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El. Bd. Op. 1977-06

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Earmarking; committee combining activities as registrant and conduit. A committee's transfer of funds in response to an individual contributor's request that his contribution be used for a specific purpose is an act of earmarking, regardless of whether the request is made after the individual's contribution takes place. Such transfers may be made only if the committee functions as a conduit for the transfers, transferring the identities of the earmarking contributors to the designated recipients along with the earmarked funds. A political registrant which contributes and disburses in its own name may also act as a conduit for the contributions of others if all receipts and transfer of funds for which it acts as a conduit are specially designated as such on the registrant's reports. §11.16 (4), Stats. (Issued to Quinn Martin, August 18, 1977)

This opinion was reviewed by the Government Accountability Board pursuant to 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 and was revised to reflect statutory changes that do not allow one registrant to function as both a conduit and a PAC. The G.A.B. directed an annotation be added alerting the public to §§11.05(9) and 11.06(11), Wis. Stats., which specifically require conduits to register separately from a PAC and establish a separate account so that a PAC may not act as a conduit through the PAC account. The opinion below was reaffirmed by the Government Accountability Board on October 6, 2008 and fully incorporates the revisions directed by the G.A.B.