STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

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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 Fluegel.

 

Members present:  Ashmore, Fluegel, Kelley, Miller

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

 

Ms. Pauly and Mr. Milbert informed the Board they would be unable to attend the meeting.

 

MINUTES  (December 17, 2003)

 

Mr. Kelley's MOTION:             To approve the December 17, 2003, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

·            Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for March 24, 2004.

 

·            Legislative Recommendations

 

Ms. Olson reported that no meetings have been held to present the Board's 2004 Legislative Recommendations to legislative leadership.  Ms. Olson met with legislators and legislative staff to discuss the Board's Legislative Recommendations from 2003. 

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·            Staff Activities

 

Approximately 1,630 lobbyists filed their January 15th Lobbyist Disbursement Reports electronically.  This number represents 38% of the reports filed.  The report covered the period July 1 through December 31, 2003.

 

Lobbyists paid fees totaling $116,800 for the January 15th payment.  As of today, $2,200 is still outstanding.  Principal fees are due March 15th

 

On January 20th Ms. Olson presented information about lobbying, campaign finance, and the gift ban to about 35 individuals at a Faegre and Benson continuing legal education seminar.

 

On January 23rd Ms. Olson was on the faculty of a continuing legal education seminar – Minnesota's Legislative Process.  Lobbying registration and reporting requirements and gift ban provisions of Chapter 10A were discussed.

 

On January 29th staff presented a training session for lobbyists in the State Office Building and provided about 40 individuals with information about 2003 law changes, the Board's report to the legislature about a proposed fee schedule, electronic filing of Lobbyist Disbursement Reports, and gift ban provisions.

 

About 200, or 15%, of the Reports of Receipts and Expenditures for calendar year 2003 were filed electronically by 138 candidate committees, 38 political party units, and 32 political committees and funds.  The number of electronic filers is usually less in non-election years because many committees do not raise or spend money and simply file a ‘No Change" report. 

 

·            Legislation

 

On February 3, Chair Fluegel, Mark Scipioni, Management Consultant with the Department of Administration, Management Analysis Division, and Ms. Olson presented information to the Senate State Government Budget Division about the Board's fee study.  On February 18th Mr. Fluegel, Mr. Scipioni, and Ms. Olson presented the same information to the House State Government Finance Committee.  As of today, no further hearings are scheduled to discuss the fee study. 

 

The bill that requires the Board to enforce the provisions of 211A, 211B, and 383B was introduced as Senate File 1907 and House File 2058.  A hearing on the bill was held on Wednesday, February 18th in the House. 

 

A portion of that bill prohibits Board members from being on a candidate or ballot question committee and also prohibits members from making a contribution to state, local, and federal candidates. 

 

Members of the House Governmental Operations and Veterans Affairs Policy Committee requested that Ms. Olson ask Board members if they believe those prohibitions will prevent good quality individuals from serving on the Board.  Board members agreed that this provision was overly broad, especially with regard to contributions to federal candidates, and may have a chilling effect on finding individuals to participate on the Board in the future. 

 

Staff submitted a fiscal note requesting funding of $253,000 for fiscal year 2005 and $165,000 for fiscal year 2006 and beyond as the costs to administer the provisions in the bills.  The major costs are for moving expenses and for two additional employees.  The fiscal note will be amended as more information becomes known.

 

·            Miscellaneous

 

Ms. Olson has been asked, and has agreed, to serve on the Awards Committee and the Site Selection Committee for the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws.  These committees usually conduct their business by teleconference.

 

Enforcement Report

 

Consent Agenda

 

Board Action:            Authorization to terminate committee registration upon request with a cash balance in excess of $100

 

George Galis, treasurer, IBPAT-PAT Legislative and Educational Committee.  By letter dated January 30th Galis indicated that the committee “will no longer accept or contribute funds to statewide or local committees in Minnesota."  However, the committee intends to continue to exist as a federal committee. 

 

Board Action:            Authorization for referral to the Office of the Attorney General for failure to file the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due January 15, 2004, and imposition of a minimum civil penalty of $100 if the report is not received in the Board office by March 4, 2004.  Two certified letters have been sent to each individual. 

 

                                    Corey Bailey, Pleasuredome Resorts, Inc.

                                    Winston W. Borden, 180 Degrees

                                                                         Alpha Human Services, Inc

 American Physical Therapy Association – Minnesota Chapter

 Minnesota School Counselors Association

 Westfield Concession Management, Inc.

