STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Friday, January 8, 1999

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Blazing Star Conference Room

Ground Floor, Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Chair Rodriguez.

 

Members present: Heffelfinger, Pauly, Rodriguez, Slocum.

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

 

Mr. Fluegel and Ms. Wilson informed Board members they would be unable to attend the meeting.

 

MINUTES (December 11, 1998)

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve the December 11, 1998, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting will be on February 26, 1999.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Authorizing Resolution

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: Resolved that:

Jeanne Olson, the executive director of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Gary Goldsmith, the assistant director of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, and Billie Errico, the compliance officer of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, and Patricia Klingner, program assistant, are hereby granted the authority and directed to appear on behalf of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board in all Conciliation Court proceedings. All previous delegations of this authority are rescinded."

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Ms. Olson reported the following:

 

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL):

 

Ms. Olson will attend a COGEL conference planning meeting in Providence Rhode Island on January 31st and February 1st.

 

Personnel:

 

Mr. Goldsmith reviewed Greg Messetler's performance from December, 1997, to December, 1998. Mr. Messetler's performance is satisfactory and he will receive a step increase under the provisions of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees contract.

 

Miscellaneous:

 

Ms. Olson will attend a University of St. Thomas, Center for Nonprofit Management, Board Breakfast: Relationship Between Board and Executive Director.

 

The following items were available for Board members:

 

Enforcement Report

 

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

 

Consent Items

 

Board Action: Authorization of certified letter to compel the filing of an amendment to the Report of Receipts and Expenditures due October 26, 1998, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the amendment is not filed.

 

Warren Anderson, candidate, Anderson Volunteer Committee

 

Authorization of certified letter to compel the filing of an Affidavit of Independent Expenditures form and subsequent legal enforcement action if the affidavit is not filed.

Lynn Taplin, treasurer, Neighbors for (Andy) Dawkins

 

Ms. Pauly'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 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

Staff review of Mr. Hardy's file found that he has been a lobbyist since 1991 and has filed 16 late Lobbyist Disbursement Reports, however no late filing fees accrued. Staff left two telephone messages for Mr. Hardy, but he did not respond to the calls. At this time, Mr. Hardy does not have a written request for a waiver. He stated that he would be at the December 11th Board meeting but did not appear. No motion was made.

 

Mary Teas, lobbyist, American Diabetes Association: $100 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

Staff spoke with Mary Teas on December 15th. She explained that she did not lobby for the American Diabetes Association (ADA). She registered as a lobbyist only because she was advised to by the ADA. Ms. Teas registered after the legislative session ended and spent no money.

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve Ms. Teas' request to waive the $100 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Reverend John Bowens, treasurer, Coalition of Black Churches: $400 (Laid over the December 11th, meeting)

 

The committee registered with the Board on September 2, 1998. Reverend Bowens explained by letter that the address on the registration form was a temporary office which was shut down due to lack of funding. The committee has since moved to a new location and will supply us with a new address. The pre-general report was delivered to the old address, however no one was there to receive it. Reverend Bowens further states that the committee is new and was unaware that reports were due.

 

Ms. Pauly's MOTION: To reduce Reverend Bowens' late filing fee to $200.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Leonardo Castro, treasurer, 24th Senate District DFL: $450 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

On November 3, 1998, staff received a letter from the former treasurer stating that Mr. Castro had been elected treasurer of the 24th Senate District DFL in June of 1998. Staff notified Mr. Castro on November 4th that the Pre-General Election Report of Receipts and Expenditures was past due and that the committee's registration must be amended to reflect him as treasurer. The report and amended registration statement were received on November 12th.

 

Chair Rodriguez welcomed Mr. Castro to the meeting. Mr. Castro explained to the Board that there was a lack of communication between the former treasurer and himself and he did not realize that there was a report due. No motion was made.

 

Staff noted that the pre-primary report was signed and filed on time by Mr. Castro. Formal notification of a change of treasurer was never received, however staff should monitor signatures on the reports.

 

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To reduce Mr. Castro's late filing fee to $50.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger suggested a late filing fee of $100. Mr. Slocum accepted the suggestion as a friendly amendment to his motion.

