STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Tuesday, December 11, 2001

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Whitaker Conference Room

First Floor, Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

Meeting was called to order by Chair Kelley

Members present: Fluegel, Kelley, Pauly, Spear

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

Mr. Roggenbauer informed the Board he would be unable to attend the meeting.

 

 

MINUTES (October 23, 2001)

Ms. Pauly’s MOTION: To approve the October 23, 2001, minutes as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

Board Meeting Schedule

Next meeting is scheduled for January 22, 2002, 9:30 a.m.

 

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

Staff Activities

Staff continues progress on the action plans developed through the strategic planning process. The office now has ‘voice mail’ on a trial basis through the end of the year. Staff is also working on:

1. making letters and bulletins more ‘user friendly’;

2. providing campaign finance software ‘Finance 2002’ to as many potential users as possible;

3. expanding the out-state and St. Paul training schedules;

4. preparing the Board web-site for interactive use and enhancing it’s look and substance;

5. establishing a back-up process for financial and personnel functions;

6. researching options about contacting clients by e-mail; and

7. reviewing reporting forms in an attempt to make the forms less cumbersome while still capturing the legal reporting requirements.

October 25 - Counsel Huwe and Ms. Olson presented a Continuing Legal Education program on the prohibition of gifts to legislative staff. About 80 individuals attended the program.

November 26 – Mr. Sigurdson and Ms. Olson met with Bob Hentges and John Knapp to discuss the Board’s proposed rulemaking.

In November, staff conducted training sessions on compliance issues, report filing, and Finance 2002. About 40 individuals attended the sessions. Additional sessions scheduled for December and January are full or filling up fast.

Staff has issued two informal Requests for Proposals (RFP). One vendor has been selected to write a user’s manual for Finance 2002. Staff is in negotiations with a vendor to incorporate additional features and enhance the existing functionality of Finance 2002.

Ms. Swanson continues to attend meetings about increased security in the Centennial Office Building. We will continue to inform Board members about the procedures needed to attend meetings in the Capitol Complex. Ms. Olson asked Capitol Security about obtaining permanent badges for Board members, but the badges are issued only to state employees. Staff has expressed their concern to the Security Task Force about the anonymity of individuals reviewing records in the Board’s public files.

Personnel

Patricia Klingner was scheduled to return from maternity leave on January 2, 2002. However, Ms. Klingner has resigned her position and will not return to work as planned. We will not attempt to fill the position until the administration has informed executive branch agencies about possible spending cuts to deal with the state deficit. In the meantime, we may contract with the Department of Administration for data entry assistance in January and February.

Legislative Audit

The Office of the Legislative Auditor has begun their biennial audit of the Board’s financial functions and public subsidy program for Fiscal Years 2000/2001. The auditors hope to finish their work by the end of the calendar year. A copy of the findings will be available following completion of the audit.

 

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL)

Ms. Olson reported on the annual COGEL Conference held December 2nd – 5th, in Lexington, Kentucky, attended by Mr. Sigurdson, Ms. Swanson, and Ms. Olson. Counsel Huwe was unable to attend.

Ms. Olson has agreed to serve as COGEL’s representative on the selection committee for the Public Integrity Award. COGEL is a sponsoring member of Public Integrity, a periodical that deals with ethics and leadership in public service.

 

Enforcement Report

Consent Items

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

Debra Prudhomme, Association of Professional Driving Instructors of Minnesota, $100

Francis Viggiano, Minnesota State University Student Association, $40

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

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

Request for Board direction regarding reconciliation audit for Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering election year 2000

The following committees have failed to respond to staff’s request to provide information concerning discrepancies found on the Report of Receipts and Expenditures for the period of January 1 through December 31, 2000. Three letters were sent to each treasurer and/or candidate and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

Greg Juberien, treasurer, (Dean) Kluge for State House of Representatives - The Kluge for State House of Representatives committee reported receiving $500 from the Blue Earth County RPM. The Blue Earth County RPM reported giving a $700 cash contribution and a $353 in-kind contribution for a total of $1,053. Staff spoke with the Mr. Kluge, who said a response would be sent by October 22, 2001. Staff has been unsuccessful in contacting either Mr. Kluge or treasurer again.

Shawn Leighton, treasurer, Mower County DFL - The Mower County DFL did not report receiving a contribution from the Transportation Political Education League ("Transportation PAC"). The Transportation Political Education League reported giving a $250 contribution. A response from the Transportation PAC states that they did give the contribution and the Mower County DFL omitted it from its report. Staff spoke with Ms. Leighton on October 8, 2001. She said she was working on the problem. Staff has been unsuccessful in contacting Ms. Leighton again.

Patrick Bristol, treasurer, Lakes and Plains Regional Council of Carpenters & Joiners (L & P Council) - The L & P Council reported contributing $250 to the (Dean) Johnson Volunteer Committee. The Johnson Volunteer Committee did not report receiving a contribution from the L & P Council. A response from the Johnson Volunteer Committee states the contribution was returned in September, 2000. Staff has been unsuccessful in contacting Mr. Bristol.

Robert Weiss, treasurer, Minnesota Chiropractic Political Action Committee (Chiropractic PAC) - The Chiropractic PAC reported giving $5,750 to the DFL House Caucus. The DFL House Caucus reported receiving $5,500. A response from the DFL House Caucus states that its report is correct. The Chiropractic PAC also reported contributing $200 to the 57th Senate District DFL. The 57th Senate District DFL did not report receiving a contribution. A response from the 57th Senate District DFL states that it did not receive a contribution. Staff has been unsuccessful in contacting Mr. Weiss.

