AAPC’s Code of Ethics demonstrates a commitment to ethical business practices. All AAPC members are required to sign the Code of Ethics annually, and to live and work by the standards it sets. AAPC takes adherence to its Code seriously. If you have reason to believe an AAPC member has violated any provision of this code, you may initiate a formal Complaint per the procedure detailed below.
The Ethics Committee of the AAPC Board of Directors is responsible for reviewing violations of AAPC’s Professional Code of Ethics. The AAPC imposes duties above, and in addition to, those imposed by law or regulation which apply only to political consulting professionals who choose to become AAPC Members.
Please keep in mind that:
- Only active AAPC members are subject to the Code of Ethics of the American Association of Political Consultants. However, the Ethics Committee may review complaints made by AAPC members, non-members or based on publicly available information.
- The AAPC will determine whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether any laws or regulations have been broken. Those decisions can only be made by the appropriate authorities or the courts.
- The AAPC may discipline Members for violating the Code of Ethics. Typical forms of discipline include reprimand, censure, revocation of awards or leadership positions and membership can be suspended or terminated for serious or repeated violations. The AAPC has no means to pay money to parties filing ethics complaints nor can-it award “punitive damages” for violations of the Code of Ethics.
- The primary emphasis of discipline for ethical lapses is educational, to create a heightened awareness of and appreciation for the duties the Code imposes. At the same time, more severe forms of discipline, including suspension and termination of membership may be imposed for serious or repeated violations.
Filing an Ethics Complaint
To file an Ethics Complaint, complete this form.
Here are some general principles to keep in mind:
- Ethics complaints must be filed with the AAPC within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time a complainant knew (or reasonably should have known) that potentially unethical conduct took place
- Your complaint must include a narrative description of the circumstances that lead you to believe the Code of Ethics may have been violated.
- The AAPC’s Code of Ethics consists of nine (9) Provisions. Your complaint must cite one or more of the Provisions of the Code of Ethics which may have been violated. The Ethics Committee decides whether the Provisions expressly cited in complaints were violated.
- The AAPC will not respond to inquiries about what action is or is not being taken in the confidential Ethics Committee process and will make any statements or actions public at its sole discretion.
- The Ethics Committee as a general presumption will not ask for more information to help make a complaint valid. The submission should be sufficiently clear for the Ethics Committee to begin evaluating and if there is insufficient information the Ethics Committee can act as it deems fit, including communicating with the subject of the complaint. AAPC is not an investigative body.