested that the Board administratively terminate her registration as a lobbyist.  Due to the accident, Ms. Christianson's report due April 15, 2003, was not received.  All previous Lobbyist Disbursement Reports were filed on time.

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:                        To approve the request of the McDonough Organization with Respect and Equality and direct staff to administratively terminate Ms. Christianson's lobbyist registration and discontinue efforts to secure the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 2003, and any late file fee that may have accrued.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

 

 

Requests for extension to amend the Report of Receipts and Expenditures

 

·            Daniel Justesen, treasurer, Independence Party of Minnesota - On May 16, 2003, the Board requested that the Independence Party of Minnesota provide additional information regarding the committee's Report of Receipts and Expenditures for calendar year 2002.  In his request  dated May 23, 2003, Mr. Justesen asked for an extension to respond to this inquiry until June 28, 2003.

 

·            Dee Drier, treasurer, (Satveer) Chaudhary for Senate - On May 8, 2003, the Board requested that the (Satveer) Chaudhary for Senate Committee provide additional information regarding the committee's Report of Receipts and Expenditures for calendar year 2002.  On May 23, 2003, Ms. Drier asked for an extension to respond to the Board's inquiry until June 30, 2003.   

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                        To approve the requests of Mr. Justesen and Ms. Drier to extend the deadline for amending the Report of Receipts and Expenditures for the Independence Party of Minnesota and the Chaudhary for Senate committee respectively.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

·            Kim Ellison, treasurer, Committee to Elect Keith Ellison - On March 18, 2003, Board staff requested that the Committee to Elect Keith Ellison provide additional information regarding the committee's Report of Receipts and Expenditures for calendar year 2002.  On May 27, 2003, Ms. Ellison asked for an extension to respond to the Board's inquiry until June 20, 2003.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve the request of Ms. Ellison to extend the deadline for amending the Report of Receipts and Expenditures for the Committee to Elect Keith Ellison.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Mr. Milbert's MOTION:                        To authorize the Board Executive Director to approve future written  requests for an extension on an amendment to a committee report of up to 10 days without notifying the Board.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of late filing fees

 

·         Report of Receipts and Expenditures due September 3, 1996

 

       Connie Janssen, candidate, Connie Janssen Volunteer Committee:  $62 (through Revenue Recapture, remaining balance due, $38)

 

·         Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 30, 2000

 

       Dennis Grubich, candidate, (Dennis) Grubich for State Representative:  $116 (through Revenue Recapture, final payment)

 

·         Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2002

 

      Sheree Breedlove, candidate, Sheree Breedlove Volunteer Committee:  $15 (through Revenue Recapture, final payment)

 

      Dennis Grubich, candidate, (Dennis) Grubich for State Representative:  $100 (through Revenue Recapture, final payment)

 

·         Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002

 

      Sheree Breedlove, candidate, Sheree Breedlove Volunteer Committee:  $478.40 (through Revenue Recapture, remaining balance due, $21.60)

 

      Mike Fitzpatrick, treasurer, 17B House District RPM:  $40 (through Revenue Recapture, remaining balance, $210)

 

      John Thorson, member, AFSCME Council 14 PEOPLE Fund:  $500

      Jennifer O'Rourke, treasurer, Minnesotans for a Democratic Majority, $35 (remaining balance, $210)

 

·         Report of Large Pre-general election contribution or loan

 

       Donald Hewitt, treasurer, Citizens for Julie Ward:  $500

 

·         Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2003

 

Ellen Anderson, candidate, Ellen Anderson for Senate Volunteer Committee:  $15

Marsha Miller, treasurer, (Ronald) Dicklich for Senate:  $5

Tom Paulson, treasurer, Ken McInnis Volunteer Committee:  $20

Michael Rentz, candidate, Friends of Michael Rentz:  $20

Adam Chose, treasurer, (Noah) Rouen Volunteer Committee:  $15

Gary Sabby, candidate, (Gary) Sabby Campaign Committee:  $30

Susan Rego, treasurer, (John) Skoog for State Representative:  $5

Justin Wallin, candidate, Justin Wallin for Senate:  $5

Carol A. White, candidate, Committee to Elect Carol A. White:  $5

 

·         Amendment to Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2003

 

      Eric Lipman, candidate, (Eric) Lipman for State Representative:  $10

 

·         Special Election District 52B Report of Receipts and Expenditures due February 4, 2003

 

      Jay Kimble, candidate, (Jay) Kimble Volunteer Committee:  $150

 

·         Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 2003

 

Tarryl Clark, lobbyist, Minnesota Community Action Association:  $15

John Eckerman, lobbyist, Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce:  $30

Phillip Kapler, lobbyist, Committee of Nine:  $30

Phillip Qualy, lobbyist, Phillip Qualy:  $5

 

·         Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal due March 17, 2003

 

ARC of Hennepin County:  $5

COLLPAC:  $20

Courage Center:  $10

FRM Associates:  $10

Holiday Companies:  $25

Minnesota Association of Personnel Services:  $15

Minnesota Rural Education Association:  $5

Multi-Gaming Management, Inc.:  $20

West-Metro Education:  $20

 

·         Service of Process Fees

 

       Sheree Breedlove, candidate, Sheree Breedlove Volunteer Committee:  $114 (through Revenue Recapture, final payment)

Payment of Civil Fines

 

·            Conciliation agreements

 

Betty Folliard, candidate, Volunteers for Betty Folliard – In calendar year 2002, the Volunteers for Betty Folliard committee accepted aggregate contributions in excess of the special source contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $169 the applicable contribution limit.  This was the second calendar year in which the Volunteers for Betty Folliard committee exceeded the special source contribution limit.  Representative Folliard entered into a conciliation agreement on May 3, 2003, agreeing to return to contributors an amount sufficient to bring the committee in compliance with Minn. Stat. §10A.27, sub 11, and paid a civil fine of $338.

