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Home > Meetings > January 28, 2010 Actions

Commission Actions
January 28, 2010

1.  Ratification of Minutes of the November 19, 2009 Meeting

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


2.  Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty/Lobbyist John O’Dea
Lobbyist John O’Dea was required to file an annual report for the 2009 lobbying year on December 30, 2009.  He filed the report one day late.  The preliminary penalty amount for the late filing is $200.  Mr. O’Dea seeks a waiver of the late filing penalty because he accidentally entered the deadline as December 31 in his calendar.  Staff recommendation: the Commission staff recommends granting a partial waiver and assessing a penalty of $50.

First Motion:  That the Commission waive the entire penalty amount.
Made by:  Mr. Marsano
Seconded by:  Mr. McKee
Vote:  2-3 (motion failed)
Yeas:  Mr. Marsano and Mr. McKee
Nays:  Mr. Youngblood, Mr. Duchette and Ms. Matheson

Second Motion:  That the Commission assess a $50 penalty.
Made by:  Mr. Youngblood
Seconded by:  Mr. Duchette
Vote:  5-0 (motion passed)

 

3.  Request for Waiver of Late Filing Penalty/Scarborough Republican Town Committee
The Scarborough Republican Town Committee was required to file a campaign finance report on January 15, 2009.  The committee filed the report approximately three months late after receiving notice from the Commission staff.  The preliminary penalty amount is $500.  Staff recommendation: the Commission staff recommends granting a partial waiver and assessing a penalty in the range of $125 to $250.

Motion:  That the Commission assess a $250 penalty.
Made by:  Mr. Duchette
Seconded by:  Ms. Matheson
Vote:  5-0 (motion passed)


4.  Petition by National Organization for Marriage for Stay of Investigation

The National Organization for Marriage has objected to the Commission’s investigative requests for documents and information.  The organization requests a stay of the investigation until the federal courts have reached a final decision on its constitutional challenge to the ballot question reporting statute.

Motion:  That the Commission deny a stay of the investigation.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Ms. Matheson
Vote:  4-1 (motion passed)
Yeas:  Mr. McKee, Mr. Youngblood, Mr. Duchette, Ms Matheson
Nays:  Mr. Marsano


5.  Update on Sufficiency of Maine Clean Election Fund

The Commission staff provided an update to the Commissioners on possible contingency plans for reducing payments to Maine Clean Election Act candidates if there were a shortfall in the Maine Clean Election Fund in 2010.  No action necessary.


6.  Rule-Making/Shortfall in Maine Clean Election Fund
At the September 8, 2009 meeting, the Commission agreed to accept comments on proposed amendments to the Commission’s rule regarding the procedures for authorizing Maine Clean Election Act candidates to accept campaign contributions if there is insufficient money in the Maine Clean Election Fund.  On November 19, 2009, the Commission held a public hearing to receive public comment on the proposed amendments.  The Commission staff proposed changes to the original rule amendment based on public comments received.

Motion:  To make changes to paragraph G of the amendment to the proposed rule, regarding the disposal of surplus private contributions raised which the candidate was not authorized to spend, by removing the options for candidates to use the surplus funds to pay for transition or inaugural expenses, to pay for expenses related to the office to which the candidate was elected, and to make a gift to a charitable or educational organization; and to shorten the time period in which a candidate may dispose of surplus funds from 6 months to 60 days.
Made by:  Mr. McKee
Seconded by:  Mr. Youngblood
Vote:  5-0 (motion passed)


7.  Selection of Meeting Dates for 2010

The Commission members set the regular meeting date for the last Thursday of each month as follows:

February 25 June 24 October 28
March 25 July 29   November (to be determined)
April 29 August 26 December 30
May 27 September 30