STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Friday, July 24, 1998

. . . . . . . . .

Blazing Star Conference Room

Ground Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

  

MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Acting Chair Rodriguez.

 

Members present: Fluegel, Pauly, Rodriguez, Wilson.

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

 

MINUTES (June 26, 1998)

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve the June 26, 1998, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

FY 1999 Board Officers

 

Ms. Olson read the report of the nominating committee as faxed to the Board office from Mr. Slocum. The nominating committee recommends the following slate of officers for Fiscal Year 1999: Chair, Carolyn Rodriguez; Vice Chair, Sidney Pauly; and Secretary, Wil Fluegel.

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To accept the report of the Nominating Committee and declare the election of Ms. Rodriguez, Chair; Ms. Pauly, Vice Chair; and Mr. Fluegel, Secretary.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

The Board agreed to have a special meeting on August 5, 1998, to consider three requests for Advisory Opinions. The next regularly scheduled Board meeting will be Friday, August 28, 1998.

 

 Affirmative Action Plan

 

The Board reviewed an amended draft Affirmative Action Plan for August 1, 1998 to July 31, 2000, based on suggestions from the Affirmative Action Program Coordinator, Department of Employee Relations.

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To approve the Affirmative Action Plan as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Board Resolution

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To adopt the following resolution:

 

Resolved that, the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board recognizes Grant Barry Anderson for his years of service from 1996 to 1998 as a member of the Board and offers this resolution in appreciation for his 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.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson reported the following:

 

Staff activities:

User identification information and passwords have been requested by 51 principal campaign committees and 45 political committees and political funds indicating their intent to use the Finance 98 campaign finance management system software. Staff believes that others are also using the system. The software can be downloaded directly from the internet. Those individuals who download without a password are unable to directly access the necessary information from Board files. However, the system may still be used for recordkeeping.

 

Ms. Olson continues to meet with legislative staff about the recodification of Chapter 10A.

 

Personnel:

 

Billie Errico reviewed the performance of Nicole Perreault. Ms. Perreault's performance is satisfactory and she will move from Clerk-Typist III Step 3 to Step 4 and receive a step increase under the terms of AFSCME's contract with the state.

The Department of Employee Relations reviewed the position description for the Assistant Executive Director. Based on the Department's review, the position will be reclassified within the Manager's Plan from 13M to 15M. Gary Goldsmith, incumbent, will receive an increase in compensation based on the reclassification.

 

Miscellaneous:

 

For many years, staff issued a news release following each Executive Session that outlined the Board's findings. Several years ago, the Board directed staff to not send these releases. Staff received a request to again notify the media when the Board has settled a complaint or internal investigation. Board members discussed whether notification should again be made when an issue is settled.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To direct staff to provide to the media following each Board meeting an outline of findings issued by the Board.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Arguments were heard on Friday, July 17th, at the Federal Court House in Minneapolis in regard to the Republican Party's request for a Temporary Restraining Order to enjoin the Board from enforcing the prohibition on independent expenditures by a political party once the party has a candidate on the ballot.

 

Resignation:

 

Barry Anderson submitted a letter of resignation effective July 20, 1998. Mr. Anderson has been appointed to the State Court of Appeals. The opening will be announced by the Secretary of State's office on August 3rd. The deadline for application is August 25th. The first day the Governor could name a new member is September 4th.

 

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL):

 

Registrations for the annual COGEL Conference have been processed for Mr. Slocum, Mr. Goldsmith, and Ms. Olson.

 

Ms. Olson wrote a review requested by the book review editor of the COGEL Guardian about a research paper on campaign finance. The review is scheduled to appear in the next edition of the Guardian.

 

Enforcement Report

 

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

 

Consent Item

 

Board Action: Authorization of third letter, to be sent by certified mail, to compel the filing of a required amendment to a 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. Staff has attempted to contact the clients by telephone.

Amendment to Supplementary Statement of Economic Interest

 

Arthur Leahy, Metropolitan Council

William Knutson, Medical Services Review Board

 

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

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

 

Further Enforcement Action

 

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To authorize a third letter, to be sent by certified mail, to compel the filing of the Minnesota Voters for Choice committee's termination report, and subsequent legal action if the report is not filed.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Waiver Request

 

 

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

 

Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 1998

Jual Carlson, Representing Jual Carlson: $10

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To authorize the action specified in the matter of Jual Carlson.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late Filing Fees

 

Donna Hogan, AFSCME Council 14: $100

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

 

Ron Konickson, Representing Minnesota Education Association: $35

 

 

Marilyn Vigil, Board of Social Work: $20

 

Payment of Civil Fines

 

 

Anonymous Contribution

 

  

Insufficient Funds

 

 

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

 

FY 1998 ANNUAL REPORT

 

The Board reviewed a draft of the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1998.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1998 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Conference

 

At the COGEL Conference annual business meeting the Board will have one vote on the nominations to the COGEL Steering Committee, a by-law revision, and the conference site and month selection. A proxy was available for signature by Chair Rodriguez.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To direct Chair Rodriguez to sign the proxy authorizing Mr. Slocum to vote on all matters on the Board's behalf regarding votes held at the COGEL Conference's Annual Business Meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

 

Request for the following advisory opinion is public data.

