October 30, 2020 Commission Meeting

Minutes (166.1 KB)

Note:  Due to COVID-19 precautions, the Commission’s office is not be open to the public.  The meeting was conducted through Zoom video conferencing and live streamed to YouTube for the public to access.  

1.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty – Jeffrey Pierce

Jeffrey Pierce is a candidate for the Maine House of Representatives.  He was required to file the 42-Day Pre-General Report on September 22, 2020.  His campaign filed the report one day late.  The preliminary penalty for the late report is $40.37.  Mr. Pierce’s campaign is requesting a waiver because of his treasurer’s confusion in interpreting automated email notifications from the Commission’s e-filing system.

Motion:  To support the staff recommendation to not waive the statutorily calculated penalty of $40.37
Made by:  Mr. Marble
Seconded by:  Mr. Schneider
Vote:  5-0

2.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty - Revive Hometown Maine PAC

The Revive Hometown Maine PAC was required to file an October Quarterly campaign finance report on October 5, 2020.  Because of an unexpected computer hardware problem, the PAC filed the report two days late.  The PAC requests a waiver of the $510 preliminary penalty.

Motion:  To accept the staff recommendation to reduce the statutorily calculated penalty of $510 to $250
Made by:  Mr. Lee
Seconded by:  Ms. Lowry
Vote:  5-0

3.  Rebuttal of Independent Expenditure – Maine First Project

On October 19, 2020, Maine First Project, a non-profit organization led by Rep. Larry Lockman, sent two mailers discussing education policy that, among other things, included references to candidates for the Maine House of Representatives.  Because the candidates are specifically mentioned in a paid communication disseminated after Labor Day, the communications are presumed to be independent expenditures.  Maine First Project has filed a statement to rebut the presumption stating that the communications were not intended to influence the candidates’ election.

Motion:  To find that Rep. Lockman had successfully rebutted the presumption and that the publications that were disseminated were not made as independent expenditures
Made by:  Mr. Lee
Seconded by:  Mr. Marble
Vote:  5-0

4.  Request by Stop the Corridor to Vacate Investigative Subpoena for Records

On June 19, 2019, Stop the Corridor filed a proceeding with the Maine Superior Court arguing that the Commission had exceeded its statutory jurisdiction by expanding its campaign finance investigation at its May 22, 2020 meeting.  On September 18, 2020, the Commission issued an investigative subpoena for records.  Stop the Corridor is requesting that the Commission vacate the subpoena while the court proceeding is pending.

Motion:  To deny Stop the Corridor’s request to vacate the subpoena
Made by:  Mr. Schneider
Seconded by:  Ms. Lowry
Vote:  5-0

Other Business (None)

Executive Session:  Mr. Lee made motion to go into Executive Session pursuant to 1 MRS § 405(6)(F).  Ms. Lowry seconded the motion.  Motion passed 5-0.