STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Friday, March 27, 1998

. . . . . . . . .

St. Croix Conference Room

Second Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

 

 

MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Chair Anderson.Members present: Anderson, Owens Hayes, Rodriguez, Slocum, Wilson.Others present: Olson, Goldsmith, Swanson, staff: Gretz, counsel.

 

Ms. Pauly previously informed the Board she would be unable to attend the Board meeting.

 

MINUTES (January 23, 1998)

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To approve the January 23, 1998, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by four members (Mr. Slocum absent).

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next Board meeting will be Friday, April 24, 1998.

 

Board Member Appointment

 

Ms. Olson reported that no appointment has been made to Ms. Owens Hayes' position and no hearings have been scheduled to confirm Ms. Wilson's reappointment.

 

Counsel Gretz noted that if an appointment is not made to Ms. Owens Hayes' position or confirmation hearings are not held for Ms. Wilson prior to the adjournment of the legislature, both terms will expire.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson reported the following:

 

 Staff activities

 

The Campaign Finance Management System continues in development. Mr. Goldsmith is holding seminars around the state to familiarize clients with the software and to prepare them for 1998 campaign finance reporting. Seminars have been held in Marshall, St. Cloud, and St. Paul. Four additional seminars are planned for St. Paul. Staff will provide intensive training when the software is ready for distribution. The software will be available for Beta testing and distribution in April.

 

Staff outreach

  Public Outreach:

 

February 3rd - Ms. Olson was interviewed by a group of students in a University of Minnesota MBA class on ethical decision making.

February 21st - Ms. Olson spoke to a group of Republican House candidates about campaign finance.

 

March 3rd - Ikuko Toyonaga and her escort visited the Board office. Ms. Toyonaga is an Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at Kyushu University in Fukuoka City, Japan, and is interested in Minnesota's campaign finance disclosure and conflict of interest provisions.

March 14th - Mr. Goldsmith was on a panel at a League of Women Voters meeting to discuss Minnesota campaign finance reform. There were about 15 people in attendance.

 

March 14th - Ms. Olson was in Madison, WI, to speak to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign about Minnesota's public subsidy and political contribution refund programs. There were about 50 people in attendance.

 

March 24th - Ms. Olson met with Felix Ulloa from El Salvador. Mr. Ulloa is a student at the Humphrey Fellowship Program and is interested in Minnesota's campaign and public financing provisions.

 

Personnel

 

Ms. Swanson reviewed the performance of Donna LaBarre, part-time clerk typist. Ms. LaBarre's performance meets or exceeds the standards for all her responsibilities and she will receive a step increase under the terms of AFSCME's contract with the state.

 

Ms. Errico reviewed the performance of Nicole Perreault, programs assistant. Ms. Perreault's performance meets or exceeds the standards for all her responsibilities and she will receive a step increase under the terms of AFSCME's contract with the state.

 

Mr. Goldsmith reviewed the performance of Bille Errico, compliance officer. Ms. Errico's performance meets or exceeds the standards for all her responsibilities. Ms. Errico is not eligible for a step increase under the terms of MAPE's contract with the state.

 

Ms. Olson reviewed the performance of LuAnn Swanson, office manager. Ms. Swanson's performance meets or exceeds the standards for all her responsibilities and she will receive a step increase and an achievement award under the terms of the MMA contract with the state.

 

Publications

 

Copies of Board Interpretations and Decisions - January through December 1997, compiled by staff were provided to Board members.

 

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL)

 

As chair of the site selection committee of the Steering Committee, Ms. Olson reviewed two proposals from jurisdictions interested in hosting the 2000 and 2001 annual COGEL conferences. The site selection committee will recommend a site for each year for vote by the general membership at the annual conference in Seattle.

 

Ms. Olson will be in Seattle the middle weekend in April for a pre-conference planning meeting.

 

Miscellaneous

 

A commentary article about the lobbyist gift ban that appeared in the Sunday, March 15, 1998, Star Tribune was provided to Board members.

 

Enforcement Report

 

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

 

Consent Items

 

Board Action: Authorization of third letter, to be sent by certified mail, to compel the filing of a required amendment to the Report of Receipts and Expenditures and to authorize subsequent legal enforcement action if the amendment is not filed. An amendment letter and one subsequent notice have previously been sent to each client.

