View Pending Advisory Opinion Requests


On a trial basis, the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission of Georgia will post its Draft Advisory Opinions responding to each advisory opinion request. The Commission will accept comments on each Draft Advisory Opinion for a period of 10 days following its posting.

An opinion issued by the Commission that advises the interpretation of a law in accordance to the Constitution of Georgia. An advisory opinion does not affect or modify a law but merely explains the intent of the law itself. Advisory opinions initiate with a request for clarification of a law for a specific situation or case and are modified by the Commission to apply the clarification to a broader of variety of circumstances. Requests for opinions must be made in writing and delivered to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission’s office.



ADIVISORY OPINION NO 2012-06 Summary of Request From: J. Randolph Evans and Benjamin J. Vinson of McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP1) Given the nature of the regulatory framework set forth by the Act, Commission Rule 189-3-.06 and Commission Advisory Opinion 2007-07 with regard to the purchase of non-commercial air transportation services, what guidelines (if any) exist for a state campaign committee seeking to utilize its contribution funds to pay the costs associated with private air travel when such services are purchased in accordance with the terms of a fair-market, commercially-reasonable transaction? In other words, due to the fact that the Commission’s regulatory structure appears to address the payment of non-commercial air transportation service costs only in settings involving either an in-kind contribution of such services or the reimbursement of a party who provides such services free of charge, what guidelines (if any) exist for a state campaign committee seeking to purchase such services on the open market in accordance with the terms of a commercially-reasonable contract, lease, or other similar agreement? Also, in light of the current regulatory framework for the purchase of noncommercial air transportation services, does the provided analysis at all change if the private air travel is being purchased from an entity for which the candidate, candidate’s spouse, or candidate’s relative has an ownership interest (fractional or otherwise)? In such an ownership interest scenario, please assume that the state campaign committee is paying the entity at issue fair market rates for the non-commercial air transportation services provided. 2) When a state campaign committee utilizes its campaign funds to pay the costs associated with non-commercial air transportation services that are purchased in accordance with the terms of a fair-market, commercially-reasonable transaction rather than in settings involving either an in-kind contribution of such services or the reimbursement of a party who provides such services free of charge, what is the appropriate disclosure methodology for such expenditures on the committee’s periodic CCDRs filed with the Commission? In other words, given that the Act, Commission Rule 189-3-.06 and Commission Advisory Opinion 2007-07 only appear to provide a standard means of valuation and disclosure for noncommercial air transportation service expenditures made in situations where no actual market transaction took place and no true market value was set, how should a campaign committee that purchases such services on the open market through a commercially-reasonable contract, lease or other similar agreement report its private aircraft expenditures for the purposes of its CCDRs filed with the Commission?Posted: June 18, 2012

ADIVISORY OPINION NO 2012-05 Summary of Request From: J. Randolph Evans and Benjamin J. Vinson of McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP What is the appropriate methodology for evaluating the acceptability of attorney fee expenditures by the state campaign committee of a current or past federal office holder when such costs are clearly made in connection with the candidate’s active campaign for state office, but also bear some relationship to the candidate’s current or past federal position? In other words, how should a state campaign committee assess the treatment of particular attorney fee expenditures in factual scenarios where the legal services provided fundamentally relate to the candidate’s run for•state elective office, but cannot be cast in a light that is wholly segregated from the candidate’s present or former federal office? For the purposes of the above inquiries, please assume that the candidate at issue is a present or former federal office holder currently seeking state office, but no longer seeking re-election at the federal level. Likewise, please assume that the legal fees at issue would not have accrued but for the particular candidate’s pursuit of state office. Also, to the extent possible, please provide guidance on how the analysis changes under the Act (if at all) in the following scenarios: (l) where the candidate at issue has only one active principal campaign committee operating at the state level; and (2) where the candidate at issue has separate principal campaign committees operating at both the federal and state levels. Posted: June 18, 2012

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