Scott Cooper, treasurer, Minnesotans for Tobacco-Free Children - The Minnesotans for Tobacco-Free Children did not report contributing anything to the (Sheila) Kiscaden Senate Committee. The Kiscaden Senate Committee reported receiving $250. The Kiscaden Senate Committee provided a copy of the check from Minnesotans for Tobacco-Free Children. Staff has been unsuccessful in contacting Mr. Cooper.

Ms. Pauly’s MOTION: To direct staff to send certified letters to the (Dean) Kluge for State House of Representatives committee, Mower County DFL, Lakes and Plains Regional Council of Carpenters & Joiners, Minnesota Chiropractic Political Action Committee, and Minnesotans for Tobacco-Free Children requiring them to amend their Report of Receipts of Expenditures.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Request for Board direction regarding the failure to file an Original Statement of Economic Interest and pay a late filing fee:

John Haley, Jr., Metropolitan Council - John Haley, Jr. was appointed as General Manager of Metro Transit for the Metropolitan Council effective June 11, 2001. The Notice of Appointment was received in the Board office on July 3, 2001. Staff sent Mr. Haley two letters and one certified letter requesting that he file an Original Statement of Economic Interest. The Statement was never filed and a $100 late filing fee accrued. On October 31, 2001, Mr. Haley resigned his position.

Ms. Pauly’s MOTION: To send Mr. Haley, Jr. a letter requiring him to file the Original Statement of Economic Interest for the period covered and pay the $100 late filing fee and if there is no response bring the matter back to the Board at its next meeting.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Bonita Baskin, Minnesota Technology, Inc. - Bonita Baskin was appointed a member of Minnesota Technology, Inc. effective June 22, 2001. The Notice of Appointment was received in the Board office on June 14, 2001. Staff sent Ms. Baskin two letters and one certified letter requesting that she file an Original Statement of Economic Interest. The Statement was never received and a $100 late filing fee accrued. On November 30, 2001, Ms. Baskin resigned her position.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To send Ms. Baskin a letter requiring her to file the Original Statement of Economic Interest for the period covered and pay the $100 late filing fee and if there is no response bring the matter back to the Board at its next meeting.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

Payment of Late Filing Fees

Lobbyist Disbursement Report due July 16, 2001

Barbara Kilbourne, Catholic Health Association: $100

Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2000

Ann Peterson, (Ann) Peterson Volunteer Committee: $100

Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001

Ann Peterson, (Ann) Peterson Volunteer Committee: $100

Ann Peterson, (Ann) Peterson Volunteer Committee: $49 process service fee

Return of Public Subsidy for Election 2000

Jeffrey Erickson, (Jeffrey) Erickson Election Committee: $100 (current balance owed is $179.04)

Civil Fines

William Haas, (William) Haas, Jr. Volunteer Committee - During calendar year 2000, the Haas Volunteer Committee accepted excess contributions from special sources, which exceeded the applicable limit. William Haas entered into a conciliation agreement on October 11, 2001, and paid a civil fine of $136.

Gift to the State upon termination of a Principal Campaign Committee

Marie Halverson, treasurer, Committee to Elect Gary Hall: $481.32

 

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

 

Heartland Conference

Planning of the Heartland conference in April 2002, continues. Staff visited three potential hotels and chose the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Minneapolis as the conference site.

 

Proposed Rules

Board members reviewed the Revisor of Statutes draft bill for the Board’s proposed administrative rules. The proposed rules will appear in the State Register in February.

 

Legislative Recommendations

The Legislative Recommendations Committee presented the final draft of the proposed legislative recommendations.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To adopt the Legislative Recommendations for 2002 as drafted and direct staff to develop a cover memo explaining the history of the recommendations, as well as the subcommittee process used to draft the proposal.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed (see copy attached).

Ms. Olson will schedule appointments with legislative leadership and Board members to present the recommendations for consideration.

 

Agreement to Spend form

Minnesota Session Laws 2001, First Special Session, Chapter 10, requires candidates wishing to receive public subsidy to file an agreement with the Board promising to disburse 50% of the public subsidy they receive no later than the end of the final reporting period preceding the general election.

Board members reviewed and made a change to the draft form.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To approve the Agreement to Spend form as amended in discussion.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUEST

The following advisory opinion is nonpublic data.

Advisory Opinion Request #334 – Definition of political committees and funds, reporting requirements of lobbyists

The Board reviewed the request for an advisory opinion from a legal representative for an association who asked if: 1) the association’s expenditures on "issue advocacy" would be considered a communication that influences the nomination or election of a candidate or promote or defeat a ballot question; 2) an organization produces and distributes communications that have the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate or to promote or defeat a ballot question, is the organization a campaign committee if the organization has as its major purpose tasks other than to produce said communications; 3) do "issue advocacy" communications on legislation, administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit constitute lobbying as defined in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A; and 4) will expenditures on "issue advocacy" communications related to legislation or administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit, make the association a lobbyist principal.

Mr. Spear’s MOTION: To approve advisory opinion #334 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #334 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, December 11, 2001: The purpose of a communication determines if the communication is a campaign expenditure, a lobbying disbursement, or a communication outside of the application of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A.

 

The following advisory opinion is public data.

Advisory Opinion Request #335 – Gifts to groups that may contain public officials

The Board reviewed the request for an advisory opinion from Daron Van Helden, lobbyist for AAA Minnesota/Iowa, who asked if AAA may provide a gift of more than insignificant value to members of an association if the membership includes individuals who are public officials.

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION: To approve advisory opinion #335 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #335 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, December 11, 2001: A lobbyist principal may provide gifts to officials if the officials are members of a group, a majority of whose members are not officials, and an equivalent gift is given to the other members of the group.

 

 

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