Large portions of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke’s jobs plan for Wisconsin were copied from other gubernatorial candidates who ran in previous election cycles in other states, according to a report from BuzzFeed News.
According to the report, several paragraphs in Burke’s job plan contained the same or similar language to plans put forward by politicians in Delaware, Tennessee, and Indiana. The text was apparently added by a consultant to the Burke campaign, who had worked on the other campaigns where the text had appeared.
Republican Governor Scott Walker’s campaign manager, Stephan Thompson, was quick to issue a statement:
“It’s a sad day for Wisconsin when the Democratic nominee for governor misleads voters by offering a plagiarized jobs plan, in which she has staked her entire candidacy. Wisconsin deserves better, and its clear that Mary Burke cannot be trusted to lead our state.”
Wisconsin GOP Executive Director Joe Fadness released a statement following the news:
“Mary Burke needs a lesson in business ethics because even 8th graders know that you shouldn’t copy the work of others. This devastating revelation makes more apparent than ever that the Mary Burke behind plagiarized jobs plans, endless resume changes, and constant flip-flopping on the issues just doesn’t fit our Wisconsin values.”
Burke for Wisconsin Communications Director Joe Zepecki responded to the plagiarism claims in a statement:
“The core strategies Mary Burke outlines and the vision for Wisconsin’s economy that she lays out is entirely her own, and stand unquestioned by anyone. They are informed by Burke’s time at Harvard Business School, through starting her own small business, serving as a top executive at Trek and leading the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
Among the experts Burke spoke with was an individual who also works with other campaigns, including the Markel, Cammack and Gregg campaigns for Governor, which explains why in a few, isolated instances similar language from those plans is used to describe ideas that are widely accepted as best practices or are ideas which hold promise for Wisconsin.
Zepecki added that the individual responsible for adding that similar language “did not meet expectations and no longer has any involvement with the campaign.”