It’s not plagiarism; it’s inspiration!

As noted by the Recess Supervisor, the campaign of Chad Lee, a Republican running against Democratic incumbent Tammy Baldwin in the second Congressional district, has been caught plagiarizing passages from the websites of Rep. Paul Ryan and Republican House candidate Sean Duffy (emphasis mine):

Republican Chad Lee is running against Rep. Tammy Baldwin. His website included passages that matched word-for-word statements on Ryan’s and District 7 candidate Sean Duffy’s websites, WISC-TV reported.

“It was a clerical error. The editorial process didn’t work as it was supposed to, and we’re instituting a process that will work,” said David Summers, political director for Lee’s campaign.

Summers said staffers lifted text from two other Wisconsin Republican congressional campaign websites verbatim.

Lee’s website apparently took text from the immigration issues page of Ryan’s campaign website, where Ryan “introduced an enforceable employee verification system that combats identity fraud,” WISC-TV reported.

Lee’s website said he introduced it as well, only he wasn’t in office. The copied text stretches on for paragraphs, WISC-TV reported.

“We had some staffers on our Web team that obviously were inspired by some of the other Republican campaigns, pulled text and we didn’t catch it in editing, and we are working to correct the mistake,” Summers said.

When asked whether Summers would call what happened plagiarism, he replied, “I would call it inspired.”

On the issues of the economy, taxes, seniors, education and the environment Lee’s site also uses language identical to statements on the websites of Ryan and Duffy.

While David Summers may call what happened a “clerical error,” or “inspired,” those of us who live in the real world call it plagiarism.

The fact is, if Chad Lee’s too lazy to come up with his own original ideas when it comes to the issues he’s addressing, then he doesn’t deserve to serve in the United States House of Representatives.


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