Advisory Opinions

Direct Communication between a lobbyist and legislator

Indiana Lobby Registration Commission

(Determination made at public meeting on November 13, 1997)
(Ratification at public meeting of March 24, 1998)


Chairman Bepko - yes
Vice-Chairman Krahulik - yes
Commissioner Hicks - yes
Commissioner Abbs - yes

Questions and written comments may be directed to Indiana Lobby Registration Commission, 115 W. Washington, Suite 1375 S., Indianapolis, IN 46204 (317) 232-9860

(A) Example:

"A" is a registered lobbyist. A sends gifts to legislators, but does not speak to them in person. Must A report the value of the gifts as a lobbying expenditure on A's activity report?


The gift expenditure is reportable as a lobbying expenditure


The Commission determined in its "Pending Interpretation Issues Regarding Reportable Expenditures" Memorandum (Indiana Register, Vol. 19, No. 12, September 1, 1996), that, "all expenditures, whether purchases, gifts, or other payments, wo uld have to be reported" [on the lobbyist's activity report.

As recognized by that Pending Interpretation, the accurate reporting of such a lobbying expenditure will require a modification of the current activity reporting forms.

We should recognize that these facts are distinguishable from the facts presented in Proposed Interpretation 97-06, wherein the donor of the gift was not a registered lobbyist.

(B) Example:

"A" initiates a comprehensive letter campaign, which consists of A sending letters to legislators regarding pending or potentially pending legislation. A does not speak directly to the legislators regarding the subject matter of the letters. A is a registered lobbyist. The cost of the letter campaign exceeded $500.


The expenditures made with regard to the letters are reportable lobbying expenditures.


Ind.Code § 2-7-1-9 defines "lobbying" as "communicating by any means, or paying others to communicate by any means, with any legislative official with the purpose of influencing any legislative action." Sending the letters is a form of "communicating by any means," and, hence, causes the expenditures related to the letters to be reportable lobbying expenditures.