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94-270
Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices

2003-2004 Regulatory Agenda

AGENCY UMBRELLA-UNIT NUMBER: 94-270
AGENCY NAME: Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices

CONTACT PERSON: Jonathan Wayne, Executive Director, 135 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0135. Telephone number: (207) 287-4179.

LIST OF RULES AGENCY EXPECTS TO PROPOSE IN 2003-2004:

1. Goods or services that are purchased by candidates exclusively for the general election during the primary election period will be included in the public funds calculation for any Maine Clean Election Act ("MCEA") opponent in the general election. (new rule)

2. The Commission may adopt a modification to the expenditure schedule of the candidate reporting form: include a check-off box for all pre-primary expenditures to indicate whether the goods and services were purchased for the general election. (Changes to the reporting form must be made by major substantive rule.)

3. MCEA candidates wishing to submit a claim of "front-loading" would be required to make the claim by August 15 of the election year and to include a specific basis for the claim. (new rule)

4. Expenditures must be reported at the earliest of: the placing of an order with a vendor for a good or service; the signing of a contract for a good or service; the delivering of a good or the performance of a service by a vendor; a promise or an agreement that an expenditure will be made; or the making of a payment by a vendor. (new rule)

5. Shorten the deadline for reporting independent expenditures over $250 from within 48 hours of the expenditure to within 24 hours. (Chapter 1, Section 8.)

6. Change the threshold for reporting independent expenditures from $50 to $100. (Chapter 1, Section 8.)

7. Consider additional reporting requirement before the 6-day pre-election report for independent expenditures between $100 and $250. (Chapter 1, Section 8.)

8. Modify rule so that filing deadlines for reporting independent expenditures are clearer. (Chapter 1, Section 8.)

9. Late reporting or misreporting of contributions or expenditures that has the effect of delaying or denying matching funds to an MCEA candidate will be considered a violation of the MCEA. (new rule)

10. Adoption of schedule for filing reports required under 21-A M.R.S.A. §1056-B that is same as schedule for political action committee reports in 21-A M.R.S.A. §1059(2). (new rule)

11. Definition of in-kind contributions. (new rule)

12. Amend rule setting forth filing schedule for accelerated reports so that it is consistent with 21-A M.R.S.A. §1017(3-B). (Chapter 1, Section 7)

13. Address the permissibility of using MCEA funds for post-election thank you notes. (new rule)

At this time, the Commission does not anticipate engaging in a consensus-based rule development process.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY TO ADOPT RULES: 1 M.R.S.A. §1003(1); 21-A M.R.S.A. §1017(6); 21-A M.R.S.A. §1019(1); 21-A M.R.S.A. §1126.

PURPOSE OF PROPOSED RULES: The Commission seeks to address the problem of "front-loading" whereby a traditionally funded candidate purchases goods or services intended for the general election during the primary election period. The agency also intends to address the late reporting of expenditures that delays the receipt of MCEA funds by participating candidates.

EXPECTED SCHEDULE FOR ADOPTION: Adoption for public comment during October or November 2003. Final adoption no later than January 2004.

AFFECTED PARTIES: Political candidates; political action committees; political party committees; persons and organizations receiving contributions or making expenditures for candidate or ballot question elections; contributors to campaigns.

EMERGENCY RULES ADOPTED SINCE THE LAST REGULATORY AGENDA: none


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