STATE OF MINNESOTA

CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

. . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, December 14, 1999

. . . . . . . . .

St. Croix Conference Room

Second Floor, Centennial Office Building

. . . . . . . . .

 

 

 

MINUTES

 

Meeting was called to order by Chair Pauly.

 

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

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

 

MINUTES  (October 13, 1999)

 

 Ms. Chase’s MOTION:           To approve the October 13, 1999, minutes as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

CHAIR'S REPORT

 

Board Meeting Schedule

 

Next meeting will be January 11, 2000, at 9:30 a.m.

 

Mission Statement

 

Board members reviewed a draft of the mission statement as discussed and amended at the October 13, Board retreat.  It was agreed by consensus to approve the following Mission Statement:

 

To promote public confidence in state government decision making through development, administration, and enforcement of disclosure and public financing programs which will ensure public access to and understanding of information filed with the Board.

 

2000 Board Objectives

 

Board members reviewed a draft of the 2000 Objectives of the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board based on discussion at the October 13 Board retreat.  The draft was approved by consensus  (see copy attached).

 

 

Board Members Biographies

 

Drafts of Board members biographies based on information supplied to staff were available for review.   These biographies will be available on the Board’s web site and included in the Board Annual Report for fiscal year 2000 as discussed at the October 13, Board retreat.

 

Complaint Form

 

Board members reviewed a draft Complaint Form based on discussion at the October 13 Board retreat and a “Filing a Complaint” issues sheet.   Written complaints asserting violations of Chapter 10A will continue to be accepted on alternate forms as long as the required information is included.  The form and issue sheet were approved by Board consensus (see copies attached).

 

Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL) Conference

 

Chair Pauly, Mr. Fluegel, and Ms. Olson reported on the COGEL Conference held in Providence, Rhode Island, December 5 - 8, 1999.

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

 

Ms. Olson submitted the following written report:

 

Staff Activities:

 

October 20 - Ms. Olson spoke to a William Mitchell College Legislative Advocacy class, led by John Herman, about the Board, advisory opinions, lobbyists registration and reporting, and the gift ban.

 

October 26, 27, and 29 - Mr. Goldsmith taught two sessions of software training each day.  Forty-five people attended four beginning classes and 28 people attend two intermediate classes.

 

October 28 - Mr. Goldsmith spoke to a Hamline University Legislative Process class, led by Luci Botzek, about the Board, campaign finance, and the gift ban.

 

November 4 - Mr. Goldsmith and Ms. Olson met with eight individuals from Kyrgyzstan (a former Soviet Republic) as part of the US State Department’s International Visitor Program.  The visitors were interested in campaign finance and economic interest disclosure as it relates to the concept of “Transparency in Government” (allowing individuals to see who and what is influencing elected officials).

 

November 22 - Mr. Goldsmith taught two sessions of software training.  Twelve people attended the two sessions.

 

 

 

Personnel:

 

Mr. Goldsmith reviewed the performance of Kelly Hansen.  Based on the AFSCME contract, Ms. Hansen is eligible and will receive a step increase in salary.  

 

Ms. Swanson reviewed the performance of Joyce Larson.  Based on the AFSCME contract, Ms. Larson is eligible and will receive a step increase in salary.  Under the provisions of the newly ratified AFSCME contract, Ms. Larson’s employment with the Minnesota Historical Society can be included in the calculation of her years of service with the state.  Ms. Larson’s bi-weekly vacation accrual will be adjusted accordingly. 

 

Ms. Errico reviewed the performance of Patty Klingner.  Based on the AFSCME contract, Ms. Klingner is eligible and will receive a step increase in salary.

 

Miscellaneous:

 

Mr. Goldsmith introduced John Nesbitt and Tom Thao, the Board’s new Information Technology Manager and Information Technology Specialist, respectively.

 

Ms. Olson introduced Lorna Smith.  Ms. Smith works in the Department of Finance and serves as the Executive Budget Officer for the agency.

 

The redesign of the staff area in the Board office is complete.  Staff is in the process of setting up client use computers in the public area.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger announced that he will not be seeking reappointment to the Board.  He will serve until the Governor appoints a new member.

 

Enforcement Report 

 

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

 

Consent Items

 

Mr. Heffelfinger’s MOTION:     To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters as presented to the Board.

 

Ms. Klingner noted that three of the individuals listed on the consent agenda provided to Board members have supplied further information and should be removed from the agenda.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger’s MOTION:     To reopen consideration of the consent matters.

