There Is An Epidemic Of Republicans Plagiarizing From Rand Paul

Eight Republican candidates have literally copied and pasted from Rand Paul’s “issues” page.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

Sen. Rand Paul’s libertarian vision for the Republican Party future has such broad appeal that a generation of Republican candidates is copying his platform — and in many cases, literally copying and pasting it on to their own websites.

Republican Senate, U.S. congressional, and state legislative candidates around the country have plagiarized from the Kentucky senator, BuzzFeed has found. The group includes two candidates with a serious shot at entering the U.S. Senate next year, Oklahoma’s T.W. Shannon and North Carolina’s Greg Brannon.

Paul himself faced questions earlier this year for plagiarizing sections of campaign speeches from Wikipedia and other sources. But while he may have been sloppy, the other candidates are systematic, and their source of choice offers a glimpse into a Republican Party in which the Paul family’s radical libertarianism is rapidly entering the mainstream.

Paul isn’t the only libertarian who’s a popular target for copy and pasters. BuzzFeed previously reported that David Clements, a Republican candidate for Senate in New Mexico, and Brannon both plagiarized their “on the issues” pages from libertarian Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash.

Clements’ campaign expressed “regret” at copying Amash.

Brannon’s campaign did not respond to a BuzzFeed request for comment about copying Amash but told North Carolina radio station WFAE the plagiarism was “old news” and, “I would hope that WFAE holds themselves at a higher standard than some of the ridiculous stuff that comes out of Buzzfeed.”

This is the third time Brannon has been caught plagiarizing. Brannon was also previously caught plagiarizing Paul by the New York Times.

Shannon’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment on their similar language.

1. Here’s Clements copying Paul on energy and guns:


Here’s Clements:

Washington’s bureaucratic regulations, bailouts, corporate subsidies and excessive taxation have made it virtually impossible for the market to produce new forms of cheap and clean energy.

And here’s Paul:

Washington’s bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have made it virtually impossible for the market to produce new forms of cheap and clean energy.

Here’s Clements:

Gun rights advocates need to know that the 2nd amendment is only as good as the fourth amendment. If we are not free from unreasonable and warrantless searches, no one’s guns are safe.

And here’s Paul:

Gun rights advocates need to know that the 2nd amendment is only as good as the fourth amendment. If we are not free from unreasonable and warrantless searches, no one’s guns are safe.

2. Here’s Shannon, the former Oklahoma House Speaker who’s running to succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, copying Paul’s views on education on his issues page. He’s backed by Sen. Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin, and is polling strongly in the state.


Here’s Shannon:

The Department of Education should be abolished. As the department has grown in size, test scores and scholastic performance have markedly dropped. More money, more bureaucracy, and more government intervention have eroded educational standards. Local governments, parents and teachers are far better equipped to meet the needs of their students than the federal government which puts teacher unions’ interests over the education of students. I believe in local control over education so that parents can play a much more significant role in their children’s schooling. The federal government has disregarded parental rights, restricted and over-regulated teachers, and over-tested our kids. The expansion of the Common Core curriculum is a perfect example. The federal government sold Common Core with the promise of increased standards, but instead gave us an inflexible curriculum that does not equip our children for college. I supported the repeal of Common Core in Oklahoma state government and will continue to fight against it in the United States Senate.

And here’s Paul:

As the Federal Government has increased the size of the Department of Education, test scores and scholastic performance have markedly dropped. More money, more bureaucracy, and more government intervention are eroding this nation’s educational standards.

The existence of the Department of Education is an overreach of constitutional authority by the federal government. State and local governments, parents and teachers are far better equipped to meet the needs of their students than the red-tape-laden department, which was established for and tends to benefit teachers’ unions rather than students.

I believe in more local control over education, where states, localities, and parents can play a much more significant role in their children’s schooling. The federal government has simply used its power to disregard parental rights, restrict teachers, and leave kids with an unsatisfactory education, unable to compete in a quickly advancing world. Innovation in education will never come from an overgrown federal bureaucracy, mandating standards and discounting local input.

3. Here’s Brannon copying Paul on sovereignty:


Here’s Brannon:

In Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, he asserted that America should have “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.” The Founding Fathers were well aware that international alliances undermine our country’s independence.

Yet today, America finds itself entangled in many such alliances, often through organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations (UN).

And here’s Paul:

The Founding Fathers warned us that foreign alliances sacrifice our independence as a nation. In Thomas Jefferson’s First Inaugural Address, he asserted that America should have “peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.” Yet today, America is often subservient to foreign bodies such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, World Trade Organization (WTO), and the United Nations (UN).

