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OAH EvHearings 10.23.12

OAH EvHearings 10.23.12

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Published by: crichert30 on Oct 23, 2012
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12/04/2012

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 11-0320-22965-CVSTATE OF MINNESOTAOFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGSCommon Cause Minnesota,Complainant,vs.Republican Party of Minnesota, TonySutton, Ron Huettl, Count Them AllProperly, Inc., Mary Igo, Tom Datwyler,Fred Meyer, and Dan Puhl,Respondents.
ORDER ON RESPONDENTS’ MOTIONFOR SUMMARY DISPOSITION ANDMOTION TO DISMISS
The above-entitled matter is pending before the Panel of AdministrativeLaw Judges. The Respondents filed a Motion to Dismiss (which the Panel hasdetermined should be treated as a Motion for Summary Disposition) on August15, 2012, and a separate Motion to Dismiss on August 16, 2012.
1
TheComplainant filed a response in opposition to these motions on September 4,2012. The Respondents filed reply briefs in support of the motions onSeptember 14, 2012.
2
 Diane P. Gerth, Attorney at Law, Ricke & Sweeney, P.A., representedCommon Cause Minnesota (Complainant or Common Cause).Richard G. Morgan and Nathan J. Marcusen, Attorneys at Law, Bowmanand Brooke, LLP, represented Respondent Republican Party of Minnesota(RPM).Douglas A. Kelley, Steven E. Wolter, and Kevin M. Magnuson, Attorneysat Law, Kelley, Wolter & Scott, P.A., represented Respondent Tony Sutton.Charles R. Shreffler, Attorney at Law, Shreffler Law, PLLC, representedRespondent Ronald Huettl.John Hugh Gilmore, Attorney at Law, Gilmore Law Offices, representedRespondents Count Them All Properly, Inc., Mary Igo, Fred Meyer, TomDatwyler, and Dan Puhl.
1
All of the Respondents have joined in the Motion for Summary Disposition filed by RespondentRepublican Party of Minnesota on August 15, 2012, and the Motion to Dismiss filed byRespondent Ronald Huettl on August 16, 2012.
2
All of the Respondents joined in the reply briefs that were filed by the Republican Party ofMinnesota and Ronald Huettl on September 14, 2012.
 
 
[2164]
[2164/1] 2Based upon all of the files, records, and proceedings herein, and for thereasons set forth in the attached Memorandum, the assigned Panel ofAdministrative Law Judges makes the following:
ORDERIT IS ORDERED as follows
:1. Respondents’ Motion for Summary Disposition is
DENIED
.2. Respondents’ Motion to Dismiss is
DENIED
.3. To the extent necessary, this matter shall proceed to anevidentiary hearing on a date to be determined. In light ofthe filing of motions by the parties, the motion briefingschedule to which the parties agreed, and the non-expeditednature of this dispute, the Panel finds that there is goodcause within the meaning of Minn. Stat. § 211B.35, subd. 1,to schedule the hearing for a date convenient to all partiesthat is more than 90 days after the complaint was filed.4. The parties shall, by October 24, 2012, inform the Panel ofall dates between October 29 and December 20, 2012, onwhich they are available for hearing, and notify the Panelwhether they believe an evidentiary hearing is necessary orif this matter can be decided on written submissions.Dated: October __19__, 2012s/Barbara L. NeilsonBARBARA L. NEILSONPresiding Administrative Law Judges/Cheryl LeClair-SommerCHERYL LECLAIR- SOMMERAdministrative Law Judges/Richard C. LuisRICHARD C. LUISAdministrative Law Judge
 
 
[2164]
[2164/1] 3
MEMORANDUM
On July 20, 2012, Common Cause Minnesota filed a Complaint with theOffice of Administrative Hearings under the Fair Campaign Practices Act.
3
In itsComplaint, Common Cause alleges that the Respondents, Count Them AllProperly, Inc. (CTAP), a Minnesota corporation, Mary Igo, as CEO of CTAP, TomDatwyler, as secretary and board member of CTAP, Fred Meyer, as a boardmember of CTAP, Dan Puhl, as the original incorporator of CTAP, theRepublican Party of Minnesota (RPM), Tony Sutton, as RPM’s Chair, and RonHuettl, as RPM’s finance director, violated Minn. Stat. § 211B.15 by makingcorporate contributions to the RPM in violation of Subdivision 2 of that statute, orby aiding, abetting or advising the making of such a prohibited contribution inviolation of Subdivision 13. The Complaint alleges that the contributions weremade to cover costs incurred by the RPM in connection with its 2010gubernatorial recount effort.
4
 Minn. Stat. § 211B.15, subd. 2, prohibits corporations from makingcontributions to a major political party or individual to promote or defeat thecandidacy of an individual for election to a political office in Minnesota.Specifically, subdivision 2 states:[a] corporation may not make a contribution or offer or agree tomake a contribution directly or indirectly, of any money, property,free service of its officers, employees, or members, or thing ofmonetary value to a major political party, organization, committee,or individual to promote or defeat the candidacy of an individual fornomination, election, or appointment to a political office. For thepurpose of this subdivision, "contribution" includes an expenditureto promote or defeat the election or nomination of a candidate to apolitical office that is made with the authorization or expressed orimplied consent of, or in cooperation or in concert with, or at therequest or suggestion of, a candidate or committee established tosupport or oppose a candidate but does not include an independentexpenditure authorized by subdivision 3.An expenditure is considered to be independent if it is “made without theexpress or implied consent, authorization, or cooperation of, and not in concertwith or at the request or suggestion of, any candidate or any candidate’s principal
3
Minn. Stat. §§ 211B.01 – 211B.37.
4
The Complaint also alleged that Respondents Sutton and Huettl violated Minn. Stat. § 211B.06by failing to keep a correct account of monies received with the intent to conceal receipts ordisbursements, the purpose of the receipts or disbursements, or the existence or amount of anunpaid debt. On July 25, 2012, the Presiding Administrative Law Judge determined that theComplaint did not allege a
prima facie 
violation of Minn. Stat. § 211B.06, and dismissed thatclaim. As a result, only the alleged violation of Minn. Stat. § 211B.15 remains at issue in thisproceeding.

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