HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ELECTION AND RULES

 

 

May 19, 2005 Hearing Room E

1:00 P.M.           Tape 56

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Derrick Kitts, Chair

Rep. Paul Holvey, Vice-Chair

Rep. Kim Thatcher, Vice-Chair

Rep. Billy Dalto

Rep. Debi Farr

Rep. Mitch Greenlick

Rep. Steve March

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Cletus Moore, Committee Administrator

Annetta Mullins, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

SB 858 A – Public Hearing and Work Session

Introduction of Committee Measure – Work Session

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 56, A

003

Vice-Chair Thatcher

Calls the meeting to order at 1:51 p.m. due to delayed floor session and opens a public hearing on SB 858 A.

SB 858 A- PUBLIC HEARING

015

Cletus Moore

Committee Administrator.  Reads summary of SB 858 A. 

042

Sen. Joanne Verger

SD 5.  Presents a prepared statement in support of SB 858 A (EXHIBIT A).  States that if someone is running for office as a candidate and some other person chooses to run a long list of organizations the person may have previously belonged to and even though the person may not have been associated with the organizations, it would be very difficult to change that perception.   

057

Rep. Farr

Asks Sen. Verger to give examples of statements she believes contained false or misleading information.

 

Sen. Verger

States it could be anything.  Gives hypothetical examples.  States she does not believe it would cost anything to add the information. 

082

Rep. Greenlick

States he believes that is true and wonders if we might not want something stronger.

 

Sen. Verger

States the language in SB 858 A is actually a compromise.  Adds that the SOS can explain but believes we need a disclaimer.

 

Rep. Holvey

Ask if it is a violation to knowingly put false information in the Voters’ Pamphlet.

 

Fred Neal

Campaign Finance Manger and Voters’ Pamphlet supervisor, Secretary of State’s Office.  Responds that it is a Class C felony to knowingly falsify the required information.  And candidates are required by statute to attest to the truthfulness in the candidate statement.  That is the occupational information, educational information and prior governmental experience.  States they have had one prosecution in the last 10 years about the required information.  The rest of the information is only subject to the limitation by statute or proscribed by the Secretary from publishing anything that is libelous, incites hatred or violence toward an individual or group of individuals, or cannot be sent through the U. S. Mail. 

133

Vice Chair Thatcher

Asks what SOS can do if they see something that is false even though it would not fall under one of the headings.

 

Neal

Responds that the opponent’s statement is not public information, as is the other party’s, until the fourth business day after the filing deadline.  It would be an action by the person against the opponent in the Marion County Circuit Court.  States there is an election law that is enforced by the parties, not by the state, on misrepresentation of material fact.   Explains the court process, penalty and deadlines.

170

Vice Chair Thatcher

Asks if the same procedure would be followed if Neal knew the candidate and knew the information was incorrect.

 

Neal

Nods affirmatively. 

 

Rep. Greenlick

Asks if SOS gets many inquiries or complaints or comments about inaccuracies in the pamphlet.

 

Neal

Responds the complaints are usually with measure arguments.  Gives example of candidate who seemingly misrepresented the school but it was not totally wrong.  Explains abbreviation of the school listed in the information.

211

Rep. Holvey

Asks if people call SOS about accuracy of information in the pamphlet.

 

Neal

Responds SOS does get calls, but not many.

231

Rep. Farr

Asks if Neal has examples where someone made inflammatory remarks or false claims against their opponent in their Voters’ Pamphlet statement.

 

Neal

Responds negatively.  States he has no recollection of instances where statements were made by a candidate about the opponent that was deemed by the opponent to be inaccurate.  Generally, candidates want to talk about themselves.  States one that comes to mind was on a measure argument and there is already a disclaimer in the Voters’ Pamphlet.

255

Chair Kitts

Comments that people can write what they want in the Voters’ Pamphlet.  Things do happen and believes people assume that what they read is true.  States this is a good bill.

270

Rep. Greenlick

Asks if they could formally sending the material in a contested election to both candidates and have some sort of adjudication process instead of having to take the case to court.

 

Neal

Responds that SOS has not wanted to get in the middle of an election dispute between parties as to truthfulness.  

297

Chair Kitts

Closes the public hearing and opens a work session on SB 858 A.

SB 858 A – WORK SESSION

338

Rep. Thatcher

MOTION:  Moves SB 858 A to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

344

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Kitts

The motion CARRIES.

353

Rep. Greenlick

MOTION:  Moves SB 858 A be placed on the CONSENT CALENDAR.

354

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Kitts

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

355

Chair Kitts

Closes the work session on SB 858 A and opens a work session for the purpose of introduction of a committee measure.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURE – WORK SESSION

363

Rep. Thatcher

MOTION:  Moves LC 3614 (EXHIBIT B) BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

368

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Kitts

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

370

Chair Kitts

Closes the work session on introduction of committee measure and adjourns meeting at 2:16 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 858 A, prepared statement, Sen. Verger, 1 p
  2. Introductions, LC 3614, Larry Campbell, 17 pp,