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1996 Wis Eth Bd 07 - LOBBYING

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A lobbying organization may, consistent with Wisconsin’s lobbying law,
purchase services from a business wholly owned by a state legislator only if
the organization’s offer to purchase can reasonably be said to be available to
the general public. This means that the organization should be able to
demonstrate clearly and convincingly that its purchase of services is the
result of an orderly, established competitive bidding process open to a
substantial number of similar businesses, not unduly limited geographically,
that gives no special advantage to a business owned by a state official. Even
if the organization can demonstrate that its offer to purchase is available to
the general public, the better course would be for the organization not to
engage in business with a company wholly owned by a state legislator unless
the organization is satisified that its doing so would not undermine the
public’s confidence in the legislator’s financial independence from the
organization. OEB 96-7 (April 25, 1996)