July 28, 2008 Commission Meeting
Click the title of an agenda item below to obtain a pdf file of the
meeting materials relating to that item. This agenda
(2 pages) is also available as a pdf file.
1. Ratification of Minutes of the June 27, 2008 Meeting
2. Request for Advice from the Maine State Employees Association
The Maine State Employees Association seeks the advice of the Ethics Commission regarding whether it can send to its members a communication regarding endorsed candidates that it would jointly prepare in cooperation with other membership organizations.
3. Complaint of Campaign Finance Violation by Candidate Geraldine Randall
The Ethics Commission received a complaint that House candidate Geraldine Randall received wire frames used for campaign signs, and sold them to a print shop to receive credit for a campaign purchase. Ms. Randall responds that she paid the print shop full value for all of her campaign purchases, and denies that she received any credit. The shop has provided paid invoices indicating that it received full value for the materials Ms. Randall purchased.
4. Proposed Rulemaking on Seed Money Contributions
At the Ethics Commission’s meeting on June 27, 2008, the Maine Citizens for Clean Elections requested that the Commission amend its rules to permit candidates for Governor seeking public financing under the Maine Clean Election Act to collect up to $100,000 in seed money contributions.
5. Report on Maine Clean Election Act Funding for Gubernatorial Candidates
On March 20, 2008, the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee requested that the Commission’s executive director draft a report to the committee regarding the sufficiency of the current qualifying requirements for gubernatorial candidates seeking public campaign financing under the Maine Clean Election Act. On June 27, 2008, the Commission received public testimony regarding the qualifying requirements. The Commission members may wish to make comments to the staff that would be included in the report or to suggest topics of research that would be helpful to the Legislature.
6. Policy on Candidates’ Payments of Campaign Funds to Family Members
At the June 27, 2008 meeting, the Ethics Commission adopted a policy regarding candidates’ payments of campaign funds to family members. The Commission staff has distributed the policy to all candidates. In response to comments made at the meeting, the staff has drafted for the Commission’s consideration proposed changes to the adopted policy that would further clarify the Commission’s view regarding the subject of candidates reimbursing family members for their campaign purchases.
7. Draft Guidance on Ballot Question Committees
In the 2008 legislative session, the Maine Legislature enacted P.L. 2007, Chapter 477, which amended the reporting requirements for organizations which do not qualify as political action committees but which spend more than $5,000 to influence a ballot question. At the June 27, 2008 meeting, the Commission received testimony regarding proposed guidance on the new reporting requirements that had been drafted by the staff. After hearing the testimony, the Commission requested that the staff prepare updated guidance.
8. Draft Form for Annual Disclosure Statements for Commission Members
In the 2008 legislative session, the Maine Legislature enacted a law requiring the members of the Ethics Commission to file an annual disclosure statement regarding positions they hold in political committees required to file campaign finance reports with the Commission. The Commission staff has prepared a draft form for the disclosure statement to be considered by the Commission members. The statement for the 2008 calendar year will be due February 15, 2009.
9. Complaint about Conduct of Elections in Town of Hope
The Ethics Commission received a complaint regarding the administration of the primary election voting in the Town of Hope. After consulting with the Commission’s counsel, the Commission’s executive director has advised the complainant that the Commission appears to have no jurisdiction over the complaint. The staff believes that no action by the Commission is required in this matter.