 

Mr. Slocum's AMENDED MOTION: To reduce Mr. Castro's late filing fee to $100.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Catherine Daniels, treasurer, 8th Congressional District DFL: $500 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

Catherine Daniels, treasurer, 5th Senate District DFL: $500 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

Ms. Daniels explained by letter that she mailed both reports on time from Grand Rapids, MN. On December 30th, staff received a sworn statement regarding her mailing of the reports. Ms. Daniels has been treasurer of the 5th Senate District DFL since 1986 and the 8th Congressional district DFL since 1990. Board files show that Ms. Daniels has never accrued a late filing fee for either committee.

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve Ms. Daniel's request to waive the two $500 late filing fees.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Jerry Fallos, treasurer, USWA Local PAC 4108: $150 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

Mr. Fallos has been treasurer of the USWA Local PAC since December 10, 1997. Staff review of this file found that all previous reports have been filed on time. Mr. Fallos explained by letter that he is a new treasurer and that he did not receive the reporting forms. All reporting forms have been mailed to the address provided by Mr. Fallos. No motion was made.

 

Kelly Guncheon, treasurer, Minnesota Funeral Directors Association: $150 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

Ms. Guncheon has been treasurer for MFDA since July, 1998. Ms. Guncheon explained by letter that the past two reports were not received prior to the due dates. Board records indicate that forms were mailed to Ms. Guncheon at the address she provided. Staff notes that the September report was filed on time and signed by Ms. Guncheon. No motion was made.

 

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

Ms. Kaiser has been treasurer of the Elementary Principals' Action Committee since October 10, 1994. Board records show that although reports have been filed late, no late filing fees have accrued. The report due October 26th, was received in our office on November 16th, and signed by Elmer Koch, deputy treasurer. An amended registration form which changed the treasurer's address from the committee office address to the treasurer's school address was received on September 9th. Thus, the pre-general election reporting forms were mailed to the treasurer's school. In his waiver request, Mr. Koch states that the amended registration was not meant to be a change of address. To avoid any further confusion he has requested all reports mailed to the committee office as had been the case in the past. Although the late filing fee was paid, they are asking the Board to waive the late filing fee because of the mix up in the address.

Mr. Heffelfinger's MOTION: To reduce Ms. Kaiser's late filing fee to $250 and direct staff to refund $250 to the committee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

JoAnn Matson, treasurer, DFL Feminist Caucus - Candidates' Fund: $100 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

Ms. Matson explained by letter that she faxed her report on October 24th, however, the report was not received in the board office. When Ms. Matson was notified by staff that her report was past due, she provided a confirmation of her fax to the Board office. Ms. Matson stated that if the fax failed to go through, her software would have generated a notice to that affect. Since no notice was generated, she assumed her report had been received in the Board office.

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve Ms. Matson's request to waive the $100 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

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

Ms. Morinville has been treasurer of Red Lake County RPM since June of 1995. All prior reports have been filed on time. Ms. Morinville explained by letter that she actively farms with her brother and has subsequently been working 16 to 18 hours a day preparing for their crops to be harvested. She further explained that this is an inactive committee, it is impossible to get anyone to a meeting, hold an office or run a fair booth, and she would be held personally accountable for the late filing fee. No motion was made.

 

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

On December 30, 1998, the Board received a letter from Mr. Newcomb stating that Barbara Taylor was elected the new treasurer in April of 1998. Board staff did not receive an amended registration stating that there was a change in the treasurer. Mr. Newcomb is asking to waive the late filing fee, because of the confusion regarding the treasurer. No motion was made.

 

Jeffrey Peters, chair, We the People: $500 (see December 11th Board minutes)

 

A report terminating the registration of We the People was received in the Board office on January 6th. The Board reconsidered Mr. Peter's request to waive the $500 late filing fee.

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

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Carlton Rust, treasurer, Reform Party of Minnesota: $300 (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

Staff spoke with Mr. Rust on December 15th. He reports that his own inability to put the report data together on time resulted in the late filing of the report. He worked on the report, then eventually gave up trying and came in to the Board Office for help in completing the report. Mr. Rust explained by letter that his pride kept him from coming in earlier for help. He would like to resign as treasurer, but according to statute a political committee cannot operate when the office of treasurer is empty. The party cannot appoint a new treasurer until it has a convention, which will probably be in June. A deputy treasurer has taken over the treasurer's responsibilities. Mr. Rust further explained that because the late filing of the report was his fault, his principles do not permit him to ask the party to pay the fine.

