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An Index of Formal Opinions - Campaign Finance

Index - GAB Campaign Finance Advisory Opinions.xls175 KB

This is an index of formal opinions by the former State Elections Board and Government Accountability Board  on campaign finance related issues.  The document contains a summary of each opinion, and a link to the full text.

WIS. STAT. §19.46 (2) (a) 1. provides that any person may request a formal or informal opinion from the Government Accountability Board concerning the propriety of any matter under statutes administered by the Board to which the person is or may become a party.  WIS. STAT. §19.46 (2) (a) 3. further provides that no person acting in good faith upon a formal or informal advisory opinion issued by the Board is subject to criminal or civil prosecution for so acting, if the material facts are as stated in the opinion request.  The statutes require the Board to publish its formal opinions after deleting identifying information.


The Boards published opinions may be used as guidance for future conduct.  Board opinions have precedential valuePersons relying on these opinions should be aware that opinions are fact- dependent.  Persons are encouraged to seek the Boards advice in specific situations.


The Act amending the campaign finance law, 2015 Wisconsin Act 117, Section 74 (1) (Act) required the Board to review all of its advisory opinions currently in effect and determine which, if any, opinions are inconsistent with the new campaign finance law.  Opinions that the Board found to be inconsistent with the Act are invalid.  The Board conducted its review at its meeting of April 26, 2016.  The opinions marked as “consistent” are still valid, although statutory citations will have changed.  The opinions marked inconsistent have been superseded by changes in the law. Opinions marked partially consistent” contain some useful analysis that has not been affected by law changes, but some portions of the opinion have been superseded and therefore have no legal effect.