back to top
Politics

SD Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Somehow Plagiarized Biographical Sentence

Mary Burke had her own policies plagiarized.

Posted on

Democratic gubernatorial South Dakota nominee appears to have plagiarized parts of her issues page from Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis and Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, who herself is embattled in a plagiarism snafu of her own.

Oddly, Susan Wismer actually copies from a biographical section of Burke's campaign material, placing her name where Burke's appeared.

A spokesperson for the Wismer campaign told Buzzfeed News they admitted to the mistake saying, "we will be making any changes necessary" and similarities "will be taken care of."

Her issues pages were taken down shortly after BuzzFeed News inquired, but the screenshots are at the bottom this post.

Asked about the cut-and-paste job by David Montgomery of the Argus Leader, Wismer dismissed the copying.

"This isn't academia. This is politics," Wismer said. "We all do what we can to save time."

Later in an emailed statement, Wismer said "under no circumstances would I ever condone the stealing of another person's work," adding "I am disappointed in this situation."

I understand the seriousness of these allegations. Under no circumstances would I ever condone the stealing of another person's work. I am disappointed in this situation. My staff has put processes in place to ensure that something like this doesn't happen on my campaign again.

From New Hampshire to Oregon, and Minnesota to New Mexico, Democratic candidates are fighting against the same conservative script, it only makes sense that many candidates will campaign on the same issues.

Since I got into the race, I've been talking about the importance of prioritizing people over politics. That doesn't stop here, it doesn't change now. The people of South Dakota are our number one asset and I will not stop fighting for everyone in this state.

Here's the part where Wismer's site copies a biographical sentence from Burke:

Here's Mary Burke on fiscal responsibility, citing her own biography:

She knows how to make responsible decisions that keep a balance sheet in the black while creating jobs because she's spent her career doing it. Scott Walker has taken a different approach. Despite making historic cuts to education, he's turned a projected budget surplus into a deficit, and state spending has shot up by $4.6 billion.

And here's Wismer substituting her name for Burke's:

As an accountant, Susan knows how to make responsible decisions that keep a balance sheet in the black while creating jobs because she's spent her career doing it. This governor has taken a different approach. After making historic cuts, he took a $127 million dollar budget surplus and padded his reserves rather than giving back what was cut to areas desperate for funding.

Here's the rest:

Here's Mary Burke on education:

Mary believes Wisconsin schools should be among the best in the nation—and she knows that making historic cuts isn't the way to do it. She'll work every day to strengthen our public education system, from K-12 to our technical colleges and university system.

And here's Wismer:

Susan believes South Dakota schools should be among the best in the nation and making historic cuts isn't the way to do it. Susan will work every day to strengthen our public education system– from K-12 to our technical colleges and university system.

Here's Wendy Davis on education:

Wendy Davis will build a well-trained workforce of teachers by engineering guaranteed pathways to careers in education and ensure ongoing support by raising teacher pay to be in line with the rest of the country.

And here's Wismer:

Susan will build a well-trained workforce of educators and ensure ongoing support for them by raising salaries to be on par with the rest of the country.

Here's Wendy Davis on economic investment:

When responsibly invested, economic development funds can help bring new businesses and jobs into the state, promote innovation, and encourage technological advancements. But under the wrong leadership and without accountability, too often they become giveaways to special interests and insiders that drain valuable resources from essential investments like our schools and increase taxes on working Texas families.

And here's Wismer:

Susan knows that the best businesses for communities are usually local businesses. When responsibly invested, economic development funds can help create new businesses and jobs, promote innovation, and encourage technological advancements. However, under the wrong leadership and without accountability, too often they become giveaways to special interests, corporations, and insiders that drain valuable resources from essential investments.

On transparency, here's Wendy Davis:

As Governor, Wendy Davis will:

• Promote transparency, accountability, and responsible investment of economic development funds to ensure they actually create jobs, as well as encourage innovation and development that benefits all Texans.

And here's Wismer:

As governor, Susan will promote transparency, accountability, and responsible investment of economic development funds to ensure they actually create jobs and encourage innovation and development that benefits all South Dakotans. She will establish strong, independent oversight of our incentive funds. Susan will ensure transparency and accountability of tax exemptions.

Here's Mary Burke on Medicare expansion:

The Walker administration has taken a different approach. Rejecting hundreds of millions of our own federal tax dollars means our money goes to cover health care in other states, and leaves us paying more as a state to cover fewer hard working Wisconsinites. It's an example of what happens when you put politics ahead of progress. And it's just wrong.

And here's Wismer:

The Daugaard administration has rejected hundreds of millions of our own federal tax dollars, money that is covering healthcare in other states, and leaves us paying more to cover fewer hard-working South Dakotans. It's an example of what happens when you put politics ahead of progress.

Here's Burke again:

Mary will overturn the current administration's refusal to accept the federal expansion of Medicaid, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars of our taxpayer money back home to our state, where it belongs.

And here's Wismer:

Susan will overturn the current administration's refusal to accept the federal expansion of Medicaid, bringing over $272 million of our taxpayer money back to South Dakota, while providing 48,000 South Dakotans with access to affordable, preventative health care.

Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Andrew Kaczynski at andrew.kaczynski@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.