REQUESTED BY: Kerry L. Kester, Treasurer, DeCamp for Public Office Committee
QUESTION : Reference is made to your letter dated March 30, 1978 requesting an advisory opinion as to whether Candidate A, in order to gain exposure and further his campaign, is permitted to use his own candidate committee funds for the purpose of buying tickets to a fundraiser and dinners which are sponsored by the candidate committee for Candidate B.
Be advised that section 49-1479(2) prohibits a candidate committee from making a contribution to, or an independent expenditure in behalf of, another candidate committee.
The definition of contribution includes the purchase of tickets or the payment of an attendance fee for events such as dinners, luncheons, rallies, testimonials, and similar fund raising events. Sections 49-1415(2).
Under these circumstances, committee funds may not be used to buy such tickets. Section 49-1415(2) further provides that an individual's own money or property used on behalf of that individual's candidacy is also a contribution. It is submitted, however, that if Candidate A purchased such tickets out of his own personal funds, the same would not be a contribution to or an expenditure by his own committee. Being present at Candidate B's fund raiser may help Candidate A gain exposure and further his campaign but is really a by-product of the contribution by Candidate A and not a direct contribution on behalf of Candidate A's candidacy since the direct financial benefit of the contribution is on behalf of the candidacy of Candidate B.