4. Here’s Paul Hannosh, a school board member challenging incumbent GOP Rep. Paul Cook in California’s 8th district, who seems to have plagiarized his issues page from Paul. (Note: These are just two examples; his entire issues page is copied.)


On abortion, here’s Hannosh:

I am 100% pro life. I believe abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being.

I believe life begins at conception and it is the duty of our government to protect this life as mentioned in our Declaration of Independence.

It is unconscionable that government would facilitate the taking of innocent life. I strongly oppose any federal funding for abortion and will stop the flow of tax dollars to groups like Planned Parenthood, who perform or advocate abortions.

And here’s Paul:

I am 100% pro life. I believe abortion is taking the life of an innocent human being.

I believe life begins at conception and it is the duty of our government to protect this life.

I will always vote for any and all legislation that would end abortion or lead us in the direction of ending abortion.

I believe in a Human Life Amendment and a Life at Conception Act as federal solutions to the abortion issue. I also believe that while we are working toward this goal, there are many other things we can accomplish in the near term.

It is unconscionable that government would facilitate the taking of innocent life. I strongly oppose any federal funding for abortion and will stop the flow of tax dollars to groups like Planned Parenthood, who perform or advocate abortions.

On immigration, here’s Hannosh:

I do not support amnesty, I support legal immigration and recognize that the country has been enriched by those who seek the freedom to make a life for
themselves here and escape religious oppression as my father did in the 1950’s.

However, millions of illegal immigrants are crossing our border without our knowledge and causing a clear threat to our national security. In addition, I support the creation of a border fence and increased border patrol capabilities.

The taxpayer should not be forced to pay for welfare, medical care and other expenses for illegal immigrants. Once the subsidies for illegal immigration are removed, the problem will likely become far less common.

I support local solutions to illegal immigration as protected by the 10th amendment. I support making English the official language of all documents and
contracts.

Millions crossing our border without our knowledge constitutes a clear
threat to our nation’s security. Instead of closing military bases at home and renting space in Europe, I am open to the construction of bases to protect our border.

And here’s Paul:

I do not support amnesty. Those who come here should respect our laws. I support legal immigration and recognize that the country has been enriched by those who seek the freedom to make a life for themselves.

Immigrants should meet the current requirements, which should be enforced and updated. I realize that subsidizing something creates more of it, and do not think the taxpayer should be forced to pay for welfare, medical care and other expenses for illegal immigrants. Once the subsidies for illegal immigration are removed, the problem will likely become far less common.

I support local solutions to illegal immigration as protected by the 10th amendment. I support making English the official language of all documents and contracts.

Millions crossing our border without our knowledge constitutes a clear threat to our nation’s security. I will work to secure our borders immediately. My plans include an electronic fence, with helicopter stations to respond quickly to breaches of the border. Instead of closing military bases at home and renting space in Europe, I am open to the construction of bases to protect our border.

5. In Florida’s special election to replace Rep. Trey Radel, who resigned, Michale Dreikorn, a candidate vying for the Republican nomination, appears to have copied Paul’s positions on numerous issues. Here are three examples from his issues page.


Here’s Dreikorn

Long term incumbency leads to politicians who seem to care more about what is best for their career than what is best for America. With each successive term, politicians grow more and more distant from the People, concerned only with their next campaign. It is time to put an end to the profession of “career politician”, and impose limits on how many times a member is allowed to seek re-election.

And here’s Paul:

Long term incumbency leads to politicians who seem to care more about what is best for their career than what is best for their country. With each successive term, politicians grow more and more distant from the people. It is time to put an end to the profession of “career politician,” and impose limits on how many times a member is allowed to seek re-election.

Here’s Dreikorn on immigration:

Millions of illegal persons crossing our border without our knowledge constitute a clear and present threat to our national security. We must close our border to illegals NOW! Instead of closing military bases at home and renting space in Europe, I support the construction of bases along the border to protect our citizens

And here’s Paul:

Millions crossing our border without our knowledge constitutes a clear threat to our nation’s security. Instead of closing military bases at home and renting space in Europe, I am open to the construction of bases to protect our border.

Here’s Dreikorn on taxes:

According to the IRS, individuals and businesses spend more than 1.6 billion hours a year complying with the filing requirements and responding to filings or audits. As a small business owner I think this number is seriously understated. The time spent complying with tax laws is equivalent to the work put in by 3 million full-time workers and costs the economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Years of tinkering with the tax code by Washington lawmakers has allowed our government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. Consequently, we are left with a system that distributes welfares, redistributes wealth and distorts the allocation of resources. The role of government is not to create tax policies that determine how our economy will function. The role of the tax code should be simple; to fund the basic tenets of government, that are constitutionally valid.

