Citizens for A New Louisiana and its Executive Director Michael Lunsford are reportedly under investigation by the State Board of Ethics. The Current and The Acadiana Advocate are reporting that documents have been subpoenaed regarding the identities of donors to the organization which is registered as a 501(c)(4).

According to the Acadiana Advocate:

A document certifying the Ethics vote says the group failed to accurately "disclose the full name and address of persons from whom it received contributions on its special campaign finance Report in connection with the April 28, 2018 special election."

You may wonder why donors would have to be disclosed in the first place. It all comes down to the primary mission of any tax-exempt organization. In layman's terms, if the primary purpose becomes political (i.e. supporting or opposing specific candidates or issues), then the organization has to report its donors.

In July, Lunsford reportedly responded and requested an extension on the deadline to turn over the documents.

Citizens for a New Louisiana (formerly known as Lafayette Citizens Against Taxes) has come out against most tax measures in recent years. Branded as a voice for fiscal conservatism in Lafayette, Lunsford goes back and forth with both supporters and detractors on the organization's very active Facebook page. There is, so far, no mention of the reported ethics probe on that page.

We reached out to Lunsford for comment on this story. At the time of publishing, KPEL News has not received a response.



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