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Home > Meetings >January 25, 2012 Actions

Commission Actions
Meeting of January 25, 2012, at 9:00 a.m.
Commission Office, 45 Memorial Circle, 2nd Floor, Augusta, Maine

Present: Walter F. McKee, Esq., Chair; André G. Duchette, Esq.; Margaret E. Matheson, Esq.; Hon. Jane A. Amero.
Staff: Executive Director Jonathan Wayne; Phyllis Gardiner, Counsel
Absent: Michael T. Healy, Esq.

1. Ratification of Minutes of the November 30, 2011 Meeting

Motion: To adopt the minutes as drafted.
Made by: Ms. Matheson
Seconded by: Mr. Duchette
Vote: 4-0 (motion passed)

2. Request by Michael G. Hein to Investigate Christian Civic League of Maine
Michael G. Hein requested that the Commission investigate whether an e-mail communication by the Christian Civic League of Maine should have been disclosed in campaign finance reports.

First Motion: To find there was no violation.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 2-2 (motion failed)

Second Motion: To find there was a violation and assess no penalty.
Made by: Mr. Duchette
Seconded by: Ms. Matheson
Vote: 2-2 (motion failed)

3. Request by Joseph R. Mackey for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty
Lobbyist Joseph R. Mackey was late in filing monthly reports covering November 2011 for five clients. Because the Legislature was not in session, he filed the short form report indicating that he did not lobby for the clients during November 2011. The total preliminary penalty was $500. Mr. Mackey requested a waiver of the penalties.

Motion: To reduce the penalties by 50% to a total of $250 because the preliminary penalty of $500 is disproportionate to the harm suffered by the public from the late filing
Made by: Ms. Matheson
Seconded by: Mr. McKee
Vote: 4-0 (motion passed)

4. Request by Susan P. Strommer for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty
During the 2011 legislative session, Susan P. Strommer, Esq., was a registered lobbyist for CEI Capital Management, LLC, which is a for-profit subsidiary of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. She was late in filing the monthly report for November 2011 because she left her employment at CEI Capital Management, LLC. The preliminary penalty was $100 for the late report.

Motion: To find Ms. Strommer in violation but reduce the penalty to $50.
Made by: Mr. Duchette
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 4-0 (motion passed)

5. Request by CasinosNO! to Investigate Green Jobs for ME and People of Lewiston and Auburn Committee
CasinosNO! filed a request that the Commission investigate the 2011 campaign finance reporting by the two political action committees that promoted the 2011 Lewiston casino citizen initiative.

Motion: That the Commission conduct an investigation because the request shows sufficient grounds for believing that a violation may have occurred.
Made by: Ms. Amero
Seconded by: Mr. Duchette
Vote: 4-0 (motion passed)

6. Rulemaking
The Commission considered whether to initiate a rulemaking for amendments to the Commission Rules proposed by the Commission staff.

Motion: To initiate a rulemaking for amendments to the Commission Rules.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Mr. Duchette
Vote: 4-0

7. Final Audits of Legislative Candidates
The Commission’s auditor completed the final two audits of 2010 candidates in December, 2011. The audit of 2010 Senate candidate H. Sawin Millett disclosed no violations. The audit of 2010 House candidate Mark L. Chizmar found that he was four months late in returning $270.75 in unspent Maine Clean Election Act (MCEA) funds to the Commission. The audit showed that he did not misspend MCEA funds.

No action required.

8. Summary of Audits of 2010 Candidates
The Commission’s auditor, Vincent Dinan, presented a Summary Report of his audits of 2010 Maine Clean Election Act candidates.

No action required.