 

Mallory Jacobson, treasurer, (Jess) Lehman for Representative

Richard Pellow, candidate, People for Pellow

Dean Steiner, treasurer, (Don) Ostrom Volunteer Committee

Dalen Gudmundson, treasurer, Volunteers for (Barbara) Long

JoAnn Alm, treasurer, Volunteers for (Jerome) DeRose

Walter Baldus, candidate, (Walter) Baldus Volunteer Committee

Board Action: Authorization of a third certified letter, as appropriate, to compel the filing of Report of Receipts and Expenditures for Principal Campaign Committees, Political Funds, Political Committees and Political Party Units, due February 2, 1998, and subsequent legal action if the reports are not filed. A reminder letter and two certified letters have been sent to the clients.

 

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

 

Bob McEachern, candidate, McEachern Volunteer Committee

 

 

Greg Abbott, chair, Minneapolis DFL

 

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 the client.

 

 

Richard Shager, Candidate, Richard J Shager 51 B: $100

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by four members (Slocum absent).

 

Discussion Item

 

Request to terminate with a cash balance of over $100

 

William McManus, treasurer, Republican National State Elections Committee - Operating The Republican National State Elections Committee - Operating (committee) registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board on October 29, 1986. According to a letter from the committee dated March 19, 1998, the committee is a component of the Republican National Committee and therefore, did not need to register with the Board. Since the committee registered in 1986, it has only made transfers to the Republican Party of Minnesota. The committee requests that the Board allow the committee to terminate its registration with a cash balance of more than $100. The Committee also requests that it not be required to file disclosure for 1997, or to provide additional disclosure for prior years, due to the fact that it was not legally required to register with the Board. Previous reports for this committee were incomplete with regard to the level of contributions for which detail was reported, missing some employment and address information, and disclosed receipt of contributions in excess of $100 from unregistered associations.

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To: 1) allow the Republican National State Elections Committee - Operating to terminate its registration with the Board with a cash balance of more than $100; and 2) discontinue efforts to secure disclosure in previously filed Reports of Receipts and Expenditures.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by four members (Slocum absent).

 

Informational Items

 Payment of Late Filing Fees

  Lobbyist Disbursement Report due July 15, 1998

  Bradley Clifford, Coalition for the Advancement of Telecommunication in Minnesota: $55

  Lobbyist Disbursement Report due January 15, 1998

  Mark Schultz, Land Stewardship Project: $20

  Report of Receipts and Expenditures due February 2, 1998

 

Michael Reger, (Sarah) Janacek Volunteer Committee: $5

 

Payment of Civil Fines

 

Dee Long, Candidate, Neighbors for Dee Long - During the period of January 1 through December 31, 1996, the Neighbors for Dee Long Committee accepted $5,550 in contributions from special sources. The total amount of these contributions exceeded the applicable spending limit of $4,557, by $993. On February 10, 1998, Dee Long entered a conciliation agreement to remedy the matter. On March 13, 1998, the committee paid a civil fine of $993, one times the amount by which the contributions exceeded the applicable limit.

 

Return of Public Subsidy

 

George Bateman, treasurer, (George) Bateman for Representative - $579.11 partial payment through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. $263.70 return of public subsidy financing remains to be paid for 1990.

 

Anonymous Contribution

 

Dick Borrell, Candidate, Borrell for Governor: $200

 

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

 

Conciliation Court

 

Rick Stafford, Treasurer, 61st Senate District DFL - Late filing fee and service of process fee: $160; for the late filing of Report of Receipts and Expenditures due January 31, 1997, and received in the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board office on October 29, 1997. A Judgment was obtained on February 5, 1998.

 

James Bernstein, treasurer, Metropolitan Good Government Coalition - Late filing fee: $500; for the late filing of Pre-Primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due September 3, 1996, and received in the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board office on October 14, 1996. A Judgment was obtained on February 3, 1998.

 

Administrative Procedures - Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan

 Board members reviewed a draft update based on state guidelines of the Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan.

 

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: To approve Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by four members (Slocum absent).

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

 

Requests for the following advisory opinions are nonpublic data.

 

Advisory Opinion #288 - Definition of Lobbyist

 

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request by the representative of an organization who asks if an employee of a public higher education system may be required to register as a lobbyist based on activities undertaken within the scope of the individual's employment, although not specifically on behalf of the employer.

