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Home > Meetings > March 31, 2008

March 31, 2008 Commission Meeting

Click the title of an agenda item below to obtain a pdf file of the meeting materials relating to that item. The agenda (3 pages) and materials for all agenda items (303 pages) are also available as pdf files.

1.  Ratification of Minutes of the January 25 and February 11, 2008 Meetings

2.  Request for an Investigation/Maine Heritage Policy Center
     Addendum to Item 2 Materials
On February 26, 2008, the Maine Superior Court dismissed Carl Lindemann's petition for judicial review challenging the Commission's 2006 determination that the Maine Heritage Policy Center was not a political action committee.  Mr. Lindemann and the Maine Heritage Policy Center have submitted opposing requests to the Commission concerning Mr. Lindemann's second complaint that the campaign finance report filed by the Maine Heritage Policy Center under 21-A M.R.S.A. § 1056-B is incomplete.

3.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Lobbyist Dennise D. Whitley
Dennise D. Whitley is a lobbyist for the American Heart Association.  She filed the lobbyist registration form on February 12, 2008.  Based on the date when Ms. Whitley reported exceeding 8 hours of lobbying, the Commission staff concludes the registration was filed four days late.  Ms. Whitley requests a waiver of the $200 penalty because she believed that the report was due on February 15, 2008.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends assessing the penalty of $200.

4.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Lobbyist Katherine D. Pelletreau
Katherine D. Pelletreau is the Executive Director of the Maine Association of Health Plans, and was registered as a lobbyist for the association in 2007.  She was required to file an annual report on December 31, 2007.  She was two days late.  The amount of the statutory penalty is $200.  Ms. Pelletreau requests a waiver of the penalty because she was on leave from her work through December 31, 2007 due to a medical situation in her family.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends assessing a reduced penalty of $50.

5.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Lobbyist Tracy Allen
Tracy Allen was a lobbyist for Environment Maine.  She filed the January monthly report three days late on February 18, 2008.  Ms. Allen requests a waiver of the $100 penalty because she was out of town on the day of the filing.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends assessing the penalty of $100.

6.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Lobbyist Elizabeth Sweet
Elizabeth Sweet of Moose Ridge Associates is a registered lobbyist for five clients.  She was required to file the November report for each client on December 15, 2007.  In addition, lobbyists were required to file an annual report on December 31, 2007 which was a summation of the monthly reports for 2007.  Ms. Sweet's associate, John Hennessy, requests a waiver of the $500 in penalties because he mistakenly believed that the annual reports due on December 31 would include the November filing requirement.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends assessing the penalty of $500.

7.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Lobbyist Severin Beliveau
Severin Beliveau is a lobbyist for the Maine Health Care Association.  His January monthly report that was due on February 15 by 5:00 p.m. was filed about one hour late at 6:02 p.m.  Mr. Paul Padillo, who files reports for Mr. Beliveau, requests a waiver of the $100 penalty because he had no internet access at his office computer and had to file the report from home.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends assessing the penalty of $100.

8.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Cape Elizabeth Republican Committee
The Cape Elizabeth Republican Committee filed its January Quarterly campaign finance report on January 31, 2008 that was due on January 15th.  The standard penalty amount based on reported activity is $120.  The current treasurer, William H. Gross III, and the former treasurer, Christine Zachman, request a waiver of the penalty because they thought that they had until the end of January to file the report and did not receive notice of the deadline.    Staff recommendation: the staff recommends assessing the penalty of $120.

9.  Policy Question: Amending Requirements for Lobbyist Registration
Commission member Mavourneen Thompson has asked that the Commission consider whether under current law statute, individuals could lobby the Legislature on behalf of a paying client for several hours each month - not exceeding the 8-hour threshold - and that this could accumulate to a significant amount of unreported lobbying over the course of a legislative session.

10.  Procedural Issue: Proposed Regular Public Comment Session
Commission member Mavourneen Thompson has asked that the Commission consider whether to include a regular public comment session during each monthly meeting.

11.  Proposed Rule Amendment
The Joint Standing Committee on Legal and Veterans Affairs has requested that the Commission adopt a rule which would allow candidates to re-use signs from a previous election without updating the disclosure statement printed on the signs regarding who paid for the communication.

12.  Dates of May and June Meetings of the Commission

Other Business

13. Collection of Qualifying Contributions by Carl J. Young

EXECUTIVE SESSION
If necessary.

ADJOURNMENT