STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Friday, June 26, 1998

. . . . . . . . .

Blazing Star Conference Room

Ground Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

 

 

MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Chair Anderson.

 

Members present: Anderson, Fluegel, Pauly, Rodriguez, Slocum, Wilson.

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

 

MINUTES (April 24 and May 4, 1998)

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve the April 24 and May 4, 1998, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by 4 members (Fluegel abstained, Wilson absent).

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Member Appointment

 

Chair Anderson welcomed Wil  Fluegel. The Governor appointed Mr. Fluegel to Ms. Wilson's former position on the Board effective June 16, 1998.

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

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

 

FY 1999 Board Officers

 

Chair Anderson made the following appoints to the nominating committee: Ms. Rodriguez, Mr. Slocum, and Chair Anderson. The committee will meet by conference call and report to the Board at the July Board meeting.

 

Board Resolution

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To adopt the following resolution:

Resolved that, the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board recognizes Vanne Owens Hayes for her years of service from 1990 to 1998 as a member of the Board and offers this resolution in appreciation for her investment of time and energy in support of the mission and objectives of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Board Policy on Security Information

 

Board members reviewed a draft policy on security information regarding individuals required to file certain documents with the Board.

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To approve the policy on security information as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by 5 members (Wilson absent) (see copy of policy attached).

 

Affirmative Action Plan

 

The Board reviewed and made certain language changes to a draft Affirmative Action Plan for August 1, 1998, to July 31, 2000.

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To approve the Affirmative Action Plan as amended in discussion.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by 5 members (Wilson absent).

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson reported the following:

 

Staff activities

 

The Campaign Finance Management System software is available for client use in version one. Mr. Goldsmith continues to offer weekly software training to interested clients.

 

Mr. Goldsmith, Ms. Swanson, and Ms. Olson met with Mr. Fluegel to discuss Board activities and policies.

 

Mr. Goldsmith continues to meet with the Minnesota Historical Society's Electronic Records Advisory Task Force in an attempt to resolve issues about the definition and storage of electronic records.

 

Public Outreach:

May 1 - Ms. Olson was on the faculty of a continuing legal education seminar on campaign finance, lobbying, and the gift ban. Counsel Gretz attended the seminar and assisted in drafting written materials dealing with Chapter 10A issues.

May 14 and May 17 - Mr. Goldsmith held general campaign finance training. One session was for candidate committees and the other session was for political committees, political funds, and political party units. Staff will schedule more campaign finance and software training during July and August around the state.

 

May 17 - May 19 - Ms. Swanson and Ms. Olson attended the Heartland Conference. The regional conference was for administrative personnel of Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) member agencies. Ms. Olson moderated a session about balancing Board / Staff responsibilities. Representatives from about ten states attended the conference.

 

June 23 - Mr. Slocum and Ms. Olson presented information about the Board and campaign finance to a Hamline University Graduate School Ethics in Government class.

 

June 23 - Ms. Olson met with staff from the House and Senate for preliminary talks about recodification of Chapter 10A. The group will meet weekly throughout the summer.

Personnel

 

The position description for the Assistant Executive Secretary, Mr. Goldsmith incumbent, has been rewritten to reflect the current responsibilities. The Department of Employee Relations is reviewing the position description to ensure compensation at an appropriate level.

 

Miscellaneous:

 

A copy of a portion of the tobacco settlement dealing with lobbyist disclosure was provided to Board members. The additional disclosure information is filed with the Attorney General's office and Governor's office.

 

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL)

 

The annual COGEL conference will be in Seattle from September 13 - 16th. Registration and program information was provided to Board members. Board members may wish to discuss attendance at the conference. An early decision on who will attend may keep travel costs down.

 

Mr. Goldsmith will moderate a session at the conference intended to assist other jurisdictions in developing electronic disclosure systems. Ms. Olson will attend the COGEL steering committee meetings all day Sunday, September 13th and Wednesday afternoon and Thursday following the conference.

 

It was agreed by consensus that Mr. Slocum and Mr. Fluegel will attend the COGEL conference in Seattle. Ms. Wilson will serve as an alternate in case Mr. Slocum is unable to attend.

 

Enforcement Report

 

Ms. Perreault presented the following enforcement matters for Board action:

 

Consent Item

 

Board Action: Authorization of a third letter, to be sent by certified mail, to compel the filing of a required amendment to the Report of Receipts and Expenditures, Lobbyist Disbursement Report, or Statement of Economic Interest 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.

