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NOVEMBER 4, 2013 VERSION 1

A gap in administrative authority for campaign !nance violations makes the enforcement of state law practically unenforceable for candidates for Hennepin County, Minneapolis, or Bloomington o"ces. READ BACKGROUND
Alleged campaign violation
MINN. STAT. 383B.043, SUBD. 1

Administrative remedy

Criminal remedy

NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation. NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation. NONE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney. CRIMINAL PROSECUTION 1 As a criminal o#ense, this misdemeanor shall be prosecuted by county attorney. Since no fact-!nding administrative body is involved, the person(s) responsible are to be prosecuted regardless of intent or severity. Campaign committees arent !ned or reprimanded since criminal charges can only be made against individuals.

The political committee doesnt have a chair and treasurer (which may be the same person).

MINN. STAT. 383B.043, SUBD. 1

The political committee has contributions being deposited to more than one bank account.

MINN. STAT. 383B.043, SUBD. 2

The political committee accepts or spends funds while its o"ce of treasurer is vacant.

Alleged campaign violation


MINN. STAT. 383B.043, SUBD. 2

Administrative remedy
NONE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney.

Criminal remedy
CRIMINAL PROSECUTION 1 As a criminal o#ense, this misdemeanor shall be prosecuted by county attorney. Since no fact-!nding administrative body is involved, the person(s) responsible are to be prosecuted regardless of intent or severity. Campaign committees arent !ned or reprimanded since criminal charges can only be made against individuals. CRIMINAL PROSECUTION 1 As a criminal o#ense, this misdemeanor shall be prosecuted by county attorney. Since no fact-!nding administrative body is involved, the person(s) responsible are prosecuted regardless of intent or severity. Campaign committees arent !ned or reprimanded since criminal charges can only be made against individuals.

The political committee retains an anonymous contribution in excess of $20 without forwarding it on to the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board for deposit into the states general fund, as required.

MINN. STAT. 383B.043, SUBD. 2

NONE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney.

The political committees funds were commingled with the personal funds of an o"cer, member, or associate of the committee.

MINN. STAT. 383B.045

NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation. NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation.

The candidate accepted or expended more than $100 without forming a principal campaign committee.

MINN. STAT. 383B.045

Campaign expenditures werent made through the campaigns principal campaign committee.

Alleged campaign violation


MINN. STAT. 383B.046

Administrative remedy

Criminal remedy

NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation. NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation.

Candidate failed to register campaign committee using statement of organization with !ling o"cer within 14 days of receiving or spending more than $100.

MINN. STAT. 383B.046

Candidate !led a statement of organization but failed to include a committee name, the name and address of the chair and treasurer(s), the name and address of the committees bank, the name and address of any supporting association of a political fund.
MINN. STAT. 383B.047, SUBD. 1

NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation. In every single local race in the rest of the state, the O!ce of Administrative Hearings has authority for the general subject matter of this statute. (See Minn. Stat. 211A.06) NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation. NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation.

The treasurer failed to keep an account of contributions, expenditures, the names and addresses of contribution sources or expenditure payees, and/or the name and address of each political committee or fund it transferred funds to.

MINN. STAT. 383B.047, SUBD. 2

An expenditure was made without being authorized by the treasurer.

MINN. STAT. 383B.047, SUBD. 2

The treasurer authorized more than $20 per week as petty cash for miscellaneous expenditures.

Alleged campaign violation


MINN. STAT. 383B.047, SUBD. 2

Administrative remedy

Criminal remedy

NO ADMINISTRATIVE OR CRIMINAL REMEDY ENTIRELY UNENFORCEABLE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney, but its not a criminal violation. ADMINISTRATIVE FINES The !ling o"cer can send a notice and after 7 days begin imposing a late !ling fee of $5 per day up to $100. If the report was due before an election, the !ling o"cer doesnt need to send a notice can can charge $50 per day up to $500. The !ling o"cer can sue in civil court to recover fees. Theres no administrative body with the authority to receive complaints from the public or make !ndings of fact. In every single local race in the rest of the state, the O!ce of Administrative Hearings has authority for the general subject matter of this statute. (See Minn. Stat. 211A.05) CRIMINAL CHARGES If the treasurer fails to !le the report within 21 days after receiving a notice, or within 7 days after receiving a second notice, it becomes a criminal o#ense as a misdemeanor, which shall be prosecuted by the county attorney. Campaign committees arent !ned or reprimanded any further since criminal charges can only be made against individuals.

The treasurer failed to obtain a receipted bill stating the particulars of every expenditure made by or on behalf of the campaign committee.

MINN. STAT. 383B.048, SUBD. 1

Failure to !le: the treasurer failed to !le a campaign !nance report on time, or at all.

MINN. STAT. 383B.048, SUBD. 4

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES See failure to !le. In every single local race in the rest of the state, the O!ce of Administrative Hearings has authority for the general subject matter of this statute. (See Minn. Stat. 211A.03)

CRIMINAL CHARGES See failure to !le.

The campaign committee dissolved without !ling a termination report with the !ling o"cer.

Alleged campaign violation


MINN. STAT. 383B.049

Administrative remedy
SOMETIMES ADMINISTRATIVE FINES 1 2 See failure to !le. Since the !ling o"cer doesnt have the authority to receive complaints or do fact !nding, it likely wouldnt be able to determine that a report was, in fact, due. NONE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney. In every single local race in the rest of the state, the O!ce of Administrative Hearings has authority for the general subject matter of this statute. (See Minn. Stat. 211A.02)

Criminal remedy
SOMETIMES CRIMINAL CHARGES 1 2 See failure to !le. Since a failure to !le only becomes a crime if the individual ignores notices from the !ling o"cer, criminal prosecution is inhibited.

