September 21, 1999
Mr. Charlie Davis
Director of Operations
Patrick Henry Group
P. O. Box 3619
Avon, Colorado 81620
RE: Ethics Board Docket No. 99-581
Dear Mr. Davis:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its September 16, 1999 meeting, acting as the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure, considered your request for an advisory opinion concerning whether an out-of-state political committee or a registered in-state committee may solicit funds to be used for independent expenditures for a candidate.
Prior to answering your question, the Board noted that an expenditure is “independent” only if it is made without consultation, cooperation, and not in concert with, or at the request or suggestion of the candidate, his authorized political committees, or their agents.
The Board concluded that, yes, either an out-of-state PAC or a registered in-state PAC may specifically solicit funds to be used for an independent expenditure for a candidate. If the committee is an in-state committee and supporting a single candidate, R.S. 18:1491.3 requires the committee to register as a subsidiary committee of that candidate. However, the candidate may disavow the committee under those circumstances and if such disavowal occurs, there can be no sharing of funding between the candidate and this committee. The in-state committee would be required to report its receipt and expenditure of funds.
If an organization meets the out-of-state PAC exemption contained in R.S. 18:1483(14) and makes independent expenditures in excess of $500, it must report that activity pursuant to R.S. 18:1501.1.
If you have further questions, please call me at (225) 922-1400 or (800) 842-6630.
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
Maris LeBlanc McCrory
For the Board