STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Wednesday, June 25, 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, Miller, Pauly

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

 

Mr. Milbert informed Board members he would be unable to attend the meeting.

 

MINUTES  (May 28, 2003)

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:           To approve the May 28, 2003, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed by four members (Kelley absent).

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for August 27, 2003.   

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

Staff Activities

 

Letters were sent to 38 principal campaign committees and 11 political committees and funds informing them of their ‘inactive' status and the requirement for them to pay debts, dispose of assets, and terminate their registration with the Board within 60 days of the letter.  As of today, one principal campaign committee and one political committee have terminated.

 

Letters were sent to 25 principal campaign committees that made contributions to other principal campaign committees during 2002.  The letter reminded the candidates that they must terminate their registration within one year after the first contribution was made.  As of today, one candidate terminated their registration and two candidates notified us that the letter was sent to them in error.

 

Ms. Olson has been invited to appear on a local access cable program hosted by Bob Cardinal, the mayor of Maplewood, on August 7th.  Mr. Cardinal wants to discuss campaign finance regulations and the gift ban. 

 

Legislation

 

The Board's legislative recommendations were not heard by the full House.  The bill may still be passed during the 2004 legislative session. 

 

Staff has begun work with the consultant from Management Analysis on the fee schedule due to the legislature by January 15, 2004. 

 

Staff will send a letter on June 30th to each lobbyist and lobbyist principal informing them that, based on new legislation, they need to pay a $50 fee to the Board by August 1st.  Any lobbyist who was registered on January 15, 2003, must pay the fee even if they have subsequently terminated as a lobbyist.  Any principal who had a registered lobbyist during 2002 is required to pay the fee even if they no longer have a lobbyist registered in Minnesota.  Staff is reviewing methods for the collection, receipting, and deposit of the fees. 

 

A total of 207 lobbyist registrations have been terminated since January 16, 2003.  As stated above, those lobbyists who terminated their registrations after January 15th are still required to pay the $50 on August 1st.   Late payment or failure to pay the fee carries the same penalties as late filing or failure to file a periodic report - $5 a day late filing fee beginning eleven days after a first certified notice is mailed and $1,000 civil penalty on the seventh day after a second certified notice is mailed. 

 

Three changes were made during the 2003 session that impact the Economic Interest Program:

 

  1. The Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy is established.  The Board consists of 13 members appointed by the governor.  The Board has the power to adopt administrative rules; therefore its members and executive director are public officials that need to file Statements of Economic Interest.

 

  1. The Department of Children Family and Learning is changed to the Department of Education

 

  1. The Departments of Economic Security and Trade and Economic Development are merged into the Department of Employment and Economic Development.  Because of the merger, fewer individuals will be required to file Statements of Economic Interest.

 

Personnel

 

Jeff Sigurdson reviewed the performance of Xiaowei Cao for the past year.  Ms. Cao's performance is above average and she will receive a step increase under the terms of the MAPE contract.

 

The hiring freeze will not be in effect after July 1.  Staff has begun the process to fill the receptionist position.   

 

Budget

 

State agencies are able to carry unexpended funds from FY2003 into FY2004.  Because of our two open positions for all or part of the last fiscal year, some funds will carry forward to the next fiscal year.  This carry forward will be reflected on the July financial statement.

 

The Department of Finance informed staff that the Board's budget may be decreased due to additional cuts to executive branch state agencies of $15,081,000.  We will be notified later what the cut will be, if any.

 

Miscellaneous

 

The Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) notified staff that they will not audit the Board's financial transactions this year.  In the past, the OLA audited the Board every two years to ensure that public subsidy payments were correctly made and other payments met state guidelines.  However, due to OLA budget cuts the Board will be audited every three years (like all other state agencies).

 

Staff notified individuals who previously requested copies of the annual Campaign Finance Summary by mail that it is available on the web and that the Summary, Annual Report, and Lobbyist Disbursement Summary will no longer be mailed.

 

Ms. Olson has received no additional information about the continuation of the travel ban.  If the travel ban continues after July 1st, transportation and lodging for the annual Council on Governmental Ethics Laws Conference will need to be paid by any attendees.  However, the registration fee may be paid from the Board's training budget.  Ms. Olson plans to attend the conference.

