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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Online Courses

Vote for Ethics: A How-to Guide for Voters

This course ran from September 10 - November 6, 2018. Enrollment is now closed. Please check back at a future date.


Voters want to vote for the candidate that takes the high road - the one who tells the truth, is forthright about where he or she stands on issues, is independent, and doesn’t engage in dirty, attack-style politics. But how do we encourage candidates to campaign ethically? By letting our votes speak for us. We need to send a message that the ethical campaigner is the one who will get our vote. In order to do that, however, we first have to be able to identify ethical candidates.

The purpose of this short course is to give you the tools to do that. There are 6 short modules in this course. Each module will contain a brief lecture including interviews with political and ethics experts. There are short interactive case studies that allow you to weigh in on whether a candidate’s actions are ethical, possibly ethical, or unethical.


At the end of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Determine if a candidate’s campaign is positive, ethical, and diplomatic in the face of negativity.
  • Identify what comprises ethical political communications.
  • Identify the characteristics of an ethical campaign promise.
  • Understand the ethics issues involved in raising and spending campaign funds.
  • Understand the structure and culture of a candidate’s organization.

Course Instructor

Hana Callaghan


Director of the Government Ethics Program at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Hana Callaghan has a background in law, government and politics. She has worked as an attorney in private practice, for a member of the US House of Representatives as a senior congressional aide, and as a political consultant managing statewide political campaigns. In addition, she has served as the associate executive director of the Santa Clara County Bar Association where she had oversight of continuing legal education programs. Callaghan has a bachelor's degree from University of California, Berkeley, a law degree from Seattle University, and an LLM in tax law and policy from Golden Gate University. She is a member of the State Bar Associations of California and Washington.