Kentucky’s Judicial Conduct Commission has charged Circuit Judge Daniel Ballou with two ethics counts for a political donation and for e-mailing campaign material.
The state’s judicial canons state that a judge shall “shall refrain from inappropriate political activity,” according to a Lexington Herald-Leader article about the misconduct charges. This activity includes giving money to a political candidate and endorsing publicly or opposing a candidate.
Judge Ballou was charged with contributing $562 to Republican Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008 and sending an e-mail in 2010 about Rand Paul’s position on the 2nd Amendment. Paul later won election to the U.S. Senate.
Last month, the judge denied the allegations in papers filed with the commission. He has a right under the First Amendment to give his opinion, the judge said. He said the contribution to McCain occurred when he was deployed with the military in Iraq, and he did not intend the e-mail about Paul as an endorsement.