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To approve Mr. Rust's request to waive the $300 late filing fee.

 

Vote on MOTION: Yes - Slocum

No - Heffelfinger, Pauly, Rodriguez

 

Mr. Heffelfinger's MOTION: To reduce Mr. Rust's late filing fee to $50.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Jerry Voyles, treasurer, Martin County DFL: $50

Mr. Voyles has been treasurer of Martin County DFL since February of 1998. All prior reports have been filed on time. The report was received in our office on November 2nd. Mr. Voyles explained by letter that at the time the report was due, he was busy harvesting his crop, and his father was very sick.

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

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late Filing Fees

 

James Managan, candidate, James Managan Campaign Committee: $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

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

 

Nona Hill, treasurer, Yer Out: $450

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 LaCoursier, treasurer, Marshall County RPM: $100

 

David Mortenson, treasurer, 8th Congressional District COPE AFL-CIO: $200

 

Roger Nelson, treasurer, Pine County RPM: $50

 

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

 

Delia Ruiz, treasurer, Minnesota Hispanic Republican Assembly: $250

 

Joleen Schaefer, treasurer, Nicollet County DFL: $50

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

 

Payment of Civil Fines

 

Acceptance of Contributions During the 1998 Legislative Session

Neil Lapidus, treasurer, Minnesotans for (Norman) Coleman Committee: $1,000

 

Shelli Hesselroth, treasurer, Mark Dayton for Minnesota: $500

 

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

 

Lobbyist Principal Reports (see October 30th Board minutes)

 

The Board directed staff to make a final effort to obtain Lobbyist Principal Reports for calendar year 1997 from 14 lobbyist principals who still had active lobbyists and to refer to the Attorney General's office any principals who failed to comply. As a result of staff efforts all lobbyist principals with active lobbyists have now filed the reports due April 15, 1998.

Staff also resolved the matter of ASI, a lobbyist principal that requested its lobbyist registrations be administratively terminated by the Board because no lobbying was done. As the result of staff contacts, these lobbyists terminated their registrations effective with the last report filed.

 

Agency Deposit Report - Ms. Errico submitted reports covering January 1 through November 30, 1998.

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUEST

 

Request for the following advisory opinion is nonpublic data.

 

Advisory Opinion #305 - Multicandidate expenditure for party fundraising on behalf of candidates

 

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from legal counsel for a political party unit who asks if:

1) there is a specific form that a political party fundraising effort under Minn. Stat. 10A.275, subd. 1(d), must take (e.g., fundraising dinner; media solicitation; written/direct mail solicitation; telephone solicitation, in-person solicitation, etc.);

 

2) there is specific language which must be used to trigger the exemption's applicability and if that language will remove an expenditure otherwise qualifying as a political party fundraising effort from the statute's applicability;

 

3) the content of a fundraising effort must be equally devoted to each of the three or more candidates on whose behalf the solicitation is made and if the content of a fundraising effort must be devoted entirely to fundraising-related information, or may the effort also provide information related to the candidates on whose behalf it is designed to benefit;

 

4) the content of the fund raising effort must be apportioned or allocated in a certain manner, by what method is the apportionment measured (i.e. space used; number of words; size of pictures, etc.);

 

5) the fundraising effort concurrently may contain explicit electioneering messages on behalf of or in opposition to clearly identified candidates (e.g., "elect," "vote for," "defeat," "support," etc.) and if not, how should an expenditure containing such electioneering messages be allocated with respect to Chapter 10A's contribution limitation provisions;

 

6) a political party fundraising effort under Minn. Stat. 10A.275, subd. 1(d) must identify itself as such and identify the party which has adopted the effort as a fundraising effort;

 

7) the political party fundraising effort must be intended to benefit three or more candidates who are subject to Chapter 10A, or may the effort be designed to assist local or federal candidates in addition to candidates registered with the Board and if local or federal candidates are included, does this affect the application of the exemption;

 

8) the fundraising effort may also solicit funds on behalf of the political party sponsoring the effort, or will such solicitations on behalf of the party violate the "earmarking" prohibitions under Minn. Stat. 10A.16; and

 

9) a political party sponsors a qualifying fundraising effort, may the political party collect and deliver contributions to the candidates on whose behalf the effort is conducted, or must contributions be delivered by the contributor directly to the candidate/campaign committee to avoid the bundling prohibitions of Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 1.

