STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Tuesday, May 22, 2001

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Blazing Star Conference Room

First Floor, Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

Meeting was called to order by Chair Fluegel

Members present: Chase, Fluegel, Kelley, Spear

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

Ms. Pauly and Mr. Roggenbauer informed staff they would be unable to attend the meeting.

 

 

MINUTES (April 17, 2001)

Mr. Spear’s MOTION: To approve the April 17, 2001, minutes as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

Board Meeting Schedule

Next meeting is scheduled for June 26, 2001, Blazing Star Conference Room, First Floor, Centennial Office Building. The Legislative Recommendations Committee will meet following the Board meeting.

Board Confirmation Hearings (see February 20th and April 17th, minutes)

The Senate confirmed the appointments of Chair Fluegel, Shirley Chase, Don Roggenbauer, and Allan Spear on April 27th .

Nominating Committee

Chair Fluegel announced the appointments of Ms. Chase and Ms. Pauly to the Board Nominating Committee. Chair Fluegel will serve as an ex-officio member. The Committee will meet prior to the June Board meeting to nominate a slate of officers for fiscal year 2002.

 

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

Staff Activities

Agency staff met with representatives from the Department of Administration regarding the Security Impact Analysis of the Board’s systems. The written report recommends areas that staff will be able to address to ensure greater security of Board data.

Personnel

Dan Liu, IT2, has accepted another job in state government. Staff has scheduled an interview for a possible replacement. If that candidate is not successful, staff will begin the formal search process.

Under doctor’s orders, Patty Klingner is on bed rest until May 21. At that time Ms. Klingner will return to work pending the birth of her son. Ms. Klingner will be on family leave until about January 1, 2002.

Ms. Olson introduced Tricia McBrayer. Ms. McBrayer began work in the Board office as the Information Assistant (receptionist) on May 16th.

Ms. Olson introduced Kwame Baah-Gyimah, Jr. who began work in the Board office today as a student worker to assist staff with clerical duties. Mr. Baah-Gyimah is a senior at the University of Minnesota and will graduate in December with degrees in political science and economics. Mr. Baah-Gyimah will attend regular sessions of Board meetings to aid his political science studies. He will work part time through August 28th.

Legislation

Staff continues to attend conference committees on the State Government Finance bill. Both versions have most of the Board’s fiscal year 2002-2003 budget request covered in some way. The Senate version of the funding bill has the governor’s campaign finance reform provisions. The House version of the funding bill amends the definition of lobbyist, requires members of the State Board of Investment to file additional disclosure with the Board, and election reform provisions.

Miscellaneous

Mr. Sigurdson, Ms. Swanson, and Ms. Olson attended the COGEL Heartland Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska, from April 29th to May 2nd. Ms. Olson was a panelist discussing Board and staff relations. The Heartland Conference will be held in Minnesota April 28 – 30, 2002.

 

Enforcement Report

Ms. Errico presented the following enforcement matters for Board action:

 

Consent Items

Board Action: Authorization of a certified letter for payment of late filing fees, which accrued because of the late filing of the Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the fees are not paid. Two reminder notices have been sent to each treasurer/candidate and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

Thomas Weisbecker, candidate, (Thomas) Weisbecker for House Seat 38A: $30

Edward Fire, treasurer, IUE Committee on Political Education AFL-CIO: $100

James Meffert-Nelson, treasurer, Minnesota Optometric PAC: $100

Board Action: Authorization of a certified letter to compel the filing of an amendment to the 2000 year end Report of Receipts and Expenditures and subsequent legal enforcement action if the amended report is not filed. Two reminder notices have been mailed and staff spoke to the individual. Staff recommends that the committee be referred to the Attorney General’s office if the amended report is not filed.

Brian Beedle, chair, St Croix Valley Central Labor Union - The committee’s year end Report of Receipts and Expenditures does not reconcile to information disclosed on the pre-primary and pre-general reports. Staff met with Mr. Beedle several times regarding the amendment.

