Pinellas County Commission Crafting "Nice Campaign" Ordinance
Pinellas County Commissioner Karen Seel is leading a quixotic quest by crafting a "nice campaign" ordinance to reduce the venom and the negative and misleading attack we saw in some of last November's elections.
The ordinance would be voluntary and unenforceable except by public opinion and would take the form of a pledge that candidates would take.
Some of the proposed parts of the pledge include:
Reject campaign material that distorts or misrepresents facts.The ordinance is modeled on one passed in Broward County in 2000. It was sponsored by then County Commissioner Lori Parrish (now county appraiser).
Avoid unfounded accusations and innuendo about an opponent's
Not make an opponent's race, gender, religion, disability
or sexual orientation a campaign issue.
Publicly repudiate the support
of any group or individual who resorts to such tactics
"To be honest with you, it's a toothless tiger," Parrish said. "I don't think it accomplishes a whole lot."
Seel responded, "I don't have unrealistic expectations. I just hope that this will raise the bar and make people think about the kinds of campaigns they are running."