STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, October 23, 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, Drilias, staff; Huwe, counsel

 

MINUTES  (September 25, 2002)

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve the September 25, 2002, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

·         Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting is scheduled for November 20, 2002.  The Board directed staff to schedule Board meetings for 2003 on the fourth Wednesday of every month, if possible. 

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

·         Staff Activities

           

Data entry from the pre-primary reports is complete and the 2002 contribution information is now available on the Board's website.

 

The number of candidates who filed pre-primary reports electronically increased to 181.  Another 58 candidates are using the software but filed paper copies.  Those figures double the number of electronic users from 2000.  Staff is informing those candidates filing electronically generated paper reports about the electronic filing process.  Hopefully, more will file pre-general election reports electronically. Only 46 political committees, political funds, and political party units filed reports electronically and another 11 use the software but do not electronically file.

 

The Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2002 and the Lobbyist Disbursement Summary were issued September 26th.

 

On October 10th Mr. Sigurdson met with Hamdan Zoelva, a member of Parliament from Indonesia.  Mr. Zoelva is a guest of the U.S. State Department's International Visitor program.  Mr. Sigurdson and Mr. Zoelva discussed transparency in government as it relates to campaign finance and economic interest disclosure.

 

·         Legislation

 

Legislation is not needed to treat candidates' social security numbers as private data.  Minn. Stat. §13.49 provides that social security numbers maintained by a state agency are private data on individuals. 

 

Mr. Kelley appointed a legislative subcommittee consisting of Ms. Pauly, Mr. Spear, and Mr. Miller.  Chair Kelley will serve as an ex officio member.  The first meeting of the subcommittee will be November 13, 2002.    The following list of legislative recommendations will be discussed: 

 

§         Minn. Stat. § 10A.08.  Representation Disclosure.  There is a late filing fee, but no fine for failure to file.  The enforcement procedure should be consistent with other provisions of Chapter 10A.

 

§         Minn. Stat. 10A.28 – lobbyists are not included in the prohibition on giving excess contributions.  The enforcement procedure should be consistent with other provisions of Chapter 10A.  (Lobbyists are prohibited from giving during the legislative session.)

 

§         Review the law as it applies to the Affidavit of Contributions.  Candidates must sign a notarized document by September 1st of an election year that certifies that they have raised a certain amount of contributions during the year from individuals eligible to vote in Minnesota in amount of $50 or less.  This year several individuals stated that they had not raised funds through the pre-primary reporting date, but did have the $1,500 or $3,000 by September 1st.  The Board may wish to suggest that a list of donors with dates, amounts, and addresses accompany the certification.  The list would be kept confidential, because that itemization is not required for contributions of $100 or less.  Alternatively, the Board could suggest that the information be certified on the same date as the pre-primary report is due.  In that way, staff could determine that the required amounts have been raised.  Currently, we don't know if the certified amounts have been raised until the pre-general election report is filed about a month after the public subsidy has been paid.  

 

§         Provide that a candidate who terminates a committee and then registers a new committee for the same office within two years is required to assume any unpaid liabilities of the previous committee and report as campaign expenditure all final disbursements made by the prior committee.  

 

§         Add political party units to Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 1 (c).  That section prohibits a political committee or political fund from making a contribution that a candidate is prohibited from accepting.

 

§         Provide that candidates must file pre-election reports only for elections in which their name will appear on the ballot.  Currently the requirement to file pre-election reports is for the year in which a candidate's name appears on the ballot.  This means that individuals who lose the primary election are required to file the pre-general election report.  There appears to be no public purpose for that report to be filed.

 

Enforcement Report

 

Discussion Items

 

Waiver Requests

 

·            Pre-primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002

 

Tom Porter, candidate, Tom Porter for State Legislature Committee, $500 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on October 7, 2002.  Mr. Porter indicated in a letter received with the report that he was on a trek at the time the report was due from Beaver Bay to the Capitol.  Mr. Porter stated that shortly before arriving at the Capitol he fell and suffered a serious injury.  All previous reports were filed on time.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Porter's request to waive the $500 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Joseph Maiers, treasurer, 16th Senate District RPM, $500 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 19, 2002.  By letter dated September 25th, Mr. Maiers stated that he mailed the report on August 26, 2002.  When he received the first late filing notification, Mr. Maiers believed the report and the late filing post card had crossed in the mail.  He stated that he was unaware the report was late until he received a certified letter from the Board on September 19, 2002.  

