October 26 Commission Meeting

Agenda (35.88 KB)
Minutes (85.81 KB)

1. Ratification of the Minutes of the September 28, 2022 Meeting 
   
This agenda item will be considered at a future meeting.

2. Complaint – Lack of Disclosure Statement in Mailing Supporting Candidate Susan Bernard
    Additional Materials for Agenda Item #2

Mr. Rommy Haines filed a complaint asserting that a mailing sent in support of Rep. Susan Bernard’s campaign for State Senate, District 1 lacked the required disclosure concerning who paid for the mailing and whether it had been authorized by the candidate.

Motion: That the campaign was in violation of 21-A M.R.S. § 1014 (1).
Made by: Chairman Schneider
Seconded by: Commissioner Marble
Vote: 5-0

Motion: To assess the campaign a $25 penalty.
Made by: Chairman Schneider
Seconded by: Commissioner Neumann
Vote: 3-2

Motion: To amend Chairman's motion to assess a $75 fine.
Made by: Commissioner Marble
Seconded by: Commissioner Neumann. 
Vote: 3-2

3. Complaint – American Leadership Committee-Maine PAC
    Additional Materials for Agenda Item #3
    Additional Materials for Agenda Item #3

Ms. Mary Small filed a complaint stating that mailings by the American Leadership Committee-Maine PAC did not include the required disclosure of the PAC’s top three funders. Rather than naming any funders, the literature contained the phrase “No top donors.”

Regarding the disclosure issue:
Motion: That the PAC violated 21-A M.R.S. § 1014 (2-B) and regulations Chapter 1, Section 7 (12)(D).
Made by: Chairman Schneider
Seconded by: Commissioner Hastings
Vote: 5-0

Motion: That the Commission not impose a penalty because the evidence shows this was an incorrect interpretation of statute and regulation and the PAC has indicated that it will be corrected in future mailers. 
Made by: Commissioner Neumann
Seconded by: None - Motion Failed

Motion: That the Commission defer a penalty regarding this violation until the next meeting to allow staff to investigate the other factors that should be taken into consideration.
Made by: Chairman Schneider
Seconded by: Commissioner Neumann
Vote: 5-0

Regarding the timing of the report issue:
Motion: That the PAC violated 21-A M.R.S. § 1019 (B)(4) requiring a report of an independent expenditure.
Made by: Chairman Schneider
Seconded by: Commissioner Marble
Vote: 5-0

Motion: That the Commission defer enforcement procedures on this matter until the next meeting to allow staff to get other factors that should be taken into consideration.
Made by: Chairman Schneider
Seconded by: Commissioner Marble
Vote: 5-0

4. Complaint – Contribution Reporting by Maine Families First PAC
    Additional Materials for Agenda Item #4

Sara Salley and others have requested an investigation whether the Maine Families First PAC filed a complete quarterly PAC report of financial activity through September 30, 2022. Ms. Salley questions why the report did not disclose contributions that paid for a $999,245 advertising expenditure reportedly made on October 5, 2022.

Motion: To direct staff to gather more information on this issue and present it at the next Commission meeting for further consideration.
Made by: Commissioner Neumann
Seconded by: Commissioner Marble
Vote: 5-0

5. Proposed Rulemaking

The Commission will consider whether to initiate a rulemaking concerning the Maine Clean Election Act program and the Commission’s hearing procedures. If adopted, the rule amendments would be submitted to the Legislature for its consideration in 2023.

Motion: That the Commission move ahead with rulemaking.
Made by: Chairman Schneider
Seconded by: Commissioner Neumann
Vote: 5-0

Other Business

ADJOURNMENT