Mary Burke Talks Plagiarism Accusations


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Mary Burke has been spending a lot of time defending herself and parts of her campaign plans that were plagiarized.

She received a lot of harsh criticism when it was determined that parts of her state jobs plan, rural communities plan and veterans plan were all plagiarized from other candidates.

The plans were written by Eric Schnurer, a political consultant, and Burke claims that she was not aware that they had been plagiarized.

On Friday she announced that the campaign had cut ties with Schnurer and said that the plagiarized portions of the plans came from other plans that Schnurer had written for other candidates.

"The thing that was wrong was that Eric used some very similar language, some exact words that he had used in other plans that he had provided to other campaigns," Burke said. "And that's wrong, and that's why we cut ties with his firm."

According to UPI, parts of the plans were found to be similar and in some cases identical to plans used by Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Ward Cammack in 2009, a 2008 plan from Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe during his failed 2009 bid, and John Gregg in his failed run for governor of Indiana in 2012. Other parts were found to come from a White House press release and a Harvard report.

Burke said that most of the plagiarized portions of the plans were small and "extremely limited."

"I am going to draw on best practices and innovative ideas that are working in other parts of the country," she said. "But these plans are very in depth and what has been identified are very small passages, scattered throughout that, that have, uh, maybe been used in other plans that this consultant developed."

"This is something that is extremely limited and the main bulk of this work is work that I have been deeply involved with," she continued. "And there not ideas in those plans unless I thought that they were great ideas for Wisconsin on how we're going to move our economy forward."

Of course, Burke's opponent, Gov. Scott Walker, has already used the plan against her and on Monday he criticized her for her mistake.

"This is not just a campaign flier, some mailer out there that you can see inadvertently something like that happening," Walker said. "This was her plan, and now some of the other plans that are connected to that, appear to leave serious questions out there."

"I think if you're hyping the campaign about how the (jobs) plan is the centerpiece, how it's based, kind of rubbing our nose in it, in the fact she went to Harvard Business School, somehow implying that means her work is superior to anyone else's here in the state, and then you find out that portions of it were taken from elsewhere without attribution, I think those are very serious issues," he added.

Do you think the plagiarized plan will hurt Burke's campaign?