May 28, 2014 Commission Meeting
Meeting of May 28, 2014, at 9:00 a.m.
Commission Office, 45 Memorial Circle, 2nd Floor, Augusta, Maine
1. Ratification of Minutes of April 30, 2014 Meeting
2. Findings of Violation and Penalties Recommended by Commission Staff/
National Organization for Marriage
The Commission staff will present the results of an investigation concerning the 2009 financial activities of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) in support of a people’s veto referendum to suspend same-sex marriage. NOM made contributions of roughly $2 million to a PAC formed in Maine to support the referendum. NOM, itself, did not file financial reports with the Ethics Commission to disclose its donors or expenditures to influence the election. The Commission’s investigation has been delayed by two lawsuits initiated by NOM. NOM maintains that registration and reporting were not required, because the vast majority of donations that it received in 2009 were not designated for any particular state campaign.
Investigative report and recommendations by Commission staff
Public documents supporting staff recommendations (22 MB)
Response by National Organization for Marriage (NOM)
Public documents supporting NOM response
Reply by Commission staff
Transcript of deposition of Executive Director of NOM (9 MB)
3. Findings of Violation and Penalties Recommended by Commission Staff/ Candidates who have Failed to Register with the Commission
The Commission staff will recommend findings of violation and penalties against legislative candidates who have qualified for the ballot but have not registered with the Commission. The Commission staff sent three notices to the candidates in March, April, and May 2014, urging them to register. The final notice warned the candidates that they would be considered for a finding of violation and $10 penalty (the maximum set in Election Law).
Additional Materials (added May 27)
4. Enforceability of $25,000 Aggregate Contribution Limit (added May 27)
Maine Election Law forbids any individual from contributing more than $25,000 to candidates for state office in a calendar year. (21-A M.R.S.A. § 1015(3)) The Commission will discuss the enforceability of the Maine aggregate limit, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon v. FEC.