Geneva Dorsey, treasurer, Friends of Thomas Ross Committee

Jerry Burdeski, treasurer, Volunteers for (Terry) Kroke Committee

Jeffrey Gargaro, treasurer, 42nd Senate District RPM

Michael McCarthy, treasurer, Libertarian Party of Minnesota

Curtis De Young, treasurer, St. Croix Valley Central Labor Union

Edwin Cain, Representing City of Marshall

 

M. Judith Schmidt, Arts Board

David Doth, Human Services Department

M Elaine Prom, Teaching Board

Marilyn Vigil, Board of Social Work

Riddhi Jani, Office of the Attorney General

Scott Malm, Minnesota Technology Institute

 

Board Action: Authorization of a third letter, to be sent by certified mail, to compel the filing of an Original Statement of Economic Interest, due March 27, 1998, and subsequent legal action if the report is not filed. A reminder letter and two certified letters have been sent to the client.

 

Samlong Inthaly-Smith, Board of Social Work

 

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

Aric Nissen, candidate, Aric Nissen for State Representative: $100

Marilyn Vigil, Board of Social Work: $20

Joseph Quinn, treasurer, Minneapolis Fire Department Pensioners' PCF: $55

 

Board Action: Authorization of a third letter, to be sent by certified mail, to compel the filing of the Lobbyist Disbursement Report, due April 15, 1998, and subsequent legal action if the report is not filed. A reminder letter and two certified letters have been sent to each client.

 

Fred Myers, Representing National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action

Forest Wilkinson, Representing Forest Wilkinson

Ann M DeGroot, Representing Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council

C. Scott Cooper, Representing Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council

Michael Burns, Representing Hennepin County Board of Commissioners

Board Action: Authorization of a third letter, to be sent by certified mail, to compel the filing of a required amendment to the committee's 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.

Richard Peterson, treasurer, Jackson County DFL

Brian Bergson, candidate, Volunteers to Elect Brian Bergson

 

Board Action: Authorization of a letter, to be sent by the Attorney General's Office to compel the filing of the Annual Report of Lobbyist Principal, due March 16, 1998, and subsequent legal action if the report is not filed. Two letters have been sent to each client.

 

Advantage Minn

AFSCME #14

American Express

American Lung Assn. of Minn

ASI Worldwide Communications Corp.

Assn. of Professional Driving Instrs of Minn

Brotherhood

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers

Cedar Towing Inc.

Chicago Board Options Exchange

Clean Fuels Minn

Collectors Consortium of Minn, Inc.

CompuServ, Inc.

Computer Assisted Technologies, Inc.

E W Blanch Holdings, Inc.

Ericsson Inc.

FANS (Fans Advocating Intelligent Spend'g)

Forrest Wilkinson

FRM Associates

Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council

Green Institute

Indian Child Welfare Law Center

Int'l Plasma Products Industry Assn.

Kaplan Companies (The)

Leech Lake Reservation Bus. Community

Lower Sioux Community

Microsoft, Inc.

Minn Assn. for Pupil Transportation

Minn Assn. of Collectors

Minn Assn. of Private Detectives

Minn Health Info Management Assn.

Minn Jewelers Assn.

Minn Lawful Gaming Distributors Assn.

Minn Paralegal Assn.

Minn Pest Control Assn.

Minn Social Service Assn.

Minn Society for Respiratory Care

Minn Weapon Collector Assn.

Minneapolis Taxi Federation

Minneapolis Urban League

Minnesotans Against Abusive Gambling

Mr. Movies

National Assn. of Security Companies, Inc.

National Federation of Ind. Business/Minn

Paul Revere PAC

Prairie Island Dakota Community

Securities Industry Assn.

Suburban Taxi Corp.

United Lakeshore Property Owners Assn.

United Sportsmen of Minn

United Telephone Co. of Minn

University of Minnesota Faculty Assn.

VOICE

Wackenhut Corrections

Westar Properties

Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories

 

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

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed 5 members (Wilson absent).

 

Discussion Items

 

Termination of Inactive Committees

 

The following committees have been identified as inactive. Staff notified the treasurer of each committee of the need to terminate the committee's registration with the Board. Staff requests authorization of a certified letter to compel the termination and subsequent action, as directed by the Board, if the termination is not filed. Two notices have been previously sent to each client.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To authorize: 1) a certified letter to compel termination; and 2) subsequent notification to the Attorney General's office of the committees that fail to terminate.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed 5 members (Wilson absent).

