STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

. . . . . . . . .

Robert Whitaker Conference Room

First Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

 

 

 

MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Vice Chair Spear in Chair Kelley's absence.

 

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

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

 

MINUTES  (July 24, 2002)

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve the July 24, 2002, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed by five members (Kelley absent).

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

·         Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for September 25, 2002.

 

·         Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Conference (see June 6 and July 24, 2002, minutes)

 

Ms. Chambers, Mr. Sigurdson, and Ms. Olson will attend the annual COGEL Conference in Ottawa, Canada, September 29th to October 2nd. 

 

Chair Kelley arrived.

 

·         Authorizing Resolution

 

Ms. Pauly‘s MOTION:                        Resolved, that Jeanne Olson, the executive director for the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Jeffrey Sigurdson, the assistant executive director for the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, and Leah Drilias, the compliance officer for the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board are hereby granted the authority and directed to appear on behalf of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board in all Conciliation Court proceedings.  All previous delegations of this authority are rescinded."

 

Vote on MOTION:                        Unanimously passed.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·         Staff Activities

 

On August 22nd Ms. Olson was on a panel for a Judicial Campaign Law & Ethics continuing legal education seminar at the judicial center.

 

The Board's new website appears to be cutting down on some phone calls to staff.  Clients are able to access registration numbers and addresses and print forms and publications from the site which also decreases mailing costs.

 

Pre-primary campaign Finance reports from 538 registered candidates and about 725 political committees, political funds, and political party units were due August 26th.  About 181 candidates and 45 political committees, political funds, and political party units filed the reports electronically.  Staff estimates that about 200 more political committees and political funds use the software but do not file electronically.  Staff will contact those treasurers prior to the pre-general election report due October 28th to determine why they are not filing the reports electronically.

 

·         Personnel

 

Jeff Sigurdson reviewed the performance of Xiaowei Cao.  Ms. Cao's performance is above expectations.  Under the terms of the MAPE contract, Ms. Cao is not eligible for a salary increase. However, she will be awarded the MAPE Achievement Award of $1,000 for her excellent and timely work on the Board's new website.

 

Patty Klingner, the Board's part-time employee, will return to work on September 6th.

 

Late Filing Procedure

 

Ms. Olson told Board members that staff has been advised that there will be a 10% across-the-board funding decrease for the next biennium.  Because of the funding issue, staff is attempting to find procedures to decrease on-going costs.  One of the items reviewed was mailing costs.  It is estimated that approximately $600 could be saved each year in postage and supply costs if staff discontinued sending reminder letters to delinquent clients prior to sending a certified letter. 

 

Board members reviewed a draft procedure that proposed listing the names of non-filing clients on the Board's website on the fifth day after a report is due.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve the procedure as drafted.

                                               

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

 

Enforcement Report

 

Discussion Items

 

Request to administratively terminate lobbyist registration

 

Nancy M. Smith, St. David's Child Development and Family Services - In a letter dated July 8th, from Kristin Hays, Executive Director, St. David's Child Development and Family Services, staff was notified that Nancy M. Smith left the employ of St. David's, and moved out of state.  St. David's submitted a final Lobbyist Disbursement report for Ms. Smith, and asks that her registration be administratively terminated as a lobbyist for St. David's. 

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To direct staff to administratively terminate the lobbyist registration for Nancy M. Smith.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

           

Informational Items

 

Termination of Committee

 

Minnesota Victory Committee - The Minnesota Victory Committee accepted the Board's advice and terminated its registration.

 

Payment of Late Filing Fee

 

Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 2002

 

      Barbara Kilbourne, Catholic Health Association:  $100

 

Anonymous Contributions

 

      Harry Welty, candidate, Welty Volunteer Committee:  $96.34

      Lana Ensrud, candidate, Elect Lana Ensrud:  $91.00

Tim Mahoney, candidate, Tim Mahoney for House Committee:  $1,053.55

 

Civil Fine

 

Brian Biele, Elect Brian Biele Campaign Committee, $100, remaining balance $300. 

 

Hubert “Buck" Humphrey, Friends for Humphrey Committee - The Friends of Humphrey committee accepted a contribution from a lobbyist during the 2002 legislative session.  The committee returned the contribution to the lobbyist, and paid a civil fine of $100 on August 9, 2002.

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted reports for the month of July 2002. 

 

Annual Report

 

Board members reviewed and made nonsubstanative changes to a draft of the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2002.  Staff noted that the financial report was not included because there are still outstanding payments.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2002 as amended in discussion and pending financial reports.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

             Public Subsidy Payments – Resolution

 

Because of changes to the public subsidy program enacted in Chapter 10 of the 2001 Special Session and because of the transition language provided in Chapter 363, Laws of 2002, the Board will most likely be paying candidates public subsidy payments under two schedules in 2002.  The payment will either be in one amount paid to qualified candidates after the primary election or in two payments, the party account payment following the primary election and the general account payment after the general election.

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:            Resolved, that the Executive Director shall determine which candidates are eligible to receive a combined party and general account public subsidy payment after the primary election, shall verify all eligibility requirements, shall determine the amount of each payment to which the candidate is entitled, and shall do all things necessary to make the payment within the time period specified in statutes.

 

                                                Further resolved, that the Executive Director shall determine which candidates are eligible to receive a public subsidy payment in two parts, a party account public subsidy payment after the primary election, and a general account payment after the general election.  The Executive Director shall verify all eligibility requirements, shall determine the amount of each payment to which the candidate is entitled after the primary election, and shall do all things necessary to make the payment within the time period specified in statute.  After the general election, the Executive Director shall determine which candidates are eligible for general account public subsidy payments, shall verify all eligibility requirements, and shall determine the amount of each payment to which the candidate is entitled.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

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 (see July 24th minutes)

 

Board members reviewed the advisory opinion request from an association asking 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. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve Advisory Opinion 342 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #342 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, August 28, 2002: A mailing to members of an association that supports a legislator and announces that the legislator received an award for his voting history is a campaign expenditure that influences the nomination or election of the legislator.  This is true even if the award is based on a ranking of legislative voting that is not in itself intended to influence the outcome of an election. 

 

Advisory Opinion Request #343 – Contributions from a corporation to a ballot question committee

 

Board members reviewed the advisory opinion request from a national nonprofit organization that is in the process of organizing a political committee in Minnesota for ballot question issues.  

 

Mr. Miller's MOTION:            To lay over the request for Advisory Opinion 343 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

 

Complaint Regarding the MAPE-PAC – The Board issued a finding showing that there is no probable cause to believe that MAPE-PAC commingled funds or that reporting violations alleged in the complaint continue to exist.  The Board ordered that the findings and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board (see copy of findings attached).

 

Complaint Regarding Jim Knobloch and the House Republican Campaign Committee – The Board issued a finding showing that there is no probable cause to believe that the House Republican Campaign Committee or Representative Knobloch knowingly violated Minn. Stat. § 10A. 17, subd. 4.  The Board ordered that the findings and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board (see copy of findings attached).

 

Complaint Regarding Katie Sieben Volunteer Committee – The Board issued a finding showing that there is probable cause to believe that the Katie Sieben Volunteer 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 above public finding of probable cause to the county attorney in Ramsey County to pursue a judgment in district court, the Board imposed a civil fine of $100 on the Katie Sieben Volunteer Committee for acceptance of a contribution during the regular 2002 legislative session.  The Board ordered that the findings and the record of the investigation be made a part of the public records of the Board (see copy of findings attached).

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Jeanne Olson

Executive Director

 

 

 

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