September 21, 2014

"It's completely mischaracterized to call it plagiarism, because the source of it is the source from the other plans as well... It is the original work of Eric Schnurer."

"One of the things I learned when I was at Trek bicycle was, the way you're always going to be better is to go out and understand what other people are doing, what other companies are doing.... Why reinvent the wheel if things are working elsewhere, if people have proposed good ideas, why would I not want to use those? Certainly there's nothing in here that I don't think works and is right for Wisconsin... And so this is much ado about nothing here, because that's actually how good plans should be put together."

Said Mary Burke, addressing the lifted blocks of text that appear in what USA Today calls her "glossy, 38-page color booklet, which she pulled from her bag during the interview."

"This is my jobs plan," she said, apparently proud of the document or needing to pretend to be proud of it. Is it too late now to generate a new document? Is the document that important? If it's important, we need to believe that it is her document and that it represents her capacity and competence as an executive.

To pull a glossy booklet out of your bag and declare "This is my jobs plan" and "It is the original work of Eric Schnurer" seems comical. Obviously, we all know that candidates have people ghostwriting for them, but you use them to write words that you can present as your own, and it doesn't work to have to say I didn't steal the words of those 3 other gubernatorial candidates because the truth is that all 4 of us are only repeating the words of Eric Schnurer.

Burke is forced to argue that the glossy booklet still counts as her jobs plan, and the argument is that the ideas are good. They were, she seems to assert, filtered through her executive judgment and deemed worthy. She has gone out and understood what other people are doing, she has listened to other people's ideas and determined which are good ideas and she has selected what is right for Wisconsin. But how do we know that? The text looks like a slapdash patchwork, with cut-and-pasted text used in 4 different states without any variation or attention to honing even the form of expression.

That makes it quite hard to believe that there has been a careful sifting and winnowingas we say in Wisconsin. Of course, that is something that could happen, but why would we think that it did... rather than suspecting that we're getting conned by someone who's stuck with bad facts and making the best of it?

70 comments:

St. George said...

The voters' winnowing forks are in their hands, and they will clear the threshing floor, gathering their wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

So to speak.

The Crack Emcee said...

"To pull a glossy booklet out of your bag and declare "This is my jobs plan" and "It is the original work of Eric Schnurer" seems comical."

I am holding my head in my hands, trying to stop the spinning.

This is so incredibly stupid, to pass for politics, it's criminal,..

chickelit said...

That makes it quite hard to believe that there has been a careful sifting and winnowing — as we say in Wisconsin.

It's often hard to sort the wit from the chafe and the wits from the chafers.

The Crack Emcee said...

"That makes it quite hard to believe that there has been a careful sifting and winnowing — as we say in Wisconsin. Of course, that is something that could happen, but why would we think that it did... rather than suspecting that we're getting conned by someone who's stuck with bad facts and making the best of it?"

This is the same type of paranoid strain that produced poll taxes and other connivances whites now deny the country should be penalized for engaging in. All so unnecessary - and harmful.

80 year old women, sleeping and eating - and dying - on the street, Ann.

Where are your priorities?

chickelit said...

That makes it quite hard to believe that there has been a careful sifting and winnowing — as we say in Wisconsin.

It's Sunday and perhaps a bit too annalytical, Professor. I suggest less sifting and winnowing and more lifting and separating.

broomhandle said...

Free Stuff voters don't care and the Loony Left will excuse anything but apostasy. Democrats never apologize and the media never expects them to.

madAsHell said...

It's not the plagiarism.
It's the completely disinterested in creating your own statement.

Maybe she was too busy working on her handicap....

Psota said...

Correct me if I'm wrong but...didn't the candidates who previously ran on these plans all lose? So they're plans were never implemented and thus never worked?

This isn't a case of plagiarism. It's a case of empty-headed politics

The Crack Emcee said...

broomhandle,

"Free Stuff voters,..."