 

Mr. Miller's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Maier's request to waive the $500 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

 

 

Michael Fetzek, chair, 17th Senate District DFL, $500 – The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on October 1, 2002.  By letter dated September 30th, Mr. Fetzek stated that he believed that he was no longer treasurer of 17th Senate District DFL.   By letter dated October 8th, Scott Coffman, chair, of 17th Senate District DFL, wrote indicating that the members of 17th Senate District DFL believed their committee's registration was terminated when the new 17th Senate District DFL registered with the Board.  Mr. Fetzek provided a letter from the committee's bank indicating that on June 5, 2002, all Senate District 17 DFL funds were transferred to the Senate District 16 DFL account.  All previous reports were filed on time.   

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Fetzek's request to waive the $500 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Thor Carlson, treasurer, 19th Senate District DFL $500 – The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on October 3, 2002.  By letter dated October 3rd, Mr. Carlson stated that the report was delayed due to redistricting.  Mr. Carlson also indicated that he was out of town when the certified reminder letters were sent.  All previous reports were filed on time.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION:            To approve Mr. Carlson's request to waive the $500 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

Richard Thomas, treasurer, Ames Construction PAC, $500 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on October 4, 2002.  In a fax transmission received October 4th, Mr. Thomas stated that he mailed his report in August, and indicated that he was on vacation when the certified reminder letters were delivered.  The committee's report due January 31, 2002, was received March 29, 2002, however, no late filing fee accrued.  No motion was made.

 

Clete Glessing, treasurer, St. Paul Area Trades and Labor Assembly, $300 - The Report of Receipts and Expenditures was received in the Board office on September 9, 2002.  By letter dated September 30th, Linda Neimela, Office Secretary, stated that she encountered difficulties in having the form signed before September 2, 2002, and that she was ill from September 2, 2002, through September 9, 2002.  The committee's report due January 31, 2002, was received on February 27, 2002.  No motion was made.

 

Request for Reconsideration of Waiver

 

Jeff Ross, treasurer, Zelle Hofmann Voelbel Gette LLP, $500 - Original request received September 16, 2002.  By letter dated September 16, 2002, Mr. Ross indicated that he believed he had terminated the committee's registration after filing the committee's Report of Receipts and Expenditures for calendar year 2001.  Mr. Ross indicated that the committee has been dormant for more than one year, and has no assets.  Mr. Ross requested that the Board reconsider the waiver request because he believes the “amount of the fine is disproportionate to the offense."   No motion was made.

 

Request to Accept Late Filing of Public Subsidy Agreement

 

Wade Hannon, candidate, The People to Elect Wade Hannon – By letter dated September 30th, Mr. Hannon stated that his campaign manager faxed his public subsidy agreement to the Board on September 3, 2002.  Mr. Hannon stated that he waited until the last day because he hoped to raise the $1,500 needed to qualify for public funding.  Mr. Hannon indicated that he did not raise the required amount but that he submitted the Public Subsidy Agreement form so that he could give refund receipt to his contributors.   Mr. Hannon stated that his campaign manager's fax machine does not provide confirmation.  A notarized statement from the campaign manager regarding this matter accompanied the request.  Mr. Hannon requested that the Board accept the late filing.  No motion was made.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of late filing fees
·            Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 2002

 

Joe McCabe, treasurer, Watonwan County DFL:  $100

·            Pre-primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due August 26, 2002

J. Scott Schmeling, treasurer, Senator Dennis Frederickson Volunteer Committee:  $100

Thomas Marks, District 23A Tom Marks Campaign:  $250

Raymond Morris, treasurer, (J.) Wedel for Senate:  $50

Tammy Houle, treasurer, 2nd Congressional District Constitution Party of Minnesota:  $100

