October 18, 2007
Digest: A judge’s personal appointee who is a candidate for non-judicial elective office may, as part of his/her own campaign for public office, purchase tickets to fundraisers and other political functions without regard to the spending limits of Rule 100.5(A)(2)(v) and Rule 100.5(C)(2).
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.5(A)(2)(v); 100.5(C)(1) - (4); 99-10 (Vol. XVII]).
A full-time judge asks if his/her court attorney, a personal appointee who is running for a non-judicial elective position, may purchase two $300 tickets to a political function.
A judge’s personal appointee is prohibited from engaging in certain political activity (see 22 NYCRR 100.5[C] - ), which includes limitations on contributions to political campaigns and other political events (see 22 NYCRR 100.5[C]). However, this rule expressly excepts from these limitations an appointee’s contributions to his or her own campaign (id.; see also Opinion 99-10[Vol. XVII]). Thus, the court attorney is not prohibited from spending more than $500 in the aggregate during any calendar year while running for elective office (see 22 NYCRR 100.5[C]). In addition, the discrete per ticket limitation of $250.00 is inapplicable as the inquiring judge’s personally appointed court attorney is a candidate for a non-judicial elective office (see 22 NYCRR 100.5[A][v]).
Accordingly, the inquirer’s court attorney may purchase tickets to political functions using his/her campaign funds as part of his/her own political campaign (see 22 NYCRR 100.5[C]).