The Republicans just lost a presidential election with that kind of talk and you still haven't learned?

You guys are simply hopeless,...

BrianE said...

I'm must be missing the point of this, but why do I care whose ideas these were originally-- if they are in fact good ideas to stimulate economic growth resulting in increased jobs?

I've expressed the same sentiment as Burke-- I'm going to steal good ideas that make me successful, or have we gone completely off the rails?

Big Mike said...

Professor, have you considered the possibility that she is utterly uninterested in having a jobs program and consequently it didn't matter what went into the glossy booklet because she wasn't going to do anything anyway?

Is this theory in any way inconsistent with the observable facts?

Michael K said...

"Correct me if I'm wrong but...didn't the candidates who previously ran on these plans all lose? So they're plans were never implemented and thus never worked?

This isn't a case of plagiarism. It's a case of empty-headed politics"

That doesn't matter. Democrat policies are designed to win elections, not govern. Democrats haven't governed since Truman. And his ideas were mostly wrong about economics but the country was strong enough, and everybody else weak enough, that it didn't matter.

Name a Democrat governed state that is doing well. New York City is doing well in spite of Cuomo. DeBlasio might be able to change that.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's Sunday and perhaps a bit too annalytical, Professor. I suggest less sifting and winnowing and more lifting and separating."

Thanks for putting the "ann" in "analytical."

Francisco D said...

How is it that liberals have a long record of plagiarizing others' ideas? I will leave that for the audience to consider.

Crack,

Your head is likely spinning for other reasons.

Ann Althouse said...

"Correct me if I'm wrong but...didn't the candidates who previously ran on these plans all lose? So they're plans were never implemented and thus never worked?"

She talks about listening to "ideas" and selecting "good ideas." They're still ideas.

Think about what it means to be an ideologue.

OED:

A proponent or adherent of a political, economic, or other ideology, especially one who is uncompromising or dogmatic. Cf. ideologist n. 3.

1955 Times 6 June 7/7 From outside it is so easy to think of the Russians as a nation of ideologues.
1972 Sat. Rev. (U.S.) 20 May 34/2 Women's Liberation ideologues and strategists have advanced some fine, socially refined arguments.
1986 C. Hope Hottentot Room vii. 103 These Calvinist idealogues regarded the lures of the outside world..with the same mixture of horror and anger with which their forefathers had viewed the call for the emancipation of the slaves.
2001 J. Coe Rotters' Club (2002) 146 Elitism's a good thing. Everyone but a handful of blinkered ideologues knows that.

robinintn said...

If she's so proud of "her" plan, why did she fire the guy who wrote it?

Meade said...

"I've expressed the same sentiment as Burke-- I'm going to steal good ideas that make me successful"

Which is fine. We can trust BrianE because he disclosed to us that he will steal in order to reach his goals of success.

The problem we have with Mary Burke is that she has never expressed the same sentiment. As Brian did, she should have disclosed at the beginning that she will steal and lie in order to succeed. Fair warning... full disclosure. Fine. We understand.

But she didn't do that. And now she's been caught in a lie and she can't even seem to acknowledge that she's been caught in a lie.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

So IF this is truly Mary Burke's jobs plan accurately documented by Eric Schnurer why did she fire him?

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The Crack Emcee said...

80 year old women, sleeping and eating - and dying - on the street, Ann.

Where are your priorities?


I see Crack is trying to up his game in response to the competition from Betamax.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

The real truth about Burke and her views on jobs and the economy:


Burke is typical Madison radical leftie. Her real thoughts on jobs and the economy are so far out in leftie lala land that putting Burke's actual thoughts on paper would guarantee she would lose the election. So they had to hire a political consultant, schnuer, to write something they could publish.

Rob said...

It may have been written by Schnurer, but it's Burke who's the schnorrer.

The Crack Emcee said...

BrianE,

"I'm must be missing the point of this, but why do I care whose ideas these were originally-- if they are in fact good ideas to stimulate economic growth resulting in increased jobs?"

