STATE OF MINNESOTA
CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Friday, December 11, 1998

. . . . . . . . .

St. Croix Conference Room

Second Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

 

MINUTES

 Meeting was called to order by Chair Rodriguez.

 

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

Others present: Olson, Goldsmith, Swanson, Klingner, staff.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger informed Board members he would be unable to attend the meeting.

 

MINUTES (October 30, 1998)

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To approve the October 30, 1998, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting will be on January 8, 1999. Mr. Fluegel informed Board members he would be unable to attend the January meeting.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson reported the following:

 

Staff activities:

 

November 10 - Ms. Olson was a guest lecturer at a Hamline University, Master's of Public Administration, Professional Ethics class where she discussed campaign finance, lobbying, and the gift ban with about 25 students.

 

December 7 - Mr. Goldsmith was on the faculty of a Continuing Legal Education session on lobbyist registration, disclosure, and the gift ban.

 

Finance 98 was used by 21 candidate committees and 14 political committees and funds to electronically file the Pre-general Report of Receipts and Expenditures. Staff will offer training beginning in January to assist new users in using the software for 1999 reports.

 

No meetings on the effort to recodify Chapter 10A have been held since the appointment of House Committee chair, Jim Rhodes.

 

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL):

 

Ms. Olson attended a COGEL long-range planning meeting in Washington, DC, on December 6 and 7.

Personnel:

 

Ms. Olson introduced Patricia Klingner who began her position as Programs Assistant on November 16.

 

Ms. Olson reviewed Gary Goldsmith's performance from August, 1997, to November, 1998. Mr. Goldsmith's performance is above standards and he will receive a salary increase and an achievement award under the provisions of the Manager's Plan. Mr. Goldsmith's position description was rewritten this year and reflects current responsibilities.

 

Part-time, intermittent employee Donna LaBarre's last day as a Board employee was November 25, 1998. Ms. LaBarre was seeking more hours and has transferred to the Department of Economic Security.

 

Miscellaneous:

 

The following item was available for Board members:

 

Copy of a letter dated November 20, 1998, from Mr. Heffelfinger to Mark W. Gehan, Jr., President, Minnesota State Bar Association resigning his membership in LawPAC.

 

Enforcement Report

 

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

Consent Items

 

Board Action: Authorization of a certified letter to compel the filing of the Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 26, 1998, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the report is not filed. A reminder notice, a certified letter, and a phone attempt have previously been made to each client.

 

Sharon Anderson, candidate, Sharon Anderson Volunteer Committee

 

Reid Hekman, treasurer, Young Republicans

Don Koenig, candidate, Elect Don (Dr. Freedom - 532 Million)

Daobay Ly, treasurer, Hmong American DFL Caucus

Board Action: Authorization of certified letter for nonpayment of late filing fees

 

 

Timothy Bonham, treasurer, 62nd Senate District DFL: $100

Timothy Bonham, treasurer, Minneapolis DFL Committee: $100

 

Roy Bucholz, treasurer, Campaign Fundamentals: $100

Patricia Chapek, treasurer, 27th Senate District DFL: $50

John Choi, treasurer, Minnesotans for a Democratic Majority: $300

 

John Christiansen, treasurer, Redwood County DFL: $100

 

Kathleen Cooke, treasurer, Duluth Federation of Teachers Political Fund: $50

 

Mark Douglas, treasurer, 67A House District RPM: $50

 

Richard Jansma, treasurer, (Bob) Gustafson for Minnesota House: $50

 

Shirley Kaiser, treasurer, Elementary Principals' Action Committee: $500

  

Clarence Klenke, treasurer, 1st Congressional District RPM: $100

 