 

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #288 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #288 signed by Chair Barry Anderson, March 27, 1998:

An individual is not required to register as a lobbyist based on activities undertaken within the scope of the individual's employment by a public higher education system.

 

Advisory Opinion #289

 

An advisory opinion request by legal counsel representing an organization was received in the Board office on March 19th. Copies of the request were provided to Board members.

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To lay this matter over to the April 24th Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

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 copy of memo attached).

 

Commercial Use of Board Data

 

Patrick Boulay, St. Paul Legal Ledger - Both parties filed Joint Informational Statements. This matter may be ruled upon through a summary judgment. July 1st is the deadline for submission of briefs and affidavits. The St. Paul Legal Ledger served discovery on March 19th.

 

LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT

 

Ms. Rodriguez reported that the public forum held on February 13th was well attended. A list of topics discussed at the forum was made available to Board members (see copy of list attached). The Board will finalize the 1999 legislative recommendations list at a future Board retreat.

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Findings in the Matter of an Investigation Regarding the Acceptance of Prohibited Contributions During 1997 Legislative Session by the (Michael) Freeman for Governor Committee

 

The Board issued findings concerning probable cause in the matter of an investigation regarding the (Michael) Freeman for Governor Committee. 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).

 

Findings in the Matter of an Investigation Regarding the Acceptance of Prohibited Contributions During 1997 Legislative Session by the (Ted) Mondale for Governor Committee

 

The Board issued findings concerning probable cause in the matter of an investigation regarding the (Ted) Mondale for Governor Committee. 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).

 

Findings in the Matter of an Investigation Regarding the Acceptance of Prohibited Contributions During 1997 Legislative Session by the (Charles) Weaver for Attorney General Committee

 

The Board issued findings concerning probable cause in the matter of an investigation regarding the (Charles) Weaver for Attorney General Committee. 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).

 

Findings in the Matter of an Investigation Regarding a Contribution Made by the (Bradley) Bennett Volunteer Committee to a Candidate Seeking Political Subdivision Office

 

The Board issued findings concerning probable cause in the matter of an investigation regarding the (Bradley) Bennett Volunteer Committee. 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).

 

Findings in the Matter of an Investigation Regarding a Contribution Made by The Friends of Michael Campbell Committee to a Candidate Seeking Federal Office

 

The Board issued findings concerning probable cause in the matter of an investigation regarding The Friends of Michael Campbell Committee. 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

in the absence of Sidney Pauly, Secretary

(Minutes by staff)

 

 Attachments:

 

 

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

Office of the Attorney General


 

TO

:

JEANNE OLSON
Executive Director, Campaign Finance 
and Public Disclosure Board 

DATE

:

March 19, 1998

 

FROM

:

SUSAN C. GRETZ
Assistant Attorney General
Manager, Labor Division

PHONE

:

296-2424 (Voice)

296-1410 (TTY)

 

SUBJECT

:

Status Report of Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Matters 

  

I. MAJOR CASES/MAJOR ISSUES:

  1. St. Paul Legal Ledger v. State, Campaign Finance Board: The parties filed a Joint Informational Statement, setting out a timetable for the litigation. Because there are no factual issues in dispute, the matter may be ruled upon by the court through summary judgment (without a trial). We have agreed to a July 1 deadline for submission of briefs and affidavits. The Legal Ledger served discovery on March 19.

 

II. ENFORCEMENT MATTERS.

 

 

 

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

STATUS REPORT

March 18, 1998

 

Candidate/

Treasurer/

Lobbyist

 

 

Committee

Report

Missing/

Violation

 

 

Penalty

Referred

to AGO (Atty)

Demand Letter Sent

Date

S & C

Served

Default Hearing Date

Date Judgment Entered

 

 

Case Status

Bateman, George

Return of Public Subsidy

Received partial payment through bankruptcy; balance due $408.01.

Hanson, Edmond

Pol. Educ. Fund of Local 21

Amended Report of Receipts and Expenditures

11/25/97

12/15/97

Reported contributing $300 to Battaglia Volunteer Committee. The Battaglia Volunteer Committee in our system denied receipt of same. Further investigation reveals a second Battaglia Volunteer Committee (for Dakota County Commissioner), which confirms receipt of a contribution from Hanson. Awaiting confirming documentation; contacted again on 3/17.