Once more:

Keeping the guy with the racist staff in office is "the point" - it's a racial resentment thing:

Except these folks aren't wearing camo or other identifying markings,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Ignorance is Bliss,

"I see Crack is trying to up his game in response to the competition from Betamax."

I can't help but appreciate the help of any comments coming from under your name,...

Original Mike said...

"They were, she seems to assert, filtered through her executive judgment and deemed worthy. She has gone out and understood what other people are doing, she has listened to other people's ideas and determined which are good ideas and she has selected what is right for Wisconsin. Gut how do we know that?"

I've written lots of team produced documents, mainly grant applications, but reports and other documents as well. First as subordinate and then as P.I. The verbatim copy aspect of big junks of Burke's document says to me that she surely didn't edit it, and thus I am skeptical that any executive judgement filtering occurred. Did she even read it? I wouldn't bet the ranch.

John Lynch said...

Why are we applying academic norms about authorship and plagiarism where they have no place?

The expansion of academic ideas about how work should be used costs the world a lot of money and, in some cases, lives. Patents and copyrights are already out of control. Now even politicians have to pretend they are tenured professors and footnote everything.

It's nuts. We got along fine before, and no one was hurt.

Psota said...

Sure she's an ideologue, but she's pitching herself as the practical, hard headed business person looking for what works, and "is working" elsewhere. She wants voters to think these are field tested ideas when they couldn't even get their previous proponents into a position to implement them.

glenn said...

Mary can always plead Boomer. It's fast becoming a legal defense.

Steve Austin said...

Plagiarism is merely a symptom or byproduct.

The causes usually are laziness, incompetence or lack of understanding of the material.

The SnowBoard Queen fits the bill on all three counts.

John Lynch said...

To elaborate:

Do we want our political candidates spending time and effort writing position papers that no one reads and do not matter, or do we want them preparing to win office and govern? I don't read campaign PR documents. Do you? I look at what candidates have done, and the results of their decisions.

Time is limited.

It's academic to believe that writing something that no one will read (which is the definition of most academic research) is more important than making decisions and implementing them.

I don't live in Wisconsin, and I don't particularly like Mary Burke. But I do care about the general climate of politics, and I'd like to able to elect candidates who don't have to run the gauntlet of grad school norms.

John Lynch said...

And if the quality of attacks on Burke so far are any indication, she deserves to win.

She took time off in the early 90s... shocking. She had a staffer reprint something he used before... stunning.

Does she drive slow in the fast lane? Does she burn her coffee? Does she leave her dog in the yard when she goes to work?

Fritz said...

If it's his platform, maybe Eric Schnurer should run third party.

Walter S. said...

Standards are different in government and academics. In academics, one's name and signature on a document usually mean actual authorship. In government (and usually in business) they mean responsibility. When John Hancock signed the Declaration he wasn't claiming authorship or committing plagiarism. Neither was Mary Burke. The repeated sections suggest superficiality, and she should be accountable for that, but in moderation it is a minor offense.

Meade said...

"Does she leave her dog in the yard when she goes to work?"

How Mary Burke lost garage mahal.

Psota said...

Schnurer isn't a politician nor is he an academic. His job is to write "job plans" for liberals running for state wide office in mid-western states...and he doesn't seem to be all that good at it.

Michael K said...

" I look at what candidates have done, and the results of their decisions."

OK What has she done ? We know what Walker has done.

David said...

"The text looks like a slapdash patchwork, with cut-and-pasted text used in 4 different states without any variation or attention to honing even the form of expression."

It looks that way because that is what it is.

Bobber Fleck said...

Getting back to basics:

Mary Burke (paraphrasing): This is my jobs plan and it is the mainstay of my campaign. I own it and stand behind it. It was created by virtue of my genius, my Harvard education and my Wisconsin business experience. It is a good plan as you can tell by the color cover on the booklet.