Richard LaCoursiere, treasurer, Marshall County RPM: $100

Michelle Lindquist, treasurer, Friends of Todd Lindquist: $100

John Meeks, treasurer, Change Minnesota: $50

Sharleen Morinville, treasurer, Red Lake County RPM: $50

Roger Nelson, treasurer, Pine County RPM: $50

Richard Newcomb, treasurer, 57B House District DFL: $100

Wilda Obey, treasurer, Pine County DFL: $50

Debby Ortman, treasurer, St. Louis County 8 DFL: $100

Cynthia Page, treasurer, 5th Congressional District RPM: $50

Jeffrey Peters, chair, We the People: $500

Jerry Voyles, treasurer, Martin County DFL: $50

Ray Wheeler, candidate, Ray Wheeler Volunteer Committee: $100

 

 

Pat Muggenburg, candidate: $100

 

Board members directed staff to resolve the nonfiling of the Pre-general Report of Receipts and Expenditures by Reid Hekman, treasurer, Young Republicans without legal enforcement action.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters as modified.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

 

Waiver requests

 

 

Kenneth Hardy, treasurer, National Association of Minority Contractors and Emerging Small Business Program: $100, request to reconsider late filing fee (see October 30th Board minutes)

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To lay the matter of Mr. Hardy's request for reconsideration of a waiver of the $100 late filing fee over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Mary Teas, lobbyist, American Diabetes Association: $100

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To lay the matter of Ms. Teas' request for a waiver of the $100 late filing fee over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

 

Joyce Franchett, treasurer, 6th Congressional District Committee of the Reform Party of Minnesota: $500 (see October 30th Board minutes) - Ms. Franchett is requesting that the Board reconsider the $500 late filing fee imposed at it's October 30th meeting. Chair Rodriguez welcomed Ms. Franchett and Bob Maline, committee chair, to the meeting. Ms. Franchett explained that she never received the report in the mail. After receiving notification that a report was due and a late fee was accruing, she called the Board office and requested a report form. She received the requested report form on September 30th and mailed it to the Board office on October 1st.

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve Ms. Franchett's request to waive the $500 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Ronald Lattin, treasurer, Republican Majority Fund: $300 - By letter Mr. Lattin explained that the committee has raised no money after the initial $50 needed to establish a bank account. He requests a waiver of the late filing fee, or a reduced fee and approval of a payment plan.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To authorize the Executive Director to enter into a payment plan with Mr. Lattin for payment of the $300 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Roma Kindschi, treasurer, Lyon County DFL: $50 - By letter Ms. Kindschi explained that she tried repeatedly to fax the report to the Board office on a weekend but was unable to get through. Ms. Kindschi called the Board office on Monday and was told to put the report in the mail.

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve Ms. Kindschi's request to waive the $50 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Jeffrey Peters, chair, We the People: $500, request to reconsider late filing fee (see October 30th Board minutes) - By letter Mr. Peters explains that the committee, which is registered in several states, did not raise or spend any money and were not aware of the rules of filing in Minnesota. No motion was made. Board members advised staff to write Mr. Peters and inform him that if he wishes to terminate the committee registration in Minnesota, the Board would reconsider his request to waive the late filing fee.

 

Carol Rosengren, treasurer, 54B House District RPM: $50. No motion was made.

 

 

Sunday Alabi, treasurer, Minn ACORN Political Action Committee: $450 - By letter Ms. Alabi explained that she did not think that a report was required as the committee had no activity during the reporting period.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To reduce Ms. Alabi's $450 late filing fee to $50.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Karen Assailed, treasurer, Todd County DFL: $100. No motion was made.

 

Stephen Baker, treasurer, Metropolitan Good Government Coalition: $50 - By letter Mr. Baker explained that the was under a doctors care for an eye affliction which impaired his ability to work.

 

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To approve Mr. Baker's request to waive the $50 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

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

 

Gerald Belanger, treasurer, David Miller Volunteer Committee: $250 - By letter Mr. Belanger explained that the report was late due to the death of his father-in-law on October 22nd and subsequent funeral on October 26th.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To approve Mr. Belanger's request to waive the $250 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

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

 

Timothy Bonham, treasurer, 62nd Senate District DFL: $100. No motion was made.

