Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Meetings > February 17, 2011

February 17, 2011 Commission Meeting

Click the title of an agenda item below to view a pdf file of the meeting materials relating to that item.


Agenda - AMENDED
Meeting of February 17, 2011, at 9:00 a.m.
Commission Office, 45 Memorial Circle, 2nd Floor, Augusta, Maine

1.  Ratification of Minutes of the October 28 and December 20, 2010 Meetings

2.  Late Filing of Independent Expenditure Reports/Republican State Leadership Committee

** Additional materials (added on 2/15/2011)

** Additional materials (added on 2/17/2011)

** Additional materials (added on 2/17/2011, posted 5/11/2011)

The Commission will consider civil penalties arising out of the filing of independent expenditure report #142 by the Republican State Leadership Committee.  The report included a total of $398,970 in expenditures made for three types of communications (mailings, television and radio advertisements) directed at voters in five State Senate districts in Maine.  On October 27, 2010, the Maine Democratic Party filed a complaint alleging that the report was late.  The staff notified the committee of possible penalties totaling $41,000 and invited the Committee to respond, including by requesting a waiver of the penalties.  The waiver request and response by the committee will be submitted in the last week before the February 17 meeting.

3.  Ballot Question Committee Reporting/Request by Thomas Valleau
On January 3, 2011, Thomas Valleau requested that the Ethics Commission investigate whether the Portland Press Herald newspaper was required in late 2010 to register and file campaign finance reports as a ballot question committee with the Portland City Clerk.  During the week leading up to the November 2, 2010 election, the Press Herald allowed the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce to run a number of full-page advertisements in support of a Portland referendum on mayoral election.  The Press Herald responds that it is exempt from Maine’s campaign finance disclosure laws and its purpose in providing the ad space was not to influence the election.

** Additional materials (added on 2/17/2011)  

4.  Letter to Joint Standing Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs
The Commissioners will consider a draft letter by the Commission staff concerning the issue of leadership political action committees.

5.  Report from Commission Auditor
The Commission’s auditor completed the audit of Pamela Trinward’s 2010 House campaign, which she terminated after deciding to replace a withdrawing candidate for the State Senate.  No exceptions (violations) were found.

6.  Adjustment to $350 and $750 Contribution Limits
In a 2009 law, the Maine Legislature required the Commission to adjust the $350 and $750 contribution limits every two years based on the rate of inflation.  The Commission’s auditor has determined that no adjustment to the contribution limits should be made at this time, based on the low rate of inflation.  So, the current limits of $350 and $750 will continue to be in effect for elections in 2011 and 2012.  The Commission will next consider whether any adjustment is necessary in December 2012.

Other Business

If necessary.