 

Advisory Opinion #293 - Campaign fundraising activities (see June 26th Board minutes)

 

Available for further consideration by the Board were two draft responses to an advisory opinion request by Robert Maline, Treasurer, Jesse Ventura for Governor Volunteer Committee.

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To approve the second version of draft advisory opinions offered.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #293 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, July 24, 1998: Fundraising from the sale of merchandise that will be custom made, using a corporate manufacturer/distributor which regularly provides manufacturing and order-filling services to its clients, does not result in bundling of contributions or in a contribution from the manufacturer/distributor to the requester if fair market value is paid for those services. Fundraising from the sale of merchandise pursuant to a contract with retail outlets does not result in bundling of contributions and/or in a contribution from the retail entity if the retailer is paid the fair market value for any services provided.

 

Request for the following advisory opinion is nonpublic data.

 

Advisory Opinion #295- Requirement to register political committee

 

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from individual considering forming an association who asks if the association described must register with the Board as a political committee and file periodic Reports of Receipts and Expenditures pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #295 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Summary: Advisory Opinion #295 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, July 24, 1998: An association organized for the purpose of making volunteers available to candidates must register and report as a political committee if it raises or spends more than $100 in support of its activities.

 

Advisory Opinion #296 - Definition of Independent Expenditures

 

Board members reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from the representative of a political committee registered with the Board who asks several questions intended to clarify the definition of independent expenditures and the definition of agency and cooperation which might cause an expenditure to be considered approved by a candidate rather than independent.

 

The Board made minor language changes to the draft.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #296 as amended in discussion.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Summary: Advisory Opinion #296 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, July 24, 1998: Concepts of "agency" and "cooperation" used in the definition of independent expenditures require actual rather than implied agency or cooperation. Vote of candidate's honorary treasurer authorizing an expenditure constitutes express consent by the principal campaign committee to the expenditure.

 

Advisory Opinion #297 - Definition of Lobbyist Principal

 

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from a public official who asks if a gift to an official from a Minnesota county which retains a lobbyist is a prohibited gift from a lobbyist principal.

 

The Board made certain minor changes to the draft.

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #297 as amended in discussion.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Summary: Advisory Opinion #297 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, July 24, 1998: A political subdivision is not included in the categories of entities which may be lobbyist principals under Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A.

 

LEGAL COUNSEL'S REPORT

 

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

 

 

Mdewakanton Sioux v. G. Barry Anderson - Counsel Gretz reported that the Board was served with a summons and complaint challenging the Board's position on the status of Indian tribes under Minn. Stat. Ch. 10A and the Board's conclusions regarding the required disclosure when a tribe makes contributions to political committees.

 

The Board reviewed and made minor changes to a draft letter from Chair Rodriguez to Attorney General Humphrey requesting that the Office of the Attorney General provide independent counsel in this matter.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To approve the letter as amended in discussion.

 

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

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Advisory Opinion Requests

 

Copies of two requests for Advisory Opinions were available for Board review. Mr. Goldsmith told Board members that a third Advisory Opinion request was received in the Board office too late to make copies, but would be made available to Board members prior to the August 5th meeting.

  

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To lay over discussion of Advisory Opinions #298, #299, and #300 to the August 5, 1998, Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 Wil Fluegel, Secretary

(Minutes by staff)

 

 

attachments (1)

 

STATE OF MINNESOTA

Office of the Attorney General


 

TO

:

JEANNE OLSON

Executive Director, Campaign Finance 

and Public Disclosure Board 

DATE

:

July 15, 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. Republican Party of Minnesota v. G. Barry Anderson: The RPM is suing for a declaratory judgment that the Board's statute attributing expenditures by political parties, post endorsement and post-filing, as contributions to the candidate, is unconstitutional. The RPM filed for a temporary restraining order, to be heard by Judge Doty in federal court.

 

2. St. Paul Legal Ledger v. State, Campaign Finance Board: I will have at the Board meeting copies of the summary judgment memoranda filed in this matter if any of the members of the Board wish to review them. The hearing time has been changed to 1:45 p.m. on July 29 before Judge Gearin.

II. ENFORCEMENT MATTERS.

 

1. Marianne Stebbins and the Marianne Stebbins for State Senate Committee. This is an action for return of $3,055.46 in public subsidy after Stebbins failed to disclose receipts and expenditures. The summons and complaint was served by mail on June 10. We have had no response, so we will now personally serve before moving for default judgment.

 

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

 

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

STATUS REPORT- MATTERS REFERRED TO AGO

July 15, 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

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

Pursuant to Board determination, now proceeding against candidate Bergson only.

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

Cain, Edwin

Braham Area Comm. Devel.

Lobbyist Disbursement

$100

3/25/98

4/15/98

Cain's request for waiver denied; summons and complaint being drafted.

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

Report filed. Board will pursue late filing fee. We will close our file.

 

 

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

 

 

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.

Spillane, Laura

Mike Spillane Volunteer Committee

Year End R&E

$100

4/20/98

5/1/98

6/16/98

No response to complaint. Will now personally serve.

Sprandel, Donald

Donald Sprnadel Volunteer Committee

Year End R&E

$100

4/20.98

5/1/98

6/16/98

No response to complaint. Will now personally serve.

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

No response to complaint. Will now personally serve.

AG:45951 v1