 

Enforcement Report

 

Discussion Items

 

Waiver Requests

 

           Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal due March 17, 2003

 

Jill Wilkinson, treasurer, Libertarian Party of Minnesota, $1,100 ($100 late filing fee, $1,000 civil penalty) – The annual Report of Lobbyist Principal was received in the Board office on May 16, 2003.  In her waiver request, Ms. Wilkinson stated that the report was not timely filed due to a change in the association's leadership. 

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:           To: 1) deny Ms. Wilkinson's request to waive the $100 late filing fee; and 2) approve Ms. Wilkinson's request to waive the $1,000 civil penalty.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2003

 

Larry McKenzie, candidate, Larry McKenzie Committee, $1,100 ($100 late filing fee, $1,000 civil penalty) – The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on June 17, 2003.  In his waiver request, Mr. McKenzie stated that he has not been an active candidate since 1996 and that his treasurer has moved out of state.  Mr. McKenzie has completed the forms necessary to terminate his committee. 

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:             To: 1) deny Mr. McKenzie's request to waive the $100 late filing fee; and 2) approve Mr. McKenzie's request to waive the $1,000 civil penalty.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

·            Lobbyist Disbursement Report due January 15, 2003

 

Erin Jordahl, lobbyist, Minnesota Humane Society, $30 – The Lobbyist Disbursement Report was received in the Board office on February 24, 2003.  No motion was made. 

 

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of late filing fees

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2002

 

Loyal Hyatt, (Loyal) Hyatt Campaign Committee:  $100

      Ray Wheeler, candidate, Ray Wheeler Volunteer Committee:  $100 (through Revenue Recapture, balance $0)

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002

 

Jennifer O'Rourke, treasurer, Minnesotans for Democratic Majority:  $35 (Payment schedule balance due, $175)

 

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

 

Judy Gilbert, treasurer, 57th Senate District DFL:  $600

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2003

 

Joseph Maiers, treasurer, 15th Senate District RPM:  $70

    

·            Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal due March 17, 2003

 

Advocates for Marketplace Options for Mainstreet:  $10

American Massage Therapy Association:  $20

Bob Erickson:  $100

Clear Channel Outdoor, Inc.:  $10

Minnesota Alliance for Arts in Education:  $5

Minnesota Association of Charter Schools:  $5

Minnesota Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing:  $20

Northwest Corridor Partnership:  $10

Outfront Minnesota:  $20

Pure Choice:  $25

 

·            Lobbyist Disbursement Report due January 15, 2003

 

C. Scott Cooper, lobbyist, Outfront Minnesota:  $55

 

Payment of civil fines

 

·            Acceptance of a Contribution during the Legislative Session

 

Lyall Delaney, candidate, Lyall Delaney Volunteer Committee:  $500

 

·            Conciliation Agreement

 

Brett Smith, candidate, Brett Smith Supporters, $616.10 – In calendar year 2002, the Brett Smith Supporters committee accepted aggregate contributions in excess of the special source contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $217.24 the applicable contribution limit.  The Brett Smith Supporters committee also exceeded the applicable campaign expenditure limit by $199.43.  Mr. Smith returned to contributors an amount sufficient to bring the committee in compliance with Minn. Stat. §10A.27, sub 11, and on May 20, 2003, entered into a conciliation agreement and paid a civil fine of $616.10.

 

Gift to State General Fund upon termination of a committee

 

James Seifert, candidate, Volunteers for Jim Seifert:  $73.01

 

Return of Excess Public Subsidy

 

Rory Koch, candidate, Citizens for Rory Koch:  $150.78

 

Fee Schedule Process

 

Board members reviewed a draft letter to be sent to all lobbyists, lobbyist principals, treasurers of political committees, political funds, political party units, and candidates and treasurers of principal campaign committees notifying them of the legislation directing the Board to consult with clients to develop an equitable schedule of fees to recover costs of regulating entities.  The letter was approved by Board consensus.

 

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

 

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).  

 

 

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint Regarding Carol Overland - The Board issued findings showing that there is probable cause to believe that Carol Overland, lobbyist for Public Intervenors Network, Inc., failed to disclose funds obtained from the McKnight Foundation to influence administrative action.  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).

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint Regarding Randy Kelly – The Board issued findings showing that there is probable cause to believe that Randy Kelly, Mayor, City of St. Paul, violated Minn. Stat. §10A.071, subd. 2, when he accepted a gift from a lobbyist principal.  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