Waiver Request

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To approve Mr. Scroggin's request to waive the $100 late filing fee request due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by 5 members (Wilson absent).

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To: 1) continue efforts to obtain the 1997 Reports of Receipts and Expenditures from the Volunteers for Brian Bergson committee; and 2) pursue the monetary portion of the accrued late filing fees of $100 from the candidate, Brian Bergson.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by 5 members (Wilson absent).

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To: 1) approve the request to waive the $100 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstance; and 2) direct staff to administratively terminate the William Schottler Volunteer Committee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by 5 members (Wilson absent).

 

Employment Disclosure

 

As a result of review of the Reports of Receipts and Expenditures for calendar year 1997, staff sent letters informing committees of the requirement to have complete date, address, and employment/occupation disclosure for all individuals which give an aggregate of over $100. All committees have provided complete date and address information. There are currently eight committees which have missing employment information. Staff requests Board direction on further enforcement procedure.

 

 

 

Committee

Total Contributors

Missing Employment

Republican Party of Minnesota

1,187

23

DFL House Caucus

51

3

7th Congressional District RPM

2

1

House RPM Campaign Committee

147

4

Senate RPM Election Committee

131

5

Progressive Minnesota

89

35

Senate Majority Caucus

40

3

Minnesota Republicans for Choice

27

8

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To direct staff to send a letter to the eight noncomplying committees informing them that: 1) the committee may return the subject contributions in lieu of further Board action; 2) if the subject contributions are not returned, the Board will proceed with the matter as an investigation of potential reporting violation; 3) failure to provide additional disclosure could result in the Board issuing a finding concerning probable cause; 4) the Board will consider this matter in executive session at its next meeting on July 24, 1998, to determine whether to make a finding; and 5) if the Board finds probable cause to believe that a violation of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A, has occurred, that finding will be reported to the appropriate law enforcement authorities as required by Minn. Stat. 10A.02, subd. 11.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Request to Withdraw Registration

 

Staff review of the National Association of Independent Insurers Report of Receipts and Expenditures found contributions from unregistered associations. During phone calls with staff, it was explained that these are contributions from other federal PACs. By letter, dated May 21, 1998, June Holmes states that the contributions, while not solicited, are an important source of revenue for the committee and it is not realistic for the committee to refund them. Therefore, the committee requests that their registration be withdrawn immediately and that no further enforcement action be taken. The committee registered in 1996, and made contributions, to the Minnesota House and Senate Republican Caucuses.

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To approve the request to withdraw the registration of the National Association of Independent Insurers committee and to take no further enforcement action against the committee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

On May 26, 1998, staff received a letter from John C. Briggs the treasurer of the HyVee Inc., Employees Political Committee requesting that the committee's registration be withdrawn. The committee registered on April 16, 1998, and gave one contribution to a candidate which was returned.

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To approve the request to withdraw the registration of the HyVee Inc., Employees Political Action Committee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Request to Remain Active

 

On June 3, 1998, staff notified the Committee to Retain the Appeals Court Judges that it was considered an inactive committee and that it must file a termination report with the Board within 60 days. On June 12, 1998, Mr. Forsberg sent a letter requesting that the committee be allowed to remain active. The letter states that although no funds have been expended the committee has been active. During the 1996 elections, none of the appeals court judges were challenged. According to the letter, the very nature of the committee is that it is an ongoing committee that becomes active during election years.

 

Mr. Anderson recused himself from discussion on this matter. Vice Chair Rodriguez presided.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve the request of the Committee to Retain the Appeals Court Judges to remain active.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by 5 members.

 

On June 3, 1998, staff notified the Minnesota Podiatry PAC that it was considered an inactive committee and that it must file a termination report with the Board within 60 days. On June 22, 1998, Mr. Tauscheck sent a letter requesting that the committee be allowed to remain active. Mr. Tauscheck states that the committee will be participating in the 1998 election year.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve the request of the Minnesota Podiatry PAC to remain active.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

On June 3, 1998, staff notified the Burnsville Education Association Committee that it was considered an inactive committee and that it must file a termination report with the Board within 60 days. On June 24, 1998, Ms. Fecke sent a letter requesting that the committee be allowed to remain active. Ms. Fecke states that the committee will be making expenditures during the upcoming 1998 election year.

