Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Staff Memo Cutler Files 12.17

Staff Memo Cutler Files 12.17

Ratings: (0)|Views: 19|Likes:
Published by Kennebec_Journal

More info:

Published by: Kennebec_Journal on Jan 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

05/12/2014

pdf

text

original

 
STATEOFMAINECOMMISSIONONGOVERNMENTALETHICSANDELECTIONPRACTICES135STATEHOUSESTATIONAUGUSTA,MAINE04333-0135
To:CommissionersFrom:JonathanWayne,ExecutiveDirectorDate:December17,2010Re:CutlerFilesWebsite
InitiationofInvestigation
TheCutlerFileswebsite(www.cutlerfiles.com)waspostedtotheInternetonoraboutMonday,August30,2010.OnSeptember7,thegubernatorialcampaignofEliotCutlersubmittedtheattachedrequestforaninvestigationconcerningthewebsite.OnSeptember9,youauthorizedthestafftoinvestigatethewebsite.Soonaftertheinvestigationstarted,thewebsiteauthorsobtainedlegalcounsel,Daniel
I.
Billings,Esq.,whoraisedtheFirstAmendmentobjectionsoutlinedbelow.
PotentialViolations
DisclaimerRequirement(21-AMR.SA.
§
1014)
Under21-AM.R.S.A.§§1014(1)and(2),"wheneverapersonmakesanexpendituretofinanceacommunicationexpresslyadvocatingtheelectionordefeatofaclearlyidentifiedcandidatethroughbroadcastingstations,newspapers,magazines,campaignsignsorotheroutdooradvertisingfacilities,publiclyaccessiblesitesontheInternet,directmailsorothersimilartypesofgeneralpublicpoliticaladvertising...,"thecommunicationmustincludeastatementofthenameandaddressofthepersonwhomadeorfinancedtheexpenditure.
It
alsomuststatewhetherornotanycandidateauthorizedthecommunication.Thesameattributionanddisclaimerstatementsarerequired,pursuanttosubsection2-Aof§1014,ifthecommunication"namesordepictsaclearlyidentifiedcandidateand...isdisseminated"throughthetypesofmediadescribedinsubsection1duringthe35daysbeforeageneralelection.
OFFICELOCATEDAT:45
MEMORIALCiRCLE,AUGUSTA,MAINE
WEBSITE:
WWW.MAINE.GOV/ETHICS
PHONE:(207)287-4179FAX.:(207)287-6775
 
IndependentExpenditureReportingStatute(21-AMR.S.A.
§
10
19-B)
Ifapersonorcommitteemakesanexpendituregreaterthan$100foracommunicationthatexpresslyadvocatesforthedefeatofacandidate,thesponsorisrequiredtofileanindependentexpenditurereport(21-AM.R.S.A.§1019-B).
Staff'sInvestigation
Forthisinvestigation,thestaffinterviewedsevenindividuals,inspectedpaymentrecordsfortheresearchandforthewebsite,andbrieflylookedattheresearchnotebookthatwasthebasisforthewebsite.Asummaryoftheinvestigationandourstafffindingsarecontainedinamemothathasbeenprovidedtoyouconfidentially,inaccordancewith
21-A
M.R.S.A.§1003(3-A).Ourconclusionisthattheattachedredactedaffidavitismostlycorrect.TheCutlerFileswebsiteistheworkoftwoindividuals.OneofthemperformedmostoftheresearchthatisshownonthewebsiteduringtheperiodofAugust2009toFebruary2010,afterlearningthatEliotCutlerwasrunningfortheofficeofgovernor.HewasintentonexposingEliotCutler'sbackground,asheunderstoodit.Wesuspectthatthisindividualintendedtheresearchtobeusedsomedayinthe2010generalelection.Hewasnotcompensatedforthiswork.ThetwoindividualswerefrustratedthatCutler'sbackground,astheysawit,wasnotbeingexploredbythepress.InJulyorAugust2010,theydecidedtocreateawebsitetopublicizetheresearch.Bothindividualscontributedwritingforthewebsite.Nocandidateinthe2010generalelectiondirectedorauthorizedthemtocreatethewebsite.Theyexpressedthattheirgoalwastogettheinformationtheyfoundintotheopen,sothatitwouldbecoveredbythepress.Theotherindividualintheteam(nottheresearcher)wasexperiencedincreatingwebsites.Thatpersonperformedtheeditingandgraphicsforthewebsite,purchasedthedomainname,andpaidthehostingfee.Thestaffsinvestigationhasconcludedthatthetotalcostofthewebsite(includingtheresearchshownonthesite)is$91.38.
It
appearsthatnoonewascompensatedforconductingtheresearchforthewebsiteorforcreatingthewebsite.2
 
ArgumentbyCutlerFilesCounselDaniel
I.
Billings
ThestaffrefersyoutotheSeptember26,2010letterfromattorneyDanielI.Billings,whoisrepresentingthetwoCutlerFilesauthors.HearguesthattheCutlerFilesauthorswishtoremainanonymousbecause"theydobelievethattheiridentitiesmightdetractfromtheimpactoftheinformationsetforthintheblog."(September26,2010letter,at2)Also,hisclientsstatethattheyarefearfuloflitigationbyMr.Cutler.(ld.)TheletterreliesontwoU.S.SupremeCourtdecisionstoarguethatanonymousspeechisprotectedbytheFirstAmendmentoftheU.S.Constitution,includingMcIntyrev.OhioElectionsCommission514U.S.334(1995).Mr.Billingscontendsthat21-AM.R.S.A.§1014isnotnarrowlytailoredbecauseitappliestoallexpendituresthatexpresslyadvocatetheelectionordefeatofacandidate.Certainly,MainelawcannothaveanoverridinginterestthattrumpsthebroadprotectionsthattheConstitutionprovidespoliticalspeechwhensuchcommunicationisnotdonebyaparty,candidateorcommitteeandsuchcommunicationcost[s]merelyademinimisamountofmoney.(September26,2010letter,at4)(underlininginoriginal)Healsocontendsthatthewebsiteconstitutesaformofcitizenjournalismthatshouldbecoveredbythemediaexceptiontothedefinitionofexpenditure.
1
Forallofthesereasons,whicharemorefullyarticulatedinhisletter,Mr.BillingsarguesthattheCommissionshouldnotenforce21-AM.R.S.A.§1014againsttheCutlerFiles.AttheDecember20,2010meeting,Mr.BillingswouldliketooffersomefinalcommentstotheCommission,includingaresponsetotheCutlercampaign'smostrecentwrittensubmission.
CommentsbyAdvocacyGroups
WehavealsoreceivedwrittenmaterialsfromtheMaineCivilLibertiesUnionandtheElectronicFrontierFoundationurgingtheCommissionnottoinvestigatetheCutler
ITitle2l-A,§10l2(3)(B)(1)exempts"Anynewsstory,commentaryoreditorialdistributedthroughthefacilitiesofanybroadcastingstation,newspaper,magazineorotherperiodicalpublication,unlessthefacilitiesareownedorcontrolledbyanypoliticalparty,politicalcommittee,candidate,orcandidate'simmediatefamily...."
3

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->