Martha Rainville has fired staff member Chris Stewart for plagiarizing material for her policy statements from other candidates.
"I’m just incredibly disappointed," Rainville said.
The plagiarized statements were uncovered by a Westminster woman who said she was researching the race between Republican Rainville and Democrat Peter Welch. She said she saw reference to one policy’s similarities with a White House statement and became curious about others. By Googling phrases she soon found several more examples of work copied from a variety of politicians.
Rainville’s energy policy, for instance, used the same phrase as U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton used in a speech. A Rainville statement about putting the federal budget online carried the same phrasing, with a grammatical error intact, as Rep. Jim Cooper, a Tennessee Democrat.
Rainville’s campaign has taken its Web site down and is rewriting the policy statements, Rainville said. The thrust of those statements won’t change, she said, but the exact wording will.
She said she is investigating whether any other staff members took statements from elsewhere or knew that Stewart had.
We'll have more in Tuesday's Free Press.
- Terri Hallenbeck