STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Wednesday, October 22, 2003

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Conference Room 304

Third Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

 

 

 

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  (September 17, 2003)

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                        To approve the September 17, 2003, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for November 19, 2003.

 

Board members reviewed a schedule of 2004 tentative meeting dates. 

 

Nomination Committee

 

Chair Miller made the following appointments to the nominating committee:  Ms. Ashmore, Mr. Fluegel, and Chair Miller.  The committee will meet and report to the Board at the November Board meeting.

 

Chair Miller reported that he attended the oral arguments in the Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Life (MCCL), et al. v. Kelley, et al. on October 21, 2003.  

 

FEE SCHEDULE

 

Mark Scipioni, Management Consultant with the Department of Administration, Management Analysis Division presented cost analysis information and discussed fee options with Board members.  Cost analysis information and the process for clients to propose fee schedules for Board consideration is outlined on the Board's website.  Clients have until November 3rd to submit their proposals.  Further proposals will be presented at the November Board meeting.  

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·            Staff Activities

 

On October 1st Ms. Olson presented information at a Continuing Legal Education seminar for public attorneys in the legislative and executive branch.  Over 100 individuals attended the seminar.   

 

On October 8th Ms. Olson attended a meeting for executive directors of non-cabinet agencies hosted by the Departments of Administration, Finance, and Employee Relations.  Governor Pawlenty and the Commissioners provided information about the administration's vision for the state, the possible strike by state employees, and work on collaboration and sharing of services by state agencies, boards, and commissions.

 

On October 10th staff sent letters to 27 lobbyists and 39 lobbyist principals to remind them of the need to pay the $50 fee. 

 

As of October 21st lobbyists paid total fees of $136,600 and lobbyist principals paid fees totaling $58,000.

 

On October 21st Mr. Kelley presented information to the Minnesota Government Relations Council about the fee structure process.  Senator Ranum also spoke at the event.

 

·            Fee Structure Process

 

Following the September Board meeting, additional comments regarding the fee study were posted on the Board's website and an e-mail was sent to all ‘Interested Persons'.

 

·            Miscellaneous

 

Copies of the Annual Report, June 2002 – July 2003, and the Lobbyist Disbursement Summary, July 2002 – June 2003, were available for Board members.  Information from the March 15, 2003, Annual Report of Lobbyist Principals was included in the Lobbyist Disbursement Summary for the first time.

The terms of Sidney Pauly and Doug Kelley expire at the end of the year. 

 

·            Correspondence

 

A letter from Senator John Marty concerning the Board's ruling on the matter of the complaint regarding the Minnesota Vikings was available for Board members.

 

·            Definition of Lobbyist Principal

 

Ms. Olson told Board members that the laws of 2003, which changed the definition of lobbyist, inadvertently omitted a specific reference to political subdivisions and public higher education systems.  The language omitted in the statutory change removed the basis used to exclude political subdivisions and public higher education systems from the definition of lobbyist principal.  This change would require those entities to file the Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal, pay the annual lobbyist principal fee, and make them subject to the gift ban law under Minn. Stat. §10A.071.  Ms. Olson also noted that advisory opinions 224 and 297, which advised the requesters that political subdivisions and public higher education systems are not principals, may need to be rescinded.

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:            To rescind advisory opinions 224 and 297 and direct staff to send notification of the law change, a copy of the gift ban law, and the gift ban primer to all affected entities with copies to legislative leadership.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

[Editor's note:  Following the Board meeting, staff determined that the reference to political subdivisions and public higher education systems was included in another statutory provision.  Therefore, political subdivisions and public higher education systems continue to be excluded from the definition of lobbyist principal.  The affected entities have been notified.]

 

Enforcement Report

Consent Agenda

 

Board Action:            Authorization for referral to the Office of the Attorney General and imposition of a $1,000 civil penalty for failure to file an Original Statement of Economic Interest.  Reminder notices have been sent and staff attempted to contact Mr. Williams by telephone.

 

                                    Michael Williams, Public Member, Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission, $100

 

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

 

Board members discussed the automatic imposition of the $1,000 civil penalty.

 

Ms. Pauly's AMENDED MOTION:            To remove Michael Williams from the consent item agenda and  direct staff to refer Mr. Williams to the Office of the Attorney General and direct Counsel Huwe to notify Mr. Williams of the possibility of a potential $1,000 civil penalty for failure to file the statement.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

Amended Consent Agenda

 

Board Action:            Authorization of a certified letter to compel the termination of inactive committees and subsequent legal enforcement action if the committees fail to terminate.  Two notices, including one certified notice, have been sent to each committee treasurer or candidate, and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.  Staff recommends that these individuals be referred to the Office of the Attorney General if they fail to terminate.