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To approve the request of the Burnsville Education Association Committee to remain active.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

The Board directed staff to place on the consent agenda first time requests from inactive committees requesting to remain active.

 

Further Enforcement Action

 

The Board imposed a late filing fee of $100 for the late filing of the Pre-Primary Report of Receipts and Expenditures due on September 6, 1996. At its meeting of June 27, 1997, the Board directed staff to dismiss the court proceedings against Mr. Knoedler and proceed with the Revenue Recapture and Minnesota Collections Enterprise programs. The Board directed staff to review the matter in one year. The filing fee was not recovered through the collection programs. Board members agreed by consensus that no further legal action would be taken. The Board directed staff to continue attempts to secure the $100 late filing fee through Revenue Recapture and Minnesota Collections Enterprise programs.

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late Filing Fees

William Anderson, Friends of Rob Hafiz: $75

Paul Peterson, (Steven) Boynton for Senate: $10

Gavin Wilkinson, Klaphake Volunteer Committee: $15

Teri Halpin, Representing Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association: $85

 

Ellen Palmer, The Board of Lola & Rudy Perpich Minn Center for Arts Education: $10

 

Payment of Civil Fines

 

Revenue Re-Capture Program

 

Minnesota Collection Enterprise MCE

 

Return Of Public Subsidy

 

Anonymous Contribution

 

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

 

FY99 SPENDING PLAN

 

Board members reviewed a draft spending plan for fiscal year 1999.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve the spending plan for fiscal year 1999 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

 

Request for the following advisory opinion is public data.

 

Advisory Opinion #293 - Campaign fundraising activities

 

The Board reviewed and discussed a draft response to an advisory opinion request by Robert Maline, Treasurer, Jesse Ventura for Governor Volunteer Committee, who asks: 1) if the manufacture and sale of fundraising merchandise using the services of a "pick and pack" distributor, which ordinarily makes these services available to the public, results in a contribution to the Committee from the manufacturer/distributor or in the bundling of contributions; and 2) if the consignment of manufactured items to retail businesses and the subsequent sale by the business results in a contribution to the Committee from the retail business or in the bundling of contributions.

 

Chair Anderson welcomed Robert Maline, Treasurer, and Doug Friedline, Campaign Manager, for the Jesse Ventura for Governor Committee ("Committee"). Mr. Maline explained and answered questions from the Board about the procedure the committee planned to use in placing shirts for sale in public stores. Mr. Friedline asked the Board if the shirts should have a tag on them telling buyers that the purchase of a shirt is a campaign contribution to the Committee. Mr. Goldsmith noted that chapter 10A does not require that type of notification. Counsel Gretz cautioned that contributors giving donations in addition to the purchase of a shirt may reach limits that require other disclosure and that contributors should be made aware that the purchase of a shirt is considered a contribution.

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: Direct staff to revise the draft response to include language requiring the Jesse Ventura for Governor Volunteer Committee to inform buyers that purchase of a shirt is considered a contribution to the committee.

Mr. Slocum's AMENDED MOTION: Direct staff to revise the draft response to include language: 1) requiring the Jesse Ventura for Governor Volunteer Committee to inform buyers that purchase of a shirt is considered a contribution to the committee; and 2) informing buyers of a shirt that if they total contributions from the purchaser to the committee are more than $20 with the purchase of a shirt, they must provide their address.

 

Mr. Slocum withdrew the AMENDED MOTION.

 

Mr. Slocum's AMENDED MOTION: Direct staff to revise the draft response to include language: 1) strongly urging the Jesse Ventura for Governor Volunteer Committee to inform buyers that purchase of a shirt is considered a contribution to the committee; and 2) informing buyers of a shirt that if total contributions from the purchaser to the committee are more than $100 with the purchase of a shirt, the buyer must provide their address and employer

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

The Board discussed the concept of retail sales of merchandise as a fundraising mechanism. The Board concluded that such sales would not result in contributions from the retailer or in bundling of contributions if the agreement between the committee and the retailer was an arms-length transaction based on fair market value consideration.

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To: 1) direct staff to draft Advisory Opinion 293 in accordance with the Board's conclusions reached in discussion and Mr. Slocum's amended motion; 2) circulate the amended text to the chair and other Board members for a five working day review; and 3) direct the chair to approve nonsubstantive changes, if any, and sign the opinion.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Request for the following advisory opinion is nonpublic data.