Heisenfelt, Connie

Heisenfelt for Senate

Exceeding Contribution Limits

$360

(SR)

10/16/97

12/15/97

Heisenfelt contacted Board Staff and indicated an interest in a payment plan. Upon failure to follow up, I have notified in writing that we will move for default judgment if answer is not received by 3/31.

Henderson, Jill

Stebbens for State Senate Committee & Stebbens for State Rep. Comm.

YE Report of Receipts & Expenditures

$200 + $75 service

10/8/97

(SR)

4/30/97

6/24/97 and 9/22/97 (new address)

12/22/97

Default judgment awarded 12/22/97 and docketed in Hennepin County. Henderson has indicated she will pay fine, and requested from Board forms for the 1996 report. I wll allow 60 days before instituting action against Stebbins for return of public subsidy.

Schultz, Michael

Schultz Volunteer Committee

YE Report of Receipts & Expenditures

$100 + $45 service

10/8/97

(JT)

7/7/97

Default papers drafted and ready to serve week of 3/23.

  

 

Swonder, Steve

[Nursing Board]

Supplemental Statement of Economic Interest

$100

10/8/97

(JT)

11/10/97

1/26/98

Default hearing held 1/26/98; judgment entered in Board's favor, ordering Swonder to file statement by 4/15/97 and awarding $140.00 judgment; awaiting receipt of certified copy of judgment for docketing in Hennepin County.

 

 

 

------------------

STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

 

 

FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF

CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE REGULAR 1997 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

BY THE (MICHAEL) FREEMAN FOR GOVERNOR COMMITTEE

 

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

 

The Report of Receipts and Expenditures ("Report"), covering calendar year 1997, filed by the (Michael) Freeman for Governor Committee, #12955,("Committee") disclosed that it had accepted a $500 contribution on March 26, 1997, from Wendell Anderson. The Report also disclosed that the Committee had accepted contributions of $200 each on April 23, and May 2, 1997, from Joseph Beaton, Jr. and Samuel Hanson, respectively. All of the contributors are lobbyists registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ("Board"). The regular 1997 Legislative Session was held from January 7 to May 19, 1997.

 

By letter dated February 2, 1998, Antoinette Harms, treasurer for the Committee, notified the Board of the Committee's acceptance of these contributions during the regular 1997 Legislative session when she filed the report on February 4, 1998. The letter acknowledged the Committee's acceptance of the contributions and explained that the mistake was discovered in December while preparing the Report. Ms. Harms also stated that procedures have been changed so that it does not happen in the future.

 

This matter was considered by the Board in executive session on March 27, 1998.

  

Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:

 

STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE

 

1. The Freeman for Governor Committee reported accepting a contribution of $500 from Wendell Anderson on March 26, 1997. The Committee also reported accepting contributions of $200 each from Joseph Beaton, Jr. and Samuel Hanson on April 23, and May 2, 1997, respectively. The three contributors are lobbyists registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board. The regular 1997 Legislative Session was held from January 7 to May 19, 1997.

 

2. The Committee's treasurer notified the Board of the acceptance of contributions from registered lobbyists during the regular 1997 Legislative Session when she filed the Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering calendar year 1997.

 

3. Board records show that this is the first calendar year in which the Freeman for Governor Committee reported acceptance of contributions from registered lobbyists, political committees or political funds during the regular legislative session.

 

Based on the above Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:

 

FINDING CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE

 

There is probable cause to believe that the Freeman for Governor Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.065 by accepting contributions from Wendell Anderson, Joseph Beaton, Jr. and Samuel Hanson, registered lobbyists, during the regular session of the Legislature in 1997.

 

Based on the above Finding Concerning Probable Cause, the Board issues the following:

 

ORDER

 

1. 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 imposes civil fines totaling $900 on the Freeman for Governor Committee, representing a fine of $500 for acceptance of the contribution from Wendell Anderson, and $200 each for acceptance of contributions from Joseph Beaton, Jr. and Samuel Hanson.

 

2. The Freeman for Governor Committee is directed to forward to the Board payment of the civil fine, by check or money order payable to the STATE OF MINNESOTA, within thirty days after receipt of this order.

