STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Tuesday, September 25, 2001

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Lady Slipper Conference Room

Ground Floor, Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

Meeting was called to order by Acting Chair Kelley

Members present: Fluegel, Kelley, Pauly, Roggenbauer, Spear

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

 

 

MINUTES (August 28, 2001)

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To approve the August 28, 2001, minutes as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

Nominating Committee Report

Former Chair Shirley Chase was appointed as Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry. A copy of Ms. Chase’s letter of resignation was provided to Board members.

Mr. Fluegel reported that the nominating committee met and recommends the following slate of officers for the remainder of fiscal year 2002, Chair, Douglas Kelley and Vice Chair, Donald Roggenbauer.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To accept the report of the Nominating Committee and declare the election of Mr. Kelley, Chair and Mr. Roggenbauer, Vice Chair.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Board Meeting Schedule

Next meeting is scheduled for October 23, 2001, Lady Slipper Conference Room, Ground Level, Centennial Office Building.

 

Data Classification Policy Amendment

The Board’s data classification policy allows Board clients to request that certain information filed with the Board be re-classified as private data if there is a belief that public data about the client may substantially jeopardize the security of the client. Board staff copies and edits any portion of the filed data, which is deemed to be security information. The permanently edited copy is kept in the Board public files. The original filing is retained in Board records, classified as private data, and kept in a locked file. Two former public officials whose home addresses were classified as security data in 1998, under the Board policy have since terminated as public officials.

Board members reviewed an amended policy allowing Board staff to destroy the original records in accordance with Minnesota Statutes Chapter 138 and retain the edited copies according to agency records retention policy.

Ms. Pauly’s MOTION: To approve the amended data classification policy as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Resolution

Mr. Fluegel‘s MOTION: Resolved, that the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board recognizes Shirley Chase for her service from 1999 to 2001 as a member of the Board and offers this resolution in appreciation for her investment of time and energy in support of the mission and objectives of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Annual Council on Governmental Ethics Laws Conference (COGEL)

Chair Kelley asked if another Board member would like to attend the Annual COGEL conference, December 2nd – 5th, in Lexington, Kentucky, with Mr. Spear, Ms. Olson and Mr. Sigurdson. Mr. Fluegel suggested that Counsel Huwe attend and if he is unable Ms. Olson could name another staff member to attend.

 

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

Staff Activities

Staff continues to meet with the consultant from the Department of Administration to discuss staff activities and responsibilities. The consultant will facilitate small group discussions to detail actions plans to ensure progress in the decisions made during the discussions. Staff will review the plans with the consultant in three and/or six months to review progress.

Executive staff continues to attend briefings and make preparations for a potential strike by members of the AFSCME and/or MAPE union.

September 8 - Mr. Sigurdson and Ms. Olson attended the House of Representatives hearing on Campaign Finance Reform.

Mr. Sigurdson and Ms. Olson met with Peter Wattson, Deb McKnight, Craig Lindeke, and Laura Offerdahl about the problems in administering the new general account public subsidy provisions. A technical bill will be drafted in an attempt to rectify some of the problems. Staff will develop a ‘Promise to Disburse’ form.

September 22 – Mr. Sigurdson and Ms. Olson gave a campaign finance workshop to approximately thirty five treasurers of Republican Party of Minnesota political party units. The training included compliance issues and a software demonstration.

Staff reconciled data from the Department of Revenue with Board records to ensure that contribution refunds are properly disclosed on campaign reports. Candidates and party units with discrepancies will be contacted about the discrepancies.

October 6 – Ms. Olson will give two campaign finance workshops in Hinckley for DFL party unit treasurers.

Miscellaneous

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health, signed the Consent to Release form to allow her advisory opinion request to be made public. Therefore, no generic version will be published (see August 28, 2001, minutes advisory opinion request #330).

A copy of the Lobbyist Disbursement Summary will available for members at the next meeting.

Legislation

The Board of Boxing was abolished effective July 1, 2001. Seven members and one executive director will no longer be required to file Statements of Economic Interest.

 

Enforcement Report

Mr. Sigurdson presented the following enforcement matters for Board action:

Consent Items

Board Action: Authorization of a third certified letter to compel the filing of a Lobbyist Disbursement Report due July 16, 2001, and collection of any accrued late filing fee and subsequent legal enforcement action if the report is not filed and the late filing fee is not paid. Staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

Debra Prudhomme, Association of Professional Driving Instructors of Minnesota

Barbara Kilbourne, Catholic Health Association – Minnesota

Francis X. Viggiano, Minnesota State University Student Association

B. Cary Anderson, Telaguard

Mark Andrews, United Teachers of South Washington County

Patti Diamond, United Teachers of South Washington County

David Nitti, United Teachers of South Washington County

Jodi Peine, United Teachers of South Washington County

Julie Peterson, United Teachers of South Washington County

Susan Swanson, United Teachers of South Washington County

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

Timothy Shields, Minnesota Federated Humane Society: $55

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

Request to administratively terminate lobbyist

Charles Hoffman, Verizon Communications - By letter dated August 28, 2001, Steve Banta, Group President, Verizon Communications, notified the Board that Charles Hoffman is no longer employed by Verizon Communications, and that he was not employed during the reporting period of April 1 through June 30, 2001. The last report filed by Mr. Hoffman was May 9, 2001, covering January 1 through March 31, 2001, showing disbursements totaling $34.60 to influence legislative action.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To: 1) direct staff to administratively terminate the lobbyist registration of Charles Hoffman for Verizon Communications; 2) discontinue attempts to secure the delinquent report; and 3) place all correspondence in the file and maintain the file in active status should Mr. Hoffman register as a lobbyist in the future.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Waiver Request