 

Advisory Opinion #294 - Definition of constituent services

 

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request by the treasurer of a candidate's principal campaign committee who asks if the costs of publishing the candidate's message described in the facts may properly be reported as 25% campaign expenditures and 75% as noncampaign disbursements.

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #294 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Summary: Advisory Opinion #294 signed by Chair Barry Anderson, June 26, 1998: Publication of a candidate's message at Christmas time is not a constituent service. Use of principal campaign committee funds for the publication must be reported as campaign expenditures.

 

Request to Reconsider Advisory Opinion #290 - Campaign Finance Requirements Applicable to Indian Tribes (See April 24th and May 4th minutes)

 

Board members reviewed a letter from legal counsel of an Indian tribe that wishes to participate in the Minnesota political process who asks the Board to reconsider the conclusions rendered in Advisory Opinion #290.

 

Chair Anderson welcomed Robert Hentges, Kurt Bluedog, and Greg Paulson, counsel to the tribe who spoke concerning the issues.

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To reconsider Advisory Opinion #290 for the limited purpose of reviewing whether to address the definition of association in the opinion.

 

Board chair welcomed Tony Trimble, counsel, Republican Party of Minnesota, who spoke concerning the reconsideration of the Advisory Opinion on a broader range of issues.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed

 

The Board discussed whether it was necessary to reach a conclusion concerning the legal status of an Indian Tribe in order to provide the guidance the Tribe needs concerning disclosure.

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To direct staff to: 1) amend Advisory Opinion 290 to remove issues one and two; 2) retain the section of the opinion describing the disclosure the Board will accept; 3) circulate the amended text to the chair and other Board members for a five working day review; and 4) direct the chair to approve nonsubstantive changes, if any, and sign the opinion.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Request to Reconsider Findings in the Complaint of the Minnesota Republican Party Regarding the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor State Central Committee, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux PAC, and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

 

Board members reviewed a letter from Tony Trimble, counsel, Republican Party of Minnesota, requesting reconsideration of the conclusions rendered in the original findings in this matter. No motion was made.

 

Mr. Hentges requested an additional 30 days to comply with the order based on the complaint of the Republican Party of Minnesota so the Tribe can confer with other tribes who have matters pending before the Board.

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To approve the request for the 30 day extension to comply with the order.

 

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 (see January 23rd, March 27th, and April 24th minutes)

Patrick Boulay, St. Paul Legal Ledger - Counsel Gretz reported that the summary judgment motion will be heard on July 29, 1998.

 

 

Requests for Waiver

 

Ms. Rodriguez's MOTION: To pursue the accrued late filing fee of $50 from the candidate, Jeff Aakhus.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint of Donald Moe Regarding Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association

 

The Board issued findings concerning probable cause in the matter of an investigation regarding a letter mailed to the membership of the Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association which included a statement supporting a particular candidate running for state auditor in the 1994 election year and did not include a statement of independent expenditure. 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,

 

 Sidney Pauly, Secretary

(Minutes by staff)

 attachments (3)

 

 

 

 

State of Minnesota

Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board

First Floor South, Centennial Building . 658 Cedar Street . St. Paul, MN 55155-1603

 

 

Policy on Security Information

 

 

"Security information means government data, the disclosure of which would be likely to substantially jeopardize the security of . . . individuals . . . against . . . trespass or physical injury." Minn. Stat. 13.37, subd. 1(a).

 

Security information regarding individuals is classified as private data by the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (Minn. Stat. Chapter 13).

 

An individual may request that public information about the individual filed with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board be considered security information and re-classified as private data. When such a request includes information which supports a belief that public data about the individual in Board files may substantially jeopardize the security of the individual against trespass or physical injury, the Executive Director shall temporarily classify that data as private and remove it from the Board's public files.

 

The matter shall be brought to the Board in executive session at its next regularly scheduled meeting. The Board will determine whether all or a portion of the filed data is security information. Any portion of the filed data which is security information shall be permanently edited from the copy of the filing kept in the Board's public records. The original filing shall be retained in Board records and classified as private data. Both the request and the Board's action shall be classified as security information and shall be private data under the Data Practices Act.

 

 

 

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

Office of the Attorney General


 

TO : JEANNE OLSON

Executive Director, Campaign Finance 

and Public Disclosure Board 

 

DATE : June 17, 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: We are working on the summary judgment motion, likely to be heard in September.

