Previous Page  16 / 24 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 16 / 24 Next Page
Page Background

16

In Chambers

| Fall 2016

Do not accept more than the

applicable limit from a law firm

The contribution limits in section 253.155 of the

Election Code restrict how much a judicial candidate

may accept from a person in connection with an elec-

tion. A law firm is a person for purposes of the JCFA.

9

Therefore, a judicial candidate may not accept political

contributions from a law firm that exceed the appli-

cable contribution limit in section 253.155 of the Elec-

tion Code (listed above at #1). These limits apply to

total contributions, both monetary and non-monetary

(in-kind), in connection with an election.

EXAMPLE:

Brenda Brown is a judicial candidate for

a statewide judicial office. The law firm Smith &Associ-

ates would like to contribute to Brenda Brown’s cam-

paign. The maximum amount that Brenda may accept

from Smith & Associates in connection with a single

election is $5,000

.

In addition to the limitation on how much a judicial

candidate or officeholder may accept from a law firm,

there are additional restrictions that apply to political

contributions from persons associated with a law firm.

See #5 below for more information.

Do not accept more than the applicable

limit from family members of contributors

The JCFA treats a political contribution from a spouse

or unmarried minor child of an individual as a contribu-

tion from that individual.

10

Thus, section 253.155 of the

Election Code acts as a limit on how much a judicial

candidate may accept from certain related contribu-

tors. These limits apply to total contributions, both

monetary and non-monetary (in-kind), in connection

with an election.

EXAMPLE:

Stan and Sue Smith are married. Judge

Jones is a judicial candidate for a district court in a

judicial district with a population of 250,000 to one

million. Stan contributes $2,500 to Judge Jones for a

single election. Because Stan has already contributed

the maximum amount for this election, Judge Jones is

prohibited from accepting a political contribution of

any amount from Sue for the same election.

Do not accept more than the

applicable limit from persons

associated with a law firm

A judicial candidate may not accept a political contri-

bution of more than $50 from a member of a law firm’s

restricted contributor class

if the total of all political con-

tributions already accepted from members of the class

exceeds the following limits:

$30,000 for candidates for statewide judicial of-

fices;

$30,000 for judicial districts with a population

of more than one million;

$15,000 for judicial districts with a population

from 250,000 to one million; and

$6,000 for judicial districts with a population of

less than 250,000.

11

The

restricted contributor class

includes: (1) the law

firm itself; (2) any partner, associate, shareholder, or

employee of the law firm; (3) anyone designated “of

counsel” or “of the firm”; (4) any general-purpose po-

litical committee established or controlled by the law

firm or members of the firm; and (5) any spouse or mi-

nor child of a member of the restricted class.

12

These

limits apply to total contributions, both monetary and

non-monetary (in-kind), in connection with an election.

EXAMPLE:

Lisa Lawyer, an associate at the law firm

Smith & Associates, has not contributed to Judge An-

derson, a judicial candidate for a statewide judicial of-

fice. Judge Anderson has accepted $30,000 from the

members of Smith & Associates’s

restricted contributor

class

. Judge Anderson may not accept more than $50

from Lisa Lawyer in connection with the same election

despite the higher $5,000 limit in section 253.155 of

the Election Code (listed above at #1).

13

Do not accept more than the

applicable limit from

general-purpose committees (GPACs)

A judicial candidate may not accept political contri-

butions from GPACs that exceed certain limits in con-

nection with an election. The contribution limits are:

$300,000 for statewide judicial offices;

$75,000 for courts of appeals if the judicial dis-

trict has a population of more than one million;

$52,500 for courts of appeals if the judicial dis-

trict has a population of one million or less;

$52,500 for district or county courts if the judi-

cial district has a population of more than one

million;

$30,000 for district or county courts if the judi-

cial district has a population of 250,000 to one

million; and

$15,000 for district or county courts if the

judicial district has a population of less than

250,000.

14

(continued from previous page)