STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Wednesday, November 19, 2003

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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 Miller.

 

Members present:  Ashmore, Kelley, Miller, Pauly

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

 

Mr. Fluegel and Mr. Milbert informed Board members they would be unable to attend the meeting.

 

MINUTES  (October 22, 2003)

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:                        To approve the October 22, 2003, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

·            Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting will be held on the afternoon of December 17th or 18th depending on the availability of Board members.

 

·            Nomination Sub-Committee Report

 

Chair Miller reported that the Nomination Sub-committee will recommend the following slate of officers for 2004 for approval at the December Board meeting:  Wil Fluegel, Chair and Teri Ashmore, Vice Chair.

 

 

 

 

FEE SCHEDULE

 

The Board reviewed and evaluated fee schedule options prepared by staff and the Board's consultant, Mark Scipioni, Management Analysis Division, Department of Administration.  The Board discussed alternatives and selected one option for each category of the Board's clients as specified in the legislative directive and the study guidelines (with the exception of Political Party Units, where two options were kept in discussion).  The Board asked staff and the consultant to make minor modifications to one of the Political Committees and Funds options as to fee levels and to the four Political Party Unit options to clarify that these options represented a “rate" that would be applied to the several levels of fees. 

 

The Board will confirm the selected options, as modified, and may select one of the Political Party Unit options at the December meeting.  Also at the December meeting, the Board will review the draft legislative report and/or an executive summary of the report.  A transmittal letter signed by the Board Chair will accompany the final report to the Legislature.  The Board directed that the communication to the Legislature should include a notation that the Board recommends that fees not be imposed on its clients, consistent with the information received in written comments and public meetings.  The report will be made available to interested parties before the January 15, 2004, deadline for delivery to the Legislature.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·            Staff Activities

 

As of today 17 lobbyists and 21 lobbyist principals have failed to pay the $50 fee.  However, $137,150 has been received from lobbyists and $58,300 from lobbyist principals.  The Attorney General's office sent letters on November 12th to the nonpaying individuals and principals about the need to pay the fee.  

 

Staff is receiving inquires about whether the fees must be reported by lobbyists and principals on periodic reports.  Pending a formal request for an advisory opinion, staff seeks direction from the Board about this issue. 

 

[Secretary's note:  Board members advised staff to inform lobbyists and principals that payment of fees to the Board should be included on the Lobbyist Disbursement Report and the Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal.]

 

The biennial request to state committees of each political party to provide the required list of its party units has been completed.  Staff is in the process of

 

securing the required amendments from those political party units that had a change in officers.

 

The annual request to Metropolitan Governmental Units to provide a list of the positions in the Unit that meet the definition of ‘local official' has been completed.  A list of those positions is available on the Board's website. 

 

On November 14th staff held a campaign finance training session to assist clients in meeting the requirements of Chapter 10A; eight individuals attended.  In addition a class will be held on the 15th of December to assist clients in completing the Report of Receipts and Expenditures. 

 

Staff has scheduled sessions in the use of campaign finance software.  However, we have been informed that in the future we will need to pay $500 for each session to use the Department of Administration's computer training room for these classes.  Staff will attempt to find alternative training rooms in which to offer this service.   

 

On December 3rd Ms. Olson will present information about political committees and political funds and lobbying at a Continuing Education Legal symposium for association managers.

 

On January 23rd Ms. Olson will be on the faculty of a Continuing Legal Education seminar– Minnesota's Legislative Process.  She will be discussing the lobbying requirements of Chapter 10A.

 

On January 29th staff will present a training session for lobbyists in the State Office Building.  Staff will provided information about 2003 law changes, the Board's report to the legislature about a proposed fee schedule, and electronic filing of Lobbyist Disbursement Reports.

 

·            Legislation

 

The Minnesota Association of County Attorneys intends to recommend to the legislature that the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board be the enforcement agency for issues related to Minn. Stats. §§ 201, 211A, and 211B.  County attorneys are currently required to investigate any election related charge.  Staff will keep Board members informed of this recommendation and the related impact on the Board and staff. 

 

 

 

·            Miscellaneous

 

Staff has scheduled interviews with individuals interested in the Program's Assistance position.  The goal is to have someone on staff and trained prior to the January filing dates and collection of fees from lobbyists.

 

A compilation of 2003 legislative changes to Chapter 10A was available for Board members.

