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Home > Meetings >October 31, 2012 Actions

Commission Actions
Meeting of October 31, 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.; Michael T. Healy, Esq.; Hon. Jane A. Amero
Staff: Executive Director Jonathan Wayne; Phyllis Gardiner, Counsel

 

1. Ratification of Minutes of the July 25, 2012 Meeting

Motion: To adopt the minutes as written.
Made by: Ms. Matheson
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

2. Request for Investigation of Sen. Nichi Farnham/Coordination on Television Spending
The Maine Democratic Party contended that State Senator Nichi Farnham accepted a contribution by cooperating with Maine Senate Republican Majority PAC in making a large expenditure for television advertisements against her opponent. Sen. Farnham was named as one of the principal officers and decision-makers of the PAC. Sen. Farnham responded that she knew nothing of the expenditure and has had no involvement with the PAC since March 2012.

Motion: To take no further action regarding an investigation.
Made by: Ms. Amero
Seconded by: Ms. Matheson
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

3. Proposed Finding of Violation for not Amending Registration by Maine Senate Republican Majority PAC
The Commission staff proposed that the Commission find that the Maine Senate Republican Majority PAC violated 21-A M.R.S.A. § 1053 by not amending its registration in 2012 to completely disclose all individuals who are the primary fundraisers and decision-makers for the committee.

Motion: To find the Maine Senate Republican Majority PAC in violation of 21-A M.R.S.A. § 1053 and assess the maximum penalty of $250.
Made by: Mr. Duchette
Seconded by: Ms. Matheson
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

4. Request for Investigation of Hon. Thomas Martin and Hon. Nichi Farnham (unreported video costs) and Bradford Littlefield (incomplete disclaimer on mailing)
The Maine Democratic Party requested an investigation into whether State Senators Thomas Martin and Nichi Farnham each failed to report the cost of a professionally produced video in their campaign finance reports due September 25, 2012. Senator Farnham acknowledged not reporting a debt for production costs, due to an error. Senator Martin responded that he was not required to disclose an obligation because no had been incurred. The Party also urges a finding of violation against Senate candidate Bradford Littlefield because a mailing omitted the candidate’s name in the printed disclaimer statement.

Motion: To take no further action regarding investigation but find Sen. Martin, Sen. Farnham and Mr. Littlefield in violation with no financial penalties assessed.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

5. Request for Investigation/Senate Candidate Colleen Lachowicz
Colleen Lachowicz is a candidate for the Maine Senate District #25. The Maine Republican Party requested that the Commission investigate whether she violated the Maine Clean Election Act by authorizing two PACs to accept contributions on her behalf.

Motion: To take no further action regarding an investigation.
Made by: Mr. Healy
Seconded by: Mr. Duchette
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

6. Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Candidate Arthur Kyricos
Arthur Kyricos is a candidate for Maine Senate District #1 in York county. He filed the post-primary campaign finance report one day late on July 25, 2012. The amount of the preliminary penalty is $181.24. Mr. Kyricos requested a waiver because he is a first-time candidate, confused different disclosure requirements, and erroneously believed no report was due.

Motion: To reduce the penalty by 75% and assess a penalty of $45.31 because of the level of experience of the filer and minimal harm to the public.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Ms. Matheson
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

7. Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Candidate David E. Dutremble
David E. Dutremble is a candidate for Maine Senate District #4. He was required to file a campaign finance report at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, July 24, 2012 and he was 24 minutes late. The amount of the preliminary penalty is $181.24. Mr. Dutremble requested a waiver because of an ongoing problem with his internet connection.

Motion: To reduce the penalty by 75% and assess a penalty of $45.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

8. Request for Waiver of Late-Filing Penalty/Candidate Lee Goldsberry
Lee Goldsberry is a candidate for the Maine House of Representatives, District 99. He was one day late filing a campaign finance report due September 25, 2012. The only transaction in the late report was his receipt of $3,930.96 in Maine Clean Election Act funds. The preliminary penalty for the late filing is $39.31. He requested a waiver due to minimal harm to the public, and because the late filing was caused by his inexperience and an oversight.

Motion: To assess a penalty of $39.31.
Made by: Mr. McKee
Seconded by: Ms. Amero
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)

9. Request for Investigation/House Candidate Katherine Cassidy and Senate Geoffrey Gratwick
The Maine Republican Party requested that the Commission consider whether House candidate Katherine Cassidy accepted a $25 seed money contribution from an improper source (a political action committee) and whether pre-printed notes mailed by Senate candidate Geoffrey Gratwick did not include the required disclaimer statement. Preliminary information received by the Commission staff suggested that violations occurred but they were not intentional.

Motion: To find each candidate in violation but assess no financial penalties.
Made by: Ms. Matheson
Seconded by: Mr. Healy
Vote: 5-0 (motion passed)