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Home > Meetings >October 28, 2011 Actions

Commission Actions
Meeting of October 28, 2011, 9:00 a.m.
45 Memorial Circle, Augusta, Maine

Present: Walter F. McKee, Esq., Chair; André G. Duchette, Esq.; Margaret E. Matheson, Esq., Michael T. Healy, Esq.; Hon. Jane A. Amero

1. Ratification of Minutes of the August 18 and September 19, 2011 Meetings

Motion: To adopt the minutes as written.
Made by: Ms. Matheson
Seconded by: Mr. Duchette
Vote: 4-0-1 (motion passed; Ms. Amero abstained)

2. Proposed Changes to Maine Clean Election Act Expenditure Guidelines
The Commission staff recommended changing the expenditure guidelines for Maine Clean Election Act candidates to include guidance on mentioning ballot questions in paid communications and to simplify previous guidance on other topics.

Motion: To adopt the Commission staff recommendation.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Ms. Matheson
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)


3. Proposed Change to Policy on Paying Campaign Funds to Family Members
The Commission staff proposed an addition to the policy on payments of Maine Clean Election Act funds to members of the candidate’s immediate family to clarify what constitutes “a normal course of occupation or business.”

Motion: To adopt the Commission staff proposal with one amendment to remove the word “generally” on page 2 of the policy.
Made by: Mr. Duchette
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)


4. Audit of Rep. Jeffrey L. Timberlake
The Commission completed an audit of the 2010 Maine Clean Election Act campaign of State Rep. Jeffrey L. Timberlake. The candidate made some minor errors in reporting expenditures of public campaign funds. As a result, he returned $10 to the Maine Clean Election Fund during the audit process. The staff recommended finding that Rep. Timberlake was in violation of 21-A M.R.S.A. § 1125(12) because he did not accurately disclose his campaign expenditures. The staff recommends no financial penalty for the violation.

Motion: To adopt the staff recommendation.
Made by: Mr. Healy
Seconded by: Ms. Matheson
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)


5. Audit of Sen. Michael D. Thibodeau
In 2010, State Senator Michael D. Thibodeau ran for election as a Maine Clean Election Act candidate. During a random audit of his campaign, his treasurer submitted a log of the Senator’s campaign travel. The log was requested because the campaign reimbursed the candidate a total of $816.47 for his vehicle travel. The log did not include the destination or purpose of the campaign trips, as required by the Commission’s rule. Accordingly, the Commission’s auditor could not determine the reasonableness of the mileage reimbursement. The audit disclosed no other violations. The staff recommended the assessment of a $100 penalty for the violation of the Commission’s rules to underscore the importance of this record-keeping requirement.

Motion: To table this issue for further review by the Commission staff.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Ms. Matheson
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)


6. Audits of Maine Clean Election Act Campaigns
In addition to agenda items 5 and 6, the Commission’s auditor has completed three audits of 2010 Maine Clean Election Act candidates since the last meeting of the Commission. No exceptions (violations) were found.


Other Business

Complaint Concerning Office of Representative Linda Valentino

Rep. Donald Pilon filed a complaint with the Commission requesting a review of locating the office in Rep. Pilon’s district and its intended use.

No action taken.  The Commission postponed consideration of this complaint until its December meeting.