Board Action: Authorization of a certified letter for payment of late filing fees, which accrued because of the late filing of a Lobbyist Disbursement Report due January 16, 2001, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the fees are not paid. Two reminder notices have been sent to each lobbyist and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

Brian Elliott, Clean Water Action Alliance: $100

Suzanne McIntosh, Clean Water Action Alliance: $100

Joy Sorensen Navarre, Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing: $25

Board Action: Authorization for inactive committees to maintain active status

Jerry Knickerbocker, candidate, (Jerry) Knickerbocker Volunteer Committee – In a letter to the Board, Mr. Knickerbocker requested that the committee be allowed to remain active until June 15, 2002, following redistricting.

Lynette M. Mulvihill, candidate, (Lynette) Mulvihill for Senate - In a letter to the Board, Ms. Mulvihill requested that her campaign committee be allowed to remain active as she is contemplating running for office in the 2002 election. She also stated that if she does not file for office, she will terminate her registration with the Board.

Nick Petrangelo, treasurer, City of Duluth Supervisory Association PAC - In a letter to the Board, Mr. Petrangelo stated that the Executive Board of the association met and voted to maintain an active PAC fund account.

Timothy McCauley, treasurer, Laborers Local 1097 Health and Welfare Political Action Fund - In a letter to the Board, Mr. McCauley stated that the committee would like to continue sending funds for campaign purposes and wishes to maintain its active status with the Board.

Donald Sevre, treasurer, Minneapolis APWU Political Action Fund - In a letter to the Board, Mr. Sevre stated that their committee is changing leadership in the Local Union and that the change has caused a delay in disbursement of money and other political activity. He further stated that he will make a decision on the status of the committee no later than May 31, 2001.

Ms. Chase’s MOTION: To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

Waiver Requests

Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001

David Mathias, (David) Mathias for Senate Volunteer Committee, $100 – In a letter to the Board, Mr. Mathias stated that shortly after registering the committee and opening a bank account, he withdrew from the race. No contributions were accepted and the only expenses incurred were bank fees and an endorsement stamp. A loan from the candidate to the committee paid for these items.

Mr. Spear’s MOTION: To approve Mr. Mathias’ request to waive the $100 late filing fee.

Chair Fluegel proposed that to maintain consistency with Board policies in the matter of waiver requests the Board should consider waiving Mr. Mathias’ late filing fee if Mr. Mathias terminates the committee.

Mr. Spear’s AMENDED MOTION: To notify Mr. Mathias that the request to waive the $100 late filing fee will be granted upon termination of the committee.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Sharon Gibbons, treasurer, MN Interior Design Legal Action Committee MIDLAC, $100 – In a letter to the Board Ms. Gibbons stated that a "No Change" report was faxed to the Board office on March 29, 2001. The report was never received in the Board office. The report was then mailed on April 23, 2001. Ms. Gibbons states that the current balance is $35.41 and that the committee is fairly inactive. She further stated that there have been occasional problems in the past getting all of the Board mailings.

No motion was made.

Mark Anderson, candidate, Mark Anderson for State Senate Committee, $100 – In a letter to the Board, Mr. Anderson stated that he did not raise or spend any money and that he was not required to register a committee. He also stated that medical reasons prevented him from filing his report.

Mr. Spear’s MOTION: To approve Mr. Anderson’s request to waive the $100 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Report of Large Pre-election Contribution or Loan

Lance Ness, candidate, (Lance) Ness Volunteer Committee, $500 – A Report of Large Pre-election Contribution or Loan was not filed within the required time.

No motion was made.