Leroy Sundblom, treasurer, 2B House District RPM:  $100

Thomas Gerard, Carlton/8A RPM:  $100

Stephen Plunkett, treasurer, Olmstead County Green Party: $150

Brian Pendelton, Lower Sioux Political Education Fund:  $150

Robert Kurdle, University of Minnesota Faculty Candidate Support Committee:  $50

Rory Lenton, treasurer, Utilicorp United-State PAC Minnesota Employees:  $100

 

 

 

 

Civil Fines

 

·            Brian Biele, Elect Brian Biele Campaign Committee, $100, remaining balance $100

 

·            Philip Krinkie, Friends of Phil Krinkie Committee – During calendar year 2001, the Friends of Phil Krinkie Committee accepted two contributions from an individual which in aggregate exceeded the applicable non-election year contribution limit.  Phil Krinkie entered into a conciliation agreement on October 7, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $25. 

 

·            Timothy Pawlenty, (Tim) Pawlenty for Governor Committee – During an investigation the Board found that the (Tim) Pawlenty for Governor Committee failed to show as an in-kind contribution ads paid for by the Republican Party of Minnesota.  Tim Pawlenty entered into a conciliation agreement on October 21, 2002, and paid a civil fine of $100,000.

 

Returned Contribution Paid to State Election Fund

 

Russ Goudge for State Representative Committee (“Committee") terminated in August 2002.  A $500 contribution made to another principal campaign committee was returned to the Committee because the receiving committee was at their maximum contribution limit.  The Committee forwarded the $500 for deposit in the State Elections Campaign Fund.

 

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Sigurdson submitted reports covering July through September 2002. 

 

 ADVISORY OPINION REQUEST

 

The following advisory opinion requests are nonpublic data

 

Advisory Opinion Request #344 – Judicial Districts May Not Organize and Register as a Political Party Unit Under Chapter 10A (laid over from the September 25th meeting).

 

Board members reviewed a letter from legal counsel for a political committee requesting an advisory opinion on if the committee could register with the Board as a political party unit.  

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To approve the advisory opinion as amended.           

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #344 signed by Chair Douglas A. Kelley, October 23, 2002:

To qualify for registration as a party unit with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board the party unit must be organized within one of the geographic or political districts provided in Chapter 10A.  However, a political party is free to organize a party unit on any basis that the party recognizes.

 

Advisory Opinion Request #345 – Conflict of Interest

 

Board members reviewed a letter from a public official asking for guidance on Minnesota Statutes §10A.07, Conflict of Interest.  

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION:            To lay over the request for Advisory Opinion 345 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 that have been turned over to the Attorney General's office (see copy of memo attached).

 

Board members discussed the status of the Board's findings regarding the complaint filed against the (Tim) Pawlenty for Governor Committee.  

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: Direct legal counsel to draft a written agreement between the Board and the Republican Party of Minnesota to include agreement from the Republican Party of Minnesota to promptly pay the fines, to assist the (Tim) Pawlenty for Governor Committee in the retrieval of the materials that were purchased, to not appeal the Board's Findings, and for the Board to agree to not refer the matter for criminal prosecution. 

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, Inc, David Racer and the Committee for State Pro-Life Candidates v. Douglas A. Kelley

 

Board members reviewed a lawsuit filed against the Board and others by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, Inc., David Racer, and The Committee for State Pro-Life Candidates.  The lawsuit is challenging the constitutionality of several provisions in Chapter 10A and other Minnesota Statutes.

 

Public Subsidy Payment

 

On October 15, 2002, the State Supreme Court ordered Hennepin County to remove Jason Samuels (Green Party) from the general election ballot for failure to reside in House District 59B.  Because of this order, Representative Phyllis Kahn will not have an opponent at the general election and she did not have an opponent in the primary election.  Candidates without opponents are not eligible for a public subsidy payment.  Representative Kahn received a $5,685.81 public subsidy payment.

 

Ms. Chamber's MOTION:   Direct staff to inform Representative Kahn that any campaign expenditures incurred this year prior to October 15, 2002, may be paid for with her public subsidy payment.  If the total campaign expenditures prior to October 15, 2002, are less than $5,685.81 the difference must be returned to the Board for deposit in the state general fund as provided in Minn. Stat. §10A.324.  

 

Vote on MOTION:            Unanimously passed.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jeanne Olson

Executive Director