January 30, 1992
Digest: A recently elected judge may attend political affairs for six months after the election and may pay for the tickets out of campaign funds, but may not donate surplus campaign funds to a bar association.
Rules: 22 NYCRR 100.7(a).
A recently elected judge, through the judge's campaign treasurer, inquires whether the judge's campaign committee may use political campaign funds to pay for tickets to political affairs held after the election. The judge also asks if excess campaign funds may be donated to the Bar Association.
Section 100.7(a)(2)(ii) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator permits judges to attend politically-sponsored dinners for up to six months after the election. Nothing in the rules prohibits the judge from using campaign funds to pay for these tickets, which may be deemed a campaign related expense.
As for donating excess unexpended campaign funds to a bar association, in Opinions 87-02, 87-16 (Vol. I), 88-59, 88-89 (Vol. 11), 89-152, 90-6 (Vol. V), 91-12, 91-79 (Vol. VII), and 91-87 (Vol. VIII), this Committee has addressed the use of unexpended campaign funds. The Committee believes that the rationale of these opinions answers this inquiry in the negative.