  Timothy Bonham, treasurer, Minneapolis DFL Committee: $100. No motion was made.

  Jual Carlson, treasurer, Together for Term Limitation: $100. No motion was made.

  Leonardo Castro, treasurer, 24th Senate District DFL: $450

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To lay Mr. Castro's request for a waiver of the $450 late filing fee over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Kathleen Cooke, treasurer, Duluth Federation of Teachers Political Fund: $50. No motion was made.

  Catherine Daniels, treasurer, 8th Congressional District DFL: $500

  Catherine Daniels, treasurer, 5th Senate District DFL: $500

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To lay Ms. Daniels requests for waiver of the two $500 late filing fees for the 8th Congressional District DFL and the 5th Senate District DFL over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Bill Dahn, candidate, Friends of Bill Dahn: $50 - Mr. Dahn made a verbal request to Board staff requesting a waiver of the $50 late filing fee.

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To approve Mr. Dahn's request to waive the $50 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Jerry Fallos, treasurer, USWA Local PAC 4108: $150

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To lay Mr. Fallos' request for a waiver of the $150 late filing over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

David Gerhardt, treasurer, Isanti County Independent Republicans: $150 - By letter Mr. Gerhardt explained that the report was late due to a fall and his subsequent hospitalization.

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To approve Mr. Gerhardt's request to waive the $150 late filing fee due to extenuating circumstances.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Kelly Guncheon, treasurer, Minnesota Funeral Directors Association: $150

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To lay Ms. Guncheon's request for a waiver of the $150 late filing over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Nona Hill, treasurer, Yer Out! PAC: $450. No motion was made.

Jigar Madia, treasurer, (Eric) Hanson for House Committee: $100

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To lay Ms. Madia's request for a waiver of the $100 late filing over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Jo Matson, treasurer, DFL Feminist Caucus: $100

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To request a copy of the confirmation of the faxed report and to lay Ms. Matson's request for a waiver of the $100 late filing over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

John Meeks, treasurer, Change Minnesota: $50 - By letter Mr. Meeks explained that the report was faxed to the Board office on October 30th and provided staff with a transmission log showing proof of the transmission. Mr. Meeks disputes the interpretation of "received by October 30th" and feels that the report was timely filed.

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve Mr. Meeks request for a waiver of the $50 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Yes - Slocum

No - Fluegel, Pauly, Rodriguez, Wilson

Motion failed: 4 to 1

No further motion was made.

Diane Poole, treasurer, 19th Senate District RPM: $450. No motion was made.

Michael Rentz, candidate, Friends of Michael Rentz Committee: $100 - By letter Mr. Rentz explained that his treasurer was ill at the time the reports were due. All report forms and records were mailed to his treasurer's home, but the treasurer was living with relatives who cared for him during his illness.

 

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

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

John Bowens, treasurer, Coalition of Black Churches: $400

Carleton Rust, treasurer, Reform Party of Minnesota: $300

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To lay Mr. Bowen's and Mr. Rust's requests for waivers of the $400 and $300 late filing fees, respectively, over to the January Board meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Delia Ruiz, treasurer, Hispanic Republican Assembly: $500 - By letter Ms. Ruiz explained that this is a new committee and she did not realize a report was due until they received the post card reminder.

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To reduce Ms. Ruiz' $500 late filing fee to $250 and authorize the executive director to enter into a payment plan with the committee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Joleen Schaefer, treasurer, Nicollet County DFL: $250 - By letter Ms. Schaefer explained that she has been having problems with her mail and did not receive either the pre-primary or pre-general reports prior to the reporting deadline. She found the pre-general report in her back door on November 11th.