And here’s Paul:

According to the IRS, individuals and businesses spend more than 1.6 billion hours a year complying with the filing requirements and responding to filings or audits. This time spent complying with tax laws is equivalent to the work put in by 3 million full-time workers and costs the economy hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

Years of tinkering with the tax code by Washington lawmakers has allowed our government to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. Consequently, we are left with a system that distributes welfares, redistributes wealth and distorts the allocation of resources. The role of government is not to create tax policies that determine how our economy will function. The role of the tax code should be simple: to fund the basic tenets of government.

6. In Rhode Island state senator and deputy minority whip Nicholas Kettle appears to also have plagiarized his entire campaign issues page from Paul.


Here’s Kettle on energy:

Providence and Washington’s bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have made it virtually impossible for the market to produce new forms of cheap and clean energy. Companies have become more concerned with hiring lobbyists than they have with hiring scientists and engineers. Is it really surprising then that we’re in an energy crisis? As for the off shore wind project off of Block Island I believe the Government should stay out of this issue but I will say for the community of Block Island should approve of it before anything should go forward.

And here’s Paul:

Washington’s bureaucratic regulations, corporate subsidies, and excessive taxation have made it virtually impossible for the market to produce new forms of cheap and clean energy. Companies have become more concerned with hiring lobbyists than they have with hiring scientists and engineers. Is it really surprising then that we’re in an energy crisis?

Here’s Kettle on the Federal Reserve:

The blame is going around for the current financial crisis. Many are blaming Wall St. and Capitalism and it is surprising no one is blaming big Government. No one in the media has discussed the role of the Federal Reserve System. For too long the Federal Reserve has operated behind a shroud of secrecy—as State Senator I would propose legislation to encourage Washington to take action against this secretive agency. I want to make sure that all Rhode Islander’s understand the dangers of unsound monetary policy that the Founding Fathers warned future generations about and shed light on this secretive organization.

And here’s Paul:

With so much blame going around for the current financial crisis it is surprising that so few in the mainstream press have discussed the role of the Federal Reserve System. For too long the Federal Reserve has operated behind a shroud of mystery—as Senator I wouldmake sure that all Americans understand the dangers of unsound monetary policy and shed light on this secretive organization.

7. In Oklahoma, Steve Kern who is running to be a state representative, appears to have copied parts of Paul’s issue section on education.


Here’s Kern on education:

Conservatives must start taking an active leadership role in the education; it is a serious battle for the future of our state and our country. More money, more bureaucracy, and more government intervention are eroding this nation’s educational standards in spite of the false narrative. Historically, we had a far better education system when it was under the direction of parents and local school boards.

I recognize the great potential of local schools and parents who are allowed the freedom to manage their own children’s educational needs, according to the community they live in, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all federal government approach.

And here’s Paul:

As the Federal Government has increased the size of the Department of Education, test scores and scholastic performance have markedly dropped. More money, more bureaucracy, and more government intervention are eroding this nation’s educational standards.

I believe in more local control over education, where states, localities, and parents can play a much more significant role in their children’s schooling. The federal government has simply used its power to disregard parental rights, restrict teachers, and leave kids with an unsatisfactory education, unable to compete in a quickly advancing world. Innovation in education will never come from an overgrown federal bureaucracy, mandating standards and discounting local input.

I recognize the great potential of local schools and parents who are allowed the freedom to manage their own children’s educational needs, according to the community they live in, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all federal government approach that has been proven to not work for most kids.

8. In California, Rob McCoy, a conservative candidate running for state assembly to replace a retiring Republican assemblyman, copied Paul’s views on gun control for a blog post.


Here’s McCoy:

Gun control laws only restrict access to responsible gun ownership. High risk individuals will still be able to acquire firearms even with an increase in prevention.

I do not support any proposed gun control law which would limit the right to gun ownership by those who are responsible, law-abiding citizens.

Gun rights advocates need to know that the 2nd amendment is only as good as the fourth amendment. If we are not free from unreasonable and warrant-less searches, no one’s property is safe.

I plan to remain vigilant and fight against infringements on our 2nd Amendment rights.

Rob McCoy

And here’s Paul:

There are many in Washington who give lip service to the Second Amendment, but vote to restrict gun ownership once they begin serving in public office. Gun control laws only restrict access to responsible gun ownership. High risk individuals will still be able to acquire firearms even with an increase in prevention. I do not support any proposed gun control law which would limit the right to gun ownership by those who are responsible, law-abiding citizens.

Gun rights advocates need to know that the 2nd amendment is only as good as the fourth amendment. If we are not free from unreasonable and warrantless searches, no one’s guns are safe.

As your Senator, I plan to remain vigilant and fight against infringements on our 2nd Amendment rights.

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