II. ENFORCEMENT MATTERS.

 

1. Cain, Edwin, Lobbyist, Braham Area Community Development. We have an enforcement action pending against this lobbyist for failure to file his disbursement report. Cain has produced a copy of a report dated February 3, 1998, which is before the accrual of any penalty. He states, "While a copy of the report was in my file, I can only assume that a copy was mailed to the Ethics Board." He asks that the $100 penalty be forgiven.

 

For other enforcement matters referred to the Attorney General's Office, see attached chart.

 

 

AG:46075 v1

 

 

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

STATUS REPORT- MATTERS REFERRED TO AGO

June 17, 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

Alm, JoAnn Volunteers for (JeRome) DeRose Amended Report of R&E   4/20/98 5/1/98       May 15, 1998 deadline for response. Staff has requested suspending further action. Current treasurer attempting reconciliation.
Anderson, Nancy Volunteers to Elect Brian Bergson Year End R&E $100 4/20/98 5/1/98       May 15, 1998 deadline for response. Treasurer requesting she not be held responsible.
Bateman, George   Return of Public Subsidy             Final payment received through bankruptcy trustee. File Closed.
Bronzin, Joseph P. Independent/Conservative/Liberal Coalition Year End R&E $100 4/20/98 5/1/98       May 15, 1998 deadline for response. Attempting to locate better address for Bronzin
Burton, Robert Connie Heisenfelt for House Year End R&E $100 4/20/98 5/1/98       Report filed, but fine not paid. Returned to Board staff for collection.
Cain, Edwin Braham Area Comm. Devel. Lobbyist Disbursement $100 3/25/98 4/15/98       Cain's documentation indicates he filed report before penalty would have accrued. He is requesting waiver of penalty.
Harris, Patrick Patrick Harris for House Year End R&E $100 4/20/98 5/1/98       Report filed. Harris will request a waiver of $100 fee.
Heisenfelt, Connie Heisenfelt for Senate Exceeding Contribution Limits $360 (SR) 10/16/97 12/15/97 5/18/98   Heisenfelt paid civil penalty. Default hearing cancelled.

 

 

 

 

Henderson, Jill Stebbens for State Senate Committee & Stebbens for State Rep. Comm. YE Report of Receipts & Expenditures; Return of Public Subsidy $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. See Stebbins, Marianne for return of public subsidy action.
Hogan, Donna AFSCME Council 14 PEOPLE Fund Year End R&E $45 4/20/98 5/1/98 6/16/98     May 15, 1998 deadline for response. Summons and Complaint served June 16, 1998.
Lever, John Committee to Elect Jeff Aakhus Year End R&E $50 4/20/98 5/1/98       May 15, 1998 deadline for response. Attempting to locate better address for Treasurer.
Schottler, William William Schottler Volunteer Committee Year End R&E $90 4/20/98 5/1/98       May 15, 1998 deadline for response. Waiver requested
Schultz, Michael

 

Schultz Volunteer Committee YE Report of Receipts & Expenditures $100 + $45 service 10/8/97

(JT)

  7/7/97 6/98   Default hearing held 4/27/96. Default Judgment awarded. Awaiting receipt of transcript of judgment for docketing in Hennpein County.
Scroggins, Marvin Larry McKenzie Year End R&E $100 4/20/98 5/1/98       Report filed. Fine not paid. Returned to Board staff for collection.
Spillane, Laura Mike Spillane Volunteer Committee Year End R&E $100 4/20/98 5/1/98 6/16/98     May 15, 1998 deadline for response. Summons and Complaint served June 16, 1998.

 

 

Sprandel, Donald Donald Sprnadel Volunteer Committee Year End R&E $100 4/20.98 5/1/98 6/16/98     May 15, 1998 deadline for response. Summons and Complaint served on 6/16/98.
Stebbins, Marianne Stebbins for State Senate Comm. & Stebbins for State Rep. Comm. Return of Public Subsidy $3,055.46 2/18/98   6/10/98     Stebbins has until July 6, 1998 to answer complaint.

AG:45951 v1

 STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

  

FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT REGARDING THE

POLITICAL COMMITTEE OF THE MINNEAPOLIS MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT ASSOCIATION

 

 Procedural Background

 

On March 16, 1998, Donald Moe (the "Complainant") filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (the "Board") alleging that the Political Committee of the Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association (the "Respondent") violated certain provisions of Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A during the 1994 election year.

