STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

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Tuesday, August 24, 1999

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Robert Whitacker Conference Room
Office of the Legislative Auditor
First Floor, Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

Meeting was called to order by Chair Pauly.

Members present: Fluegel, Heffelfinger, Pauly, Penny, Roggenbauer.

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

Shirley Chase informed Board members she would be unable to attend the meeting.

MINUTES (June 14, 1999)

Mr. Penny's MOTION: To approve the June 14, 1999, minutes as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

CHAIR'S REPORT

Board Meeting Schedule

Next Board meeting will be October 13, 1999, at the Riverwood Conference Center in Monticello, Minnesota.

Board Retreat Schedule

Board members discussed proposed agenda items for the retreat to be held October 13 and 14 at the Riverwood Conference Center following the Board meeting. Chair Pauly stated that Counsel Huwe will talk to Board members about Board and Attorney General Office interactions and legal issues for Board members. Staff was directed to contact the governor's office and the legislative leadership of both houses and request that a representative from each attend a session for a discussion on Chapter 10A and what the Board's role should be.

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Conference

Chair Pauly reported that Mr. Fluegel, Ms. Olson, Counsel Huwe, and Chair Pauly will attend the annual COGEL conference to be held in Providence, Rhode Island, December 5 - 8, 1999. Ms. Olson will be inducted as the president of the national organization at the conference.

Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan

The Department of Employee Relations recommends that the agency Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan be reviewed and updated annually to ensure that the plan meets agency needs. A copy of the plan was provided to Board members for their review.

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To approve the Workplace Violence Prevention Policy and Plan as presented.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

Staff Activities:

June 25 to June 28 - Mr. Goldsmith attended a meeting in Chicago on electronic filing and standardized electronic reporting among all jurisdictions.

July 15 - Ms. Olson spoke to about 45 members of the Republican House Caucus staff about the Board's administration of the prohibition on gifts.

July 20 and 21- Mr. Goldsmith and Ms. Olson attended a training class titled "Strategic Information Resource Management Planning for Minnesota Government".

August 17 - Ms. Olson attended a legislative liaison training class mandated by the Governor's office.

August 23 - Ms. Olson attended an orientation for new Board members and executive directors offered by the Governor's office. Ms. Olson spoke to the group about public officials' reporting responsibilities and the gift ban provisions. She will attend another session on September 20th.

Personnel:

The Department of Employee Relations approved the position description for the new Information Technology Specialist IV. Efforts to fill the position are underway.

Greg Messetler, Information Technology Specialist II, has accepted another position. Mr. Messetler's last day is Friday, August 27. Efforts to fill this position are underway.

Miscellaneous:

Ms. Olson introduced Terri Reiners, a political science major at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Ms. Reiners is an intern in the Board office.

The redesign of the staff area in the Board office continues. New partitions have been ordered as well as facilities for a public use computer area. This redesign was funded by the legislature as part of the Board's request for additional staff.

The Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA) finished their FY 98 - 99 audit of the Board's financial activities. Staff will meet with representatives of the OLA to discuss their findings.

Enforcement Report

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

Consent Items

Board Action: Authorization of a certified letter to compel the amendment of the Report of Receipts and Expenditures due February 1, 1999, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the report is not filed. A reminder notice was sent and staff attempted to contact the individuals by telephone.

Bernard Harmon, treasurer, (Denise) Harmon for House Committee

Ray Wheeler, treasurer, Ray Wheeler Volunteer Committee

Board Action: Authorization of a certified letter for the late filing fees which accrued because of the late filing of a Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 1999, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the fees are not paid. A reminder notice was sent and staff attempted to contact the individual by telephone.

Jual Carlson, lobbyist, Together for Term Limits: $30

Board Action: Authorization of certified letter to compel the filing of a Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 1999, and collection of any accrued late filing fee, and subsequent legal enforcement action if the report is not filed and the late filing fee not paid. A certified letter was sent and staff attempted to contact the individual by telephone.

Larry Jones, lobbyist, Associated Contract Loggers, Inc.

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

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Discussion Items

Waiver Request

Late filing of the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due July 15, 1998 (see December 11, 1998, and January 8, 1999, minutes)

Kenneth Hardy, lobbyist, National Association of Minority Contractors and Emerging Small Business Program: $100 - The Lobbyist Disbursement Report was received in the Board office on October 13, 1998. On July 9, 1999, Compliance Officer, Billie Errico, represented the Board in Conciliation Court versus Kenneth Hardy. He stated that he has been in very poor health and was hospitalized in December and January and was unable to appear before the Board. He further stated that he has a limited income, due to his poor health, and that he terminated his lobbyist registration as of June 30, 1999. Ms. Errico suggested that Mr. Hardy write a written request to bring before the Board at it's next meeting and that the claim be dismissed without prejudice in order for Mr. Hardy to get his information brought before the Board.

