Skip Maine state header navigation

Agencies | Online Services | Help

Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation

Home > Meetings >November 28, 2012 Actions

Commission Actions
Meeting of November 28, 2012, at 9:00 a.m.
Commission Office, 45 Memorial Circle, 2nd Floor, Augusta, Maine

Present: Walter F. McKee, Esq., Chair; André G. Duchette, Esq.; Margaret E. Matheson, Esq.; Michael T. Healy, Esq.; Hon. Jane A. Amero
Staff: Executive Director Jonathan Wayne; Phyllis Gardiner, Counsel

 

1. Ratification of Minutes of the October 31, 2012 Meeting

Motion: To adopt the minutes as written.
Made by:
Mr. McKee
Seconded by:
Ms. Matheson
Vote:
5-0 (motion passed)

2. Consideration of Statute Changes Proposed by Commission Staff
The Commission gave preliminary consideration to statute changes proposed by its staff and whether they should be included in legislation which the Commission will submit for the 2013 session. Additional statute changes will be considered by the Commission at its meeting on December 19, 2012.

No Action taken at this time.

3. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty by L PAC (postponed until December 19)

4. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty by the National Organization for Marriage Maine PAC
The National Organization for Marriage Maine PAC is a registered PAC in Maine in opposition to the same-sex marriage citizen initiative. It was required to file an 11-Day Pre-General Election Report on Friday, October 26, 2012. The NOM PAC filed the report one day late on October 27. In the report, the NOM PAC disclosed contributing $800,000 to another PAC opposed to the initiative. The preliminary penalty amount is $8,001.11. Through a letter by its attorney, NOM stated that the PAC knew of the deadline and failed to timely file due to an oversight, but contended that the public suffered little harm from the late disclosure.

Motion: To adopt the staff recommendation and reduce the penalty by 75% to $2,000 because the public suffered little harm from the report being filed 14 hours late.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Mr. Healy
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

5. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty by the Sagadahoc County Republican Committee
The Sagadahoc County Republican Committee was required to file an 11-Day Pre-General Election Report on Friday, October 26, 2012. The committee treasurer was removed three days before the filing deadline. Other committee members took over the records, but the committee filed the report 11 days late on November 7 (one day after the general election). The preliminary penalty amount is $729.60. The committee chair requested a waiver of the assessed penalty.

Motion: To adopt the staff recommendation and reduce the penalty by 70% to $218.88, in light of the removal of the treasurer and the inexperience of the other committee members who worked on the report.
Made by: Ms. Amero
Seconded by: Mr. Duchette
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

6. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty by the Somerset County Republican Committee
The Somerset County Republican Committee purchased radio and television advertising to promote ten Republican nominees for the Legislature, and was required to file two independent expenditure reports on October 22 and 25. Instead, the committee filed a single report late on October 29. The preliminary penalty amount is $407.40. The committee treasurer requested a waiver of the penalty because it was the first time he was responsible for performing a substantial amount of independent expenditure reporting.

Motion: To adopt the staff recommendation and reduce the penalty by 50% to $203.70, because the amount of the preliminary penalty is disproportionate to the level of experience of the treasurer.
Made by: Mr. Duchette
Seconded by: Mr. Healy
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

7. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty by the Washington County Republican Committee
The Washington County Republican Committee was required to file an 11-Day Pre-General Election Report on Friday, October 26, 2012. The committee filed the report five days late. The preliminary penalty amount is $114.45. The committee chair requested a waiver of the penalty, contending that, due to inexperience, the treasurer overlooked the filing deadline. He also contended the amount of the penalty is disproportionate to the size and sophistication of the committee.

Motion: To adopt the staff recommendation to deny the waiver request and assess a penalty of $114.45.
Made by: Mr. Healy
Seconded by: Mr. Duchette
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

8. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty by the Aroostook Democratic County Committee
The Aroostook County Democratic Committee was required to file an independent expenditure report on Sunday, October 21, 2012. The committee filed the report eight days late on Monday, October 29, 2012 after the committee received a communication from the Commission staff that the report was late. The preliminary penalty amount is $64.24. The committee treasurer requested a waiver of the penalty, because he was not aware that an independent expenditure report was expected from county committees, having never before made an expenditure which required an independent expenditure report.

Motion: To adopt the staff recommendation to deny the waiver request and assess a penalty of $64.24.
Made by: Mr. Duchette
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

9. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty by the National Association of Social Workers Maine PAC
The National Association of Social Workers Maine PAC is a PAC registered with the Commission. It was required to file an 11-Day Pre-General Election Report on Friday, October 26, 2012. The committee filed the report three days late. The preliminary penalty amount is $21.75. By letter dated October 29, 2012, the committee executive director requested a waiver of the penalty.

Motion: To adopt the staff recommendation to deny the waiver request and assess a penalty of $21.75.
Made by: Mr. Duchette
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

10. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Finding by Orono Democratic Committee
The Orono Democratic Committee was required to file an 11-Day Pre-General Election Report on Friday, October 26, 2012. The committee filed the report three days late (the following Monday). Because the preliminary penalty amount was less than $10.00, the financial penalty was automatically waived. The committee treasurer requested a waiver of the finding of violation, contending that the committee made a good faith effort to file on time by sending the report by regular mail two days before the deadline.

Motion: To maintain the finding of violation because the report was filed late.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Mr. Healy
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)