Pre-general Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 30, 2000

Claremont Anderson, treasurer, Grant County DFL, $500 – By letter dated September 20, 2001, Marc Olson, chair, requests that the Board waive the late fee which accrued due to the late filing of the Pre-general Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 30, 2000. Mr. Olson states that the small committee is registered with the Board to be able to take part in the political contribution refund program. Claremont Anderson took over as treasurer for the committee in March 2000. The committee has paid $671.75 in late filing fees. Mr. Olson also states that he will work with Mr. Anderson in the future to ensure all reports are filed on time.

Ms. Pauly’s MOTION: To approve Mr. Olson’s request and waive the $500 late filing fee for the Pre-general Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 30, 2000, due to extenuating circumstances.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

Payment of Late Filing Fees

Report of Receipts and Expenditures

Claremont Anderson, treasurer, Grant County DFL, report due January 31, 2001: $100, plus $71.75 process service fees

Statement of Economic Interest

Rachelle Schoessler Lynn, member, Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, Landscape Architecture, Geoscience & Interior Design, report due April 24, 2001: $100

Lobbyist Disbursement Report

Theodore R. Davis, Minnesota Alliance for Telecommunications Competition, report due July 16, 2001: $30

Revenue recapture

Report of Receipts and Expenditures

Don Koenig, "Dr. Freedom 532 Million" Don Koenig Committee, report due October 28, 1996: $98

Robert Burton, treasurer, Connie Heisenfelt for House, report due February 2, 1998: $100

Robert Burton, treasurer, Connie Heisenfelt for House, report due February 1, 1999: $100

Joleen Schaefer, treasurer, Nicollet County DF, report due October 30, 2000: $50

Process Service Fee Recaptured

Report of Receipts and Expenditures

Al LaFontaine, (Al) LaFontaine Volunteer Committee, report due January 31, 1987: $30 process service fee and $68 judgment interest

Return of Public Subsidy for calendar year 2000

Carry Forward

Mary Ellen Otremba, Mary Ellen Otremba Volunteer Committee: $82.42

Payment arrangement

Jeffrey Erickson, (Jeffrey) Erickson Election Committee: $100 (remaining balance owed is $379.04)

Civil Fines

Leslie Schumacher, (Leslie) Schumacher Volunteer Committee - During calendar year 2000, the Schumacher Volunteer Committee accepted aggregate contributions from special sources that exceeded the applicable limit by $300. Representative Schumacher entered into a conciliation agreement on September 5, 2001, and paid a civil fine of $150.

Betty Folliard, Betty Folliard Committee - During calendar year 2000, the Betty Folliard Committee accepted aggregate contributions from special sources that exceeded the applicable limit by $961. Representative Folliard entered into a conciliation agreement on August 31, 2001, and paid a civil fine of $961.

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted reports covering July 1, 2000, through June 30, 2001, and July 1 through August 31, 2001.

 

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

The following requests and advisory opinions are nonpublic data.

Advisory Opinion Request #331 – Reporting of Contributions to a Political Party (laid over from the August 28th meeting)

The Board reviewed the request for an advisory opinion from an individual interested in fundraising for a political party who asked if the party may join an Internet Service Provider (ISP) with the goal of using the revenue generated by the ISP members as a means of raising funds. The Board determined that in order to answer the request, it must consider the following issues: 1) will money received by the party from the ISP represent contributions from individuals, or income earned as a reward for generating membership for the ISP; 2) do the administrative costs and overhead of the ISP represent a prohibited corporate contribution to the party; and 3) how should the party report contributions received through the ISP.

Board members reviewed a draft advisory opinion and agreed that Minn. Stat. 325F.69 should be included in the cited statutes of the draft.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To approve the draft advisory opinion as amended in discussion.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #331 signed by Chair Douglas Kelley, September 25, 2001: Customers of an Internet Service Provider (ISP) that opt to pay a portion of income earned through their use of the ISP to a political party are making individual contributions to that party. The disclosure and reporting requirements for individual contributions apply to contributions received through membership in the ISP.

 

Advisory Opinion #332 - Disclosure of Fees Related to Lobbying

Chair Kelley recused himself from discussion on this matter due to a possible conflict of interest.

The Board reviewed the request for an advisory opinion from a registered lobbyist who asks if fees paid to a public relations firm to assist in a lobbying effort should be disclosed on the Lobbyist Disbursement Report.

Board members directed staff to amend the advisory opinion to show Vice Chair Donald Roggenbauer as the signatory.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To approve the advisory opinion as amended in discussion.

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

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #332 signed by Vice Chair Donald Roggenbauer, September 25, 2001: Fees paid to a public relations firm for work that supports a lobbying effort must be reported to the Board.

 

 

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).

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeanne Olson
Executive Director

 

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