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Home > Meetings > October 1, 2009 Actions

Commission Actions
Meeting of October 1, 2009, 9:00 a.m.
Burton M. Cross Office Building, Room 208,
111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine

 

Present:  Michael Friedman, Esq., Chair; André G. Duchette, Esq.; Walter F. McKee, Esq.; Hon. Francis C. Marsano; Hon. Edward M. Youngblood.

 

1.  Ratification of Minutes of the July 30, 2009 and September 8, 2009 Meetings

Motion:  To adopt the minutes as drafted.
Made by:  Mr. Marsano
Seconded by:  Mr. McKee
Vote:  5-0 (motion passed)


2.  Investigation of Maine Leads

At its May 28, 2009 meeting, the Commission directed its staff to investigate whether Maine Leads was required to register and file campaign finance reports as a political action committee or as a ballot question committee.  The staff has completed its investigation.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends finding that Maine Leads violated 21-A M.R.S.A. § 1056-B by not filing campaign finance reports covering the fall of 2007, 2008, and early 2009.

First Motion:  To determine that the major purpose of Maine Leads was not to advocate the passage or defeat of a ballot question.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Youngblood
Vote:  4-1 (motion passed)
Yeas:  Mr. Friedman, Mr. McKee, Mr. Youngblood, Mr. Duchette
Nays:  Mr. Marsano

Second Motion:  To determine that Maine Leads was required to file campaign finance reports as a ballot question committee.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Marsano
Vote:  4-1 (motion passed)
Yeas:  Mr. Marsano, Mr. McKee, Mr. Youngblood, Mr. Duchette
Nays:  Mr. Friedman


3.  Request to Investigate Stand for Marriage Maine PAC and its Contributors (National Organization for Marriage)
The Commission received a request from Fred Karger of Californians against Hate to investigate the Stand for Marriage Maine political action committee (PAC) and some of its contributors.  The staff invited responses from the PAC and one of its major contributors, the National Organization for Marriage.  Staff recommendation: the staff does not recommend an investigation of Stand for Marriage Maine PAC or its contributors.

Motion:  To determine that there are sufficient grounds to believe that a violation may have occurred and to authorize an investigation by staff.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Marsano
Vote:  3-2 (motion passed)
Yeas:  Mr. McKee, Mr. Marsano, Mr. Duchette
Nays:  Mr. Friedman, Mr. Youngblood


4.  Request to Investigate Organizations Opposed to TABOR

David Crocker of TABOR NOW requests that the Commission investigate four organizations that have spent money to oppose the Taxpayer Bill of Rights initiative (Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Can Do Better, Maine Center for Economic Policy, and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities) to determine if they were required to register and file campaign finance reports as ballot question committees.  Staff recommendations: the staff recommends that the Commission find that two of the organizations were late in registering as ballot question committees.

Motion:  To accept the staff’s recommendation that the Commission find that the Maine People’s Resource Center and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities violated 21-A M.R.S.A. § 1056-B by not registering as ballot question committees.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Marsano
Vote:  5-0 (motion passed)


5.  Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Lobbyist John Anton

John Anton became the registered lobbyist for the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition in 2009.  His monthly lobbying report due September 15, 2009 was filed two days late.  The preliminary penalty amount for the late filing is $100.  Mr. Anton requests a waiver because “[t]he administrative support person who ensured the timely filing of these reports left [the] organization.”  Mr. Anton filed all other reports on time since 2009.  Staff recommendation: the staff recommends granting no waiver and assessing a penalty of $100.

Motion:  To assess a penalty of $100.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Youngblood
Vote:  5-0 (motion passed)


6. Questions from 2010 Gubernatorial Candidate Lynne Williams

Lynne Williams has registered as a candidate for Governor in 2010.  She has declared an intention to qualify for Maine Clean Election Act funding.  Her campaign manager wishes to receive advice from the members of the Commission relating to qualifying for the funding.

No action necessary.


7.  Presentation of Audit Reports
The Commission staff presented two audit reports of 2009 legislative candidates, Senator Lisa Marraché and Eric Lusk.  The reports contain minor findings of violation.

Motion:  To accept the staff’s audit report findings.
Made by:  Mr. Youngblood
Seconded by:  Mr. McKee
Vote:  5-0 (motion passed)  


OTHER BUSINESS

Motion: To nominate Mr. McKee as the new Commission chair.
Made by: Mr. Youngblood
Seconded by: Mr. Marsano
Vote: 4-0 (motion passed)
Yeas: Mr. Friedman, Mr. Marsano, Mr. Youngblood, Mr. Duchette
Nays: None
Abstained: Mr. McKee