Skip to main content
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Ethical Campaign Pledge

A sin of omission?

Hana Callaghan

You are committed to campaign ethics and you have created and signed a pledge to run an ethical campaign. You challenge your opponent to pledge to run his campaign ethically as well and you provide him with the same pledge you signed. Your opponent says he will run an ethical campaign, but it will be on his terms, not yours. He refuses to sign your pledge. You take the news of his refusal to sign the pledge to the press, but you leave out the part where your opponent said he will run an ethical campaign. Your opponent accuses you of negative campaigning—a violation of your pledge. You stand by your statement to the press.

Is this a fair representation of your opponent's views?


Hana Callaghan, director of Government Ethics for the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, wrote this case for her online course, How to Run an Ethical Political Campaign—and Win.

Jan 25, 2016
Government Ethics Stories