Too often though, candidates, managers, and other political operatives feel the pinch of creating new political content and look to other sources for “talking points” and “inspiration” for what they write. Under the often overwhelming demand for articles, op-eds, newsletter columns, new website copy and emails–it’s often too tempting to go to the web for inspiration, and can sometimes border (or include outright) plagiarism.
And sometimes that plagiarism can end up being tracked to an unsavory source, even if the material was relatively innocuous (as politics goes).
In the upcoming Arizona State Senate Recall race against Russell Pearce (SB 1070 fame), Pearce’s campaign has come under fire, not so much for what has been borrowed or that it has been borrowed at all, but from where it was borrowed from.
According to an article by Jeff Biggers in Salon.com:
…a new examination of Pearce’s website and public statements reveals that the self-proclaimed architect of Arizona’s “papers please” immigration law has regularly borrowed significant portions of text from the writings of hard-line white nationalists, fringe anti-immigrant activists, and others whose views far fall outside the mainstream and presented them as his own.”
Biggers goes on to show that Pearce’s website often take wholesale from other websites and emails, including “Fred Elbel, an anti-immigrant extremist who has been linked to various white supremacist organizations.”
Biggers goes on to present enough evidence to show that Pearce’s campaign had seemingly plagiarized from other, non-racist sources, which is a big deal in itself.
Talking points on major issues get traded around a lot, but the key is to make sure that any talking points are put into your or your candidate’s own words, and not the words of people on record saying a myriad of racial slurs. The examples in the article crossed the line, especially ones taken from other published articles and authors.
And especially when you copy something from an alleged racist.
What do you think?
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