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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

New How-to Guide for Voters Helps Evaluate Ethics of Candidates Running for Political Office

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, March 2, 2020 / -- Although public service is a noble calling, the act itself is not always so noble. In response, the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University today announced a new resource, Voting for Ethics, a non-partisan, how-to guide designed to help the U.S. voting public identify the hallmarks of an ethical candidate and cast a more informed vote—whether for their local school board or the president of the United States of America.

“Our process for electing public officials is born out of the ethical ideal of creating an informed electorate,” said Don Heider, executive director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. “This resource can lead that effort.”

The how-to guide, available for free download at:, covers issues including examples of the classic dirty tricks most often seen in politics, hallmarks of ethical campaign promises, and tips to identify unethical fundraising practices.

“’Voting for Ethics’ will become the standard for ethical political practice for years to come,” said Tom Campbell, former five-term congressman from Silicon Valley. “Candidates will be asked to subscribe to the principles announced in the book, because they are clear, practical, and powerful guides to stay on the right side of ethical behavior.”

About the Author
Hana Callaghan was the director of the Center’s Government Ethics Program. She passed away in January of 2020 just after completing “Voting for Ethics.” She had a background in law, government, and politics. She worked in private practice as a corporate litigator, for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives as a senior congressional aide, and as a political consultant managing statewide political campaigns.

About the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Founded in 1986 with a seed grant and initial endowment from Linda and A.C. “Mike” Markkula Jr., the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University brings the traditions of ethical thinking to bear on real world problems. Beyond a full range of programs for the SCU community, the Center also serves professionals in fields from business to health care, from government to the social sector, providing innovative approaches to problems from fake news to privacy protection. Through its website and international collaborations, the Center brings ethical decision-making resources to a global audience. For more information:

Mar 2, 2020