My jobs plan was written by a consultant, who used exact boilerplate verbiage and ideas that were used in other unsuccessful campaigns. I have fired the consultant that wrote this wonderful jobs plan that is the lynchpin of my campaign. Look at how pretty the glossy booklet is.

Squirrel!!!

Unknown said...

----Do we want our political candidates spending time and effort writing position papers that no one reads and do not matter, or do we want them preparing to win office and govern?

This is Just silly sophistry. The truth opposed to this disparagement of candidate's plans is a candidate having thought through and tested plans so they are ready to govern day 1. Using a plan to align their aides to allow good messaging and then effective governance after the election is won.

If I'm unemployed, does Mary B's rush to Kinko to print some consultant's work and call it hers say she cares about me? That she understands exactly what are the causes of unemployment in Wisconsin? That she's identified the levers of government that she is going to seize to make a difference?

Yeah, I don't think so.

avwh said...

She says she's going to use "what works"?

But, this jobs plan failed to get any of the other 3 candidates elected - so where's the proof it works?

And if it's her plan, why'd she fire the consultant?

She's pretty clearly either incompetent (which never stops a Dem candidate), or uninterested, to try to pass off this 4th-time warmed-over plan as her own.

John Lynch said...

Michael K-

Exactly. That's what we should be talking about.

Executives make things happen. Scott Walker can execute policy, even against massive opposition. He made things happen.

Can Mary Burke? Is running a company sufficient experience? Or is she just another status quo special interest servant? Is she going to use the office to pay off her constituents instead of implementing reform?

tim in vermont said...

"You guys are simply hopeless,..." - Crack

And yet back he comes, flogging his multi-trillion free stuff giveaway. He sees it is hopeless yet he still wastes his time.

Ralph Hyatt said...

What Walter S. said.

Obama (any politician really) deliver speeches that are written by others, but everyone considers them to be the politicians words.

And they proclaim ownership of various plans and programs that are actually created by policy wonks working in the background.

The politician's job is to sell them to the public.

The question isn't whether this is plagiarism, the question is whether the jobs plan is any good.

traditionalguy said...

Well, maybe Burke can make Wisconsin proud for electing her.

Will she be the first female Governor?

Will she be the first female politico to copy a man's plan word for word?

Will she be the first bicycle importer?

Will she get to prove that the Dear Chicago Leader named Obama is successful at politics?

CWJ said...

Meade wrote -

"But she didn't do that. And now she's been caught in a lie and she can't even seem to acknowledge that she's been caught in a lie."

It worked for Elizabeth Warren.

I don't see where being forthright gets you points when brazening it out works. As long as enough dogs eat the dogfood and go to the polls, you win.

As Tim Hardin wrote -

"If I listened long enough to you
I'd find a way to believe that it's all true
Knowing that you lied straight faced while I cried
Still I look to find a reason to believe."

FullMoon said...

See, whatever happens can be said to have happened for the reason you've already reasoned is the reason for whatever happens to have happened.

Mark said...

Burke appealed to Democrats for two big reasons:

1. She's rich. The thought was she could self-finance in a campaign where Dems were already planning on spending big to defeat what they see as an existential threat to their funding infrastructure, i.e. Public Service union dues.

Then Burke pulled a bait-and-switch. Guess she learned something in B-School....)

Two. Speaking of B-School, the success of her family business was supposed to negate Walker's generally positive perceptions re: stewardship of the state economy.

Now on this issue, Burke seems to be flailing around, whether you want to call her "plan" plagiarized or not. (Personally, I think not; more like she outsourced the manufacturing of her plan, slapped her label on it and tried to sell it as home-grown. Sort of like her bicycles.) In marketing terms, this turkey has really hurt her brand, whether she broke any rules or not.

Again, the word that comes to mind is "Dilettante." As much as the Public Teat crowd loathes Walker, that won't be enough without an opposition that is committed and competent. I'm just not seeing that in Burke.

rhhardin said...

