Opinion 92-20

January 30, 1992


Digest:         A judge, who is a judicial candidate, may purchase only a reasonable number of tickets to a politically sponsored dinner.


Rules:          22 NYCRR §§100.7(a)(2)(ii); and 100.2(a); Election Law §17-162.


         A judge, who is an announced judicial candidate, asks whether it is permissible under section 17-162 of the Election Law to purchase a block of tickets to a politically sponsored dinner. The number of tickets would substantially exceed the number reasonably necessary for the candidate and the candidate's family.

         Section 17-162 of the Election Law prohibits judicial candidates from making any contributions, either directly or indirectly. Section 100.1(a)(2)(ii) of the Rules of the Chief Administrator provides that judicial candidates “may purchase a ticket to a politically sponsored dinner or other affair even where the regular cost of a ticket to such dinner or affair exceeds the proportionate cost of the dinner or affair.” Section 100.7(a) of the Rules prohibits judges from contributing to any political party or campaign except his or her own campaign for judicial office.

         Pursuant to these rules, a judge, who is a candidate for judicial office, cannot purchase more than the number of tickets reasonably necessary for the candidate, or his or her family or a small number of friends. The purchase of a large block of tickets would look too much like an impermissible political contribution, and would create an appearance of impropriety [22 NYCRR 100.2(a)].