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New Wisconsin Forfeitures Rule Approved By G.A.B.

March 31, 2009

MADISON, WI – A new set of rules covering basic forfeitures for violations of campaign finance, ethics and lobbying laws was adopted Monday by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.).

The creation of Wisconsin Administrative Rule GAB 22 formalizes the penalties the G.A.B. may levy against political committees, lobbying organizations, lobbyists, and state public officials that fail to meet registration and reporting deadlines.

“The Board’s action should increase accountability among state registrants,” said G.A.B. Director Kevin Kennedy. “It will also improve efficiency in the reporting process.”

Examples of common reporting violations are: 

  • Failure to submit a campaign finance report by deadline
  • Exceeding contribution limits
  • Failure to provide contributor information
  • Failure to register on time as a lobbying principal or obtain a lobbyist license

“This rule puts in place a clear schedule of forfeitures for violations of disclosure laws for groups and individuals who operate in the public arena,” said State Ethics and Accountability Division Administrator Jonathan Becker. “It clarifies the Board’s intent to enforce consistent, uniform standards and requires strict compliance with the statutes.”

By authorization of the Legislature, the G.A.B. has the power to categorize these civil offenses and settle them without formal investigation and upon payment of specified amounts by the alleged offender.

The new rule also includes the penalties for late submission of statutorily required statements of economic interest by public officials and employees.