Mary Burke Drops Campaign Consultant After He Self-Plagiarizes In Jobs Plan

FILE - In this July 24, 2014 file photo Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke attends the Rock County 4-H F
FILE - In this July 24, 2014 file photo Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke attends the Rock County 4-H Fair in Janesville, Wis. Burke, a Madison school board member, faces incumbent Republican Gop. Scott Walker on Nov. 4. (AP Photo/Andy Manis, File)

Democratic businesswoman Mary Burke, who is challenging Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), has dropped one of her campaign consultants after BuzzFeed reported that aspects of Burke's jobs plan appear to be lifted from the plans of previous Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

Burke's campaign blamed Eric Schnurer for self-plagiarizing from the jobs plans he wrote for former Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Ward Cammack, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and former Indiana gubernatorial candidate John Gregg.

Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the main proposals in the jobs plan originated with Burke, and that the campaign hadn't seen the jobs plans of the other candidates Schnurer worked for.

Despite the Burke campaign's defense, Walker's campaign said the revelations mean Burke can't be trusted.

"It's a sad day for Wisconsin when the Democratic nominee for governor misleads voters by offering a plagiarized jobs plan, in which she has staked her entire candidacy," Walker campaign manager Stephan Thompson said in a statement, according to the paper. "Wisconsin deserve better, and it's clear that Mary Burke cannot be trusted to lead our state."

HuffPost Pollster, which combines all publicly available polling data, shows a close race between Walker and Burke, with the governor leading by just over 2 percentage points.

A Politico reporter tweeted Friday that Vice President Joe Biden said he planned to campaign for Burke in Wisconsin, another indication that Democrats are optimistic they can unseat Walker.

U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Monica Wehby (R), who is challenging Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), was forced to take down her campaign website's "issues" page after instances of plagiarism were found in her economic and health care reform plans earlier this week.

CLARIFICATION: Language in the headline has been adjusted to reflect that the consultant was reusing work he'd done previously on other candidates' behalf.



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