July 29, 2013 Commission Meeting
Click the title of an agenda item below to view a pdf file of the
meeting materials relating to that item.
Meeting of July 29, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.
Items #1 and #2 at 3rd Floor, Preti Flaherty, Beliveau Room, 45 Memorial Circle, Augusta, Maine
Items #3 - #8 at Commission Office, 45 Memorial Circle, 2nd Floor, Augusta, Maine
1. Ratification of Minutes of the April 5, 2013 Meeting
2. Hearing Concerning Spending to Influence 2012 Election for Maine House of Representatives, District 1
The Commission will hold a hearing to continue its investigation concerning spending to influence the 2012 general election for Maine House of Representatives, District 1.
The Commission is expected to make a determination after the hearing is concluded.
Additional Materials #1
Additional Materials #2
Transcript of November 5, 2012 Commission Meeting
Transcript of January 17, 2013 Hearing
Exhibits from January 17, 2013 Hearing
3. Complaint against Governor LePage Re-Election Campaign on Over-the-Limit Contributions
The Maine Citizens for Clean Elections has requested that the Commission determine whether Governor Paul LePage’s re-election campaign accepted three contributions that exceeded the $1,500 limit for the 2014 primary election. The campaign has acknowledged that it inadvertently accepted three contributions that were over-the-limit and has set out specific steps to be taken in the future by the campaign treasurer to avoid similar errors. Staff recommendation: the Commission staff recommends finding that the campaign committee accepted three contributions that exceeded the limit and assessing no civil penalties for the violations.
4. Complaint of Late Lobbyist Registration/Humane Society of United States
Rep. Dale Crafts filed a complaint that the Humane Society of the United States was late in registering a lobbyist for the 2013 legislative session and failed to file monthly reports on time. Kathleen Hansberry of the Humane Society acknowledges that she was late, but argues that she did not meet the requirements to register until April 2013. She requests a waiver of the preliminary penalties totaling $300. Staff recommendation: the Commission staff recommends finding that Ms. Hansberry was late in registering and filing reports, and assessing preliminary penalties totaling $300.
5. Audits of Maine Clean Election Act Candidates
The Commission’s auditor has completed seventeen audits since the Commission’s last meeting, which concludes the 2012 program of auditing Maine Clean Election Act candidates. Most of the audits found no violations. Staff recommendations: the staff recommends finding that four candidates violated a reporting or documentation requirement of the program, assessing one civil penalty of $50, and requesting the return of a $200 overpayment.
6. Presentation of Final Audit Report
The Commission’s auditor will present a report on the 2012 audit program. The report notes a continuing improvement in the overall level of compliance by Maine Clean Election Act candidates.
7. Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Christopher O’Neil
Lobbyist Christopher O’Neil was one day late in filing a monthly lobbyist report for Delta Dental Plan of Maine covering the month of March 2013. The report was due April 16, 2013. Eight days before the deadline, Mr. O’Neil entered the information relating to his March lobbying in the Commission’s e-filing system in the wrong monthly report and then did not press the on-screen button to file the report. Upon receiving notice that the March report was not filed on time, he promptly re-entered the data and filed the March report correctly. Because the report is only one day late, the preliminary penalty is $50. Mr. O’Neil requests a waiver of the preliminary penalty due to his effort to file the report in advance of the deadline, timely remediation, and his record of compliance with reporting requirements. Staff recommendation: the Commission staff recommends granting no waiver and assessing the $50 penalty.
8. Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Candidate Stuart Pennels
[Postponed from April 5, 2013 meeting]
Stuart Pennels was a candidate for the Maine House of Representatives in District #111 in Windham. He was required to file a campaign finance report 42 days after the general election on December 18, 2012. The report was filed one day late on December 19, 2012. He requests a waiver of the preliminary penalty amount of $24.66, stating that his treasurer tried to file the report on the deadline but the Commission’s e-filing system rejected it. Staff recommendation: the staff recommends declining to waive the penalty because the Commission’s database contains no record that the report was opened on the deadline for purposes of entering data.
EXECUTIVE SESSION (if necessary)