 

Bradley Bennett, candidate, (Bradley) Bennett Volunteer Committee

 

James Berg, candidate, Jim Berg Volunteer Committee

Ryan Engel, treasurer, AFSCME Council 14 Local 1076

Sander Grotjohn, treasurer, MFT-Local 1330 COPE Fund

Caroll Holstrom, candidate, Caroll Holstrom Campaign Fund

 

Jose Luciano, candidate, (Jose) Luciano Volunteer Committee

 

James Mangan, candidate, James A. Mangan Campaign Committee (Senate)

 

Bill Neuman, candidate, Volunteers for Bill Neuman

Thomas Ross, candidate, Friends of Thomas Ross

Scott Van Binsbergen, candidate, Scott Van Binsbergen for Minnesota State Representative

 

Eldon Warkentin, candidate, Volunteers for (Eldon) Warkentin

 

Mr. Milbert's MOTION:            To authorize the actions specified in the consent matter.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

 

Failure to pay the annual lobbyist and principal fee due August 1, 2003

 

Four letters, including two certified letters, have been mailed to each lobbyist and principal that has not paid the fee. 

 

Ms. Ashmore's MOTION:            To: 1) direct staff to publish on the Board's website a list of lobbyists and principals who have not paid the fee; and 2) refer lobbyists and principals who have not paid the fee to the Office of the Attorney General for legal action. 

 

Vote on MOTION:                        Unanimously passed.

 

Authorization to subpoena records from individuals who received public subsidy funds and failed to file the required Reports of Receipts and Expenditures

 

Mark Borsheim, (Mark) Borsheim for Representative - Mr. Borsheim received two public subsidy payments totaling $3,550.59.  Mr. Borsheim has not filed the Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002, October 28, 2002, and January 31, 2003.  Two judgments totaling $1,530 have been obtained for the failure to file the August 26, 2002, and October 28, 2002, reports.  No judgment has been obtained for the failure to file the year-end report. 

 

Sheree Breedlove, Sheree Breedlove Volunteer Committee - Ms. Breedlove received two public subsidy payments totaling $4,158.36.  Ms. Breedlove has not filed the Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002, and January 31, 2003.  A judgment of $1,540 has been obtained for the failure to file the October 28, 2002, report.  No judgment has been obtained for the failure to file the year-end report.  Ms. Breedlove's 2002 public subsidy payment was reduced by $1,863.72 because she failed to return public subsidy funds received in 2000 that were in excess of her campaign expenditures. 

 

Ray Egan, (Ray) Egan for Senate - Mr. Egan received two public subsidy payments totaling $10,797.82.  Mr. Egan has not filed the Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002, and January 31, 2003.  A judgment of $1,566 has been obtained for the failure to file the October 28, 2002, report.  Mr. Egan has also been referred to the Office of the Attorney General for failure to file his Lobbyist Disbursement Report for ABATE Minnesota due January 15, 2003, and ABATE's Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal due March 17, 2003.  Mr. Egan also owes $170 in late filing fees for the late filing of Lobbyist Disbursement Reports due January 15, 2002, for ABATE Minnesota and Minnesota Motorcycle Riders Association and service of process fees totaling $235 for other cases pending against him.  In addition, Mr. Egan has not paid $100 in lobbyist fees due August 1, 2003.

 

Phil Ratté, (Phil) Ratté for State Representative - Mr. Ratté received two public subsidy payments totaling $568.  Mr. Ratté has not filed the Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002, or January 31, 2003.  A judgment of $1,540 has been obtained for failure to file the Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002.  No judgment has been obtained for failure to file the year-end report.  In addition, a judgment of $138 has been obtained for failure to file the report due January 31, 2001, and a $133 judgment has been obtained for failure to file the report due January 31, 2002.  Mr. Ratté also owes service of process fees totaling $170.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To direct Counsel Huwe to subpoena the records of the (Mark) Borsheim for Representative committee, the Sherre Breedlove Volunteer Committee, the (Ray) Egan for Senate committee, and the (Phil) Ratte for State Representative committee.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Waiver requests

 

·            Annual Lobbyist Fee due August 1, 2003

 

James M. Neilson, Minnesota Bar Association, $50 – In his waiver request

Mr. Neilson states that he registered as a lobbyist in 1975, was never paid to lobby, and never had to register as a lobbyist.  He terminated his registration on May 28, 2003.  No motion was made.

