STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Thursday, June 6, 2002

. . . . . . . . .

Ladyslipper Conference Room

Ground Level, Centennial Office Building

 

MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Chair Kelley.

 

Members present:  Chambers, Fluegel, Kelley, Miller, Pauly, Spear

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

 

MINUTES  (April 23, 2002)

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                     To approve the April 23, 2002, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed by 5 members (Spear absent).

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for July 24, 2002.

 

Performance Review

 

On May 30, 2002, Chair Kelley reviewed the performance of Jeanne Olson, Executive Director. 

Ms. Olson's performance exceeds standards in all instances.  Ms. Olson will receive a salary increase under the terms of the fiscal year 2003/2004 Manager's Plan once it is approved and an achievement award under the terms of the Fiscal Year 2001/2002 contract.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·         Staff Activities

 

The Board's rules are now in place.  Lobbyists were informed of the new voluntary reporting options.  About 1,300 lobbyist registrations were amended to choose a different reporting arrangement.

 

The Board's website is now searchable.  The public is able to look up contributions by the name of the contributor, the contributor's employer, or the name of the recipient candidate or committee.  More variables will be added as time allows.

 

Staff entered into a contract with the Department of Administration, Management Analysis Division, to upgrade the look and functionality of the Board's website.  Work continues on that project.

 

On May 9th Chair Kelley, Mr. Sigurdson, and Ms. Olson were on the faculty of a Continuing Legal Education program about Election Law.

 

·         Personnel

 

Guidelines for hiring freeze waivers have been issued.  Governor Ventura delegated hiring decisions to the appointing authority.  I believe that the responsibilities of the Investigator (Compliance Officer) position meet the definition of ‘essential government service'.  Staff has begun the search to fill the position. 

 

Melinda Lane, a student at Normandale Community College, has been hired in the student worker position to assist with clerical duties through December 31, 2002.  Ms. Swanson also interviewed a candidate for an unpaid Internship.

 

The Board's H1B1 petition on behalf of Xiaowei Cao was approved by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Ms. Cao was granted work status through May 17, 2005.

 

·         Legislation

 

The Board's bill was signed on May 9th and becomes effective August 1st.  Staff is in the process of preparing information for clients about the new provisions.

 

The Budget bill passed in ‘Phase One' requires the Board to decrease its fiscal year 2003 budget by $35,000.  That decrease is permanent.  We are waiting for information from the Department of Finance about the possibility of another permanent decrease.

 

·         Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Conference

 

The Annual COGEL conference is being held September 29th through October 2nd in Ottawa, Canada.  The Department of Employee Relations must approve all travel out of the country.   A Request for Approval to Incur Special Expenses form, requesting permission for two staff members and two Board members to be named at a later date, was available for Chair Kelley's signature. 

 

 

 

Enforcement Report

 

Consent Item

 

Board Action:            Authorization of a certified letter to compel the filing of a Special Election Report of Receipts and Expenditures due April 9, 2002, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the report is not filed.   Two certified letters were sent to the treasurer and candidate and staff contacted the candidate by telephone.

 

                                    Jeff Davis, candidate, Jeff Davis for Senate

 

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

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Item

 

Request to Accept a Discrepancy in an Ending Cash Balance

           

Mark D. Luther, treasurer, 3rd Congressional DFL - A routine review by Board staff of the Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering the period January 1 through December 31, 2001, filed by the 3rd Congressional DFL disclosed a discrepancy of $540.89 between the December 31, 2000, ending cash balance and the January 1, 2001, beginning cash balance.  By letter dated May 21, 2001, Mr. Luther stated that an audit discovered $221.00 in check charges that had not been deducted from the check register.  The committee was not able to identify the reason for the remainder of the discrepancy, but offers the theory that it represents unrecorded bank charges over a number of years.  Mr. Luther requested that the Board accept the reports as amended with a cash balance of $394.89.  

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Luther's request and accept the Report of Receipts and Expenditures with a beginning cash balance discrepancy.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late Filing Fees

 

·         Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2001

 

F. A. Lippert, treasurer, Lee Greenslit for State Representative Committee:  $100

Tom Workman, treasurer, Tom Workman Volunteer Committee:  $100

 

Civil Fines

 

·         Brian Sullivan for Governor Committee - During calendar year 2001 the Brian Sullivan for Governor Committee accepted four contributions that facially exceeded the nonelection year contribution limit.  Additionally, the Brian Sullivan for Governor Committee accepted $78,587 in contributions from special sources that exceeded the nonelection year limit of $77,046.  Mr. Sullivan entered into a conciliation agreement on April 1, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $6,541.00.

 

·         LeRoy Stumpf Reelection Committee - During calendar year 2001, the Senator LeRoy Stumpf Reelection Committee accepted a contribution that facially exceeded the nonelection year contribution limit.  Senator Stumpf entered into a conciliation agreement on April 14, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $200.

