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Democratic Candidate Taking On Scott Walker Is Being Accused Of Plagiarism


by Jason Hopkins

Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers, the state’s education superintendent, is being accused of submitting budget requests that plagiarized other work.

The issue began on Friday, just hours before Evers and GOP Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker were due to participate in their first debate. Walker’s team released passages from Evers’ September budget plan that revealed numerous paragraphs to be identical, or nearly identical, to work previously written by a think tank intern, Wikipedia and other sources.

Evers’ September budget request included a 15-paragraph section that was nearly verbatim to a 2016 blog post by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute — authored by an intern. One section was closely identical to a post by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability. Another section appeared to be a straight copy and paste from a Wikipedia article.

Walker’s campaign was able to catch the matching words using software specifically designed to locate instances of plagiarism.

Now, Walker’s campaign team has revealed more examples of plagiarism from Evers’ past budget proposals.

According to documents released on Sunday, the GOP has found at least three other instances where Evers’ submitted plagiarized work. In one glaring example, the Democrat’s budget proposal contained a four-paragraph section that was nearly verbatim to a national policy group — the only difference was that Evers’ submission changed the word “students” to “pupils.” Additionally, Evers’ most recent budget proposal included a passage that taken verbatim from previous work, and not properly cited.

Walker roasted his Democratic opponent on Sunday after the new plagiarism allegations were revealed.

However, Evers’ team has pushed back on the allegations, saying that Walker is “grasping at straws” as he battles a close re-election battle.

“[Walker] is grasping at straws because he can’t defend his record of cutting $800 million from Wisconsin’s public schools, undermining protections for people with pre-existing conditions and always putting his special interest backers first,” Sam Lau, an Evers campaign aide, said in a statement. “That’s what’s important to voters.”

Both Inside Elections and Real Clear Politics rate the Wisconsin gubernatorial race as a “toss-up.”

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