 

·            Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001, January 31, 2002, August 26, 2002, October 28, 2002, and January 31, 2003 

 

Christopher Berg, treasurer, 4th Congressional District Labor Federation, $4,527 ($1,300 late filing fees, $3,000 civil penalties, $257 court and service of process fees) - The five reports were received in the Board office on September 25, 2003.  Judgments have been obtained for four of the reports.  Mr. Berg understands that he is responsible for all court and service of process fees.  In his waiver request Mr. Berg stated that the committee has not been active since December 2000.  Mr. Berg has terminated the committee.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To: 1) deny Mr. Berg's request to waive the $1,300 in late filing fees; and 2) to approve Mr. Berg's request to waive the $3,000 in civil penalties.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

·            Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001, January 31, 2002, and January 31, 2003 

 

Christopher Berg, candidate, Chris Berg for State Senate, $1,300 ($300 late filing fees, $1,000 civil penalty, $122 court and service of process fees)  - The three reports were received in the Board office on September 25, 2003.  Judgments have been obtained for two of the reports.  Mr. Berg understands that he is responsible for all court and service of process fees.  In his waiver request Mr. Berg stated that the committee has not been active since December 2000.  Mr. Berg has terminated the committee.

 

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To: 1) deny Mr. Berg's request to waive the $300 in late filing fees; and 2) to approve Mr. Berg's request to waive the $1,000 civil penalty.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

·            Lobbyist Disbursement Reports due January 15 and April 15, 2003 

 

Bridget Cronin Sutton, Families for Effective Autism Treatment (“F.E.A.T.), $2,200 ($200 late filing fees, $2,000 civil penalties) - Both reports were received in the Board office on October 17, 2003.  In her waiver request Ms. Sutton stated that she left the F.E.A.T. office on January 19, 2003.  She further stated that in April 2003, she faxed a Statement of Termination and a Lobbyist Disbursement Report from the F.E.A.T. office.  She was never informed by F.E.A.T. that her fax was not successfully sent nor was she informed of subsequent attempts by staff to contact her by telephone and mail.  Ms. Sutton stated she was not aware of her failure to file until October 2003.

 

Mr. Milbert's MOTION:            To approve Ms. Sutton's request to waive the $200 in late filing fees and $2,000 in civil penalties due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

·            Original Statement of Economic Interest due September 8, 2003

 

Mae Beecham, Member, Board of Marriage and Family Therapy, $70 – The Original Statement of Economic Interest was received in the Board office on October 16, 2003.  In her waiver request Ms. Beecham stated that she was out of town between July and September 2003, and was not aware that she was required to file a Statement of Economic Interest.

 

Mr. Milbert's MOTION:            To approve Ms. Beecham's request to waive the $70 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

 

 Payment of late filing fees

 

·            Annual lobbyist principal fee due August 1, 2003

 

Allied Waste/Browning-Ferris Industries:  $100

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due September 3, 1996

 

Connie Janssen, (Connie) Janssen Volunteer Committee:  $4 ($96 previously obtained through the Revenue Recapture program)

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 1996

 

Connie Janssen, (Connie) Janssen Volunteer Committee:  $500

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 1997

 

Connie Janssen, (Connie) Janssen Volunteer Committee:  $100

 

·            Original Statement of Economic Interest

           

Roslyn Wade, Assistant Commissioner, Labor and Industry Department:  $100

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 21, 2002

           

Laverne Turner, (Laverne) Turner for Senate:  $30 (Balance due $270)

 

Payment of interest on judgments

 

·            Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due September 3, 1996, October 28, 1996, and January 31, 1997

 

Connie Janssen, (Connie) Janssen Volunteer Committee:  $104.30

 

Payment of service of process fees

 

·            Reports of Receipts and Expenditures due September 3, 1996, October 28, 1996, and January 31, 1997

 

Connie Janssen, (Connie) Janssen Volunteer Committee:  $78

 

Civil penalty

 

·            Conciliation Agreement

 

Dick Borrell, (Dick) Borrell for 19B - In calendar year 2003, the (Dick) Borrell for 19B committee accepted a facially excessive contribution that exceeded the applicable contribution limit by $50.  The amount of the excess contribution was returned by the committee, but not within 60 days as required by Minn. Stat. §10A.15, subd. 3.  On September 8, 2003, Mr. Borrell entered into a conciliation agreement and paid a civil fine of $100.

