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1989-5: Accepting Checks From An Individual That Represent Contributions From Others

January 25, 1989

An opinion has been requested whether a candidate participating in the public financing program may accept checks drawn on the account of one individual which represent maximum contributions from that individual, his or her spouse, and his or her unemancipated children.

New York City Administrative Code §3-703(1) (f) provides that candidates shall not "accept any contribution or contributions from any one individual...which in the aggregate" exceeds the maximum contribution permissible under the New York City Campaign Finance Act. New York Election Law §14-120 provides:

No person shall in any name except his own, directly or indirectly, make a payment or a promise of payment to a candidate...nor shall any such...candidate knowingly receive a payment...in any name other than that of the person...by whom it is made.

It is the opinion of the Board that a participating candidate may demonstrate compliance with the contribution limitation of Section 3-703(1) (f) by accepting a contribution in the form of a check drawn by the actual contributor on an account in the name of the actual contributor. The issue whether a candidate who accepts checks from one individual on behalf of another, or the individual who draws these checks, would be in violation of Election Law §14-120 is an issue beyond the scope of this advisory opinion.