 

C. Scott Cooper, OutFront Minnesota

Reggie Cunningham, Family and Children's Service

Stephen Dess, Minnesota Association of Charter Schools

Ray Egan, ABATE Minnesota

Elizabeth L. Fraser, Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action

David Nitti, United Teachers of South Washington County

David Salene, Lake County Housing and Redevelopment Authority

 

Andrew Seitel, Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association

Kristina Seppala, Citizens for Local Phone Choice

Michael Yang, Urban Coalition

 

Board Action:            Authorization for referral to the Office of the Attorney General for failure to pay the lobbyist fee due January 15, 2004, and imposition of a minimum civil penalty $100 if the fee is not paid by March 4, 2004.  Two certified letters have been sent to each individual. 

 

                                    Mark Andrews, United Teachers of South Washington County

Corey Bailey, Pleasuredome Resorts, Inc.

Robert Benner, Northwest Airlines, Inc.

C. Scott Cooper, OutFront Minnesota

Reggie Cunningham, Family and Children's Service

Patti Diamond, United Teachers of South Washington County

Ray Egan, ABATE Minnesota

                  Minnesota Motorcycle Riders Association

 

Sarah Eppard, North Metro Mayors Association

David Everett, Minnesota State Baptist Convention, Inc.

Albert Garcia, Jr., Alpha Human Services, Inc.

                                FRM Associates

                                Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission

 

Sharon Hahn, Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota, Inc.

 

Daniel W. Hardy, Mortgage Association of Minnesota dba Mortgage Bankers Association

 

Sandra Hofstetter, A T & T Corporation

Jodi Husting, United Teachers of South Washington County

James Klatt, Sensible Manufacturers and Anglers for Responsible Tackle

 

Diane Kreuger, American Massage Therapy Association Minnesota Chapter

 

David Nitti, United Teachers of South Washington County

Donald Parmeter, Northern Counties Land Use Coordinating

Board

 

Julie Petersen, United Teachers of South Washington County

David Salene, Lake County Housing and Redevelopment Authority

 

Andrew Sitel, Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association

Kristina Seppala, Citizens for Local Phone Choice

John P. Smullen, United Transportation Union

Francis X. Viggiano, Minnesota State University Student Association

 

John Welker, Family and Youth Institute

Michael Yang, Urban Coalition

 

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

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

 

Request for a payment plan for lobbyist fees due August 1, 2003

 

Frederick William Engelking, lobbyist, Eden Valley Development LLC, New Haven Township, Statewide Politics, $150 – By email dated January 28, 2004, Mr. Engelking requested that he be allowed to make $50 payments on March 1, April 1, and May 1, 2004.

 

Ms. Ashmore's MOTION:        To approve Mr. Engelking's request to make three monthly payments of $50 each beginning March 1, 2004.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

Request for waiver of late filing fees and civil penalties

 

·            Lobbyist Disbursement Reports due January 15 and April 15, 2003, and lobbyist fee due August 1, 2003

 

            Suzanne McIntosh, Clean Water Action, $2,250 - By letter dated December 9, 2003, Ms. McIntosh stated that she ceased working for Clean Water Action Alliance on or around December 3, 2002, and that all subsequent reports, sent to Clean Water Action Alliance, were not forwarded to her.  Board records indicate that both Lobbyist Disbursement Reports due January 15 and April 15, 2003, and the certified notices regarding these reports were sent to the Clean Water Action Alliance office.   Ms. McIntosh is requesting that the Board waive the $50 lobbyist fee due August 1, 2003, $200 in late filing fees, and $2,000 in civil penalties.  Ms. McIntosh has terminated her registration with the Board.

 

Ms. Ashmore's MOTION:        To approve Ms. McIntosh's request and waive the $50 lobbyist fee, $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:

 

            Keith Payden, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Administration, $100 - Mr. Payden's Original Statement of Economic Interest due December 1, 2003, was received in the Board office on January 27, 2004.  By letter dated February 6, 2004, Mr. Payden stated that newness to the public sector and the challenges of the position and managing relocation from out of the state contributed to the oversight and requested that the Board waive the late filing fee.  No motion was made.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late Filing Fees

 

·            Large Pre-Election Contribution or Loan during the pre-general election period in 2002

 

Katie Perrault, treasurer, Wayne Gilbert Volunteer Committee:  $250

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 28, 2002

 