Mr. Heffelfinger's MOTION: To reduce Mr. Hardy's late filing fee for the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due July 15, 1998, to $25.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Request for Board direction for further action

Bradley Clifford, lobbyist, Coalition of Export Minnesota

Bradley Clifford, lobbyist, Coalition for the Advancement of Telecommunications in Minnesota

Lobbyist Disbursement Reports due July 15, 1998, have not been received in the Board office and $200 in late filing fees have accrued. Staff referred Mr. Clifford to the office of the Attorney General in October 1998. The Attorney General's Office and Board staff have been unsuccessful at locating Mr. Clifford. All mail has been returned to the Board office marked "moved left no address".

Mr. Heffelfinger's MOTION: To direct staff to: 1) ask the assistance of the Attorney General's Office in a litigation search on Mr. Clifford, the Coalition of Export Minnesota, and the Coalition for the Advancement of Telecommunications in Minnesota; and 2) lay the matter over to the next Board meeting.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Samlong Inthaly-Smith, Board of Social Work - Ms. Inthaly-Smith was appointed as a member of the Board of Social Work effective January 26, 1998. Ms. Inthaly-Smith's Original Statement of Economic Interest was due in the Board office no later than March 27, 1998. All mail sent to Ms. Inthaly-Smith has been returned to the Board office. Staff contacted the Board of Social Work, and was told that Ms. Inthaly-Smith was replaced as a member for missing too many meetings. On July 27, 1998 the matter was referred to the Attorney General's Office to compel the filing of the Original Statement of Economic Interest and payment of the $100 late filing fee. Payment of the $100 late filing fee was received in the Board office in August 1998. Ms. Inthaly-Smith has not filed her Statement of Economic Interest.

Mr. Heffelfinger's MOTION: To direct staff to discontinue efforts to secure the Original Statement of Economic Interest from Ms. Inthaly-Smith.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Steve Baretz, candidate, Steve Baretz Volunteer Committee: $419 - Mr. Baretz was a candidate in the 1990 election and received public subsidy in the amount of $5,882.27. Mr. Baretz did not accumulate contributions equal to 20 percent or more of the minimum amount that the Board estimated would be received by the candidate from the State Elections Campaign Fund in the 1990 election and was notified he would have to return the public subsidy money. Mr. Baretz returned $713.16 to the Board. In September 1991, findings were issued and Mr. Baretz was directed to return the additional $5,169.11. Failing to do so resulted in a judgment against him in 1993. Mr. Baretz filed bankruptcy in 1996, and the $5,169.11 judgment was reduced to $3,600 under that filing. In October 1998, staff received a check for $500 from Mr. Baretz.

On August 2, 1999, staff received a check from the Department of Revenue on behalf of Mr. Baretz in the amount of $419. In a letter to the Board Mr. Baretz states that he is disabled and has not worked since January 1994. All income earned is by his wife, Ellen Baretz. Minn. Stat. 270A.03, states that in the case of a joint income tax refund the refund shall be considered as belonging to each spouse in the proportion of the total refund that equals each spouse's proportion of the total taxable income determined. A certified copy of his tax return was included with his letter. The W2 forms show that all income was earned by his Mrs. Baretz. Therefore, under the statue, the $419 has been returned to Mrs. Baretz.

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To direct staff to: 1) ask the assistance of the Attorney General's Office in a real estate search on Mr. Baretz' property ownership since he received the public subsidy in 1991; 2) review Mr. Bartez' file to determine the underlying circumstances surrounding payment and use of the public subsidy money; and 3) lay the matter over to the next Board meeting.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Informational Items

Payment of Late Filing Fees

Michael Burns, lobbyist, Hennepin County Board of Commissioners: $100

Leslie Harter, lobbyist, Leslie Harter: $85

Michael Burns, lobbyist, Hennepin County Board of Commissioners: $100

Forrest Wilkinson, lobbyist, Forrest Wilkinson: $100

Dan Gunderson, lobbyist, BP Amoco Corporation: $20

Richard Mata, lobbyist, International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers #294: $10

Timothy Shields, lobbyist, Minnesota Federated Humane Society: $35

Carol Rosengren, treasurer, 54B House District RPM: $50

David Anderson, candidate, (David) Anderson for State Treasurer: $50

Timothy Bonham, treasurer, Minneapolis DFL: $100

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

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

 

 

David Anderson, candidate, (David) Anderson for State Treasurer: $50

Laura Spillane, treasurer, Mike Spillane Volunteer Committee: $125

Payment of Civil Fine for Acceptance of Contributions in Excess of Special Source Limit

Colleen Graber, candidate, Volunteers for (Colleen) Graber: $983

Barbara Haake, candidate, (Barbara) Haake Volunteer Committee: $233

Revenue Recapture

Larry McKenzie, candidate, Larry McKenzie Volunteer Committee: $100

Charles O'Connor, lobbyist, Charles O'Connor and Workers' Compensation Lobby: $444.32

Donald Sprandel, candidate, Donald Sprandel Volunteer Committee: $136.78

Shawn Towle, candidate, (Shawn) Towle Volunteer Committee: $250.63

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

Financial statement and agency deposits - Mr. Goldsmith and Ms. Errico submitted reports covering July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999.

Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1999

Board members reviewed the staff draft of the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 1999, July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999. The report was approved by Board consensus.

1999 Legislative Report

A memo from Ms. Olson outlining statutory changes made during the 1999 legislative session that may have an affect on the Board or staff was available for Board members.

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

Mr. Goldsmith noted that the request for Advisory Opinion #312 has been withdrawn by the requester.

Requests for the following advisory opinions are private data.

Advisory Opinion Request #314 - Use of principal campaign committee funds (laid over from the June 14 meeting)

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from a official, who asks if

Minn. Stat. 10A.01, subd. 10c, which provides for payment of certain costs as noncampaign disbursements, permits use of principal campaign committee funds to pay the described legal expenses and sanctions.

Mr. Heffelfinger's MOTION: To: 1) direct staff to request from the official additional information concerning the agreement to pay legal fees, including a copy of any written agreement; and 2) lay the matter over to the next Board meeting.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Advisory Opinion Request #316 - Application of gift prohibition - definition of official

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from the manager of a state government office, who asks if the gift prohibitions of Minn. Stat. 10A.071 prevent the director or other employees of the office from accepting gifts from businesses that are lobbyist principals.

Mr. Fluegel's MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #316 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #316 signed by Chair Sidney Pauly, August 24, 1999: The gift prohibitions established in Minn. Stat. 10A.071 do not apply to the director or employees of a state government office if those individuals are not "officials" as defined under the statute.

LEGAL COUNSEL'S REPORT

Counsel Huwe presented the legal counsel's report outlining the status of cases which have been turned over to the Attorney General's office (see copy of memo attached).

OTHER BUSINESS

Public Subsidy Payments to Minor Parties - Pursuant to statute, a minor party must meet certain criteria and be certified by the Secretary of State each odd-numbered year in order to maintain its status as a minor party. Mr. Goldsmith reported that the Grassroots Party and the Libertarian Party failed to meet the criteria and have not been certified as minor parties. Based on statute, it appears that the two parties are no longer eligible to participate in the public subsidy programs and are now recognized under Chapter 10A as political committees.

Board members discussed the matter.

Mr. Penny's MOTION: To direct staff to: 1) send a letter to the party units informing them that the Department of Revenue may not honor political contribution receipts issued after July 1, 1999; 2) withhold payments of public subsidy to the parties; 3) encourage the parties to work with the Secretary of State's Office to regain their minor party status; 4) prepare a letter for Chair Pauly's signature; and 5) send copies of the letter to the Secretary of State and Commissioner of Revenue.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Board issued findings to dismiss the complaint showing no probable cause to believe that Education Minnesota or legislators attending an Education Minnesota legislative dinner violated Minn. Stat. 10A.071 in connection with the giving and accepting of a meal. 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).

The Board issued findings to believe that there is probable cause to believe that the (Marvin) Nelson Volunteer Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 9(a), when it made a $500 contribution to the Dee (Korvela) for State Representative Committee. Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A provides no penalty for this violation. 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).

The Board issued findings to believe there is probable cause to believe that the (Loyal) Hyatt Campaign Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 9(a), when it made a $500 contribution to the Bob Gustafson for Minnesota House Committee. Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A provides no penalty for this violation. 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).

The Board issued findings to believe there is probable cause to believe that the (Edwina) Garcia Volunteer Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 9(a), when it made a $500 contribution to the (Edwina) Garcia for Secretary of State Committee and a $200 contribution to the We Want (Mark) Gleason Committee. Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A provides no penalty for this violation. 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).

The Board issued findings to believe there is probable cause to believe that the (Don) Samuelson for Governor Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 9(a), when it made a $250 contribution to the (Edwina) Garcia for Secretary of State Committee, a $1,000 contribution to the (Hubert) Humphrey for Governor Committee, and a $300 contribution to the Doug (Johnson) for Governor Committee. Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A provides no penalty for this violation. 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).

The Board issued findings to believe there is probable cause to believe that the Bruce Devries Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.27, subd. 9(a), when it made a $500 contribution to the (Andrew) Westerberg Volunteer Committee. Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A provides no penalty for this violation. 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 Secretary

 For a copy of the Legal Counsel's report, contact the board office (800-657-3889 or 651-296-5148).