 

       Dean Johnson, candidate, (Dean) Johnson Volunteer Committee – In calendar year 2002, the Johnson Volunteer Committee accepted aggregate contributions in excess of the special source contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $157 the applicable contribution limit.  Senator Johnson entered into a conciliation agreement on April 27, 2003, agreeing to return to contributors an amount sufficient to bring the committee in compliance with Minn. Stat. §10A.27, sub 11, and paid a civil fine of $157.

 

       Mary Kiffmeyer, candidate, (Mary) Kiffmeyer for Secretary of State – In calendar year 2002, the Kiffmeyer for Secretary of State committee accepted aggregate contributions in excess of the special source contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $50 the applicable contribution limit.  Secretary of State Kiffmeyer returned $50 to one contributor, entered into a conciliation agreement on April 28, 2003, and paid a civil fine of $50.  

 

       Connie Ruth, candidate, Connie Ruth Volunteer Committee – In calendar year 2002, the Connie Ruth Volunteer Committee accepted aggregate contributions in excess of the special source contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $150 the applicable contribution limit.  Representative Ruth returned $150 to one contributor, entered into a conciliation agreement on May 6, 2003, and paid a civil fine of $150.

 

       Steven Strachan, candidate, (Steven) Strachan Volunteer Committee – In calendar year 2002, the Strachan Volunteer Committee accepted aggregate contributions in excess of the special source contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $390.35 the applicable contribution limit.  Representative Strachan entered into a conciliation agreement on May 10, 2003, agreeing to return to contributors an amount sufficient to bring the committee in compliance with Minn. Stat. §10A.27, sub 11, and paid a civil fine of $390.35. 

 

 

·            Failure to timely file Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002

 

        John Thorson, member, AFSCME Council 14 PEOPLE Fund:  $500

 

Satisfaction of Conciliation Agreement:

 

·         Patricia Anderson Awada, candidate, Patricia Anderson Awada for State Auditor Committee – In calendar year 2002 the Patricia Anderson Awada for State Auditor Committee accepted aggregate contributions in excess of the special source contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $2,282.75 the applicable contribution limit.  State Auditor Awada entered into a conciliation agreement on April 27, 2003, agreeing to return to contributors an amount sufficient to bring the committee in compliance with Minn. Stat. §10A.27, sub 11.  The Board imposed no civil fine.

 

·         Dan Sparks, candidate, Citizens for (Dan) Sparks Committee – In calendar year 2002, the Citizens for (Dan) Sparks Committee accepted aggregate contributions in excess of the special source contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $439.50 the applicable contribution limit.  Senator Sparks entered into a conciliation agreement on May 6, 2003, agreeing to return to contributors an amount sufficient to bring the committee in compliance with Minn. Stat. §10A.27, sub 11.  The Board imposed no civil fine.

 

Gift upon termination of a committee

 

·         State Elections Fund

 

       David Knutson, treasurer, Minnesota Public Defender PAC:  $666.47

 

·         State General Fund

 

       Michael Rentz, candidate, Friends of Michael Rentz:  $386.12

 

Proposed Spending Plan Fiscal Year 2004

 

Board members reviewed a draft spending plan for fiscal year 2004.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                        To approve the spending plan for fiscal year 2004 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

 

Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan

 

Board members reviewed a draft Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan based on the new conceal and carry laws that take effect today.

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:                        To approve the Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Employee Training and Development Plan

 

The Employee Training and Development Plan as approved in June 2002, was provided to Board members.  No changes were made for fiscal year 2004.

 

Mr. Milbert's MOTION:            To reaffirm the Employee Training and Development Plan for fiscal year 2004.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted reports covering July 2002 through April 2003. 

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUEST

 

The following advisory opinion request is nonpublic data

 

Advisory Opinion Request #348 – Acceptance of Gifts by a Local Official in a Metropolitan Governmental Unit

 

Board members reviewed the advisory opinion request from a local official who asked if the official may accept certain gifts from lobbyists or lobbyist principals based on several hypothetical situations. 

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:                        To approve Advisory Opinion 348 as drafted.           

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #348 signed by Chair Clyde Miller, May 28, 2003:  A metropolitan governmental unit may not retroactively accept gifts to local officials in order to make the gifts permissible under the provisions of Minn. Stat. §10A.071.

 

 

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 and chart attached).  

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

8th Congressional COPE AFL-CIO Fund –The Board issued findings showing that there is probable cause to believe that the 8th Congressional COPE AFL-CIO Fund violated Minn. Stat. §10A.27, subd. 13, when it accepted excess contributions from 12 unregistered associations on August 20, 2002.  The Board ordered the Fund to return the amount in excess of $100 to the 12 unregistered associations.  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

 

 

 

 

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