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To approve Ms. Schaefer's request to waive the $250 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Yes - Fluegel, Slocum, Wilson

No - Pauly, Rodriguez

Motion failed - 3 to 2

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To reduce Ms. Schaefer's $250 late filing fee to $50.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Daniel Smith, treasurer, Minnesota Organization for Vocational Education: $100. No motion was made.

 

Kevin Walli, treasurer, Fryberger, Buchanan, Smith & Frederick PAC: $400. Chair Rodriguez welcomed Mr. Walli to the meeting. Mr. Walli explained that the report was late because of a transition in office personnel. No motion was made.

 

Adrienne Weinberger, treasurer, 3rd Congressional District DFL: $500 - Chair Rodriguez welcomed Ms. Weinberger to the meeting. Ms. Weinberger explained that her husband tried several times to fax the report to the Board office but was unable to get through. Ms. Weinberger was taking care of her mother who was ill during this time. Ms. Weinberger was assured by staff that an October 26th postmark would mean the report was filed timely. The report was mailed on the 26th from Coffman Student Union by Ms. Weinberger's husband. The report has not been received in the office to date. A copy of the report was faxed to the Board office on November 12th.

 

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

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Acceptance of Contributions from Unregistered Association without Proper Disclosure (see August 28th, September 25th, and October 30th Board minutes)

 

 

Chair Rodriguez welcomed Ted Grindal and Chris Sande, counsel for the Mah Mah Wi No Min I tribe to the meeting. Mr. Grindal and Mr. Sande questioned the level of disclosure that the Board will require on contributions to the committee from the corporate commission. The Board accepted the disclosure provided with the understanding that in the future the tribe will state that the itemized sources of income for the corporate commission constitute 100% of the commissions income.

 

 

Staff request for imposition of a late filing fee for an electronically filed report

 

Mark Johnson, treasurer, 44th Senate District DFL - Staff explained that Mr. Johnson attempted to file the report electronically on October 27th and received a message that the transfer had been successful. Due to a technical problem, the electronic transfer was never completed. On November 4th staff notified Mr. Johnson that the report was not filed. The Pre-Election Report of Receipts and Expenditures, due October 26, 1998, was mailed to the Board office and was postmarked November 12th. No motion was made to impose a late filing fee.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late Filing Fees

 

  John T Clawson, Lutheran Social Service: $50

  W H Hawks, Minnesota Taxpayers in Exile: $55

 

  Patrick Harris, candidate, Harris for House Committee: $100

  

  Ray Wheeler, candidate, Ray Wheeler Volunteer Committee: $500

 

Sunday Alabi, treasurer, MN Acorn Political Action Committee: $150

Thomas Bartikoski, treasurer, Padilla Speer Beardsley Political Action Committee: $450

Russell Bennett, treasurer, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers: $200