 

3. If the Freeman for Governor Committee does not comply with the provisions of this order, the Board's Executive Director shall refer this matter to the Ramsey County Attorney for civil enforcement pursuant to Minn. Stat. 10A.065.

 

4. The Board investigation of this matter is entered into the public record in accordance with Minn. Stat. 10A.02, subd. 11, and upon payment by the Freeman for Governor Committee of the civil fine imposed herein, the matter is concluded.

 

Dated: 3/27/98

G. Barry Anderson, Chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board

 

---------

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

 

FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF

A CONTRIBUTION DURING THE REGULAR 1997 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

BY THE (TED) MONDALE FOR GOVERNOR COMMITTEE

 

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

 

The Report of Receipts and Expenditures ("Report"), covering calendar year 1997, filed by the (Ted) Mondale for Governor Committee, #13679,("Committee") disclosed that it had accepted a $500 contribution on February 19, 1997, from Wendell Anderson, a lobbyist registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ("Board"). The regular 1997 Legislative Session was held from January 7 to May 19, 1997.

 

By supplemental note submitted with the Report on February 2, 1998, Len Levine, treasurer for the Committee, notified the Board of the Committee's acceptance of this contribution during the regular 1997 Legislative Session. The supplemental note acknowledges the Committee's acceptance of the contribution and explained that the contribution was returned. A copy of the check and accompanying letter dated January 30, 1998, returning the contribution was included.

 

This matter was considered by the Board in executive session on March 27, 1998. Judi Ray, treasurer and Jim Erickson, attorney appeared and gave testimony on behalf of the Committee.

  

Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:

 

STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE

 

1. The Mondale for Governor Committee reported accepting a contribution on February 19, 1997, of $500 from Wendell Anderson, a lobbyist registered with the Board. The regular 1997 Legislative Session was held from January 7 to May 19, 1997.

 

2. The Committee's treasurer notified the Board of the acceptance of the contribution from a registered lobbyist during the regular 1997 Legislative Session when he filed the Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering calendar year 1997.

 

3. Board records show that this is the first calendar year in which the Mondale for Governor Committee reported acceptance of contributions from registered lobbyists, political committees or political funds during the regular legislative session.

 

 

Based on the above Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:

 

FINDING CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE

 

There is probable cause to believe that the Mondale for Governor Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.065 by accepting a contribution from Wendell Anderson, a registered lobbyist, during the regular session of the Legislature in 1997.

 

 

Based on the above Finding Concerning Probable Cause, the Board issues the following:

 

ORDER

 

1. 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 imposes a civil fine of $500 on the Mondale for Governor Committee for acceptance of a contribution during the regular 1997 Legislative Session.

 

2. The Mondale for Governor Committee is directed to forward to the Board payment of the civil fine, by check or money order payable to the STATE OF MINNESOTA, within thirty days after receipt of this order.

 

3. If the Mondale for Governor Committee does not comply with the provisions of this order, the Board's Executive Director shall refer this matter to the Ramsey County Attorney for civil enforcement pursuant to Minn. Stat. 10A.065.

 

4. The Board investigation of this matter is entered into the public record in accordance with Minn. Stat. 10A.02, subd. 11, and upon payment by the Mondale for Governor Committee of the civil fine imposed herein, the matter is concluded.

 

Dated: 3/31/98

G. Barry Anderson, Chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board

 

 

-------------

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

 

FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF THE ACCEPTANCE OF

CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE REGULAR 1997 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

BY THE (CHARLES) WEAVER FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL COMMITTEE

 

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

 

The Report of Receipts and Expenditures ("Report"), covering calendar year 1997, filed by the (Charles) Weaver for Attorney General Committee, #13681,("Committee") disclosed that it had accepted a $200 contribution on April 27, 1997, from Stewart Widdess, a lobbyist registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ("Board"). The regular 1997 Legislative Session was held from January 7 to May 19, 1997.

 

By memorandum dated February 23, 1998, staff notified Richard Jellinger, treasurer for the Committee, of the violation. A copy of the memorandum was sent to the candidate, Representative Charles Weaver.

 

By letter dated March 5, 1998, Richard Jellinger acknowledges that the Committee did inadvertently accept a contribution of $200 from Stewart Widdess during the 1997 Legislative session. Mr. Jellinger also states that the contribution was returned to Mr. Widdess. A copy of the accompanying letter, dated February 26, 1998, returning the contribution was enclosed.

