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Home > Meetings > May 27, 2010 Actions

 

Commission Actions
Meeting of May 27, 2010, 9:00 a.m.
45 Memorial Circle, Augusta, Maine

 

Present: Walter F. McKee, Esq., Chair; André G. Duchette, Esq.; Margaret E. Matheson, Esq.; Hon. Edward M. Youngblood

1.  Ratification of Minutes of the April 29, 2010 Meeting

Motion:  To adopt the minutes as drafted.
Made by:  Mr. Youngblood
Seconded by:  Ms. Matheson
Vote:  4-0  (motion passed)


2.  Endorsements - Request for Advice by Rep. Thomas Saviello

Rep. Thomas Saviello of Wilton is a candidate for State Senate.  He wishes to endorse the three Republican House candidates in his area.  They may be interested in sending mailings to voters in the three House districts citing his endorsement.  His candidacy for State Senate would not be mentioned in the mailings.  He asked whether that would be permissible under Maine campaign finance law.   

Motion:  That the Commission authorize the staff to provide advice to candidates on the issue of endorsements by other candidates.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Duchette
Vote:  4-0 (motion passed)


3.  Request for Reconsideration by Peter Martin

At its April 29, 2010 meeting, the Ethics Commission found that Peter Martin had not registered as a lobbyist as required by law for lobbying on behalf of Black Bear Entertainment in March 2010.  Peter Martin requests that the Commission reconsider the decision on the grounds that he registered on time.

Motion:  That the Commission not reopen this matter for reconsideration since the information provided at this meeting does not present any new facts which could not have been discovered prior to the April meeting.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Duchette
Vote:  4-0 (motion passed)


4.  Request for Waiver of Penalty by Black Bear Entertainment Political Action Committee

At the April 29, 2010 meeting, the Ethics Commission found that the January 19, 2010 campaign finance report filed by the Black Bear Entertainment political action committee (PAC) was late because it did not substantially conform to the reporting requirements.  The preliminary penalty for the late filing is $10,000.  The PAC requests a waiver of the penalty.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends the assessment of a penalty of $500. 

Motion:  That the Commission waive all of the penalty except for $1,000.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Youngblood
Vote:  4-0 (motion passed)


5.  Finding of Violation for Unregistered Candidates

Candidates for legislative and county office are required to register with the Ethics Commission within 10 days of becoming a candidate.  The Commission staff has sent three written notices to unregistered candidates.  In spite of these notices and attempted telephone contacts, six candidates have not registered.  Staff recommendation: for any candidate who remains unregistered as of May 27, the staff recommends that the Commission finds that the candidate has violated 21-A M.R.S.A. § 1013-A.

Motion:  That the Commission find candidates Randell C. Sprague and Marcus I. Welch in violation for not registering; however, assess no penalty.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Youngblood
Vote:  4-0 (motion passed)


6.  Referral of Scarborough Republican Town Committee to Attorney General

The Commission staff recommends referring a $250 penalty assessed against the Scarborough Republican Town Committee in January 2010 to the Maine Attorney General for collection.
No action required by the Commission; matter will be referred to the Attorney General

7.  Discussion of Appointment Process for Commissioners
No action required.

8.  Use of Maine Clean Election Act Funds to Discuss People’s Veto Referendum
Attorney Daniel I. Billings seeks advice on behalf of a number of Republican candidates wishing to spend Maine Clean Election Act funds to speak about the June 8, 2010 people’s veto referendum.

Motion:  That the Commission not provide an advisory opinion regarding Mr. Billing’s second request for advice (whether a business owned by a candidate can run a radio advertisement discussing the negative effects on the business if the tax reform legislation went into effect).
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Duchette
Vote:  4-0 (motion passed)

Motion:  That the Commission not provide an advisory opinion regarding Mr. Billing’s first request for advice (whether MCEA candidates may use clean election funds for campaign advertisements that promote a position on a ballot question as well as the candidate).
Made by:  Mr. Duchette
Seconded by:  Mr. McKee
Vote:  4-0 (motion passed)

 

9.  Request to Rebut Presumption by Diamond PAC
The Diamond Political Action Committee has conducted a poll concerning candidates in a contested primary election for State Senate.  It seeks to rebut the presumption that the costs were incurred to influence the nomination or election of the candidates mentioned in the poll.

Motion:  That the Commission accept the staff recommendation and find the cost of the poll was not incurred with the intent to influence an election and an independent expenditure report was not required to be filed.
Made by:  Mr. Youngblood
Seconded by:  Mr. McKee
Vote:  4-0 (motion passed)