Campaign Civility Project

Who We Are

The Campaign Civility Project is a partnership between KGTV 10NEWs, The Independent Voter Network and the project Restoring Respect, an initiative co-sponsored by the San Diego Community College District, the University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Sciences and the Catfish Club of San Diego.

What We Seek to Do

The Campaign Civility Project seeks to create greater awareness amongst citizens and elected officials concerning the levels of civility and incivility in local political campaigns.

The Review Panel

The ad review panel consists of the founder of the Former State Assemblyman Jeff Marston, retired political reporter John Beatty and political science professor Carl Luna. Former State Senator Steve Peace participated in the Primary campaign review cycle.


Our panel has developed a rubric to measure levels of civility on an A-F scale. The rubric (below) was developed out of the key factors political consultant Tom Shepard reported he uses when deciding how and if to put out an ad. The three factors are:

  • Is it Truthful?
  • Is it Releveant?
  • Is it Fair?

View the full rubric.

We refer to this rubric as "Shepard's Rules," which he stated at the 2012 Restoring Respect: Restoring Civility to Civil Dialogue April 9th conference at USD for which he was a panelist. (You can watch a video of Mr. Shepard discussing the rules.

We assigned a point value for how well an ad meets each of the three criteria and then, based on the average total points awarded by the panelists, we assign an A-F letter grade.

The Campaign Civility Project: Fall General Election

For the Fall, 2012 campaigns the Campaign Civility Project focused on the San Diego Mayoral Race, the 52nd District Congressional Race and several state ballot propositions. View the complete scoring details.

Campaign 2012 "Civil and Shameful Awards" Announced

This year's Hat's Off Award for the most civil ad of 2012 goes to the Nathan Fletcher For Mayor Campaign for its The King Family Endorsement ad aired during the spring Primary.

This years Shame On You award goes to the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee in support of Brian Bilbray for its Scott Peters Is Obscenely Rich ad.

View the complete ads rank ordering.