 

Richard Kramer, Lawrence Schultz, and Thomas Diedrich were removed from the consent items agenda and placed under discussion items.

 

Board Action:            Authorization of certified letter to compel the filing of an amendment of a Report of Receipts and Expenditures and subsequent legal enforcement action if the amended report is not filed.   A reminder notice was sent  to each person and staff attempted to contact them by telephone.

 

                                    Michael Blackman, treasurer, Bureau of Wholesales Representatives PAC

 

                                    Jason Dohm, treasurer, Mille Lacs County RPM

 

Board Action:            Authorization of a certified letter to compel the termination of inactive committees and subsequent legal enforcement action if the termination report is not filed.   A reminder notice was sent and staff attempted to contact the individual by telephone.

 

                                    James Carlisle, treasurer, Voices for Disability Rights, 1998 ending cash balance:  $158.38, last activity:  1996.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger’s MOTION:     To authorize the actions specified in the consent matters as amended.

 

Vote on MOTION:                    Unanimously passed.

 

Discussion Items

 

Request to Terminate With Outstanding Debt

 

Richard Kramer, candidate, (Richard) Kramer Campaign Committee - The Kramer Campaign Committee registered with the Board in 1990.  Mr. Kramer never filed for office.  The committee has unpaid bills to two vendors totaling $307.14.  By letter dated December 11, 1999, Mr. Kramer states that he is unable to contact the creditors by registered letter, as they no longer exist or are not located at the address the committee has available for them.  Mr. Kramer requests that the Board allow him to terminate his committee without sending the required certified letters to the creditors.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger’s MOTION:     To deny Mr. Kramer’s request to terminate the Kramer Campaign Committee and to direct staff to notify Mr. Kramer that he must send certified letters to the two creditors prior to terminating the committee.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

 Request to Terminate With a Cash Balance in Excess of $100

 

Lawrence Schultz, candidate, East Side for (Lawrence) Schultz - The East Side for Schultz committee registered with the Board in 1990.  Mr. Schultz never filed for office.  The committee has a current ending cash balance of $2,861.12.  By letter dated December 8, 1999, Mr. Schultz states that he intends to terminate the committee after returning the cash on hand to his contributors. 

 

Board members discussed the possible disposition of remaining campaign funds when a committee dissolves and the concern that the contributors receiving a refund of their contribution may also have received a refund from the state under the contribution refund program.

 

Mr. Penny’s MOTION:             To direct Mr. Schultz to dispose of the committee funds pursuant to statute and then terminate the committee.  

 

Vote on MOTION:                    Unanimously passed.

 

Request to Remain Active

 

Thomas Diedrich, treasurer, United Northwest Sales Representative Association - The Reports of Receipts and Expenditures for the United Northwest Sales Representative Association have disclosed no activity since 1993.  The 1998 ending cash balance is $539.34.  By letter dated December 8, 1999, Mr. Diedrich states that the association intends to be active in election year 2000 and requests that the committee be allowed to retain their active status with the Board.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger’s MOTION:     To approve the request of Mr. Diedrich that the United northwest Stales Representative Association remain active.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

 Waiver Request

 

Late filing of Report of Receipts and Expenditures due September 8, and October 26, 1998 (see September 26, 1997; January 23, and July 24, 1998, minutes)

 

Jackie Stevenson, treasurer, Minnesota Voters for Choice - Minnesota Voters for Choice has a zero cash balance and has been inactive since 1993.  Ms. Stevenson became treasurer in 1996.  On December 3, 1999, staff received a letter from Ms. Stevenson stating that an unpaid loan from 1990 has been forgiven and two creditors were notified by certified mail, according to statue, that the committee was terminating.  She requests a waiver of the $1,000 in late filing fees that accrued because of the late filing of the 1998 Pre-Primary and Pre-General election reports.  Staff had numerous contacts with Ms. Stevenson regarding terminating the committee.

 

Mr. Penny’s MOTION:             To approve Ms. Stevenson’s request to waive the $1,000 late filing fee due to the inactive status of the committee during 1998 and the efforts of Ms. Stevenson and Board staff to settle the matter.

 

Vote on MOTION:                    Unanimously passed.

