Dueling TV ads in closely-watched Wisconsin gubernatorial contest are battling over Democratic candidate Mary Burke's jobs plan. Republicans in the state have seized on the large portions of plagiarized text in Burke's jobs plan and now Burke is fighting back with a new TV ad attempting to define the issue on her own terms.
"In August, Wisconsin lost 4,300 jobs. That's why in September, Scott Walker is attacking my jobs plan, saying it takes ideas from other states. Well, of course it does," Burke says in her ad titled "September." "As governor, I'm going to take the best ideas wherever I can find them. And if Scott Walker did the same, maybe we wouldn't be dead last in jobs growth. Take a look at my plan and decide for yourself, because Wisconsin shouldn't be dead last in anything, especially jobs growth."
Walker, likewise, has his own TV ad, "Plagiarized," hitting Burke over the copied text.
The ad features a press conference where Burke stumbled when asked to define what plagiarism was.
"Probably using words, exact words, from a source that doesn't—that isn't cited," Burke is quoted in the ad.
The Republican Governors Association also announced last week their own ad "Integrity," knocking Burke over the passages taken from other Democrats.
The ad shows footage of TV news reports about the controversy.
"I want to make sure that I have the highest level of integrity," Burke says at the closing of the ad in a press conference.
"You can't trust Mary Burke," reads the end of the ad.
Burke's campaign has found itself repeatedly-plagued by questions about her jobs plan since BuzzFeed News reported two weeks ago on the copied text in her "Invest for Success" economic plan, veterans plan, and rural communities plan.
BuzzFeed News found "Invest for Success" used almost word-for-word portions of the jobs plans of five other gubernatorial campaigns, along with additional copied text in her rural communities and veterans plan from former Nevada gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid, a newspaper article, a Wisconsin school press release, academic journals and reports, and a local newspaper column.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.