Ethics is the foundation for our democracy. As the country struggles to uphold ethical norms of government, it’s up to us – the voters – to insist on ethical leadership and hold those in power accountable. We need to convey our shared understanding of ethical behavior in order to achieve that accountability.
As Oregonians, we’re starting here at home, focused on candidates for U.S Congress and Oregon Secretary of State. We’re letting candidates know that if they want to represent us in the halls of Congress or in overseeing our state democracy, they can start by pledging to ethical leadership now, as they campaign for our votes.
Candidate pledges offer a powerful tool to voice voter priorities and expectations, and to get candidates’ commitments on record.
Candidates are expected to encourage the public to engage in the electoral process by upholding basic principles of honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect. This will promote the public’s trust and confidence in the offices those candidates seek.
THEREFORE, as a candidate for public office, I pledge to conform my campaign to the following principles:
- I will treat my opponents with courtesy and civility, even when we disagree about what is best for voters who are served by the office we seek. We all seek to serve the public and do the people’s work.
- I will present my positions and record candidly and forthrightly so that the voters can judge my candidacy for office.
- I will independently and authoritatively document all assertions my campaign makes in campaign communications.
- The timing of my communications will allow my opponents to have a two-hour opportunity to respond to any claims I make concerning their positions or qualifications to hold office.
- I will not take undue advantage of any position I hold in the public, private or nonprofit sectors to pressure people to support my candidacy with either campaign contributions or other election help— aside from basic name recognition resulting from incumbency or renown in some field.
- I will not put forth irrelevant information, intended to foment voter prejudice based on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin.
- I support full participation in the electoral process and will take no action to discourage such participation.
- I will promptly and publicly repudiate those who take actions that are inconsistent with this campaign conduct pledge and that seek to help my candidacy or hurt my opponents’ candidacy.