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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Leading an Ethical Campaign Movement in an Election Year

Government Building

Sometimes ethical issues are front and center, like when political candidates and their campaigns cross the line. Director of Government Ethics Hana Callaghan has posed the question: How can we bring civility back to politics in an era where “ugly campaigns” and political mudslinging dominate the headlines? With the 2020 presidential election just around the corner, and an election behind us in 2016 that many called the nastiest ever, the publication of Campaign Ethics: A Field Guide couldn’t have come at a more pivotal moment in American politics. 

It was written for political candidates, campaign organizers, and anyone interested in ethical guardrails in politics. The guide not only provides practical advice on ethical campaign strategies, but positions its author, Callaghan, and the Ethics Center, as leading experts in a vital and dynamic “ethical campaign movement,” and as sought-after sources for media commentary on the topic. A robust ongoing marketing campaign for the guide includes widespread distribution to every 2020 presidential candidate, premium online visibility through social media campaigns, e-newsletters, direct mail and advertising, targeted press outreach, a video trailer, and more.

“Voter turnout and public trust in government are at historic lows. At the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, we believe that one of the reasons for this civic disengagement is that our political process turns a blind eye toward unethical campaign practices. Campaign Ethics: A Field Guide is designed to give candidates practical tools to deal with the ethical dilemmas they will inevitably face on the campaign trail.”

 Hana Callaghan — Hana Callaghan, Director of Government Ethics