What's this? Republican candidates behaving badly? (Bill Randall plagiarism edition) | Citizen | Indy Week
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

What's this? Republican candidates behaving badly? (Bill Randall plagiarism edition)

Posted by on Thu, May 27, 2010 at 2:34 PM

Bill Randall
  • Bill Randall
Bernie Reeves says Bill Randall plagiarized a lot (most? nearly all?) of his campaign platform. Randall says, OK, yeah, it's plagiarized, but I didn't do it; the guy who used to work for me did it. But, Randall says, I'm a soldier — well, sailor — and I'll take the bullet. I'm dropping out. No, that was a joke. Randall's not dropping out. He's taking full responsibility ("The buck stops with me") by asking for contributions so he can keep on going in the face of this unfair (i.e., true) Reeves attack.

From Randall's Facebook page:

Friends and Supporters: It's sad when others impugn your character and motives PUBLICLY ...prior to giving you a chance to address the issue/concern. I need your financial support now if you want me to represent the people in D.C.

So goes the runoff campaign in the Republican primary for Congress in the 13th District, NC. Awaiting the winner: Democratic Rep. Brad Miller, who must be chortling at Randall's plight.

Question: Is it plagiarism when you recite someone's else's right-wing dogma virtually word for word? Sometimes adding "Simply put" in front of the lifted phrases?

Simply put, Randall's positions were lifted almost verbatim from Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's campaign platform, from a Republican National Committee website, and from a 1960 statement of principles written by M. Stanton Evans, whom you may recall — as I do — from the Barry Goldwater campaign.

And Reeves' campaign caught him at it, which Randall takes to be "impugning" him.

Reeves' point:

If Bill Randall has thought about these issues and understands them, why didn’t he write about them himself? Or, to put it another way, is Bill’s understanding of crucial issues — like jobs and the economy — so weak he has to plagiarize what others have written?”

Reeves, by contrast, is no copycat conservative. He's an original, if there is such a thing in politics, with the wit to expound his own right-wing dogma, thank you very much. ("I'm conservative, but I'm not far, far right," he told me.)

Your guide to the combat:

For Bernie Reeves' charges, read his blog

For Bill Randall's response, read his website.

(Update/Meant to put this up earlier: Carter Wrenn, ex-Jesse Helms hand who's helping Reeves, started this three days ago with a post on his "Talking Politics" blog.)

Don't forget: Early voting in the June 22 primary runoffs — including this exciting one — starts next Thursday.

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