 

Request for Board Direction

 

         Further action for lobbyist who has failed to file Lobbyist Disbursement Reports due July 15, 1999

 

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

Bradley Clifford, lobbyist, Coalition of Export Minnesota (see August 24, 1999, minutes)

 

Carrie Darmody, Paralegal from the Attorney General’s Office, advised staff that the Attorney General’s Office has been unsuccessful in attempts to locate Mr. Clifford.  Board staff searched the free search sites on the internet with negative results and forwarded a copy of the sites to the Attorney General’s Office.  A police report in Duluth, Minn. shows that Mr. Clifford was involved in a traffic accident in August and gave an address on the University of Minnesota Duluth campus.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger’s MOTION:     To: 1) administratively terminate Mr. Clifford’s lobbyist registrations for Coalition for the Advancement of Telecommunications in Minnesota and Coalition of Export Minnesota; 2) refer the matter of the $200 in late filing fees to the Minnesota Collection Enterprise; and 3) direct the Attorney General’s Office to determine if any other state or local agency is pursuing Mr. Clifford and inform them of the information given by Mr. Clifford on the police report.

 

Mr. Penny said that if the Attorney General’s Office hears that any other state or local agency is pursuing Mr. Clifford, the decision to share the information they have regarding Mr. Clifford’s whereabouts should be made by the Attorney General’s Office.

 

Mr. Heffelfinger’s AMENDED MOTION:          To: 1) administratively terminate Mr. Clifford’s lobbyist registrations for Coalition for the Advancement of Telecommunications in Minnesota and Coalition of Export Minnesota; 2) refer the matter of the $200 in late filing fees to the Minnesota Collection Enterprise; and 3) advise the Attorney General’s Office to share any information they have regarding Mr. Clifford if any other state or local agency contacts them.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously approved.

 

         Further action for removal of Steve Baretz from the revenue recapture program (see August 24, 1999, minutes)

 

Steve Baretz, candidate, Steve Baretz Volunteer Committee - At its August 24, 1999, meeting, Board directed staff to review Mr. Baretz files to see if the $5,882.27 in public subsidy money received by the committee for the 1990 election year was spent on campaign expenditures.  The reports disclosed $5,169 spent on campaign expenditures and $713.16 of public subsidy money returned to the state.  On the 1992 termination report, Mr. Baretz states that all monies remaining in his account were used to pay attorneys representing him in the action brought by the Board to secure the return of public subsidy money.  The Attorney General’s Office is continuing their efforts on obtaining information regarding Mr. Baretz’ assets.

 

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION:           To lay discussion of this matter over to the next Board meeting when further information may be available.

 

Vote on MOTION:                    Unanimously passed.

 

Informational Items

 

Payment of Late Filing Fees

 

         Report of Receipts and Expenditures due February 1, 1999

 

      Kim Ellison, treasurer, Committee to Elect Keith Ellison:  $100

 

         Lobbyist Disbursement Report due April 15, 1999

 

      Teri Halpin, lobbyist, Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association:  $100

 

         Lobbyist Disbursement Report due July 15, 1999

 

      Ray Egan, lobbyist, Minnesota Motorcycle Riders Association:  $15

     

      Teri Halpin, lobbyist, Minneapolis Municipal Retirement Association:  $100

 

      Francis X. Viggiano, lobbyist, Minnesota State University Student Association:  $20

 

         Report of Receipts and Expenditures (special election) due October 26, 1999

 

      Barb Hanson, treasurer, Mark Hanson Senate Election Fund:  $100

 

Payment of Civil Fines

 

         Philip Mortenson, treasurer, Friends of Tim Erlander - During the period of January 1 through December 31, 1998, the Friends of Tim Erlander Committee disclosed accepting aggregate contributions from committees of the Republican Party of Minnesota totaling $5,200.  These contributions exceeded by $200 the applicable aggregate $5,000 election year contribution limit from political parties.  The Friends of Tim Erlander returned $200 to committees of the Republican Party of Minnesota.  On October 20, 1999, Tim Erlander entered into a conciliation agreement and paid a civil fine of $200, one times the amount by which the contributions exceeded the applicable aggregate limit.

 

         Delane Welsch, treasurer, Campaign Fund for Geri Evans - During the period of January 1 through December 31, 1998, the Campaign Fund of Geri Evans disclosed accepting aggregate contributions from lobbyists, political committees, and political funds totaling $5,517.  These contributions exceeded by $700 the election year contribution limit from special sources of $4,817.  The Campaign Fund of Geri Evans returned $700 to contributors.  On October 31, 1999, Geri Evans entered into a conciliation agreement, and paid a civil fine of $700, one times the amount by which the contributions exceeded the applicable aggregate limit.