Thomas Dennstedt, treasurer, Fillmore County DFL: $300

Shelli Hesselroth; treasurer, Mark Dayton For Minnesota: $50

Robert Hoff, treasurer, MAPE-PAC: $500

Joseph Quinn, treasurer, Minneapolis Fire Department Pensioner's PCF: $50

Jeff Reed, treasurer, HealthPartners Civic Affairs Council: $500

Theodore Seifert, treasurer, Goodhue County RPM: $100

Marion Allen-Scharff, treasurer, AFSCME Council 14 Local 1076: $350

Robert Ambrose, treasurer, Cooperative Power Assoc. PAC Minn: $100

Steven Anderson, treasurer, Citizens Lobby: $50

Warren Anderson, candidate, (Warren) Anderson Volunteer Committee: $50

William Burns, treasurer, Lawyers Public Affairs Commission: $500

Steven Busse, treasurer, Dudley Wells Volunteer Committee: $100

Carol Cady, treasurer, Brown County Republican Board: $500

Thomas Dennstedt, treasurer, Fillmore County DFL: $50

David Arne Dove, treasurer, Lac Qui Parle County DFL: $100

James Elmquist, treasurer, 55A House District RPM: $50

Kay Fecke, treasurer, Burnsville Education Association: $50

Warren Ferber, treasurer, 52A House District RPM: $50

Sonny Freyholtz, treasurer, Todd County RPM: $100

Christopher Galler, treasurer, Families for Property Tax Reform: $50

Roger Gilland, treasurer, MSCA-PAC: $50

Gregg Gleichert, treasurer, Turkey Political Committee: $100

Kristina Gronquist, treasurer, Progressive Minnesota: $150

Patricia Gustafson, treasurer, Duluth Women's Republican Club: $100

Gerald Hasselbrink, candidate, Gerald Hasselbrink: $100 (no committee registered)

John Hasskamp, treasurer, Kris Hasskamp Campaign Committee: $350

Beverly Hauschild, treasurer, Minn Architects Political Action Committee: $100

Merilee Hein, treasurer, People for Al Hein: $100

Edwin Hill, treasurer, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Political Action Committee: $500

Eugene Holderness, treasurer, Dorsey & Whitney LLP: $50

 

Scott Knight, treasurer, IBEW 292 Political Education Fund: $50

Dennis Lehto, treasurer, 14th Senate District DFL: $50

Mick Lord, treasurer, Jen Mattson Volunteer Committee: $150

Donald Machowicz, treasurer, Gerry Machowicz Volunteer Committee: $50

Peter Madel, treasurer, Care/PAC: $50

Henry Martin, treasurer, UFCW Region Council 6: $50

Patrick McCarthy, treasurer, Republican Victory Club: $250

Darrell McKigney, treasurer, Taxpayers League State PAC: $50

Teresa McMahon, treasurer, Committee to Elect Brian McMahon: $100

Corey Miltmore, treasurer, Committee for Minnesota's Future: $50

Smarajit Mitra, treasurer, MAIDA (MN Asian-Indian Democratic Association): $100

Sandy Molkenbur, treasurer, Rice County DFL: $500

Jane Nakken, treasurer, Minnesotans for Chemical Health and Treatment: $150

Gregory Oxley, treasurer, UPA Employee Political Action Committee: $100

Randy Pederson, treasurer, Pennington County RPM: $100

Brian Roverud, treasurer, Fairbault County DFL: $100

Charles Selcer, treasurer, ADA Minn Chapter Political Fund: $50

Matthew Shay, treasurer, Fran-PAC State Individual: $50

Bridgette Shotwell, treasurer, Take Pride in North Side (Dan Olson): $50

Daniel Smith, treasurer, Minnesota Organization for Vocational Education: $100

Gayle Sprinkel, treasurer, (Jeff) Sprinkel Volunteer Committee: $50

Konrad Stroh, treasurer, Suburban School Employees Local 284 PAC: $50

Donovan Strom, treasurer, 31st Senate District DFL: $100

Mitch Thompson, candidate, Volunteers for Thompson: $50

Eugene Waldorf, treasurer, Edmund Burke PAC: $50

David Wedin, treasurer, Political Action Fund of Duluth Firefighters: $100

 

Anonymous Contribution

 

Mark Johnson, treasurer, 44th Senatorial District DFL: $100

 

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.

 

Financial Statement and Agency Deposit Reports - Ms. Olson and Ms. Errico submitted reports covering January 1 through October 31, 1998.

 

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).

 

LEGISLATIVE RECOMMENDATIONS COMMITTEE REPORT

 

Ms. Olson reported that the Legislative Recommendations Committee met on December 10th. Two copies of proposed recommendations were provided to Board members. One list, contains committee rationale for the recommendations and will be provided to the legislature; the other list is a summary statement of the recommendations.

 

Committee Chair Pauly noted that the recommendations were prioritized. If Board members felt that the priorities should be changed, they should call Ms. Olson.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To adopt Legislative Recommendations as drafted, subject to changing of priorities.

