Fair Elections Campaign Pledges · Let It Begin with Me

If you don't like these pledges, create your own. If you're reluctant to take a pledge unless others also take it, think of it as an opportunity to be a catalyst for change, and to show voters how you'll handle difficult issues or situations.

Campaign Pledge for Candidates
  1. Rather than criticize or accuse, I will ask my opponents to explain specific evidence.
  2. If an opponent does or says something I don't accept, I will ask questions until my opponent clarifies the issue. If my opponent refuses to answer my questions, I will encourage the voters and the press ask all candidates the same questions.
  3. I will not respond defensively or counterattack if accused or criticized. I will ask myself the questions my accusers should be asking and provide the answers.
  4. Candidates are entitled to a private life. I won't question beliefs or actions that aren't relevant to official duties.
  5. I welcome conflicting information as an opportunity to expand my own understanding. I will ask questions until I'm satisfied that I've reached the best possible conclusion using all relevant information.
  6. I will assume that those who disagree with me know something I don't. I will ask questions and reconsider my own position in an attempt to resolve the dispute and bring all sides together.
  7. I will put the needs of those I represent ahead of my personal ambitions.
  8. I challenge voters and the press to monitor my compliance with this pledge, point out lapses, and give me an opportunity to correct any problems.
Campaign Pledge for Journalists
  1. I will place the burden of proof on the accuser. Rather than reporting an accusation, I will ask what specific evidence the accused should explain, and include the accused's response to the evidence.
  2. Candidates are entitled to a private life. I won't report on beliefs or actions that aren't relevant to official duties.
  3. I will report fairly, with equal quality for all sides. I will insist on reasoned, verifiable arguments and ask my sources appropriate questions. I will report claims lacking independent verification as unconfirmed.
  4. If I discover a lapse in a candidate's compliance with a pledge, I will give the candidate an opportunity to correct the problem before reporting the incident. I will report the solution as well as the problem.
  5. I challenge voters and candidates to monitor my compliance with this pledge, point out lapses, and give me an opportunity to correct any problems.
ptr