Another Rand Paul plagiarism incident reported

Nov. 5, 2013 at 3:34 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says writings under his name will be treated like academic papers "if it will make people leave me the hell alone" about plagiarism.

Paul's comment Tuesday at his Senate office in Washington came as BuzzFeed reported yet another instance of plagiarism involving his 2012 book, "Government Bullies."

The website said part of the book appeared to be lifted from an article previously published in Forbes. BuzzFeed had said the book contained just one plagiarized passage, three pages worth of content listed from The Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute.

Bill Singer, who wrote the Forbes article, told BuzzFeed his work on the article made extensive use of a U.S. Justice Department news release.

"It would appear whoever wrote the senator's book copied my language not the press release," Singer said.

Center Street, which published "Government Bullies," said future printings of the book will attribute the plagiarized material properly, BuzzFeed reported.

The website said a speech on Paul's website has been revised, with footnotes added.

BuzzFeed said Monday some transcripts of Paul's speeches have been taken down at his website.

Paul said Tuesday he was being treated unfairly, The New York Times reported.

He said he doesn't know what effect the revelations might have on a campaign if he decides to enter the 2016 presidential race, newspaper said.

"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," he said. "We're going to try to put out footnotes. We're going to have them available."

Senior Paul adviser Doug Stafford pledged there would be a new review process and that footnotes to his speeches would be available upon request, Politico reported.

"In the thousands of speeches and op-eds Senator Paul has produced, he has always presented his own ideas, opinions and conclusions. Senator 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," Stafford said in a statement Tuesday. "Footnotes presenting supporting facts were not always used."

Under the changes, Stafford said, "footnotes will be available on request."

"There have also been occasions where quotations or typesetting indentations have been left out through errors in our approval process. From here forward, quoting, footnoting and citing will be more complete," Stafford said. "Adherence to a new approval process implemented by Senator Paul will ensure proper citation and accountability in all collaborative works going forward."

BuzzFeed said a commentary Paul wrote in September for The Washington Post on mandatory prison sentences was quite similar to a piece written by a senior editor of The Week and published a week earlier.

Media outlets such as Politico, MSNBC and BuzzFeed have reported a number of Paul's works -- including speeches, his book and congressional testimony -- contain sections that appeared to be lifted from other sources.

Paul rejected the accusations on his speeches as attacks by the "footnote police" and "hacks and haters," saying spoken words don't allow for footnotes as an academic paper would, Politico reported.

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