(TPM) Chunks of Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke’s jobs plan appear to have been plagiarized from the plans of a trio of Democratic candidates who ran in past cycles.
Buzzfeed reported on late Thursday that Burke’s “Invest for Success” economic plan is a near perfect copy of parts of the economic plans by 2009 Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Ward Cammack (D), the 2008 plan for Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D), and 2012 Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Gregg, who ran against now-Gov. Mike Pence (R).
Burke campaign spokesman Joe Zepecki told The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that Eric Schnurer, who the campaign said had written the plan, had been fired after the plagiarism accusations came to light.
"We terminated [Schnurer] immediately after this was brought to our attention by Buzzfeed," Zepecki told the Wisconsin newspaper over email. "No member of the Burke for Wisconsin campaign staff or the candidate had ever seen the jobs plans of the candidates named in the story."
Zepecki said also said that the lifted paragraphs were not plagiarism because Schnurer himself wrote them for the other candidates.
Doesn’t seem to be a huge deal. Basically just a lazy staffer. But you can expect this to make an appearance in an attack ad. I’d agree that “plagiarism” is too strong a word, since it’s absurd to say you’ve plagiarized yourself, but the media seems unwilling to make that distinction. I doubt Walker or the Kochs will show more restraint.
The bigger news should be (but isn’t at the moment) the fact that Scott Walker’s jobs plan has been a complete disaster. The latest jobs report out yesterday puts Wisconsin at 33rd in the nation for job growth. The national average is 2%, while Wisconsin’s limping along at 1.3%.
“Based on the ‘gold standard’ numbers released today, Wisconsin continues to lag behind on job creation under Governor Walker,” Burke’s campaign said in a statement yesterday.
Between Walker’s plan and a plan constructed from common Democratic principles, I know which one I’d pick.