STATE OF MINNESOTA
ETHICAL PRACTICES BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Friday April 25, 1997

. . . . . . . . .

St. Croix Conference Room
Second Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

MINUTES

Meeting was called to order by Chair Rodriguez.

Members present: Anderson, Owens Hayes, Pauly, Rodriguez, Slocum, Wilson.

Others present: Olson, Goldsmith, Swanson, staff; Gretz, counsel.

MINUTES (March 21, 1997)

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: To approve the March 21, 1997, minutes as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by five members (Pauly abstained).

CHAIR'S REPORT

Board Meeting Schedule - Next Board meeting: Friday, May 23, 1997.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

Ms. Olson reported the following:

Staff activities

March 25th - Ms. Olson and Mr. Goldsmith met with Bob Horton, State Archivist, and Mary Klauda, Records Management Analyst, from the Minnesota Historical Society. Mr. Horton and Ms. Klauda are interested in using the Board's electronic recordkeeping initiative (if funded) as a pilot program for the management and storage of electronic data.

March 26th - Ms. Olson and Mr. Goldsmith were deposed in the action involving Mary Hennessey and the State of Minnesota.

April 23rd - Ms. Olson presented testimony in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, to the "Citizens Panel on a Clean Elections Option" about the Minnesota's experience with public financing of election campaigns.

Legislative news - Mr. Slocum's appointment to the Board has been approved by both the Senate and the House.

Both the House and Senate budget bills include the Board's request for $122,000 for a campaign finance management system.

The current Senate version also includes the following provisions:

The current House version also includes the following provisions:

to allow gifts up to $5 per day

to allow gifts by a national or multistate organization of governmental organizations under certain conditions

election (this will make the report due before Labor Day rather than the day after)

there are changes to the previous report

Board office matters - The Department of Administration continues to work on the office remodeling to increase the Board's public area.

Miscellaneous items - Fred Hermann, Executive Director, Election Law Enforcement Commission, New Jersey, asked Ms. Olson to write a book review on Bill Bradley's book Time Present, Time Past. The review will be published in the June issue of the COGEL Guardian.

A copy of the brief in opposition in the Rosensteil v Carolyn Rodriguez matter is available for Board members to review.

Correspondence - Carol Noteboom, Executive Director, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education (MILE) - Board members reviewed correspondence from Ms. Noteboom received in the Board office on April 16, 1997, requesting permission to use the Board's list of lobbyists to mail notices about upcoming seminars sponsored by MILE.

Mr. Anderson's MOTION: To deny Ms. Noteboom's request for MILE to use the Board's list of lobbyists for the requested mailings.

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

Enforcement Report

Mr. Goldsmith presented the following enforcement matters for Board action:

Consent Items

Board Action: Authorization of certified letter for nonpayment of late filing fees and subsequent legal enforcement action in the event the fee is not paid. Two notices have been previously sent to each client.

(Marc) Heisenfelt for House Committee, $10

Connie Heisenfelt for House Committee, $30

61st Senate District RPM, $100

William A. Bierman, Jr. (Edina Fireman's Relief Association), $50

Debra A. Williamson (VOICE), $10

Board Action: Authorization of third certified letter to compel the filing of the Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 1997, and to authorize subsequent legal enforcement action if the report is not filed. Two certified letters have previously been sent to this client.

Volunteers for David Adlin

Board Action: Authorization of third letter, to be sent by certified mail, to compel the filing of a required amendment to the Statement of Organization and to authorize subsequent legal enforcement action if the report is not filed. Two notices have previously been sent to each client.

19th Senate District DFL

35th Senate District RPM

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

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed .

Discussion Items

The Board considered the matter of lobbyist principals that have not filed disclosure reports due March 17, 1997. Each of these principals received an initial mailing, which included a reporting form and instructions, and a subsequent compliance letter notifying them of their continuing failure to report. In the past, attempts to compel principal disclosure have concluded with the compliance letter and names of non-filing principals were then reported to the legislative leadership.

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: To direct staff to: 1) send a second compliance letter to non-filing lobbyist principals; and 2) send list of non-filing lobbyist principals to the legislative leadership.

