May 24, 2010
Mr. C. A. Vandersteen
Louisiana Forestry Association
P.O. Box 5067
Alexandria, LA 71307-5067
Re: Ethics Board Docket No. 2010-404
Dear Mr. Vandersteen:
The Louisiana Board of Ethics, at its May 21, 2010 meeting, considered your request for an advisory opinion concerning whether you, a registered lobbyist for the Louisiana Forestry Association, may invite members of the Louisiana Legislature to your personal property and provide them with an evening dinner, an overnight stay in your home, followed by a turkey hunt on your personal property, the following morning.
The Board concluded, and instructed me to inform you that, the Louisiana Code of Governmental Ethics would prohibit you from providing the members of the Louisiana Legislature with a complimentary overnight stay at your home, as well as providing them with the opportunity to hunt turkey on your private property. Section 1117 of the Code prohibits a person from providing for a public servant, any thing of economic value which such public servant would be prohibited from receiving by the Ethics Code. Section 1115 of the Code prohibits public servants from receiving any thing of economic value from a person, who, for compensation, attempts to influence the passage or defeat of legislation by the public servant's agency. Because you are a prohibited source of a gift for members of the Louisiana Legislature, its members are prohibited from receiving things of economic value from you. The complimentary overnight stay as well as the opportunity to hunt on private property are “things of economic value” as that term is defined in Section 1102 of the Code.
The Board issues no opinion as to laws other than the Code of Governmental Ethics. This advisory opinion is based solely on the facts as set forth herein. Changes to the facts as presented may result in a different application of the provisions of the Code of Ethics. If you have any further questions, please contact me at (225) 219-5600 or at (800) 842-6630.
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
For the Board