Opinion: 01-17

March 8, 2001

Digest:  During the Window Period, a judge who is an announced candidate for elective judicial office may purchase tickets for and attend fund-raisers for other elected officials, subject to the provisions of the Election Law and the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct.

Rule:  Election Law §17-162; 22 NYCRR 100.0(Q);
           100.5(A)(1)(h); 100.5(A)(2)(v);
           Opinion 98-107 (Vol. XVII).


            A judge who is an announced candidate for elective judicial office inquires as to the propriety of purchasing tickets for and attending fund-raisers for various other elected officials.

            During the Window Period, as defined in section 100.0(Q) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct, a judge who is a candidate for public election to judicial office may attend politically sponsored dinners and other functions. As provided for in section 100.5(A)(2)(v) of the Rules two tickets may be purchased for each such event.

            Thus, it is ethically permissible for a candidate for judicial office to purchase tickets to attend various political functions during the Window Period. Opinion 98-107 (Vol. XVII). In that same opinion, however, the Committee cautioned that care must be taken to ensure that the price of the ticket is not, in fact, a political donation to a political party or to a candidate for office. Such donations are prohibited by Election Law §17-162 and section 100.5(A)(1)(h) of the Rules.