Ms. Pauly proposed sending the names of the non-filing principals to both the legislative leadership and the assistant leaders and to send a third letter to non-filing principals printed on letterhead from the Attorney General's office approximately two weeks after the second letters are mailed. Ms. Owens Hayes accepted Ms. Pauly's amendment to the motion.

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: To direct staff to: 1) send a second compliance letter to non-filing lobbyist principals; 2) send a letter on letterhead from the Attorney General's Office to non-filing lobbyist principals approximately two weeks following the second letter; and 3) send list of non-filing lobbyist principals to the legislative leadership and assistant leaders.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Informational Items

Payment of Late Filing Fees

Jeff Wood (The Pillsbury Company), $10

Lee Ann Mitchell (Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless), $95

Cynthia Kranz, treasurer, Friends of (Tony) Kranz, $50

Donald L. Moos, treasurer, (Becky) Livermore Volunteer Committee, $25 (partial payment on installment schedule)

Mike Halleron, treasurer, (Dean) Urdahl for 15B Volunteer Committee, $450

Richard V. Bonin, treasurer, 38th Senate District DFL, $5

Joe Harris, treasurer, (Patrick) Harris for the House, $80

Carol Nelson, treasurer, Paul Kess Campaign Committee, $10

William Kain, treasurer, Elect (John) Ellenbecker Committee, $15

Janet Bossuyt, treasurer, (Paul) Sobocinski for Senate Volunteer Committee, $25

Carol Stevenson, treasurer, Friends of (Karl) Anderson, $45

Nyle Zikmund, treasurer, Volunteer Fire Fighter Political Committee, $65

Payment of Civil Fines

Patrick Adkins Committee, #13349 19 - During the period of January 1 through December 31, 1996, the Patrick Adkins Committee accepted aggregate contributions totaling $5,187.19 from committees of the Democratic Farmers Labor ("DFL") political party. The total amount of these contributions exceeded by $187.19 the applicable $5,000 contribution limit. Patrick Adkins entered into a conciliation agreement, effective April 15, 1997, to remedy the matter. On April 1, 1997, the committee paid a civil fine of $187.19, one times the excess amount.

(Robert) Bowen Volunteer Committee, #13092 1A - During the period of January 1 through December 31, 1996, the Bowen Volunteer Committee made campaign expenditures in the amount of $23,302.50. The total expenditures exceeded the 1996 election year spending limit of $22,784 by $518.50. Robert Bowen entered into a conciliation agreement, effective April 15, 1997, to remedy the matter. On April 14, 1997, the Bowen Volunteer Committee paid a civil fine of $1,037, two times the amount by which the campaign expenditures exceeded the applicable expenditure limit.

All payments of late filing fees and civil fines have been deposited in the general fund of the state pursuant to statute.

Return of Public Subsidy

(John) Pyka Volunteer Committee (House Dist. 55A) $3,199.58 returned under a public subsidy agreement effective for the 1996 election cycle. Public subsidy payments to the candidate exceeded actual campaign expenditures.

George W. Bateman, treasurer, (George) Bateman for Representative, #12493

$202.36 partial payment through Ch. 13 bankruptcy. $2,223.59 return of public subsidy financing remains to be paid for 1990.

The payments have been deposited in the general fund of the state under Minn. Stat. §10A.324.

Financial report and agency deposits - Mr. Goldsmith submitted a report covering July, 1996, through March, 1997.

Candidate contribution limit policy, 1996 election - Board members reviewed Board guidelines on contribution limits for elections before 1996. Staff requested direction regarding the acception of election year level contributions by candidates who did not file for office in 1996.

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: To apply the election year contribution limit to any candidate with a registered principal campaign committee for an office which is on the ballot for the 1996 election year.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

Requests for the following advisory opinions are nonpublic data.

Advisory Opinion #264 - Potential conflict of interest for legislator

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request by a legislator who asks

if a potential conflict of interest might arise under Minn. Stat. § 10A.07 for a public official who is the executive director of a nonprofit corporation (although paid by another entity for these services) and who is called upon to vote on a matter which will affect the financial interests of a business which supports the non-profit corporation.

The Board agreed to certain language changes to the draft response.

