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Home > Meetings > April 26, 2011

April 26, 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

Meeting of April 26, 2011, at 9:00 a.m.

Commission Office, 45 Memorial Circle, 2nd Floor, Augusta, Maine

1.  Ratification of Minutes of the February 17, 2011 Meeting


2.  Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments to the Commission Rules

At the March meeting of the Commission, the members agreed to accept public comment on proposed amendments to the Commission’s rules drafted by staff.  On April 6, 2011, the Commission mailed a memo to interested persons inviting them to comment.  At the April 26 meeting, the Commission will hold a public hearing to receive comments from the public.  Interested persons may comment in writing until 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 6, 2011.

3.  Complaint against Maine Republican Party/Late Independent Expenditure Report

On Thursday, February 24, 2011, the Maine Republican Party filed an independent expenditure report for a mailing in support of its nominee for the March 1 special election for House of Representatives, District 11.  The report was apparently filed one day late.  The routine penalty for the late filing was $24.69.  The Maine Democratic Party filed a complaint urging the Ethics Commission to assess an additional penalty under 21-A M.R.S.A. § 1127(1), because the late report delayed a payment of matching funds to the Democratic nominee by one day.

4.  Audit of 2010 Campaign of Joseph C. Palmieri

The Commission staff audited the 2010 Senate campaign of Joseph C. Palmieri, who participated in the Maine Clean Election Act (MCEA) program.  The Commission’s final audit report concluded that the campaign’s June 4, 2010 seed money report misreported its campaign expenditures, which resulted in an overpayment of $857.99 in MCEA funds.  In addition, the campaign apparently did not return all unspent MCEA funds after the election.  The candidate has responded that the campaign had no intention of filing an inaccurate report and that any mistakes were due to inexperience and personal obligations of the candidate.

5.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalties/Joseph Palmieri

The Palmieri campaign filed its 11-day pre-general campaign finance report on the deadline of October 22, 2011.  Because the campaign significantly under-reported the expenditures for the period, the Commission staff is considering the report to be 56 days late.  The campaign also filed its post-election report three days late.  The preliminary penalties for the two late reports total $6,349.08.  The candidate is requesting a waiver of the preliminary penalties.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends assessing two penalties totaling $400.

6.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Lobbyist James M. Cote

James M. Cote is the registered lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors of Maine, and the President of the association.  He filed a monthly lobbyist report two days late on March 17, 2011.  The preliminary penalty is $100.  In his letter requesting a waiver of the $100 penalty, he explains that he completed the report on time, except for taking the step of filing it on the Commission’s website.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends not granting a waiver and assessing the penalty of $100.

7.  Proposed Statutory Change to Maine Clean Election Act

The Commission has submitted a campaign finance bill to the Maine Legislature for the 2011 session.  The staff proposes one additional change to the bill concerning permissible MCEA expenditures.

8.  Audits of Maine Clean Election Act Campaigns

In addition to agenda item #4 (audit of Joseph Palmieri), the Commission’s auditor has completed three audits of 2010 Maine Clean Election Act candidates: Paul Davis, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Anne Haskell.  No exceptions (violations) were found.

9.  Meeting Schedule for 2011

The Commission will discuss its meeting schedule for 2011.

10.  Request for Investigation by Joseph and Michele Greenier

* * Additional Materials (added 4/21/2011)

* * Additional Materials (added 4/26/2011, posted 5/11/2011)

Joseph and Michele Greenier request that the Commission investigate the 2010 campaign of Roger Katz.  They believe that the campaign received an in-kind contribution in connection with a purchase of campaigns signs.  At the request of Senator Katz, the matter was rescheduled from the March 31, 2011 meeting.  Staff recommendation: the Commission staff has gathered preliminary factual information, and recommends that the Commission take no further action on the request.

Other Business

EXECUTIVE SESSION

If necessary.

ADJOURNMENT