2005 Wis Eth Bd 06 - LOBBYING LAW
The Ethics Board advises that a member of a state board should either (1) not
accept employment by a business or organization that employs a lobbyist or (2)
notify the board of which the official is a member that the official is withdrawing
from any participation in the modification of the board’s rules.
2005 Wis Eth Bd 07 - LOBBYING LAW
The Ethics Board advises that a legislative employee not rent an apartment
or a house with a lobbyist unless (1) the lobbyist is the employee’s relative
or (2) the employee and the lobbyist are part of the same domestic unit.
2005 Wis Eth Bd 08 - LOBBYING LAW
The Ethics Board advises that a candidate for the Legislature may, consistent
with Wisconsin’s lobbying law:
(1) remain employed as a lobbyist by the candidate’s employer while a
candidate for election to the Legislature;
(2) engage in campaign activities while on paid vacation time, holidays, and
compensatory time in accordance, and consistent with, the employer’s
treatment of other employees’ use of leave time; and
(3) continue, while a candidate and prior to taking office, to receive benefits
paid in part by the employer consistent with the organization’s policy for
The Ethics Board also advises that upon assuming office, a legislator may no
longer accept compensation or anything else of pecuniary value from the
organization except to the extent that the legislator, as a former employee, may
be contractually entitled to continue to receive benefits from an employment or
union contract that predates the candidacy.
2005 Wis Eth Bd 09 - FEES AND HONORARIUMS
The Ethics Board advises that a crystal bowl, valued at $125, is reasonable
compensation for an elected official who spent eight to nine hours preparing a
talk and presented a keynote address related to state government issues to an
2005 Wis Eth Bd 10 - MEALS, LODGING, TRAVEL AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Ethics Board advises that state agency may accept funds from private
sources to be used to reimburse a state official’s travel expenses incurred by the
official while engaged in official duties.
2006 Wis Eth Bd 01 - LOCAL CODE
Whether a member of a school board may serve as an unpaid coach in the
school district is primarily a question of compatibility of offices. Generally, the
Ethics Code prohibits a member of a school board to use his or her position to
obtain a position as an employee in, or a contract with, the school district.
2006 Wis Eth Bd 02 - LOBBYING
A lobbying principal may, consistent with the lobbying law, urge its members to
contribute to a candidate, as long as the organization is not acting in concert with
the candidate. A lobbying principal may not bundle and furnish contributions
from its members to legislators except between June 1 and the general election
in the year of the member’s election and, then, only if the Legislature has
concluded its final floorperiod and is not in special or extraordinary session.
2006 Wis Eth Bd 03 - IMPROPER USE OF OFFICE
A legislator should not take official action that has a fiscal effect on a private
organization on whose board of directors the legislator serves unless the
legislator’s appointment to the organization’s board were pursuant to a statute, a
resolution of the Legislature, or a condition imposed by the State of Wisconsin
that established the legislator’s role as an agent of our state’s government representing
governmental interests, not the separate interests of the organization.
2006 Wis Eth Bd 04 - GIFTS; LOBBYING; MEALS, LODGING, TRAVEL, AND ENTERTAINMENT
The Ethics Board advises that:
1. A state public official attending a conference or convention may accept
educational or informational material or other item for the purpose of
conveying it to the State of Wisconsin for the use or benefit of a state
office or agency.
2. Except as just noted, a state public official should not accept from a lobbying
principal or lobbyist anything of pecuniary value or from anyone else
any item of more than token value. This is so, regardless of whether the
official was to retain it or furnish it to another for other than governmental
3. A state official should not accept, without full payment, a meal or drink
offered at a conference or convention unless it is provided, arranged, or
sanctioned by the event’s sponsor.
2006 Wis Eth Bd 05 - GIFTS
In determining whether a gift is of “substantial value,” the Ethics Board
looks at the totality of the circumstances.* Here, the value of the gifts is small in
comparison to the time you devoted to the two organizations, the sentimental
value of the gifts is greater than their monetary value, and the gifts are, in
essence, commemorative in nature. In these circumstances, we conclude that
the gifts are not of “substantial value” as that term is used in the Ethics Code,
and you may keep them.
2006 Wis Eth Bd 06 - FEES & HONORARIUMS; GIFTS
Wisconsin law [§19.56 (1), Wisconsin Statutes] encourages you to
address groups about legislative, administrative, executive or judicial processes
and proposals and issues initiated by or affecting a department or the judicial
branch and to accept reasonable compensation from the sponsor when you do.
The bookends offered are well within the ambit of reasonable compensation. If
your address can be appropriately characterized as meeting the subject matter
criterion, you may surely retain them.
2006 Wis Eth Bd 07 - LOBBYING
The Ethics Board advises:
1) An elected state official may accept compensation from a joint venture if
the official is providing professional services to the joint venture for its use;
2) An elected state official may not accept compensation for professional
services the official provides directly to a lobbying principal regardless of
whether the lobbying principal pays the official directly or the joint venture
pays the official.
2005 Wis Eth Bd 03 - PUBLIC CONTRACTS
The Board advises:
1) That you notify the Ethics Board and the appropriate state agency before entering a contract
with a local Wisconsin government in which the local government is acting as the state’s agent; and
2) You need not provide notification to anyone if the contract is paid from shared revenues or
other funds the state provides the local government over which the state has ceded control.