THURSTON COUNTY DEMOCRATS’ FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICE PRINCIPLES
• The purpose for having a Code of Fair Campaign Practice is to encourage substantive issues—oriented electoral campaigns in Thurston County that will educate the voter and help to improve the quality of dialogue about public policy.
• Electoral campaigns in Thurston County and throughout the state and nation are subjected to unacceptable levels of negativism, attack advertising, and other practices, which demean representative democracy.
• Negative campaigns are directly related to the cynicism, alienation, and decreasing participation rates among American voters. We all have a stake in positive electoral processes, the centerpiece of a civil society.
• Each candidate is responsible for fair and ethical practices by or on behalf of his/her campaign. • Five core values are fundamental to our society and are widely shared throughout Thurston County: honesty, respect, responsibility, fairness, and compassion.
Honesty and Fairness
Candidates shall emphasize their views, beliefs, and experiences. Candidates are committed to an open and public discussion of issues and to presenting their record and their opponents’ records truthfully and with sincerity and frankness. Candidates shall not use or knowingly agree to let campaign surrogates use subtle deceptions, half truths, falsifications, or such practices as push polling. Factual claims made by their campaign will be supported by publicly available documents provided by their campaign.
Candidates shall avoid demeaning references to their opponent and demeaning visual images of their opponent. Candidates shall respect their opponent. Candidates shall not use or knowingly allow to be used personal attacks, innuendo, or stereotyping.
Candidates shall ensure that their campaign surrogates will observe these principles of TCD Fair Campaign Practice Principles 2 fair campaign practices. Candidates shall take full responsibility and be fully accountable for all advertising created or used on their behalf by staff and surrogates. Candidates shall conduct their campaign openly and publicly, discussing the issues as they see them, presenting their record and policies with sincerity and frankness, and criticizing without fear and without malice the record and policies of their opponents and his or her political party that merit such criticism. Candidates will not condone third—party advertising that does not meet the principles contained in this document. If such practices are used by third parties without their approval, the candidate shall repudiate them immediately and publicly upon their knowledge of the occurrence.
In the conduct of their candidacy, they shall show compassion at all times for their opponent. Candidates shall remember that the campaign process is fundamental to representative democracy and that their behavior in the campaign affects the integrity of our society.
There are basic principles of honesty, fairness, respect, responsibility and compassion which every candidate for public office in Thurston County, Washington State, and our nation has a moral obligation to observe and uphold in order that, after vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, Thurston County citizens may exercise their constitutional right to a free and unrestrained (unrestricted) choice and the will of the voters may be fully and clearly expressed on issues.
I shall conduct my campaign openly and publicly, discussing the issues as I see them, presenting my record and policies with sincerity and frankness, and criticizing without fear or malice of favor the record and policies of my opponents or political parties that merit this criticism. I shall not use or knowingly permit the use of character defamation, whispering campaign, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any candidate or his/her personal or family life.
I shall not use or knowingly permit any appeal to negative prejudice based on a candidate’s actual or perceived race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, sex including gender identity, or association with another person who has any of the actual or perceived characteristics.
I shall not use or knowingly permit any dishonest or unethical practice that tends to corrupt or undermine our American system of free elections, or that hampers or prevents the full and free expression of the will of the voters including acts intended to hinder or prevent any eligible person from registering to vote, enrolling to vote, or voting.
I shall not coerce election help or campaign contributions for myself or for any other candidate from my employees. I shall immediately and publicly repudiate support deriving from any individual or group that resorts, on behalf of my candidacy or in opposition to that of my opponent, to the methods and tactics that I condemn. I shall accept responsibility to take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this code or the laws governing elections. TCD Fair Campaign Practice Principles 4
I shall defend and uphold the right of every qualified American voter to full and equal participation in the electoral process. I, the undersigned candidate for election public office in Washington State, including Thurston County, hereby voluntarily endorse, subscribe to, and solemnly pledge myself to conduct my campaign in accordance with the Thurston County Democrats’ Fair Campaign Practices Principles and the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.
_________________ Date of Election