May 9, 1988
Topic: Unexpended campaign funds of a committee for the election of a candidate for judicial office.
Digest: Unexpended funds for a judicial candidate should not be donated to a political party or to a political party committee.
Rules: Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 5(B), 7(A)(2) , 7(B)(1)(b) and 7(B)(2); 22 NYCRR 100 .7(b)
The treasurer of a committee for the election of a candidate for judicial office has inquired whether it is proper for the Committee to donate unexpended campaign funds to a town committee of a political party which had supported the candidate.
In Opinion 87-02 (dated January 28, 1988, copy attached) this Committee considered a similar inquiry and concluded that section 17-162 of the Election Law and Rule 100.7 of the Rules of the Chief Administor of the Courts render it improper for a judge, a judicial candidate, or a committee formed to support the election of such judge or candidate to make any contribution to a political party, to any political party committee or to any political campaign, except to finance his or her own campaign for electron or re-election to judicial office.
Accordingly, the Committee is of the opinion that the unexpended campaign funds should not be donated to a political party or to a committee of a political party. The appropriate disposition of unexpended campaign funds is a pro-rata return to the donors.
This opinion is advisory only and is not binding upon the Commission on Judicial Conduct or the Office of Court Administration.