STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

. . . . . . . . .

Robert Whitaker Conference Room

First Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Spear

 

Members present:  Fluegel, Miller, Pauly, Spear

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

 

Chair Kelley and Ms. Chambers informed Board staff that they would be unable to attend the meeting.

 

MINUTES  (June 6, 2002)

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:                     To approve the June 6, 2002, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for August  28, 2002.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·         Staff Activities

 

The Board's redesigned website became active on Wednesday, July 17th.  Staff continues to make the information more easily accessible and to increase the amount of information on the site.  

 

Copies of the annual Campaign Finance Summary for 2001 and a compilation of Advisory Opinions issued from July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002, were available for Board members.

 

Staff continues training in Finance 2002 and has scheduled sessions to assist clients in filling out the pre-primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26th.  Sessions have been added in Duluth and Rochester.

 

July 15th was the due date for Lobbyist Disbursement Reports.  This is the first report due following the effective date of the Board's new lobbyist rules.  Previously, about 3,100 reports were filed three times a year.  Under the new system, staff expects about 2,100 or fewer reports will be filed each reporting period. 

 

Staff is preparing additional mailings to clients about the August 1st law changes.  The biggest item is the need for candidates to re-file a public subsidy agreement between August 1 and September 3rd to qualify for general account payments following the primary election.  Staff is also updating handbooks in all programs to reflect the August 1st changes.

 

·         Personnel

 

Jeff Sigurdson reviewed the performance of Joyce Larson which exceeds expectations.  Ms. Larson will receive a step increase and a performance based raise under the terms of the AFSCME contract.

 

Ms. Olson introduced Leah Drilias and Monica Fuentes.  Ms. Drilias began work in the Board office as the Compliance Officer on July 19.  Ms. Drilias was previously employed by the Attorney General's office.  Ms. Fuentes began work in the Board office as a student worker on July 1.  Ms. Fuentes is a senior at Hamline University.  She will work part-time throughout the summer and will continue into the school year.  The previous student worker resigned.

 

Patty Klinger, part-time employee, has taken the summer off and hopes to return in the fall.

 

Legislation

 

The “Phase Two" budget bill included no further cuts in the Board's permanent budget for this year.  However, Ms. Swanson and Ms. Olson attend a Department of Finance overview of the FY04/05 budget.  They were informed that the Board, and all other agencies, will have a permanent 10% decrease in base level funding for the next biennium.  In addition, agencies will receive no automatic funding for increases in salaries, other personnel costs, and rent costs.  Any additional costs will need to be absorbed by each agency within the reduced funding.  Because personnel costs account for about 87% of the Board's normal funding, it appears that we may be unable to fill the Program Assistant position with a full-time permanent employee. 

 

·         Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Conference (see June 6, 2002, minutes)

 

The Commissioner of the Department of Employee Relations approved the Board's request to travel to Ottawa, Canada, for the annual COGEL conference.

 

 

 

Enforcement Report

 

Consent Items

 

Board Action:            Authorization of a third certified letter to compel filing of the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 2002, 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.  Two certified letters were sent and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

           

                                    Kathy Clouser, Sustainable Resources Center

                                    Elizabeth Coover,  Association of General Contractors of Minnesota

                                    Gena Doyscher, Global Crossing

Ray Egan, ABATE of Minnesota

Ray Egan, Minnesota Motorcycle Riders Association

                                    Bob Gustafson, TwinWest Chamber of Commerce

                                    Robert Illingworth,  Minnesota Motorcycle Riders Association

                                    Barbara Kilbourne, Catholic Health Association of Minnesota

                                    Kenneth Michaelson,  Kenneth Michaelson

                                    Bruce Miller, Common Cause of Minnesota

                                    Francis Viggiano, Minnesota State University Student Association

 

Board Action:            Authorization of referral to the Office of the Attorney General for failure to file the Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal that was due March 15, 2002.  Two certified letters were sent and staff contacted each organization or one of their lobbyists by telephone.

 

                                    ABATE of Minnesota

                                    Bob Erickson

                                    Carter–Wallace, Inc.

                                    Catholic Health Association of Minnesota

                                    Global Crossing

                                    Minnesota Motorcycle Riders Association

                                    Telaguard

             

Board Action:            Authorization of a third certified letter to compel filing of the Original Statement of Economic Interest, 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. Two certified letters were sent and staff attempted to contact each individual by telephone.

 

                        Lynn Ayers, Medical Services Review Board, due March 8

                        Randall Brown, Board of Dietetic and Nutrition Practice, due March 19

 

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

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late Filing Fees

 

Original Statement of Economic Interest

 

Paul Krabbenhoft, Board of Water and Soil Resources:  $5

 

Excess Anonymous Contribution Paid to State General Fund

 

            Jon C. Saunders, treasurer, Dean Elton Johnson Volunteer Committee:  $50

 

Civil Fines

 

Rollin Bergman, treasurer, Roger Moe Volunteer Committee - During calendar year 2001, the Roger Moe Volunteer Committee accepted a contribution that facially exceeded the nonelection year contribution limit.  Senator Moe returned the contribution, entered into a conciliation agreement on June 23, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $200.

 

            Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted reports covering July 1, 2001, through May 30, 2002. 

 

Annual Agency Spending Plan

 

Board members reviewed the proposed agency spending plan for fiscal year 2003.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To approve the proposed agency spending plan for fiscal year 2003. 

 

Vote on MOTION:                        Unanimously approved.

 

 

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUEST

 

The following advisory opinion request is nonpublic data

 

Advisory Opinion Request #342 - Mailings to members of an organization for the purpose of influencing the nomination or election of a candidate is a campaign expenditure that must be made through a political committee

 

Board members reviewed the advisory opinion request from an association who asks if the association may send letters to members reporting on lawmakers past performance and voting record as measured against the group's rating criteria and if those expenses would be reported as expenditures of the political committee of the organization.

 

Mr. Miller's MOTION:            To lay over Advisory Opinion 342 to the next Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

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).

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

In the matter of the investigation of the Friends of (Hubert H. (Buck) Humphrey IV) Humphrey Committee – The Board issued a finding showing that there is probable cause to believe that the Friends for Humphrey Committee violated Minn. Stat. §10A.273 by accepting a contribution from a registered lobbyist during the regular session of the legislature in 2002.  In lieu of forwarding the finding of probable cause to the county attorney in Ramsey County to pursue a judgment in district court, the Board imposes a civil fine of $100.  The Board ordered that the finding and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board (see copy of finding attached).

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Jeanne Olson

Executive Director