 

Enforcement Report

 

Discussion Items

 

Authorization for an inactive committee to retain active status 

 

Caroll Holmstrom, candidate, Caroll Holmstrom Campaign Committee – By letter dated November 18, 2003, Mr. Holmstrom requested an extension to December 2004, so that he will be able to use his committee funds to run for state representative in 2004.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Holmstrom's request to allow the Caroll Holmstrom Campaign Committee to retain active status.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of late filing fees

 

·            Reports of Receipt and Expenditures due January 31, 2001

      

       Christopher Berg, Chris Berg for State Senate:  $100

      

Christopher Berg, 4th Congressional District Republican Labor Federation: $100

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2002

      

       Christopher Berg, Chris Berg for State Senate:  $100

      

Christopher Berg, 4th Congressional District Republican Labor Federation: $100

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002

      

Christopher Berg, 4th Congressional District Republican Labor Federation: $500

 

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002

 

Christopher Berg, 4th Congressional District Republican Labor Federation: $500

 

        Jennifer O'Rourke, Minnesotans for Democratic Majority:  $105 (Balance $0)

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2003

 

       Christopher Berg, Chris Berg for State Senate:  $100

      

Christopher Berg, 4th Congressional District Republican Labor Federation: $100

 

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

 

Tim Mahoney, (Tim) Mahoney for House:  $100

 

·            Original Statement of Economic Interest

           

Jamie Sherwood, Minnesota State High School League:  $40

 

Service of process fees

 

Christopher Berg:  $279

 

General Fund of State Elections Campaign Fund

 

·            Return of contribution after termination of committee

 

Ed Oliver, (Ed) Oliver for Senate:  $500

 

·            Anonymous Contribution

 

        Janice Moen, (Jeff) Moen for State Representative:  $32.99

 

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

 

Suggested Policy for Assessing Civil Penalties for Late File

 

As directed by the Board, staff drafted two policies for possible use in assessing the $1,000 civil penalty for failure to timely file required reports, registrations, fees, or amendments with the Board.  Board members reviewed the proposed policies as well as charts showing how implementation of the policies would affect the late filing of the 2003 year end Report of Receipts and Expenditures and the 2004 Pre-primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures.  Board members agreed that there should be consistency among all clients in imposing or reducing fines and that fines for pre-primary and pre-general reports and clients who are consistently delinquent with their reports should be accelerated.  The Board asked staff to combine the two policies and bring the matter back for further review at the December meeting.    

 

Legislative Recommendations Sub-Committee

 

A draft of possible 2004 Legislative Recommendations was available for Board members.  The Legislative Recommendations Sub-committee will meet before the December meeting and bring a proposed list to the full Board. 

 

ADVISORY OPINIONS

 

The following advisory opinion request is nonpublic data.

 

Advisory Opinion Request #351 – Reporting the use of a personal airplane for campaign purposes

 

Board members reviewed a letter from a member of a campaign committee who asked how the principal campaign committee of a candidate would calculate and report the cost of using an aircraft for campaign purposes.

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:                        To approve Advisory Opinion 351 as drafted.           

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #351 signed by Chair Clyde Miler, November 19, 2003:  The use of a personal airplane for campaign purposes is either an in- kind contribution and in-kind expenditure to benefit the campaign or a campaign expenditure that must be paid for with committee funds.  

 

The following advisory opinion request is public data.

 

Advisory Opinion Request #352 – Use of party account check off funds by the state committee of a political party

 

Board members reviewed a letter from Daniel Justensen, treasurer, Independence Party of Minnesota, who asked if the state committee of a political party may use its share of the party account check off to promote the party's precinct caucuses.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To approve Advisory Opinion 352 as drafted.           

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #352 signed by Chair Clyde Miler, November 19, 2003:  The state committee of a political party may use funds from the party check off account to promote precinct caucuses provided the promotion is a multi-candidate political party expenditure.

 

Reinstatement of Advisory Opinions 224 and 297 (see October 22nd minutes)

 

Ms. Ashmore's MOTION:            To reinstate Advisory Opinion 224 and Advisory Opinion 297 and notify the requesters of the action.

 

Vote on MOTION:       Unanimously passed.

 

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 Judge Kyle upheld the constitutionality of all the challenged laws in the Minnesota Concerned Citizens for Life (MCCL), et al. v. Kelley, et al. except Minn. Stat. §§211B.02, subd. 1, and 211B.04 which are not under the Board's purview.  The MCCL has indicated that they will appeal the decision.

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint Regarding Tim Grant – The Board issued findings to show that there is no probable cause to believe that Tim Grant met the definition of lobbyist as provided for in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A, and thus there is no probable cause to believe the Respondent was required to register with or report to the Board.  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 the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association - The Board issued findings to show that there is probable cause to believe that as the designated lobbyist for the association, Mr. Kozak is required to amend his Lobbyist Disbursement Report for the period covering April 1, 2003, through June 30, 2003

 

There is no probable cause to believe that Mr. Kozak knowingly omitted the information regarding this lobbying disbursement from his Lobbyist Disbursement Report for the period covering April 1, 2003, through June 30, 2003.

 

There is probable cause to believe that the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association violated Minn. Stat. §10A.04, subd. 3, by failing to timely provide the association's designated lobbyist with required information.  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 (see copy of findings attached).

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jeanne Olson

Executive Director

 

 

 

 

 

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