 

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

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Correspondence

 

The following correspondence was available for Board members:

 

 

 

 

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To lay the request for reconsideration of payment of public subsidy to Steve Smith over to the January meeting.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint of Jual Carlson Regarding Representative Kevin Knight

 

The Board issued findings of no probable cause to believe that the (Kevin) Knight for Treasurer Committee exceeded its limit on contributions from the Republican Party of Minnesota as a result of the transactions alleged in the complaint. 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).

 

Complaint of Republican Party of Minnesota Regarding the Minnesota State Democratic Central Committee (DFL)

 

The Board issued findings of no probable cause to find that the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party violated Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A by failing to provide the required disclaimer when it made the independent expenditures which are the subject of this matter. 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).

 

Complaint of Citizens to Elect Al Juhnke Committee Regarding the People for (Joseph) Gimse Campaign Committee

 

The Board issued a finding that a violation occurred when the subject report of the (Joseph) Gimse Campaign Committee was filed on August 31, 1998, failed to include all statutorily required disclosure. Pursuant to notice from the Board of this inadequacy, the treasurer of the committee amended the report. Based on the amended report, there is no probable cause to believe that the reporting violations alleged in the complaint continue to exist. The violation alleged in the complaint having been resolved, 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).

 

Investigation of Acceptance of Contributions During Session by the Norman Coleman, Minnesotans for (Norman) Coleman Committee

 

The Board issued findings of probable cause to believe that the Minnesotans for Coleman Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.065 by accepting contributions from two registered lobbyists, during the regular session of the Legislature in 1998. In lieu of forwarding the 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 $1,000. 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).

 

Investigation of Acceptance of Contributions During Session by the Mark Dayton, Mark Dayton for Minnesota (Governor) Committee

 

The Board issued findings of probable cause to believe that the Mark Dayton for Minnesota Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.065 by accepting a contribution from a registered lobbyist, during the regular session of the Legislature in 1998. 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. 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).

 

Complaint of Donald Drapeau Regarding Wendy Rabin

 

The Board issued findings of probable cause to believe that the Wendy Rabin Campaign Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.17, subd. 5, when it distributed campaign literature which contained a false independent expenditure disclaimer. The Executive Director shall report the finding of probable cause to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. 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).

 

Complaint of Nancy Larson for Auditor Committee Regarding (Judi) Dutcher for Auditor Committee

 

The Board issued findings that violations of Minn. Stat. chapter 10A occurred when the (Judi) Dutcher for Auditor Committee accepted a loan in excess of the statutory limit from James Dutcher on September 8, 1998, and when it failed to include all statutorily required disclosure related to reimbursements reported on its report filed October 26, 1998. Pursuant to notice from the Board of this inadequacy, the report of the committee was amended. The loan had been repaid in full prior to the filing of the complaint. Based on the amended report and repayment of the loan, there is no probable cause to believe that the violations alleged in the complaint continue to exist. The violations alleged in the complaint having been resolved, 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).

 

Complaint of Terrell Brown Regarding (Margaret A) Kelliher Committee

 

The Board issued findings of no probable cause to believe that the (Margaret A) Kelliher Volunteer Committee received advertising service at a rate lower than could be obtained by other candidates, which would have resulted in a reportable in kind contribution. 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

Wil Fluegel, Secretary

(Minutes by staff)

attachments (11)

for counsel's report contact the Board office

 

CAMPAIGN FINANCE &
PUBLIC DISCLOSURE
BOARD

 

(651) 296-1721. First Floor South . Centennial Office Building .  658 Cedar Street . St. Paul, MN 55155-1603

 1999 Primary Legislative Recommendations

 

I. We recommend that the legislature fund our request for resources for continuing and improved support of information resources management and campaign finance software.

 

This request has been submitted as an information technology project in our 2000-2001 budget request. The project is recommended for full funding by the Office of Technology, which recognizes the Board as a leader in agency management of information resources.

