Rand Paul Announces Restructuring After Plagiarism Charges

Image: Rand Paul Announces Restructuring After Plagiarism Charges

Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 05:09 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Pelted by accusations of plagiarism, an apologetic – and defiant – Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday blamed a busy schedule and sloppy vetting procedures, but told The New York Times he planned to properly attribute all future materials.

"What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we're going to do them like college papers," Paul, a Kentucky Republican, told the newspaper.

"We’re going to try to put out footnotes. We’re going to have them available. If people want to request the footnoted version, we're going to have it available."

The furor erupted last month when The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC
reported that phrasing from a speech at Liberty University in Virginia was lifted from Wikipedia.

Although Paul's office said the episode was being exaggerated, the website BuzzFeed followed up by reviewing other remarks by Paul, saying it found a speech from June in which certain phrasing also was boosted from Wikipedia.

A more serious claim came Monday, when BuzzFeed reported that parts of an op-ed piece Paul wrote for The Washington Times in September on mandatory sentencing matched a week-earlier article in The Week.

"Things are done quickly and in a hurry, and sometimes I get some things sent to me while giving a speech — I'm looking down at my phone saying 'read this for approval in 20 minutes,'" Paul told The Times.

"We write something every week for The Washington Times, and I literally am riding around in a car in between things trying to figure out if I can approve it."

"We need to get stuff earlier, but it's hard," he said. "We probably take on more than we should be doing."

Paul's office also conceded to mistakes.

"In the thousands of speeches and op-eds Sen. Paul has produced, he has always presented his own ideas, opinions, and conclusions," spokesman Doug Stafford said.

"Sen. Paul also relies on a large number of staff and advisers to provide supporting facts and anecdotes — some of which were not clearly sourced or vetted properly."

In an interview on the ABC News program "This Week" on Sunday, Paul acknowledged he'd been "sloppy," but fumed: "I think I'm being unfairly targeted by a bunch of hacks and haters."

Even after Paul’s acknowledgment, BuzzFeed on Tuesday said it had uncovered a new passage in Paul's book "Government Bullies" that is nearly identical to a portion of a Forbes magazine article.

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