Since the creation of this Commission, requests have been received from time to time for advisory opinions based on "general" or "hypothetical" situations. An organization recently requested to be advised if the lobbying statute would be violated, "if" a) a meeting were held with Board members of that organization or, b) with representatives of other groups to discuss legislation or to plan strategy to effect legislation.
This opinion addresses itself to the policy of the Commission regarding requests for advisory opinions based upon a hypothetical state of facts.
The Commission will not render opinions concerning hypothetical, non-existent factual situations based on requests which do not deal with factual matters. Advisory opinions are issued on a case-by-case basis in response to written requests.
While we stand ready to assist and advise those subject to our jurisdiction, we are of the opinion that the issuance of advisory opinions must be in response to an actual statement of facts. To render opinions concerning general or contrived (hypothetical) facts would be a cause for confusion and misunderstanding, since an opinion concerning hypothetical of "iffy" questions would not necessarily be relevant to other cases.
APPROVED BY COMMISSION: MAY 18, 1982
CONCURRING: S. STANLEY KREUTZER, CHAIRMAN, HARVEY M. LIFSET, VICE CHAIRMAN, RICHARD A. BERNSTEIN, GAIL HELLENBRAND, AND ARTHUR A. LORENZO./S/