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Home > Meetings > September 30, 2010 Actions

 

Commission Actions
Meeting of September 30, 2010, 9:00 a.m.
45 Memorial Circle, Augusta, Maine

Present: Walter F. McKee, Esq., Chair; André G. Duchette, Esq.; Margaret E. Matheson, Esq.; Hon. Edward M. Youngblood; Michael T. Healy, Esq.

1. Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Maine Center for Economic Policy
The Maine Center for Economic Policy was required to file monthly reports during 2010.  The organization was late in filing the report due July 15, 2010, because its office manager was on vacation.  The preliminary penalty amount is $100.  The organization has requested a waiver of the penalty.

Motion:  That the Commission deny the request and assess a penalty of $100.
Made by:  Mr. Youngblood
Seconded by:  Ms. Matheson
Vote:  5-0  (motion passed)

2.  Complaint against Aroostook County Sheriff
On September 9, 2010, 2010, the Commission received a complaint from the Aroostook County Republican Committee claiming that the incumbent sheriff has improperly used public property, resources, and employees to promote his re-election.  The Commission staff and counsel believe that the matter is not within the Commission’s jurisdiction. 
No action required by the Commission.

3.  Audit Presentation by Vincent W. Dinan
The Commission’s auditor, Vincent W. Dinan, presented an overview of the audits of 2010 Maine Clean Election Act candidates and discussed the first four audits completed.
No action required by the Commission.

4. Scheduling Meetings during October 2010
The Commission discussed the procedures for Commission meetings in the final weeks before the November 2, 2010 general election.
No action required by the Commission.

5.  Proposed Procedures for Considering Statute and Rule Changes for 2011
The staff discussed past practices for developing statutory changes to propose to the Legislature after a general election.
No action required by the Commission.

6.  Update on Investigation of Cutler Files Website
At the Commission’s meeting on September 9, 2010, the Commission authorized the staff to investigate the Cutler Files website.  The staff provided a brief update on the status of the investigation. Legal counsel for the website’s creators presented legal arguments to the Commission to discontinue the investigation.  The Cutler campaign’s counsel presented arguments in favor of continuing the investigation.  The Commission acknowledged that the staff needed to conduct more fact-finding and analysis regarding constitutional issues relevant to this matter.  The Commission will take this matter up again at its next meeting.
No further action by the Commission.

7.  Ratification of Minutes of the August 26, 2010
Attorney Daniel I. Billings seeks advice on behalf of a number of Republican candidates wishing to spend Maine Clean Election Act funds to speak about the June 8, 2010 people’s veto referendum.

Motion:  To adopt the minutes as written.
Made by:
  Mr. Duchette
Seconded by:
  Mr. Healy
Vote:
  5-0 (motion passed)

Other Business

Request by Brant Miller for Investigation of Androscoggin County Republican Committee
Mr. Brant Miller, Republican nominee for House of Representatives in Bowdoinham, requested that the Commission conduct an investigation regarding an e-mail communication that was disseminated to voters, which falsely indicated that it had been paid for and authorized by Mr. Brant.

Motion:  That the Commission accept the staff’s recommendation and deny the request for investigation.
Made by:
  Mr. Duchette
Seconded by:
  Mr. McKee
Vote:
  4-1 (motion passed)
Yeas:  Mr. McKee, Mr. Youngblood, Mr. Duchette and Mr. Healy
Nays: 
Ms. Matheson

Request to Investigate Possible Unregistered Push Poll
The Maine Democratic Party has requested the Commission investigate a poll that involves live callers asking Maine residents questions that include negative statements regarding Democratic candidates for the State Senate to determine whether the calls constitute an unregistered push poll or unreported independent expenditures.

Motion:  That the Commission direct the staff to start an investigation regarding the poll.
Made by:
  Mr. Youngblood
Seconded by:
  Mr. McKee
Vote:
  4-1 (motion passed)
Yeas: 
Mr. McKee, Mr. Youngblood, Ms. Matheson, and Mr. Healy
Abstention: 
Mr. Duchette