TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION
CHAPTER 258, ELECTION CODE
Fair Campaign Practices
Effective September 1, 1997
Sec. 258.003 Delivery of Copy of Code
Sec. 258.006 Acceptance and Preservation of Copies
Sec. 258.007 Subscription to Code Voluntary
Sec. 258.008 Indication on Political Advertising
Sec. 258.009 Civil Cause of Action
TITLE 15. REGULATING POLITICAL FUNDS AND CAMPAIGNS
CHAPTER 258. FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES
This chapter may be cited as the Fair Campaign Practices Act.
(a) The purpose of this chapter is to encourage every candidate and political committee to subscribe to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices.
(b) It is the intent of the legislature that every candidate and political committee that subscribes to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices will follow the basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play to encourage healthy competition and open discussion of issues and candidate qualifications and to discourage practices that cloud the issues or unfairly attack opponents.
Sec. 258.003. Delivery of Copy of Code
(a) When a candidate or political committee files its campaign treasurer appointment, the authority with whom the appointment is filed shall give the candidate or political committee a blank form of the Code of Fair Campaign Practices and a copy of this chapter.
(b) The authority shall inform each candidate or political committee that the candidate or committee may subscribe to and file the code with the authority and that subscription to the code is voluntary.
The Code of Fair Campaign Practices reads as follows:
CODE OF FAIR CAMPAIGN PRACTICES
There are basic principles of decency, honesty, and fair play that every candidate and political committee in this state has a moral obligation to observe and uphold, in order that, after vigorously contested but fairly conducted campaigns, our citizens may exercise their constitutional rights to a free and untrammeled choice and the will of the people may be fully and clearly expressed on the issues.
(1) I will conduct the campaign openly and publicly and limit attacks on my opponent to legitimate challenges to my opponent's record and stated positions on issues.
(2) I will not use or permit the use of character defamation, whispering campaigns, libel, slander, or scurrilous attacks on any candidate or the candidate's personal or family life.
(3) I will not use or permit any appeal to negative prejudice based on race, sex, religion, or national origin.
(4) I will not use campaign material of any sort that misrepresents, distorts, or otherwise falsifies the facts, nor will I use malicious or unfounded accusations that aim at creating or exploiting doubts, without justification, as to the personal integrity or patriotism of my opponent.
(5) I will not undertake or condone any dishonest or unethical practice that tends to corrupt or undermine our system of free elections or that hampers or prevents the full and free expression of the will of the voters, including any activity aimed at intimidating voters or discouraging them from voting.
(6) I will defend and uphold the right of every qualified voter to full and equal participation in the electoral process, and will not engage in any activity aimed at intimidating voters or discouraging them from voting.
(7) I will immediately and publicly repudiate methods and tactics that may come from others that I have pledged not to use or condone. I shall take firm action against any subordinate who violates any provision of this code or the laws governing elections.
I, the undersigned, candidate for election to public office in the State of Texas or campaign treasurer of a political committee, hereby voluntarily endorse, subscribe to, and solemnly pledge myself to conduct the campaign in accordance with the above principles and practices.
[This document is a copy of chapter 258, Election Code. To subscribe to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices, a candidate or campaign treasurer of a political committee must submit Texas Ethics Commission form CFCP, not a signed copy of this document.]
The commission shall print copies of the Code of Fair Campaign Practices and shall supply the forms to the authorities with whom copies of the code may be filed in quantities and at times requested by the authorities.
Sec. 258.006. Acceptance and Preservation of Copies
(a) An authority with whom a campaign treasurer appointment is filed shall accept each completed copy of the code submitted to the authority that is properly subscribed to by a candidate or the campaign treasurer of a political committee.
(b) Each copy of the code accepted under this section shall be preserved by the authority with whom it is filed for the period prescribed for the filer's campaign treasurer appointment.
Sec. 258.007. Subscription to Code Voluntary
The subscription to the Code of Fair Campaign Practices by a candidate or a political committee is voluntary.
Sec. 258.008. Indication on Political Advertising
A candidate or a political committee that has filed a copy of the Code of Fair Campaign Practices may so indicate on political advertising in a form to be determined by the commission.
Sec. 258.009. Civil Cause of Action
This chapter does not create a civil cause of action for recovery of damages or for enforcement of this chapter.