TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION
ETHICS ADVISORY OPINION NO. 151
June 24, 1993
Permissible use of political contributions accepted before September 1, 1983. (AOR-169)
An individual who served in the Texas House of Representatives from January 1977 through January 1981 has asked the Texas Ethics Commission about the permissible use of unexpended political contributions that he retained when he left office in 1981.1 Specifically, he asks whether he may use those funds to reimburse himself for political contributions to various candidates that he made out of personal funds.
Under current law, a person may not convert a campaign contribution to personal use. Elec. Code § 253.035(a). That prohibition, however, applies only to political contributions accepted on or after September 1, 1983. Id. § 253.035(e). Because the contributions in question were accepted before that date, they are not subject to the restriction on personal use. Therefore, they may be used for any purpose.2
Political contributions accepted before September 1, 1983, are not subject to the prohibition on personal use of political contributions.
1 Current law limits the time during which a former candidate or officeholder may retain political contributions. Elec. Code § 254.203. That provision was adopted in 1983 and does not apply to the contributions in question here. Acts 1983, 68th Leg., ch. 444, at 2601.
2 In any case, a contribution to a candidate or political committee is not a personal use. See Elec. Code § 254.204; Ethics Advisory Opinion No. 47 (1992).