Democrat Tony Evers’ plagiarism scandal continues to worsen, complicating his bid for Wisconsin governor.
After Evers was caught plagiarizing information for an education budget from Wikipedia and a blog post written by an intern for a think tank, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Evers also submitted budget requests containing plagiarized information on at least three other separate occasions dating back to 2012. The Sentinel noted “in one instance, Evers’ education budget plan contains a four-paragraph section that matches the language of a study by a national policy group with the only difference being that his education plan uses ‘pupils’ instead of ‘students.’”
By repeatedly plagiarizing materials of education budgets, which are among his most important duties as the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Evers has demonstrated an alarming lack of integrity and failed leadership.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
“State schools Superintendent Tony Evers’ plagiarism problem is getting worse.
Republicans released records Sunday that document three more occasions in which Evers submitted budget requests dating to 2012 that lifted passages nearly word-for-word from other sources without credit.
In one instance, Evers’ education budget plan contains a four-paragraph section that matches the language of a study by a national policy group with the only difference being that his education plan uses ‘pupils’ instead of ‘students.’
They also found that an uncredited passage in Evers’ most recent budget plan was also used — verbatim and without citation — by his office twice previously.
Gov. Scott Walker, who faces Evers in the Nov. 6 election, posted multiple tweets Sunday attacking the Democratic candidate for ‘blatant plagiarism.’ The GOP governor included statements on plagiarism from Evers’ state agency and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
‘Tony Evers’ hypocrisy is amazing — even for a Madison politician,’ Walker tweeted. ‘Tony Evers is running on his budget. Either he didn’t know what is actually in it or he did and doesn’t care about plagiarism. In my book, either is a problem…’
Budget plans are not copyrighted or bylined, but they include detailed narratives of why department heads want to spend state or federal funds in a particular way.
In Friday’s gubernatorial debate, Evers acknowledged that four passages in his current budget plan were lifted from other sources. He is not disciplining anyone at his agency but is requiring staff to undergo training on the use of references and citations.
Walker’s campaign found the passages using software that detects possible plagiarism. They initially accused Evers of pilfering passages from Wikipedia, a blog by an intern at a think tank and two other sources…
This issue mirrors one that proved to be a turning point in the 2014 campaign for governor. Democratic candidate Mary Burke struggled to respond to national reports that her campaign had lifted much of her jobs plan from others.
Walker defeated Burke that year.
On Sunday, neither Evers nor his campaign aides disputed the charge that his past education plans also borrowed passages from other resources without crediting them.
In 2012, he submitted a budget request that included four paragraphs of policy analysis on student dropouts that matches the language from a lengthier passage in a 2010 report by the Alliance for Excellent Education, except for Evers’ plan using ‘pupils’ three times instead of ‘students.’
Republicans noted that the 2010 study cites numerous sources in its report, something that is not present in Evers’ budget plan.
Walker aides also found that one of the plagiarized passages in Evers’ current budget proposal — on workforce experiences for youth — also appears in his two previous plans dating to 2014 without credit.
That section is taken nearly verbatim from a 2011 study published by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability.”