COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATION OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE ACT SUBMITTED BY MINNESOTA DEMOCRATIC-FARMER-LABOR PARTY
The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (“DFL”) files this complaint against Minnesota State Senator David Thompson (“Thompson”) for violating Minn. Stat. §§ 10A.09. Thompson violated Minnesota law by failing to disclose a December 1, 2010, payment of $3,750 from the Republican Party of Minnesota (“RPM”) on Statements of Economic Interest. I. RELEVANT DOCUMENTS ATTACHED TO THIS COMPLAINT
Attachment A – MPR News report: Chairman's spending decisions on insiders helped lead to GOP debt, January 20, 2012. Attachment B – Republican Party of Minnesota Amended Report of Receipt and Disbursements – Summary Page, filed April 25, 2011. Attachment C – Republican Party of Minnesota Amended Report of Receipt and Disbursements – Itemized Disbursements, filed April 25, 2011. Attachment D – David Thompson Original Statement of Economic Interest for Candidates for Elective Office, filed May 27, 2010. Attachment E – David Thompson Statement of Economic Interest, dated March 31, 2011 (available at http://www.cfboard.state.mn.us/eis/rpdetail/rp601_9386.html). II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND A. The Interested Parties. 1. Senator David Thompson, P.O. Box 1294, Lakeville, MN 55044-1294.
David Thompson presently holds the office of Senator representing District 36. Thompson was elected to the office in the November 2010 general election. 2. Republican Party of Minnesota, 525 Park Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, Minnesota 55103
The Republican Party of Minnesota (“RPM”) is registered with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (“Board”) as a party unit.
Relationship of the Parties
MPR News reported on January 20, 2012, that “[RPM] records show Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, was paid $70,000 for communications consulting beginning in October of 2009 – four months after Sutton defeated him for party chair. In 2010, Thompson ran for state Senate and won while working for the party.” According to the article, Thompson stated that his work included training candidates to deal with the media and writing opinion pieces. The article quotes Thompson as saying of his work for the RPM “I guess I never saw that as being any kind of conflict, and still don't to this day . . . The one thing I would say is that my initial contract ended, and they asked that I stay on and continue to do work for them.” Thompson stated that he is still owed $7,700 by the party. The RPM’s Amended Statement of Income and Disbursements filed with the FEC on April 25, 2011 discloses a December 1, 2010 payment of $3,750 to Thompson for “General Party Media Consulting.” See Attachment C at 4. Based upon the MPR story, there likely were numerous other payments to Thompson. However, only the December 1, 2010, payment was included in a RPM report filed with the FEC and the RPM’s filings with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (“Board”) do not disclose any payments to Thompson. Thompson did not disclose his work for the RPM on any statement of economic interest filed with the Board. III. VIOLATIONS OF MINNESOTA LAW 1. Minn. Stat. § 10A.09, subd. 1 provides in pertinent part that “[e]xcept for a
candidate for elective office in the judicial branch, an individual must file a statement of economic interest with the board: (1) within 60 days of accepting employment as a public official or a local official in a metropolitan governmental unit; [or] (2) within 14 days after filing an affidavit of candidacy or petition to appear on the ballot for an elective state office or an 2
elective local office in a metropolitan governmental unit . . . .” The term public official is defined to include “any member of the legislature.” Minn. Stat. § 10A.01, subd. 35. 2. Thompson ran for office in 2010 and would have been required to file a statement
of economic interest no later than 14 days after filing his affidavit of candidacy. Minn. Stat. § 10A.09, subd. 1. 3. Minn. Stat. § 10A.09, subd. 6 requires that “[e]ach individual who is required to
file a statement of economic interest must file a supplementary statement on April 15 of each year that the individual remains in office if information on the most recently filed statement has changed.” 4. Thompson presently holds the office of State Senator for District 36 and,
therefore, is subject to the obligation to file supplementary statements of economic interest pursuance to Minn. Stat. § 10A.09, subd. 6. 5. Minn. Stat. §10A.09, subd. 5, (1) and (2) requires that an individual filing a
statement of economic interest disclose compensation received from any associated business. 6. Minn. Stat §10A.01, subd. 5, defines an “associated business” as “an association
from which the individual receives compensation in excess of $50, except for actual and reasonable expenses, in any month as a director, officer, owner, member, partner, employer, or employee, or whose securities the individual holds worth $2,500 or more at fair market value.” 7. MPR reports that Thompson worked for the RPM and received approximately
$70,000 in compensation in connection with such work.1 The RPM’s April 25, 2011 Amended Report of Receipts and Disbursements – Itemized Disbursements discloses a payment of $3,750
The MPR story suggests that Thompson was engaged as a consultant to the RPM. It is unclear whether this engagement was as an employee or an independent contractor. To the extent Thompson was engaged as an employee, he was required to disclose the compensation received from the RPM. 3
to Thompson on December 1, 2010. See Attachment C at 4. As stated above, the MPR story indicates that there likely were additional payments to Thompson which have not yet been disclosed on filings with either the FEC or the Board. 8. The RPM was an “associated business” from which Thompson received
compensation in excess of $50 in December 2010. 9. Minnesota Rules, 4505.0100, subp. 3, states “for the purpose of an original
statement of economic interest, ‘compensation in any month’ includes only compensation in the calendar month immediately preceding the date of…filing as a candidate.” 10. Minnesota Rules, 4505.0100, subp. 3, further states “for the purpose of
supplementary statements of economic interest to be filed, “compensation in any month” includes compensation and honorariums received in any month between the end of the period covered in the preceding statement of economic interest and the end of the current period.” 11. Minnesota Rules, 4505.0900, subp. 2 states “an individual who has filed a
statement of economic interest within the calendar year shall file a supplementary statement within 14 days after filing an affidavit of candidacy or accepting employment or appointment to an office requiring the advice and consent of the senate.” 12. Thompson filed an Original Statement of Economic Interest for Candidates for This Statement did not disclose the work Thompson
Elective Office on May 27, 2010. performed for the RPM. 13.
Thompson submitted and updated statement of economic interest on March 31,
2011. This updated statement did not disclose the December 1, 2010, payment of $3,750 from the RPM or otherwise disclose the work Thompson performed for the RPM.
Thompson has not filed any additional supplementary statements of economic
interest or otherwise disclosed the compensation he has received from the RPM. IV. REQUESTED ACTIONS A. Penalties
The DFL requests that the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (“Board”) find that Thompson violated Minn. Stat. § 10A.09. The DFL further requests that the Board assess a civil penalty of $3,000 pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 10A.025, subd. 1 for each statement of economic interest where Thompson failed to make the required disclosure of compensation received from the RPM.
Date: January 23, 2012
MINNESOTA DEMOCRATIC-FARMERLABOR PARTY
By: Ken Martin, Chair 255 East Plato Boulevard St. Paul, MN 55107 Telephone: 651-251-6302 Facsimile: 651-251-6325