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve the draft Advisory Opinion #264 as amended in discussion.

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

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #264 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, April 25, 1997: A legislator's vote which does not affect the legislator's financial interests, or those of an associated business of the legislator, does not create a potential conflict of interest under Minn. Stat. §10A.07.

Advisory Opinion #265 - Use of funds by political party unit committee

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request by the representative of a political party unit who requests the Board's direction with respect to allocation and reporting of the possible expenditures described in a number of situations.

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #265 as drafted.

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

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #265 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, April 25, 1997: A political party unit expenditure for mailings, advertising, or similar communications, naming a candidate of the opposing party, may be reported as an approved expenditure on behalf of a candidate, a general committee disbursement, or an independent expenditure. Classification of the expenditure depends on the specific content and timing of the communications and on the party's candidates' participation, if any, in approving the expenditure.

Advisory Opinion #266 - Use of principal campaign committee funds for computer training

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request by a legislator who asks

if the cost of computer training to enable a legislator to effectively use a state-provided personal computer may be paid with principal campaign committee funds as a noncampaign disbursement for expenses of a public official for serving in office.

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #266 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #266 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, April 25, 1997: Costs of computer training which is needed to enable a legislator to use a state-provided personal computer may be paid with principal campaign committee funds and reported as a noncampaign disbursement.

Advisory Opinion #267 - Potential conflict of interest for public official

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from several members of a state board who ask if any of the relationships described in the facts create potential conflicts of interest under Minn. Stat. § 10A.07.

The Board agreed to certain language changes to the draft response.

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve the draft Advisory Opinion #267 as amended in discussion.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #267 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, April 25, 1997: A potential conflict of interest exists under Minn. Stat. §10A.07 only when an official is required to vote in an official capacity on a matter which will substantially affect the official's financial interests or those of an associated business in a greater way than it will affect similarly situated individuals or businesses.

LEGAL COUNSEL'S REPORT

Board members reviewed a memo from Counsel Gretz outlining the status of cases which have been turned over to the Attorney General's office (see memo attached).

LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS AND RULES COMMITTEE

Rules Subcommittee

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: Resolved, that the rules relating to Ethics in Government in the form set out in the Revisor of Statutes draft, file number RD2783, dated January 15, 1997, and as modified by the report of the Board's Rules Subcommittee, and identified as Minnesota Rules, chapters 4501, 4503, 4510, and 4511, are approved and adopted, pursuant to authority vested in the Board by Minnesota Statutes, section 10A.02, subd 13. Jeanne Olson, Executive Director of the Board, is directed to incorporate the approved modifications to the text of the proposed rules and to sign the Order Adopting Rules and incorporate such other nonsubstantial modifications as are necessary to obtain the approval of the rules by the Revisor of Statutes or the Administrative Law Judge, and to perform the necessary acts to provide that the rules shall have the force and effect of law.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Mr. Goldsmith reported that the rules will be sent to the Revisor's office and the Office of Administrative Hearings for review.

MATTERS BROUGHT FORWARD FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

Findings in the Matter of a Complaint Regarding Senator Roger Moe Acting on Behalf of the Senate Majority Caucus

The Board found that there is no probable cause to believe that Roger Moe or the Senate Majority Caucus violated the Ethics in Government Act, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A by accepting contributions with the expressed or implied condition that the contributions be directed to a particular candidate. The complaint of the Republican Party of Minnesota against Senator Roger Moe and the Senate Majority Caucus is dismissed in all respects. The record in this matter and all correspondence is hereby entered into the public record (see findings attached).

Findings in the Matter of a Complaint Regarding Representative Irvin Anderson Acting on Behalf of the House DFL Caucus

The Board found that there is no probable cause to believe that Irvin Anderson or the House DFL Caucus violated the Ethics in Government Act, Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A by accepting contributions with the expressed or implied condition that the contributions be directed to a particular candidate. The complaint of the Republican Party of Minnesota against Irvin Anderson and the House DFL Caucus is dismissed in all respects. The record in this matter and all correspondence is hereby entered into the public record (see findings attached).

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Wilson, Secretary

(Minutes by staff)

If you would like to receive any attachment referred to in these minutes please contact the board office