 

·         Citizen Volunteer Committee for Irv Anderson - During calendar year 2001, the Citizen Volunteer Committee for Irv Anderson accepted four contributions that facially exceeded the nonelection year contribution limit.  Representative Anderson entered into a conciliation agreement on May 7, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $300.

 

·         Mary Ellen Otremba Volunteer Campaign Committee - During calendar year 2001, the Mary Ellen Otremba Volunteer Campaign Committee accepted a contribution that facially exceeded the nonelection year contribution limit.  Representative Otremba entered into a conciliation agreement on May 8, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $50.

 

·         Chris Gerlach for State Representative Committee - During calendar year 2001, the Chris Gerlach for State Representative Committee accepted a contribution that facially exceeded the nonelection year contribution limit.  Representative Gerlach entered into a conciliation agreement on May 9, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $200.

 

·         Dale Walz Volunteer Committee - During calendar year 2001, the Dale Walz Volunteer Committee accepted aggregate contributions from political party units that exceeded the nonelection year limit.  Representative Walz entered into a conciliation agreement on May 3, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $391.50.

 

·         Volunteers for Jerome Dempsey Committee - During calendar year 2001, the Volunteers for Jerome Dempsey Committee made campaign expenditures of $5,605.72 that exceeded the nonelection year spending limit of $5,064.  Representative Dempsey entered into a conciliation agreement on April 30, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $541.72.

 

·         Char Samuelson for House Committee - During calendar year 2001, the Char Samuelson for House Committee made campaign expenditures of $5,364.54 that exceeded the nonelection year spending limit of $5,064.  Representative Samuelson entered into a conciliation agreement on April 25, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $601.08.

 

Anonymous Contribution

 

Eileen O'Byrne, treasurer, (Catherine) Shreves Volunteer Committee:  $25

 

Return of Public Subsidy for Election 2000 (see March 18, 2002, minutes)

 

Sheree Breedlove, candidate, Sheree Breedlove Volunteer Committee, failed to make the required May payment of $400.   As stipulated in the payment arrangement, failure to make a timely payment terminates the arrangement and makes the outstanding balance due.  The remaining balance owed is $1,863.72.  The Sheree Breedlove Volunteer Committee has been re-referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection.

 

            Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted reports covering July 1, 2001, through May 31, 2002. 

 

Annual Agency Spending Plan

 

Ms. Olson noted that the agency spending plan for fiscal year 2003 will be available for Board review when staff hears from the Department of Finance about further budget cuts.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To authorize Ms. Olson to approve the annual agency spending plan pending Board approval at the July board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION:                        Unanimously approved.

 

Heartland Conference

 

The staff thanked members of the Board for allowing us the opportunity to host the Heartland Conference and to pay some incidental costs from Board resources.  Staff received many positive comments about the substance of the conference as well as the accommodations.  All full-time Board staff attended at least of portion of the Heartland Conference.  A summary of conference sessions, topics, and expenditures was available for Board members.

 

Legislation

 

A summary of the changes to Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A was available for Board members.  All changes take effect August 1, 2002.

 

 

 

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

 

The following advisory opinion requests are public data.

 

Advisory Opinion Request #339 - Use of E-Mail and Websites in Political Campaigns (see Board minutes March 18 and April 23, 2002)

 

The Board reviewed a draft advisory opinion based on discussion from the April 23rd Board meeting. 

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve Advisory Opinion 339 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #339 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, June 6, 2002:  Internet based campaign materials are subject to the contribution limits and reporting requirements of Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A .

 

Advisory Opinion Request #340 - Public Subsidy Payments Potentially Available to Minor Party or Independent Candidates

 

The Board reviewed the request for an advisory opinion from Steve Keillor, candidate for the office of state senate, who asked if minor party and independent candidates qualify for a public subsidy payment in 2002.

 

Ms. Chambers' MOTION:            To approve Advisory Opinion 340 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #340 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, June 6, 2002:  Minor party and independent candidates who sign a public subsidy agreement with the State of Minnesota prior to August 1, 2002, may qualify to receive a general account public subsidy payment after the 2002 state general election. 

 

The following advisory opinion request is nonpublic data.

 

Advisory Opinion Request #341 - Providing the Services of An Employee to a Candidate is an In-Kind Donation From the Employer

 

The Board reviewed the request for an advisory opinion from legal counsel for an organization who asked if an employee who wishes to work for the principal campaign committee of a state candidate is granted sabbatical leave and the organization pays three-fourths of the employee's full salary, plus full health and retirement benefits for the duration of the leave, will the organization have made a contribution to the candidate's campaign.

 

Ms. Chambers' MOTION:            To approve Advisory Opinion 341 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #341 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, June 6, 2002:  Providing a paid sabbatical leave to an employee so that the employee may work in the campaign of a state candidate is an in-kind donation from the employer to the candidate.  

 

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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