 

The Board's information technology support needs now exceed available staff resources. The proposed project establishes a new position to provide additional information resources support and skills not currently available to the Board. The new position will also have primary responsibility for support and development of the Board's campaign finance software application; a responsibility not included in any current staff position.

 

The project also includes development of a major upgrade to the Board's campaign finance software. The original software is a basic application developed with limited time and resources for use beginning in 1998. The upgrade will be released for use in 2002.

 

Response to the application has been very positive, but users and the Board recognize that significant improvements are needed before the application will achieve the Board's goal of wide-spread use. The upgrade project will draw on the experience gained through the first development project to provide a more stable application which is easier to use and better meets the needs of the Board and its clients.

 

The upgrade is also necessary to convert the application to current software technology. Until an upgrade is completed, the Board will be required to operate its internal databases with obsolete software in order to maintain compatibility with the campaign finance application databases.

 

 II. Recodify Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A.

Minnesota Statutes Chapter 10A has multiple and complex provisions which makes compliance for volunteers and others cumbersome and difficult. Chapter 10A addresses most of the subjects which concern the public regarding campaign finance, economic interest and lobbying. The recodification will present the statute in a better organized and more understandable form.

 

Due to the importance of the recodification effort, the Board urges the legislature to pass substantive items in a bill other than the recodification bill. Members should discuss with Board and legislative staff those items in a recodification that they believe are substantive.

  

Other 1999 Legislative Recommendations

 1. Provide that advisory opinion requests are public data

Since 1994, a request for an advisory opinion and the opinion are nonpublic data. The public may be better served if this process was again open and public. Previously issued opinions may be more helpful to clients if they could include more specific information.

 

2. Contribution and expenditure limits should be based on an election cycle not on individual calendar years.

These limits are currently based on calendar years. Candidates with registered committees make campaign expenditures in years prior to an election. Candidates who register committees in the election year are limited to only one year's expenditures. Additionally, registered candidates accept contributions in years prior to an election year and this additional revenue puts newly registered candidate committees at a monetary disadvantage.

 

3. Prohibit the making of contributions during the legislative session.

Principal campaign committees and legislative caucuses are prohibited from soliciting or accepting contributions from lobbyists, political funds, and political committees other than certain party units during the legislative session. However, there is no corresponding prohibition on the entity that makes the contribution. The penalties provided in the statute should be extended to the donor.

 

4. Provide a penalty for the acceptance of contributions from unregistered associations.

Treasurers of political committees and political funds may not accept contributions of more than $100 from associations not registered with the Board unless the association provides a specified reporting statement with the contribution. The statute provides for imposition of a civil penalty against the contributing association. No penalty is provided for the accepting political committee or political fund. An appropriate penalty should be established.

 

5. Establish a penalty for a Principal Campaign Committee that makes contributions to other candidates' principal campaign committees and does not terminate.

A treasurer of a principal campaign committee may not accept a contribution from another principal campaign committee unless the donating principal campaign committee is terminating and completes its termination during the reporting period in which the contribution is made. The statute provides no penalties for either the donor or recipient for violation of this prohibition. Appropriate penalties should be established. We suggest that the donating committee be required to provide with a contribution a written statement of the committee's intent to terminate registration on the next Report of Receipts and Expenditures. In addition a civil fine of one times the amount of the contribution, up to the remaining cash balance, could be assessed against the donating committee.

 

6. Provide a penalty for contributions made to or received from federal or local candidate committees.

A principal campaign committee may not make a contribution to or accept a contribution from a federal or local candidate's campaign committee. The statute provides no penalties for either the donor or recipient committees for violation of this prohibition.

 

7. Clarify which materials produced by a political party unit may be classified as sample ballots under multicandidate expenditures.

 

8. Principal campaign committees should be prohibited from making independent expenditures on behalf of other campaign committees.

Principal campaign committees are prohibited from making contributions to other principal campaign committees. The ability of a principal campaign committee to make independent expenditures may provide a means to circumvent this prohibition. An agreement not to make independent expenditures should be a condition of participation in the public subsidy program.

