Is it just a campaign stunt? Should other candidates sign pledges? If there was such a pledge for other campaigns what should it include?
Democrats, will you vote for a candidate that won't sign the pledge?
Click on the continue reading link below to read the pledge.
Fair Campaign Pledge for Democratic Candidates
Participating in the June 6, 2006, 24th Congressional District Primary
Democracies thrive when elections galvanize citizens and residents behind candidates articulating policy ideas and approaches that are both principled and pragmatic. Democracies suffer when personal attacks, opportunistic posturing, and the politics of division eclipse policy discussions.
To seek elected office is to seek volunteer support, individual donations, and action in the ballot box.
Americans are at present as concerned with transparency, accountability, and ending the culture of corruption, as with issues of health, learning, mobilization, work, environment, security and peace.
Consequently, to currently seek elected office ought signify more than rhetoric concerning openness, responsibility, as well as the words and actions of both those campaigning and elected to serve.
The citizens and residents of the 24th Congressional District have received no assurance from their elected representative that he will address the moral and ethical failings of those holding power in Washington DC. Instead, he has committed thousands of dollars to the defense of at least one of those asked to resign.
The Democrats in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties seeking to unseat this twenty-year incumbent must stand in sharp contrast to figures guided by lobbyist dollars and backroom deals, as well as those who believe that mudslinging and subversive strategies are acceptable and justifiable if they yield victory.
Thus, for the sake of the people, all Democratic campaigns must henceforth leave resentments and mistakes behind and commit material resources to the detailed articulation and realization of common goals. Now is the time to do what must be done to achieve victory in November.
A significant component of the American promise is the equal opportunity to seek public office regardless of socioeconomic class and racial/ethnic, cultural, religious, gender or sexual identity—everyone has the right to run and no one other than the candidate herself/himself decides whether to continue or step down.
Democrats, independents, and Republicans dissatisfied with the voting record and contemporary priorities of the 20-year incumbent currently representing the 24th Congressional District, (indeed, all Americans asked to vote anywhere) deserve to bear witness to a Primary campaign in which all candidates speak to the issues of the day by articulating policy ideas and approaches that are both principled and pragmatic.
If the Democrat garnering the most votes on June 6, 2006, emerges victorious only because she/he is the least affected by personal attacks, opportunistic posturing, and the politics of division, it is no victory at all—a candidate should win because of the strength of her/his vision for tomorrow and subsequent plan directing the District, the nation, and the globe toward the future, not because she/he is the least bloody.
The 24th Congressional District is gerrymandered in such a way that it will prove highly difficult for any candidate securing the Democratic nomination to emerge victorious in November without a commitment by all candidates to pool resources in the Primary, in order to engage in a competitive general election marked by clean money and wide-scale voter education, voter registration, and voter contact efforts.
Fair Campaign Pledge
We, the undersigned, intend to conduct ourselves, in a fair and honorable manner befitting those seeking to represent the citizens and residents of the 24th Congressional District. We recognize that we all have the common goal of defeating the 20-year incumbent who has voted 95% of the time with the elite and extreme wing of his party’s leadership, at the expense of the constituents he is sworn to represent.
We understand that to ultimately win this seat in the general election we must focus on debating the issues and policies that set the Democratic Party apart and to avoid personally attacking one another.
We understand, more than ever that Democrats need to work together because the District, the nation, and the world need policy ideas that are better or different from the ones presently employed. In order to put a Democrat from the 24th in the House of Representatives, we need to capture the imagination of active and inactive voters. In order to accomplish this objective we must abandon any petty or irresponsible strategy that calls for any of us to define ourselves at the expense of our fellow Democrats in this race.
And we understand that history has shown that going negative results in candidates covered in mud and thus ill prepared to take on the incumbent in a meaningful, comprehensive, and competitive manner.
Accepting these premises and the above-written contentions, we commit to the following pledge:
I pledge to conduct my Primary campaign in the 24th Congressional District in an open and fair fashion—I will discuss policy issues and participate in reasonable debate with respect to my views and qualifications.
I will not engage in, nor permit any defamatory attacks upon the character or identity of my opponents—I shall not appeal to, and I shall condemn appeals to rumors of unconfirmed allegations, as well as divisive commentary related to socioeconomic class and racial/ethnic, cultural, religious, gender or sexual identity.
I will not permit the posting of any statement, the creation of any campaign material, or the release of any advertisement that distorts, exaggerates, falsifies or otherwise misrepresents factual information related to my professional record and policy positions or the record and positions of any other candidate.
And I will henceforth immediately and unwaveringly repudiate the actions and/or words of any individual or group (stranger, staff, volunteer, donor, family or friend) acting in violation of the spirit of this Pledge.
Fair Campaign Action Plan
The following first steps are suggested in order to ensure even application and enforcement of the Pledge:
A neutral committee of five persons from the Ventura and Santa Barbara County Democratic Central Committees will serve to facilitator and monitor the above provisions and stipulations—three members will be from Ventura and two members from Santa Barbara, thus acknowledging the District’s population distribution, and avoiding potential stalemate votes. This committee sets forth compliance guidelines.
Successful fair campaigns have been orchestrated in the United States and abroad. As such, we strongly suggest the adoption of the following three already-tested approaches for an election of this magnitude:
1. The committee requires all candidates to address policy issues and not personal issues in its mailings. Therefore, it requests they turnover all mailing lists and email lists presently used for the purposes of newsletter-style updates, and dedicate these to a guided discussion of policy ideas and approaches:
A. Each candidate agrees to no longer send out an individual newsletter-style update.
B. The committee sends one combined newsletter-style update periodically for all candidates that makes it possible to simultaneously compare and contrast stated positions and approaches issue by issue.
2. The committee requires all candidates to commit resources to a District-wide voter registration drive. Therefore it requires they provide the volunteer lists and resources to set-up and operate voter registration tables, and proactively pursue new votes throughout the 24th—including those of new property-owners, new renters, 18-year-olds, college and university persons, new citizens, and non-English-speaking voters.
4. The committee requests that all candidates adhere to a cap in total Primary spending, and restrictions limiting the manner in which this money may be spent. Therefore protecting all candidates from entering into debt, allowing the victorious candidate to stand on more equal footing with the 20-year incumbent throughout the general election cycle, and preserving the integrity of all the Democrats presently seeking office by eliminating cash-flows dedicated to negative campaigns perpetrated by internet, radio, mail, etc.
In signing this, I assume responsibility for my campaign and all its elements, agree to uphold the conditions contained within this Pledge, and to abide by the conditions outlined in the Action Plan.
J. Martinez [Signature 2/22/06]_____________________________________________________
Jill Martinez, Candidate Date
U. Montes-Irueste [Signature 2/22/06]_____________________________________________________
Unai Montes, Campaign Manager for Jill Martinez Date
Mary Pallant, Candidate Date
Christopher Robson, Acting Campaign Manager for Mary Pallant Date
Michael Strickland, Candidate Date
, Campaign Manager for Michael Strickland Date
Brett Wagner, Candidate Date
Michael Carpenter, Campaign Manager for Brett Wagner Date