Dick Senese, treasurer, Minnesota PROVOTE:  $50

La Verne Turner, candidate, (LaVerne) Turner for Senate Committee:  $30 (Payment plan balance due:  $180)

 

·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2003         

 

James Berry, candidate, Neighbors for Jim Berry:  $100

Welbec Hamm, candidate, (Bill) Hamm for Senate:  $250

 

·            Lobbyist Disbursement Report due January 15, 2004

 

        Russ Adams, lobbyist, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability:  $15

David Glass, lobbyist, Minnesota Economic Development Fund;  $30

      Joseph Olson, lobbyist, Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance:  $25

        Kathleen Regalado, lobbyist, New Beginnings:  $30

 

 

·            Lobbyist Fee due January 15, 2004

 

Mary Crozier-Sauer, Children's Home Society of Minnesota:  $30

Terence Glommer-McClosky, Special Transportation Services Association:  $5

Kathleen Regalado, New Beginnings:  $30

 

Anonymous Contributions

 

Ron Esau, treasurer, (Tim) Pawlenty for Governor Committee:  $6,778.50

Derek Lamparty, treasurer, 66A House District DFL:  $284.02

 

Payment of civil penalties

 

Gary Iocco, (Gary) Iocco for Senate Committee, $518.07 - During calendar year 2002, the Iocco for Senate Committee accepted contributions from political party units in excess of the aggregated political party contribution limit.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by  $518.07 the applicable $5,000 election year contribution limit.  Mr. Iocco returned $518.07 to contributors and entered into a conciliation agreement on January 14, 2004, and paid a civil fine of $518.07.

 

Lyall Delaney, treasurer, Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis Contingency Fund, $250 - During calendar year 2002, the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis Contingency Fund made two contributions to a candidate committee totaling $750.  The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $250 the applicable $500 election year contribution limit.   Mr. Delaney forwarded a copy of the check from the candidate returning $250 to the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis Contingency Fund and entered into a conciliation agreement on January 15, 2004, and paid a civil fine of $250.

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted a report covering July 1, 2003, through January 2004.

 

Original Statement of Economic Interest

 

Based on discussion at previous Board meetings staff revised the Original Statement of Economic Interest. 

 

Board members reviewed the draft and directed staff to make language changes to the form as discussed. 

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

 

The following advisory opinion requests are nonpublic data

 

 

Advisory Opinion Request #353

 

Request withdrawn

 

Advisory Opinion Request #354 - Noncampaign Disbursements Cost of Providing Food  

 

Board members reviewed a letter from a candidate with a principal campaign committee registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board who asked if expenditures for food at a social get together during a staff training session qualify as a noncampaign disbursement.

 

Mr. Miller's MOTION:               To approve Advisory Opinion 354 as drafted.           

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #354 signed by Chair Wil Fluegel, February 25, 2004:  A principal campaign committee may not classify the cost of providing food for staff of an elected official as a noncampaign disbursement.  

 

Advisory Opinion Request #355 - Potential Conflict of Interest for Legislature

 

Board members reviewed a letter from a legislator, and therefore a public official as defined in Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A, who asked if a public official may vote or take actions or decisions that benefit the financial interests of a relative without creating a conflict of interest under Minn. Stat. §10A.07.

 

Mr. Miller's MOTION:               To approve the Advisory Opinion 355 as presented to the Board.    

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #355 signed by Chair Wil Fluegel, February 25, 2004:  A specific vote, action, or decision that may benefit relatives of a legislator does not create a conflict of interest under Minn. Stat. §10A.07.  A conflict of interest is limited to the vote or action having a substantial affect on the financial interests of the legislator or the associated business of a legislator. 

 

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). 

DISCUSSED IN EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint Regarding Himle Horner and the Northstar Corridor Development Authority (NCDA) – The Board discussed and made language changes to draft findings.  The amended findings show that there is: 1) no probable cause to believe that Himle Horner employees violated Minn. Stat §10A.03, by failing to register with the Board as lobbyists because there is no probable cause to believe that any Himle Horner's activities met either definition of lobbyist that applied during 2003; 2) no probable cause to believe that the NCDA failed to provide its designated lobbyist, Ross Kramer, with complete information about lobbying expenses incurred by the association; and 3) no probable cause to believe that Mr. Kramer failed to report the association's direct lobbying expenses to the Board on his Lobbyist Disbursement Reports.  The amended findings were signed by the Board chair on March 1, 2004.  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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