Rainville's Plagiarism Problem | Freyne Land

Rainville's Plagiarism Problem



Last Update: 4:45 p.m.

Plagiarism: n. The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.

Say it ain't so, Martha. Please!

The first week of October 2006 begins with dark skies in Vermont (in more ways than one for some in the Vermont political sphere). This blogger has confirmed disturbing allegations from the blogosphere - that new electronic world your gracefully aging “Inside Track” Seven Days columnist is now inhabiting - that Republican Congressional Candidate Martha Rainville has brazenly posted plagiarized policy statements on her campaign website.  She even lifted quotes from Democrats, including Hillary Clinton!!!

In a nutshell - the congressional campaign of former Vermont National Guard Adjutant General Martha Rainville, personally recruited for the GOP ticket by Gov. Jim Douglas, posted several statements and quotations on her website that were brazenly stolen from - are you ready for this? -

1. Former First Lady and current Democratic Sen. from New York Hillary Clinton re: energy policy

2. Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper of  Tennessee re: the federal budget

3. Colorado Republican U.S. House candidate Rick O’Donnell re: health care

Thank you, Carolyn in Moretown, for alerting me to this Daily Kos posting from Sunday: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/1/20532/1397

You will find the evidence - the lifted quotations - all laid out right here:

Also on the Marvelous Martha front this dark Monday from GOP sources:

"Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency will be visiting Stowe in support of US House candidate Martha Rainville on Monday October 16. Christine Whitman is a moderate Republican who is supporting like-minded candidates for office.

"The occasion will be a fundraising luncheon to benefit Martha Rainville’s campaign at the Trapp Family Lodge in the Mozart room starting at 12 noon. The cost is $250 per person for the luncheon, or $500 per person for the luncheon in addition to a private gathering with Martha and Christine.

"Martha and Christine will both make thoughtful remarks at the luncheon.

“Thoughtful,” perhaps, but stolen from whom?

Check back for updates. We have a call into the Rainville camp and her chief opponent Peter Welch has called a telephone conference call with the press for I p.m. to discuss Republican Congressman Mark Foley from Florida who just resigned in the midst of a growing Capitol Hill sex scandal.

Good timing for the Republicans, eh?


Update 1 -  1:50 p.m.

Asked Candidate Welch at the end of his conference call on Rep. Foley's departure about today's breaking news regarding the Rainville website plagiarism. He said he had heard about it from his campaign manager this morning but hadn't had time to personally dive into Blog Land to read it all just yet.

"I haven’t seen it," said Welch. "Obviously they are serious allegations that rightfully would be addressed by Martha Rainville."

Just before the conference call, we did reach Rainville for Congress spokesman Brendan McKenna. He said he was online checking it out as we spoke.

"Martha Rainville," he told us, "has always taken good ideas because they're good ideas, without regard to the source."

Press Secretary McKenna (nice guy, formerly with the Rutland Herald),  corrected himself and asked if he could replace the word "taken" with "considered."

Sure, whatever you like. I'm a blogger. We're flexible.

Unfortunately, "taken" or "considered," it's still plagiarism when you print it on your campaign website as coming from the lips of Martha Rainville.


Update 2 - 4:45 p.m.

Rainville Website Shut Down & Staffer Fired

GOP Congressional hopeful Martha Rainville told yours truly Monday afternoon she has fired campaign staffer/researcher Christopher Stewart following an internal investigation of the plagiarism scandal involving Rainville’s website.

“I am incredibly disappointed in him and we have shut down the website,” Rainville told us. “We are reworking the wording of our issues and we are continuing  an internal investigation to see if there were any other cases of this or if anybody else was aware of it.”

Candidate Rainville said she was not aware of the plagiarism until the matter was brought to her attention on Monday morning.  She called it “very disappointing news.” Said Rainville, “It’s not acceptable and we are not going to condone it in any way.”



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