Friday, September 19, 2014

The admitted and laughable Phony Outrage over Burke's Economic Plan for Wisconsin

The Burke campaign blundered badly over supposed “plagiarized” language in her jobs plan. Instead of laughing at the phony outrage by Republicans who have no problem instituting the exact same agenda nationwide including ALEC legislation verbatim, Burke fired the consultant who used the same language of a well thought out Democratic economic policy to grow businesses and jobs.

Guess the Burke campaign was caught, guilty of finally accepting a party idea and repeating it. How awful. This was Burke’s whole campaign, and they blinked. In the words of Han Solo, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

On WPR radio, former Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin Peg Lautenschlager had the right answer, a no brainer that immediately occurred to me when I heard about this ginned up “controversy.” You'll first hear the voice of former GOP legislator Michelle Litjens who wonders if former Trek exec. Mary Burke has any real thoughts on how business works:

Don't just believe me, take the word of right wing loon Nik Nelson at the Morning Martini, who also got it right...kinda:
Let’s get something straight: Mary Burke didn’t plagiarize portions of her jobs plan from other governors’ campaigns.

She signed off on a platform for creating jobs in Wisconsin that was drafted by a well-paid consultant, reviewed by her team, and put into print to appease liberal voters and just enough moderates to get elected. And that’s the problem.
And in a moment of pure projection, Nelson spewed this...
This jobs plan is designed for political, not economic, gains. The Burke Campaign would have you believe she deserves your vote because she would bring an outsider’s business-oriented, solutions-based pragmatism to Madison to cure what ails it.
As we all know the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity are purely Wisconsin based interest groups, right?

In a major hyperbolic piece from Dan Bice, he wrote this:
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke swiped significant sections of her jobs plan from earlier proposals published by three Democratic candidates who ran for governor elsewhere. Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said the campaign fired Schnurer Thursday evening. The sections in question, Zepecki said, represented "fewer than 10 paragraphs of a 49-page plan." He suggested that the main ideas in the proposal are Burke's alone. 
Of course everybody I've heard from is wondering how Scott Walker and the Republicans, who have used economic ideas and legislation verbatim themselves and have denied it with a straight face, could fain such outrage without calling attention to their own hypocrisy.

With the answer to that, check out the Political Environment for more.

UPDATE Saturday: The following response by Burke's should have been their first response. This is another misdirection play to distract from Burke's meaningful plan, which Walker can't debate because he doesn't have real world experience. It should also be noted that the following professional opinions stating none of this was plagiarism appeared later in the article, where many have already stopped reading.
Burke’s been clear since she introduced the plan in March that she also relied on experts throughout the country in an effort to spur economic growth and create jobs. “These are ideas that are based on best practices,” Burke said in an interview Friday. “He should not have used the same language, though” … she was proud of her jobs proposal and has no intentions of changing it.

Michael Wagner, a UW-Madison journalism professor and expert on elections, politics and media, said he doesn’t think the situation fits the traditional definition of plagiarism. “From an ethical perspective, it doesn’t meet the definition of plagiarismThe consultant, to me, has self-plagiarized,” Wagner said. “It doesn’t rise to the level of plagiarism...”

Barry Burden, a UW-Madison political science professor also didn’t consider it a clear-cut case of plagiarism because the same consultant was using the same language.

Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said political consultants borrowing language from what they have previously written is “very common.” “Honestly, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. So much of what we see in politics is cookie-cutter language.”


  1. This is another example of a definite reason to quit donating any money to WPR until Joy Cardin is relieved of her position. To bring this crap on as an important breaking news story, is ludicrous and amateur hour titillation and sensationalism, completely journalistically unprofessional, not serious information or news or even a campaign issue. Tell Joy where to go.

  2. All the while, we're getting our environment sold off to Walker donors for $85,000. You want a real scandal, read this.