 

The Board reviewed a draft opinion. Mr. Heffelfinger stated that the hypothetical questions make the request difficult to answer. The scope of the opinion should be limited due to the lack of specific details. Board members agreed that the addendum cautioning readers of advisory opinions to recognize that each advisory opinion is based on particular facts and may not be relevant to even slightly different fact situations should remain in the opinion.

Mr. Heffelfinger's MOTION: To: 1) direct staff to rewrite Advisory Opinion #305 to reflect Board discussion; 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.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #305 signed by Chair Carolyn Rodriguez, January 22, 1999. Multicandidate expenditure for party fundraising efforts need not take a particular form or use specific language; however, it must be clear that the undertaking is a fundraising effort. Other materials included with multicandidate fundraising materials may be recognized separately from the multicandidate expenditure. A political Party may include solicitation on its own behalf or on behalf of federal or local candidates with materials for multicandidate fundraising effort. Contributions resulting from multicandidate fundraising effort must be made directly to the candidate or the candidate's principal campaign committee.

 

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. Pauly reported that the Legislative Recommendations Committee will be meeting with Legislative Leadership to discuss the Board's recommendations. The first meeting will take place this afternoon.

 

OTHER BUSINESS

 

Request for Reconsideration of Payment of Public Subsidy (Laid over from the December 11th meeting)

 

Mr. Goldsmith wrote to Representative Steve Smith requesting an affidavit signed by him swearing to the facts surrounding his actions and the mailing of the Affidavit of Contributions. Mr. Goldsmith also talked to the postmaster from the post office from which the mailing was sent. No affidavit has been received in the Board office.

 

Mr. Goldsmith stated that in a subsequent telephone conversation, Representative Smith told him that he had not had time to prepare an affidavit and that he believed his letter stating the facts should provide a sufficient basis for the board to approve his request. He concluded that if the board intended to require more, he wished to withdraw his request.

Mr. Slocum's MOTION: To direct staff to: 1) offer Representative Smith another opportunity to sign an affidavit swearing to the facts surrounding his actions and the mailing; and 2) upon receipt of the affidavit pay the public subsidy to his committee.

 

After Board discussion, Mr. Slocum withdrew his MOTION.

Mr. Heffelfinger's MOTION: To: 1) direct staff to send a letter to Representative Smith telling him that it is Board precedent in requests of this type to require a signed affidavit before the request is considered; 2) notify Representative Smith that pursuant to his direction to Mr. Goldsmith, his request was considered withdrawn; and 3) inform Representative Smith that he could still submit an affidavit and ask the Board to reconsider the matter.

 

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

 

Correspondence

 

The following correspondence was available for Board members:

A copy of the letter sent by Chair Rodriguez and Vice Chair Pauly to Annette Meeks, Director of the Center of the American Experiment, and Theresa H. Ashmore, Chair of Task Force 18, concerning the Blueprint on Political Reform and Ethical Conduct (see copy of letter attached).

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint of Richard Nadler Regarding (Hubert) Humphrey Volunteer Committee

 

The Board issued findings of no probable cause to believe that the (Hubert) Humphrey for Governor Committee accepted prohibited contributions from the (Hubert) Humphrey Volunteer Committee as 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).

 

Findings in the Matter of the Complaint of Richard Nadler Regarding (Hubert) Humphrey for Governor Committee

 

The Board issued findings of no probable cause to believe that: 1) the (Hubert) Humphrey Volunteer Committee made prohibited contributions to the (Hubert) Humphrey for Governor Committee; 2) funds collected by the Humphrey Volunteer Committee were converted to personal use; and 3) the cost of tickets to attend charitable events were not properly reported as costs of serving in office.

 

When the subject report of the Humphrey Volunteer Committee was filed on February 4, 1998, it itemized a $150 noncampaign disbursement to the Sharon Sayles-Belton Committee. Pursuant to notice from the Board that this may be prohibited as a contribution to a candidate seeking local office, Attorney General Humphrey reimbursed the committee $150 for the contribution. Based on the fact that the Humphrey Volunteer Committee was reimbursed for this disbursement, there is no probable cause to believe that any violation exists related to this payment. 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).

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jeanne Olson, Executive Director

In the Absence of Wil Flugel, Secretary

(Minutes by staff) attachments (4)