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Home > Meetings >December 19, 2012 Actions

Commission Actions
Meeting of December 19, 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 November 5, 2012 Meeting

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

2. Hearing on Potential Campaign Finance Violations/Maine House of Representatives, District 1 (postponed until January 17, 2013)
The Commission will hold a hearing on January 17, 2013 to receive sworn testimony concerning expenditures by Philip Soucy and others to promote the election of Michael Nadeau to the Maine House of Representatives, District 1.

3. Acceptance of Over-the-Limit Loan by Rep. Alan M. Casavant
In the 2012 general election, Alan Casavant was running for re-election to the Maine House of Representatives, District 137. On September 14, 2012, his legislative campaign accepted a loan of $1,000 from his 2011 mayoral campaign committee, which the legislative campaign repaid on October 20, 2012. The receipt of the loan appears to be a violation of the $350 contribution limit for legislative candidates. Rep. Casavant has responded that he did not view the loan as a contribution, the loan was repaid and publicly reported, any violation was unintentional, and that he relied on advice from others before receiving the loan.

Motion: To find Rep. Casavant in violation.
Made by:
Mr. McKee
Seconded by:
Mr. Healy
Vote:
5-0 (motion passed)

Motion: To assess a penalty of $75.
Made by:
Mr. McKee
Seconded by:
Mr. Duchette
Vote:
5-0 (motion passed)

4. Use of Maine Clean Election Act Funds for Mailing by Rep. James Parker
Former Rep. James Parker of Veazie reported making two payments of Maine Clean Election Act funds in June 2012 totaling roughly $59 for stamps and envelopes. A constituent has requested that the Commission investigate whether Rep. Parker used the stamps and envelopes for a June 29 mailing related to the annual meeting of the Veazie Sewer District. Rep. Parker has responded that the sewer district mailing was paid for with personal funds, not public campaign funds.

Motion: To find that there is no basis for further investigation.
Made by:
Mr. McKee
Seconded by:
Ms. Amero
Vote:
5-0 (motion passed)

5. Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty by L PAC
L PAC is a national political action committee formed in April 2012. In early September, the PAC solicited contributions on its Facebook page for the purpose of influencing the marriage initiative on Maine’s November 6, 2012 election ballot. It registered and filed an initial report with the Commission on October 15, 2012. Based on the dates of its contributions, however, L PAC’s registration, initial campaign finance report, and October 5 quarterly report were late. L PAC was also late in filing a report due on October 26, 2012. The PAC requests a waiver of the late-filing penalties because of a lack of familiarity with Maine campaign finance laws and because it made a bona fide effort to comply with statutory requirements.

Motion: To find L PAC in violation for the late-filing of its registration, and Initial, October Quarterly, and 11-Day Pre-General Election campaign finance reports.
Made by:
Ms. Matheson
Seconded by:
Mr. Duchette
Vote:
5-0 (motion passed)

Motion: To adopt the staff recommendation for a reduced penalty and assess a penalty to $889.50.
Made by:
Ms. Matheson
Seconded by:
Ms. Amero
Vote:
5-0 (motion passed)

6. Consideration of Statute Changes Proposed by Commission Staff
The Commission considered statute changes proposed by staff in legislation which the Commission will submit for the 2013 session.

7. Initiation of Rule-Making
The Commission considered whether to initiate a rulemaking concerning amendments proposed by Commission staff and hold a public hearing to receive comments at the January 17, 2013 meeting.

Motion: To initiate rulemaking concerning the proposed amendments to the Commission's rules and to receive public comments at the January 17, 2013 meeting.
Made by:
Mr. McKee
Seconded by:
Mr. Duchette
Vote:
5-0 (motion passed)