An individual citizen made an expenditure of over $100 for the purposes of in$uencing an election, but failed to !le a report.

MINN. STAT. 383B.048, SUBD. 2

SOMETIMES CRIMINAL CHARGES 1 2 While there are no direct criminal penalties in this section, Minn. Stat. 383.054 calls for gross misdemeanor prosecution if the individual signing and certifying the report knowingly submitted false information or knowingly omitted required information. This forces the county attorney to determine knowing intent. However, if the inaccuracy or omission was not done knowingly, then there was no crime and there is no criminal remedy. Since no fact-!nding administrative body is involved, the person(s) responsible are prosecuted regardless of severity. Additionally, criminal charges are only against the individual signer of the report, not the campaign or candidate.

The campaign committee !led a campaign !nance report, but didnt disclose assets on hand; each contribution* (with name, address, employer/occupation); each loan* (with name, address, employer/occupation); each expenditure* (with name, address), each advance of credit, each transfer, and the sums of all transfers, disbursements, contributions, and receipts.
* Only when the aggregate amount of money exchanged with the source/destination exceeds $100 for the duration of the cycle.

Alleged campaign violation


MINN. STAT. 383B.05

Administrative remedy
NONE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney. In every single local race in the rest of the state, the O!ce of Administrative Hearings has authority for the general subject matter of this statute. (See Minn. Stat. 211A.07)

Criminal remedy
CRIMINAL CHARGES This petty misdemeanor shall be prosecuted by county attorney. Since no fact!nding administrative body is involved, the person(s) responsible are prosecuted regardless of intent or severity. In Minnesota, petty misdemeanors are not classi!ed as crimes.

A person who has a bill, charge, or claim against a principal campaign committee failed to render it to the treasurer within 60 days of the material or service being provided.

MINN. STAT. 383B.051

NONE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, or issue civil penalties. A violation can be referred to the county attorney.

CRIMINAL CHARGES 1 2 As a criminal o#ense, this misdemeanor shall be prosecuted by county attorney. Since no fact-!nding administrative body is involved, the person(s) responsible are prosecuted regardless of intent or severity. The statute is vague on the de!nition of circumvention. Campaign committees arent !ned or reprimanded since criminal charges can only be made against individuals.

A person attempted to circumvent disclosure of the source or amount of contributions or expenditures by redirecting funds through or contributing funds on behalf of another person.

Alleged campaign violation


MINN. STAT. 383B.052

Administrative remedy
COVERED BY THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS While there is no administrative body with authority on the statute as written, a similar statute with the same e#ect (Minn. Stat. 211B.07) wasnt excluded for subject races in Hennepin County, so the O"ce of Administrative Hearings has authority and can receive complaints, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, issue civil penalties if the act violated the 211B.07 wording.

Criminal remedy
CRIMINAL CHARGES As a criminal o#ense, this misdemeanor shall be prosecuted by county attorney. Since no fact-!nding administrative body is involved, the person(s) responsible are prosecuted regardless of intent or severity. Campaign committees (if involved in the reprisal or threat) arent !ned or reprimanded since criminal charges can only be made against individuals. As documented on the left, Minn. Stat. 211B.07 is also a gross misdemeanor and is similar but more speci!c.

An individual engaged in economic reprisals, threatened the loss of employment or physical coercion against another individual because of their political contributions or activity.

MINN. STAT. 383B.053

ADMINISTRATIVE FINES Penalties for a failure to !le are the same as other examples cited above.

CRIMINAL CHARGES Charges for a failure to !le are the same as above.

Candidate failed to !le a disclosure statement of economic interest on time or at all.

Alleged campaign violation


MINN. STAT. 383B.054, SUBD. 3

Administrative remedy
NONE 1 2 Theres no administrative body with the authority to receive complaints from the public, make !ndings of fact, issue reprimands, issue civil penalties, or refer the violation for prosecution.

Criminal remedy
SOMETIMES CRIMINAL CHARGES Any individual who willfully fails to report a material change or correction is guilty of a misdemeanor. As a criminal o#ense, this misdemeanor shall be prosecuted by county attorney. However, if the failure is not willful, there is no criminal remedy. Since no fact-!nding administrative body is involved, the person(s) responsible are to be prosecuted regardless of severity. Campaign committees arent !ned or reprimanded since criminal charges can only be made against individuals.

A !ler becoming aware of an inaccuracy or change on an already-!led report failed to submit any corrections to the !ling o"cer within 10 days.

FOOTNOTES
1

Just because a statute doesnt authorize speci!c administrative or criminal action, doesnt mean compliance cant be sought through civil court to obtain an order

to compel compliance. Also, an injured party could always seek injunctive relief, damages, or !le a writ of mandamus. Those tasks arent easy and arent well documented for the average citizen, and would be a legal !ght for the county attorney.
2

Minn. Stat. 383B.056, subd. 8 seems to be an attempt at a catch-all remedy, but its hardly e#ective. If any !ling o"cer or subordinate has knowledge or reason

to believe that a violation of 383B.041 383B.057 has occurred, they shall transmit that knowledge belief to the county attorney. However, keep in mind that Minn. Stat. 383B.056 explicitly states, Except as expressly provided ... a violation of sections 383B.041 to 383B.055 is not a crime. All of the expressly-provided crimes have been detailed above, leaving no other remedy for a county attorney to prosecute unless they pursue civil claims in district court. No warranty or representation of accuracy. This is all just my interpretation and opinion, and its de!nitely not legal advice. Respectful feedback, questions, and corrections are more than welcome at tony@tonywebster.com. CC0 Public Domain