 

This matter was considered by the Board in executive session on March 27, 1998.

  

Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:

 

STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE

 

1. The Weaver for Attorney General Committee reported accepting a contribution of $200 from Stewart Widdess, a lobbyist registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, on April 27, 1997. The regular 1997 Legislative Session was held from January 7 to May 19, 1997.

 

2. The Committee's treasurer acknowledges the acceptance of the contribution from a registered lobbyists during the regular 1997 Legislative Session.

 

3. The contribution was returned to Stewart Widdess on February 26, 1998.

 

4. Board records show that this is the first calendar year in which the Weaver for Attorney General Committee reported acceptance of contributions from registered lobbyists, political committees or political funds during the regular legislative session.

 

Based on the above Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:

 

FINDING CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE

 

There is probable cause to believe that the Weaver for Attorney General Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.065 by accepting a contribution from Stewart Widdess, a registered lobbyist, during the regular session of the Legislature in 1997.

 

 

Based on the above Finding Concerning Probable Cause, the Board issues the following:

 

ORDER

 

1. 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 imposes a civil fine of $200 on the Weaver for Attorney General Committee for the acceptance of a contribution from a registered lobbyist during the regular 1997 Legislative session.

 

2. The Weaver for Attorney General Committee is directed to forward to the Board payment of the civil fine, by check or money order payable to the STATE OF MINNESOTA, within thirty days after receipt of this order.

 

3. If the Weaver for Attorney General Committee does not comply with the provisions of this order, the Board's Executive Director shall refer this matter to the Ramsey County Attorney for civil enforcement pursuant to Minn. Stat. 10A.065.

 

4. The Board investigation of this matter is entered into the public record in accordance with Minn. Stat. 10A.02, subd. 11, and upon payment by the Weaver for Attorney General Committee of the civil fine imposed herein, the matter is concluded.

 

Dated: 3/27/98

G. Barry Anderson, Chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board

 

-------------

 

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

 

FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF A CONTRIBUTION MADE BY THE

(BRADLEY) BENNETT VOLUNTEER COMMITTEE

TO A CANDIDATE SEEKING A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OFFICE

 

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

 

The (Bradley) Bennett Volunteer Committee ("Committee") filed a Report of Receipts and Expenditures ("Report") for calendar year 1997, with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board ("Board"). Review of the Report by staff disclosed that on August 3, and October 30, 1997, the Committee made contributions of $100 and $127 respectively to the Nelson Volunteer Committee, the committee of a candidate for school board, which is a political subdivision office.

 

Staff notified Dwight Nelson, treasurer for the Committee, of a potential violation of Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 9(c), which prohibits a principal campaign committee from making a contribution to a candidate seeking a political subdivision office. A copy of the notification was sent to Bradley Bennett, the candidate.

 

Mr. Bennett responded by letter dated February 26, 1998, in which he explained that the contribution was made after referring to a page of definitions provided in a principal campaign committee reporting form ET-4 (8/96). The definition refers to contributions made by a principal campaign committee to political funds. Mr. Bennett interpreted the wording "political fund" to include a local school board campaign.

 

This matter was considered by the Board in executive session on March 27, 1998. No one from the Committee asked to appear before the Board.

 

 

Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:

 

STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE

 

1. The (Bradley) Bennett Volunteer Committee is a principal campaign committee registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

 

2. The Bennett Volunteer Committee made two contributions totaling $227 to the Nelson Volunteer Committee, the committee of a candidate for school board, which is a political subdivision office.

 

3. Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 9(c), prohibits principal campaign committees from making contributions to candidates seeking a political subdivision office.

  

Based on the Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:

 

FINDINGS CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE

 

1. There is probable cause to believe that the Bennett Volunteer Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 9(c), when it made a $100 contribution on August 3, 1997, and a $127 contribution on October 30, 1997, to the Nelson Volunteer Committee.

 

2. Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A provides no penalty for this violation.

  

Based on the above Findings Concerning Probable Cause, the Board issues the following:

 

ORDER

 

The Board investigation of this matter is entered into the public record in accordance with Minn. Stat. 10A.02, subd. 11.

 

A copy of this document shall be provided to Bradley Bennett.

 

 

Dated: 3/27/98

G. Barry Anderson, Chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board