 

         Sandy Molkenbur, treasurer, Herb Frey for 25A - During the period of January 1 through December 31, 1998, the Herb Frey for 25A committee disclosed accepting aggregate contributions from political committees and political funds totaling $5,015.38.  These contributions exceeded by $198.38 the election year contribution limit from special sources of $4,817.  The Herb Frey for 25A committee returned $198.38 to contributors.  On October 18, 1999, Herb Frey entered into a conciliation agreement and paid a civil fine of $198.38, one times the amount by which the contributions exceeded the applicable aggregate limit.

 

         Frank McAdams, treasurer, (Evelyn) Tanner Campaign Fund -  During the period of January 1 through December 31, 1998, the Tanner Campaign Fund disclosed accepting aggregate contributions from registered lobbyists, political committees, and political funds totaling  $5,000.  These contributions exceeded by $183 the election year contribution limit from special sources of $4,817.  The Tanner Campaign Fund returned $183 to contributors.  On October 25, 1999, Evelyn Tanner entered into a conciliation agreement and paid a civil fine of $183, one times the amount by which the contributions exceeded the applicable aggregate limit.

 

         Steve Novosel, treasurer, (Andrew) Westerberg Volunteers - During the period of January 1 through December 31, 1998, the Westerberg Volunteers committee disclosed a $500 contribution from the Bruce Devries Committee, a principal campaign committee which did not terminate its registration with the Board by the end of calendar year 1998, and accepting aggregate contributions from political committees and political funds totaling $741.62. The Westerberg Volunteers committee returned the $500 contribution to the Bruce Devries Committee and $241.62 to other contributors.  On September 2, 1999, Andrew Westerberg entered into a conciliation agreement and paid a civil fine of $241.62, one times the amount by which the contributions exceeded the applicable aggregate limit after the return of the prohibited contribution from the Bruce Devries Committee.

 

Contribution to State of Minnesota Upon Committee Termination

 

Michael Forbes, treasurer, Olmsted County DFL Women’s Club:  $1,372.49

 

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

 

The following request and advisory opinion are nonpublic data.

 

Advisory Opinion Request #319 - Providing on-line contribution service

 

The Board reviewed a draft response to an advisory opinion request from the representative of a corporation, who asks if Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A prohibits a for-profit corporation from providing an internet-based service where donors may make contributions to principal campaign committees registered with the Board, assuming that the corporation initially processes the contributions, receives the funds, and forwards the net proceeds to the committees on a monthly basis.

 

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION:           To approve advisory opinion #319 as drafted.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously passed.

 

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #319 signed by Chair Sidney Pauly, December 14, 1999:  A company may, consistent with Minnesota Statutes, chapter 10A, provide internet-based credit card contribution services which include credit card processing and accumulation of funds into a company account for forwarding to the beneficiary principal campaign committees. Certain recordkeeping and reporting issues arise, about which principal campaign committees should be notified.  Issuance of this opinion does not constitute endorsement of the requester or of its plan.

 

LEGAL COUNSEL’S REPORT

 

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

 

LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

 

Minnesota Campaign Finance Simplification Act

 

A working draft of discussion items for possible inclusion in the 2001 legislative recommendations for 2001 and a Time Frame for 2001 Legislative Recommendations was available for Board members.

 

WEB SITE PROPOSALS

 

         Economic Interest Statement Information Posted on Board Web Site

 

      Copies of sample Economic Interest disclosure screens from a proposed addition to the Board’s web site were available for Board members.  Board members discussed including language that states that the report is current as of the appointment date or the last annual supplementary reporting date, whichever is later; and when the name of an agency is changed, to continue to list the former name of the agency and refer to the new name in the agency index.

 

Mr. Fluegel’s MOTION:           To approve the Economic Interest addition to the Board’s web site with changes as discussed.

 

Vote on MOTION:        Unanimously approved. 

 

         Campaign Finance Data Posted on Board Web Site

 

      Mr. Goldsmith reported that staff is in the process of updating the current web site.  Campaign finance data will be available in 2000 after the update is complete.

 

         Proposed Links from Board Web Site

     

      Mr. Goldsmith reported that staff will be creating links from the Board web site to other relevant web sites.  Staff will develop relationships with the owners of the sites and propose that they link their sites to our web site.  Board members agreed that the page of links from the Board’s web site should make it clear that the link is provided as a client service and that the Board is not responsible for the content of the linked site.  Mr. Goldsmith discussed the possibility of a notice message displaying when a user leaves the Board’s web site.

