Scott Brown admits inadvertent plagiarism

Oct. 14, 2011 at 7:15 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- The campaign staff of Sen. Scott Brown says alleged plagiarism in the Massachusetts Republican's official Web site autobiography was due to a technical error.

On his Senate Web site, Brown uses the precise wording delivered in a 2002 campaign kickoff speech by Elizabeth Dole, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, The Boston Globe reported.

"I was raised to believe that there are no limits to individual achievement and no excuses to justify indifference," Brown's Web site message read before it was removed Thursday.

"From an early age, I was taught that success is measured not in material accumulations, but in service to others. I was encouraged to join causes larger than myself, to pursue positive change through a sense of mission, and to stand up for what I believe."

Eliminating Dole's opening line, "I am Mary and John Hanford's daughter," Brown's wording matches exactly, the Globe said.

Brown, who won a special election to fill the seat that became vacant in January 2010 Sen. Edward M. Kennedy died, is up for re-election in 2012.

Brown's spokesman, John Donnelly, admitted the verbiage was taken directly from Dole and credited to Brown in error.

"Senator Dole's Web site served as one of the models for Senator Brown's Web site when he first took office. During construction of the site, the content on this particular page was inadvertently transferred without being rewritten,'" Donnelly said. "It was a staff-level oversight which we regret and is being corrected."

A member of the super political action committee that discovered the anomaly saw it differently.

"This kind of plagiarism makes me wonder how many things about Scott Brown are really genuine," said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century.

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