EFFECTIVE DATE OF FUNDRAISING LIMITATIONS

Opinion No. 181 (1995)


QUESTION: May a judge elected in 1994 and who does not plan to seek judicial office in 1996 have a fundraising event in November 1995?

ANSWER: No. In Opinion 176, the Committee concluded that section 4(ii) of new Canon 5, the 120 day post-election fundraising deadline, did not apply to judges and candidates in the 1994 elections because it did not take effect until January 1, 1995. To have applied the new Canon to 1994 candidates would have required that the deadline period begin to run on November 9, 1994, which was before the new Canon took effect. There is no such problem, however, in applying section 4(i), the 210 day pre-election fundraising deadline, to candidates in the 1994 election, as well as to all other judges and candidates.

Section 4(i) provides a date when persons expecting to be candidates in the 1996 election may begin to raise funds. It allows fundraising after that date only by persons who, in good faith, expect to be candidates for judicial office in the 1996 election, and allows only such persons to begin raising funds 210 days before the filing deadline for the office to be sought in the 1996 election.

Because the judge who posed this question does not plan to seek office in 1996, she may not have a fundraising event on November 11, 1995. We further conclude, however, that the judge in question, like all candidates in the 1994 general election, may raise funds until the 210th day before the filing deadline for the 1996 elections. See Opinion 176.