Request for payment arrangement for the return of unused Public Subsidy funds

Jeffrey Erickson, (Jeffrey) Erickson Election Committee - During election year 2000, the Erickson Election Committee received $1,917.14 in public subsidy funds and made campaign expenditures of $1,138.09. Staff notified Mr. Erickson that the committee must return $779.05 of excess public subsidy funds. By letter dated May 7, 2001, Mr. Erickson requested that he be allowed to pay $100 per month until the funds are repaid.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To: 1) approve Mr. Erickson’s request for a payment schedule of $100 per month; and 2) notify Mr. Erickson that if the payments are not timely made, the remainder of the public subsidy funds will be due immediately.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

Payment of Late Filing Fees

Report of Large Pre-election Contribution or Loan

Jon Bremer, treasurer, Volunteers for (Katherine) Speer: $500

Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001

Nora Holt, candidate, (Nora) Holt for Senate Committee: $100

Loyal Hyatt, candidate, Loyal Hyatt Campaign Committee: $100

Gerald Martin, candidate, Volunteers to Re-elect Judge Martin: $100

Deborah Mathias, treasurer, Independents for (David) Mathias Volunteer Committee: $100

Vince Stevens, candidate, Campaign for Vince Stevens: $100

Denise Fahl, treasurer, AFSCME Local 34: $100

Tamara Larsen, treasurer, Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault: $60

Brad Keil, treasurer, Oppenheimer PAC: $100

Jan Cuccia, treasurer SEIU Local 113: $100

Lobbyist Disbursement Report due January 16, 2001

Winston Borden, lobbyist, 180 Degrees, Alpha Human Services, American Phys Therapy Assoc., IGT, ReliaStar, Minnesota Association for Counseling and Development, MN School Counselors Association: $315

Stephen Dess, lobbyist, Minnesota Association of Charter Schools, $25

Return of Public Subsidy for calendar year 2000

Carry Forward

Jim Rhodes, candidate, (Jim) Rhodes Volunteer Committee: $581.41

Gift to State of Minnesota upon termination

David Battaglia, candidate, Battaglia Volunteer Committee: $12,332.04

Payment of Process Service Fees

Mrs. Hyatt, Loyal Hyatt Campaign Committee: $124

Civil Fines

Gloria Pinke, treasurer, Ozment Volunteer Campaign Committee - During calendar year 2000, the Ozment Volunteer Committee accepted $5,525 in aggregate contributions from special sources. The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $461.00 the applicable limit on aggregate contributions from special sources. Dennis Ozment entered into a conciliation agreement on April 22, 2001, and paid a civil fine of $461.00

Helen Gamradt, treasurer, (Stephen) Wenzel Volunteer Committee - During calendar year 2000, the Wenzel Volunteer Committee accepted $5,130 in aggregate contributions from special sources. The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $66 the applicable limit on aggregate contributions from special sources. Stephen Wenzel entered into a conciliation agreement on May 7, 2001 and paid a civil fine of $132.00.

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted reports covering July 1, through April 30, 2001.

 

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUEST

The following request and advisory opinion are nonpublic data.

Advisory Opinion Request #326 – Definition of Lobbyist

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from an attorney who represents clients in civil litigation with metropolitan government units and the State of Minnesota who asks if his fees as an attorney should be included in determining if he has spent more than $250 in any year for the purpose of influencing the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit and activities, as described in the facts of this opinion, make him a lobbyist and trigger an obligation to register with the Board.

Ms. Chase’s MOTION: To approve advisory opinion #326 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #326 signed by Chair Fluegel, May 22, 2001: The potential for litigation on a given subject does not change the requirement to register as a lobbyist if the individual spends more than five hours in a month or $250 in a year communicating with local officials to influence the official actions of a metropolitan governmental unit.

 

 

LEGAL COUNSEL’S REPORT

Counsel Huwe presented the legal counsel report outlining the status of cases, which have been turned over to the Attorney General’s office (see copy of memo attached).

 

 

OTHER BUSINESS

Advisory Opinion Request #327 – Mr. Sigurdson provided Board members with a copy of an advisory opinion request received in the Board office on May 17th regarding a potential conflict of interest.

Mr. Kelley’s MOTION: To direct staff to send the requestor a letter stating that the matter is laid over to the next scheduled Board meeting and that requester could consider abstaining on a vote where there may be a potential conflict of interest.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeanne Olson
Executive Director

 

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