 

9. Adjust late filing fees to reflect inflation.

Late filing fees, established 25 years ago and are currently set at $5 per business day to a maximum of $100, should be increased. An increase in fees may provide an incentive for the timely filing of reports. We do not recommend increasing the $50 per day late filing fee for the late filing of reports due before the primary and general elections.

 

10. Eliminate certified mail requirement to start late filing fees.

The statute provides that late filing fees do not begin until eight days after the late filer receives and signs for a certified letter from the Board. Late filing fees should begin automatically and not be dependent on certified notice. This change would also require minor amendments to the certified mail requirement for triggering criminal sanctions.

 

11. Establish penalties for reporting violations.

Certain reporting violations carry no penalty. The Board's only remedy is to make a finding of a violation and to compel the required report by an action for relief in district court. However, some violations would be better addressed with a civil penalty than a finding of probable cause. We recommend that the penalty for these violations be consistent with those established for late filings.

 

12. Establish a penalty for failure to amend a report after a filing entity is notified by the Board that an amendment is required.

 

13. Establish a penalty for the failure of a lobbyist principal to file its annual principal's report.

 

14. Prohibit the acceptance of contributions in excess of $100 without the address or employer of the donor.

If contributions are accepted without the supporting data, the accepting committee or fund should be required to return the contribution, pay a civil fine, or both.

15. The prohibition against a party making independent expenditures in races where it has an endorsed candidate should be conditioned on the party's participation in the public subsidy program.

In June 1996, the Supreme Court, in Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee vs. FEC held that an interpretation that all party unit expenditures were coordinated with the candidate was impermissible and that the FEC had to recognize the concept of an independent expenditure by the party unit. Having held that, the Court held that a provision limiting expenditures by the party unit in a general election was unconstitutional as far as it had the effect of limiting the party's right to make independent expenditures. We suggest that a voluntary agreement by a party unit not to make independent expenditures as a condition of participating in the public subsidy program may meet the constitutional test.

16. Review Issue Advocacy expenditures.

Many times issue advocacy expenditures are intended to influence the nomination or election of a clearly identified candidate but do not expressly advocate that candidate's election or defeat. The legislature may wish to provide that entities making these expenditures be required to register with the Board and report the expenditures on periodic reports.

 

17. Establish a small agency legal expense account.

The Attorney General's office has suggested the establishment of a mechanism to meet costs for unusual legal expenses of small agencies. The Board would access the fund for limited purposes such as appointment of outside counsel when Board representation by the Attorney General presents a conflict of interest or for payment of adverse judgments against the Board when the Attorney General's office defends the constitutionality of a statute or provision administered by the Board.

 

18. Establish a technology savings account.

The Office of Technology is working to establish a technology savings account in which agencies could accumulate funds to be carried into future biennia for information technology needs. This account, along with a base budget increase for small agencies proposed by the Office of Technology, would assist the Board in meeting ongoing information technology needs without the legislature appropriating funds for one-time expenditures.

 

19. Provide a single source for interpretation of Minn. Stat. 211B, the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

There is no single entity responsible for the administration of Minnesota Statutes, chapter 211B. The many callers requesting our assistance in interpretation of this chapter are referred to the individual county attorneys across the state. Members of the public and candidates whose conduct is governed by the chapter are frustrated in their attempts to obtain authoritative guidance concerning its provisions. In order to be effective, campaign laws must be uniformly interpreted and applied. That uniform interpretation can only be accomplished if the legislature provides a mechanism by which a neutral (nonpartisan) agency has the authority to interpret the provisions and to answer questions to assist the public in meeting their requirements. Regardless of the agency selected there will be a fiscal impact on the state to provide these services to citizens. If the Board is charged with this task, additional staff and funding as well as larger office quarters will be required.

 

 *********************

 

Findings Issued: click here