 

Anonymous contribution

 

Susan Olson, treasurer, Volunteers for (Patricia) Sundberg:  $38.46

 

 

Gift to State General Fund upon termination of a committee

 

James Gilbert, candidate, Citizens for Justice Gilbert:  $6,235.12

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted a report covering July 1 through September 2003.

 

Legislative Recommendations

 

Board members reviewed a list of possible legislative recommendations for 2004 (see list of recommendations attached).  Chair Miller made the following appointments to the legislative recommendations committee:  Chair Fluegel, Ms. Ashmore, Mr. Milbert, and Chair Miller, ex officio.  The committee will meet and report to the Board no later than the January Board meeting.

 

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 following the oral arguments in the Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Life (MCCL), et al. v. Kelley, et al. on October 21st, the judge has 30 days to make a decision, but may postpone a decision pending a ruling in the McCain/Feingold case in federal court.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Amended Findings in the Matter of the Complaint Regarding the Corporate Commission of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians and H. Theodore Grindal  

 

At its meeting of August 27, 2003, the Board approved findings in the matter of a complaint filed by David Hoch against the Corporate Commission of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians and H. Theodore Grindal.  Staff was contacted by Mr. Hoch, who noted that #3 in the evidentiary finding stated that Mr. Grindal amended his Lobbyist Disbursement Report to disclose an additional $179,735.58 in media advertisements.  However, Mr. Grindal's amended Lobbyist Disbursement Report disclosed the additional $179,735.58 in multiple lobbying disbursement categories. 

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To direct staff to amend the draft to exclude a note on further amendments made by Mr. Grindal and approve the amended findings.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed .

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint Regarding (Dave) Engstrom for Senate Committee - The Board issued findings showing that there is probable cause to believe that the (Dave) Engstrom for Senate committee used a fax machine, office phone, office e-mail address in the office of Minnesota Housing Resources, Inc.for campaign-related communications and failed to disclose the fair market costs on his Report of Receipts and Expenditures. 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 Richard Cohen – The Board issued findings showing that there is no probable cause to believe that Senator Cohen was required to disclose compensation received for his work as a self-employed attorney on his Statements of Economic Interest, under Minn. Stat. §10A.09.  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 Mee Moua – The Board issued findings to show that there is probable cause to believe that Senator Moua inadvertently violated Minn. Stat. §10A.09, when she failed to disclose the compensation received from Leonard, Street and Deinard in April, 2002, on her Supplemental Statement of Economic Interest originally filed on July 25, 2002.  Because Senator Moua amended her Supplemental Statement of Economic Interest originally filed on July 25, 2002, there is no probable cause to believe a reporting violation continues to exist.  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 John Marty – The Board issued findings to show that there is no probable cause to believe that Senator Marty was required to disclose any compensation received for his work as a writer on his Statements of Economic Interest, under Minn. Stat. §10A.09.  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 John Hottinger – The Board issued findings to show that there is no probable cause to believe that Senator Hottinger was required to disclose compensation received for his work as a contract attorney for McKenzie and Gustafson on his Statements of Economic Interest, under Minn. Stat. §10A.09.  The Board ordered that the findings and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint Regarding Dallas Sams – The Board issued findings showing that there is probable cause to believe that Senator Sams inadvertently violated Minn. Stat. §10A.09, when he failed to disclose his interest in Sams Farms, Inc. on his previously filed Statements of Economic Interest.  Because Senator Sams has amended all previously filed Statements of Economic Interest, there is no reason to believe a reporting violation continues to exist.  The Board ordered that the findings and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint Regarding Prairie Island Dakota Community Prairie Island and John Knapp – The Board issued findings showing that there is no probable cause to believe that the reporting violations alleged in the complaint continue to exist.  Mr. Knapp amended his Lobbyist Disbursement Reports for the periods covering January 1 through March 31, 2002, January 1 through March 31, 2003, and April 1 through June 30, 2003, to include all lobbying disbursements made by the Prairie Island Dakota Community within ten days of receiving the Board's inquiry regarding the complaint.  Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A provides no penalty for this violation.  The Board ordered that the findings and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jeanne Olson

Executive Director

 

 

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