 

The Complainant alleges that the Respondent mailed 30,000 letters on October 24, 1994, attempting to influence the outcome of the 1994 election for state auditor. The Complainant questions if the letter constitutes an independent expenditure and, if it does, whether or not Minn. Stat. 10A.17, was violated by not including a statement that the letter was an independent expenditure. The Complainant further alleges that the Respondent violated Minn. Stat. 10A.20, subd. 3(g), by failing to disclose the expenses associated with this letter on its 1994 year end Report of Receipts and Expenditures.

 

The evidence submitted in support of the complaint consists of a copy of the October 24, 1994, letter to members of the Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association.

 

By letter dated April 13, 1998, Dan Cherryhomes, treasurer for the Respondent, states that in 1994 the organization mailed an internal communication to its membership, which at that time consisted of a little over 5,000 members. He also states that the organization was not aware that internal communications with its members were required to be disclosed under Minn. Stat. Chapter 10A. Mr. Cherryhomes states that the cost of mailing the letter was $1,498.

 

Mr. Cherryhomes spoke with Board staff regarding whether the communication met the definition of an independent expenditure. As a result of this conversation, Mr. Cherryhomes provided an Affidavit of Independent Expenditures, attesting that the October 24, 1994, letter was an independent expenditure and not made with the authorization, or expressed or implied consent of, or in cooperation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate, or any candidate's principal campaign committee or agent.

 

On May 1, 1998, the Respondent amended the 1994 year end Report of Receipts and Expenditures to disclose the cost of the October 24, 1994, letter and to show the cost as an independent expenditure supporting a particular candidate.

The matter was considered by the Board in executive session on March 27, 1998. The Board further considered the matter in executive sessions on April 24, and May 22, 1998. Neither of the parties presented testimony. The matter was considered based on the compliant, Board records, and the Respondent's reply and amended Report of Receipts and Expenditures for the 1994 election year.

  

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

 

STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE

1. The Political Committee of the Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association (the "Committee") is a political fund registered with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

 

2. On October 24, 1994, the Committee mailed a letter to its membership supporting a particular candidate running for State Auditor in the 1994 election. The letter did not include a disclaimer stating that it was an independent expenditure, nor were the expenses associated with mailing the letter disclosed on the Committee's 1994 year end Report of Receipts and Expenditures.

 

3. The Committee acknowledges that the letter was an independent expenditure made without the authorization, or expressed or implied consent of, or in cooperation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of any candidate, or any candidate's principal campaign committee or agent. An Affidavit of Independent Expenditures was provided by the Committee on April 13, 1998.

 

4. The Committee was not aware that internal communications to its members must be disclosed on its Reports of Receipts and Expenditures if those internal communications also constitute independent expenditures. On May 1, 1998, the Committee's 1994 year end report was amended to disclose the cost associated with the 1994 letter to its members.

 

5. Minn. Stat. 10A.17, subd. 4, requires that any political committee who makes independent expenditures on behalf of any candidate shall publicly disclose that the expenditure is an independent expenditure.

 

6. Minn. Stat. 10A.20, subd. 3(g), requires that all expenditures and disbursements made, including independent expenditures, be disclosed on Reports of Receipts and Expenditures for the reporting period in which the disbursements are made.

 

 

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

 

FINDINGS CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE

 

1. The Political Committee of the Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association mailed a letter to its membership on October 24, 1994, which included a statement supporting a particular candidate running for state auditor in the 1994 election year. The Committee supplied an Affidavit of Independent Expenditure regarding this communication on April 13, 1998.

 

2. There is probable cause to believe that the Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.17, subd. 4, by not including a statement of independent expenditure on the October 24, 1994, letter. This statute requires that any political fund that makes independent expenditures on behalf of any candidate shall publicly disclose that the expenditure is an independent expenditure.

 

3. The Committee did not disclose expenses associated with the membership communication on its original 1994 year end Report of Receipts and Expenditures, but amended the report on May 1, 1998, to include the disbursement.

 

4. There is no probable cause to believe that a reporting violation currently exists regarding disclosure of expenditures associated with the October 24, 1994, letter.

 

 

 

Based on the above Findings, the Board issues the following:

 

ORDER

 

1. The Executive Director shall report the finding of probable cause regarding the violation of Minn. Stat. 10A.17, subd. 4, to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

 

2. The Board investigation of this matter is hereby made a part of the public records of the Board pursuant to Minn. Stat. 10A.02, subd. 11.

 

Copies of this document shall be provided to the complainant and the respondent.

 

 G. Barry Anderson, Chair

Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board