 

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

In the matter of the investigation of the (Hubert) Humphrey for Governor Committee - The Board issued findings that there is probable cause to believe that the Humphrey for Governor Committee violated Minn. Stat. 10A.065 by accepting contributions from a registered political fund and a registered lobbyist, 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 $150.  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 [linked here] ).

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Meeting adjourned.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Jeanne Olson

Executive Secretary

 

 

attachments:   For copy of 2000 Board Objectives contact the Board office at 651-296-5148 or 1-800-657-3889


 STATE OF MINNESOTA

Office of the Attorney General

 

 


TO:

JEANNE OLSON

Executive Director

Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board
First Floor South, Centennial Office Building

DATE:

December 6, 1999

 

 

FROM:

GREGORY P. HUWE

Assistant Attorney General

525 Park Street, #200

St. Paul, MN  55103-2106

PHONE:

(651) 297-1223 (Voice)

(651) 297-1235 (Fax)

(651) 282-2525 (TTY)

 

 

SUBJECT:

Status of Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board Matters

 

 

 

           

I.          Major Cases/Major Issues:

 

            Republican Party of Minnesota v. G. Barry Anderson: United States District Court Judge Montgomery issued an order awarding plaintiffs the amount of $36,000.00 for attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses on October 29, 1999. This amount was based upon a stipulation of the parties.

 

II.         Enforcement Matters:

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

AG:332845, v. 1


CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD

STATUS REPORT- MATTERS REFERRED TO AGO

December 7, 1999

 

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

Bowen, John

Coalition of Black Churches

Amended Report of R&E

 

6/30/99

8/18/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Burton, Robert, Tr.

Connie Heisenfelt for House

Year-End Report of R&E

none

4/13/99

5/11/99, 6/30/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Ellison, Kim & Keith

Committee to Elect Keith Ellison

Amended Report of R&E

 

6/30/99

8/18/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Halpin, Teri

Mpls. Municipal Retirement Assn.

Lobbyist Disbursement Report (4/15/99 filed late & failure to file 7/15/99)

$200 ($100 each)

11/1/99

11/19/99

 

 

 

CLOSED.  Paid fees & filed report.

Harmon, Bernard, Tr.

(Denise) Harmon for House Comm.

Amended Report of R&E

 

10/7/99

11/19/99

 

 

 

Demand letter sent 11/19/99.

Jones, Larry

Assn Contract Loggers, Inc.

Lobbyist Disbrusement Report

$100

10/7/99

11/19/99

 

 

 

Demand letter sent 11/19/99.

Koenig, Don

Elect Don (Dr. Freedom, etc.) Koenig

Report of R&E, 1/1/98-10/19/98

$500

1/20/99

5/11/99, 6/30/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Koenig, Don

Elect Don (Dr. Freedom, etc.) Koenig

Year-End Report of R&E

none

4/13/99

5/11/99, 6/30/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Kurimay, LeRoy

MN Assn of Pri Postsecond Schools

Amended Lobbyist Report

 

7/29/99

8/18/99

 

 

 

CLOSED.  Filed amended report.

Lever, John, Tr.

Comm. to elect Jeff Aakhus

Year-End Report of R&E

$100

4/13/99

5/11/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

McKenzie, Larry, Tr.

Larry McKenzie

Year-End Report of R&E

$100

4/13/99

5/11/99, 6/30/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Meier, David, Tr.

(David) Meier Volunteer Comm.

Year-End Report of R&E

$100

4/13/99

5/11/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Peaslee, David

AFSCME #14

Lobbyist Report

$100

4/13/99

5/11/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Ragsdale, Kent

Alliant Energy Corp.

Lobbyist Disbursement Report

$100

4/13/99

5/11/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Renteria, Greg

Accountancy State Board

Orig. Statement of Econ Interest

 

11/1/99

11/19/99

 

 

 

Demand letter sent 11/19/99.

Spillane, Michael, candidate

Mike Spillane Volunteer Committee

Failure to file amended Report of R&E

 

3/26/99

5/11/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Stevenson, Jackie

MN Voters for Choice

Termination Report

 

9/98

10/15/98

12/21/98

 

 

Will serve amended summons & complaint.

Thorson, John

AFSCME #14

Lobbyist Disbursement Report

$100

4/13/99

5/11/99

 

 

 

Will serve S&C this week.

Wheeler, Ray, Candidate

Ray Wheeler Volunteer Committee

Amended Report of R&E

 

10/7/99

11/19/99

 

 

 

Demand letter sent 11/19/99.

AG:45951 v1