She's not a Galambosian.

"One of the core ideas of his philosophy, and the main sticking point preventing broader acceptance of it, was his belief in absolute intellectual property rights, meaning the inventor or originator of an idea should have absolute, lifelong heritable control over that idea and all the profits derived from it...Andrew Galambos and Ayn Rand once met and within five minutes each had declared the other insane."

rhhardin said...

I haven't been following the Crack debates closely, or at all, but here's something Crack should get in on.

The Canadian museum of atrocities.

Apparently there is discord as to who is the most perfect victim group and who has been left out. That's where Crack should get in.

There's an audience for that stuff up there! It's mostly other victim groups, but they all pay close attention, and you should take what you can get, attentionwise.

campy said...

It's perfectly appropriate to call it a tired rehash of stale ideas, though.

lemondog said...

ALL those running for public office should first be required to pass a test on their understanding of micro and macro economics and various economic theories, of the US Constitution and of US history

chickelit said...

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for putting the "ann" in "analytical."

Google tells me that "annalysis" was an old Ruth Anne quip.
link

It's not plagiarism if you attribute.

Richard Dolan said...

A " plan," as in something one can follow and implement?

O, please, it was never anything of the sort -- just some windy, poll-tested blather that can be recycled from year to year, campaign to campaign, on the expectation that no one, including the candidate, will ever read it. Her problem was not that it was recycled prose of some guy named Schnurer (a name so perfect for this little drama), who as it happens recycled it himself. Instead, she was caught in the headlights with the entire, ridiculous charade on full view even for the dimmest segment of the Wisconsin electorate. And she acted the part too perfectly, pulling the stupid thing out of her bag and compounding the idiocy.

It never helps to reduce one's own campaign to farce, but that's what the Harvard-educated Ms. Burke has pulled off. Masterful, in its way.

Fen said...

"Do we want our political candidates spending time and effort writing position papers that no one reads and do not matter - "

What matters here is passing off another's work as your own. Goes to character. Think of it as the top of the iceberg.

The Crack Emcee said...

tim in vermont,

"And yet back he comes, flogging his multi-trillion free stuff giveaway. He sees it is hopeless yet he still wastes his time."

Oh yeah, like I've been here a lot lately. You forget something:

We blacks - we can learn,...

tim in vermont said...

'We blacks - we can learn,' Doesn't seem like it in your case. I am not generalizing your case to your whole race, the way you do your criticism of white people, but in your case, it doesn't seem like it.

tim in vermont said...

"The Canadian museum of atrocities."

Perfect.

The Crack Emcee said...

tim in vermont,

"Doesn't seem like [we can learn] in your case. I am not generalizing your case to your whole race, the way you do your criticism of white people, but in your case, it doesn't seem like it."

I'm kinda slow - a certain idealism for humanity can do that - but keep it up:

Whites attempting to kill it is a constant,...

Mountain Maven said...

Huge unforced error, rookie politician mistake. Particularly rationalizing it after firing the guy. Would doom a Republican. Will it doom Miss Trek?

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"I'm kinda slow"

Yeah that is an understatement. At least two standard deviations off.

Have another super day of e-begging your way out of poverty, Crack.

cubanbob said...

lemondog said...
ALL those running for public office should first be required to pass a test on their understanding of micro and macro economics and various economic theories, of the US Constitution and of US history

9/21/14, 4:56 PM"

If that were the case then what would the Democrats and other leftists parties do except advocate for revolution?

cubanbob said...

To pull a glossy booklet out of your bag and declare "This is my jobs plan" and "It is the original work of Eric Schnurer" seems comical"

Eric Schnurer? Sure it isn't Eric Schnorer? Any Democrat plan always winds up to the benefit of the schnorers- their core constituents.

Anonymous said...

"Huge unforced error, rookie politician mistake. Particularly rationalizing it after firing the guy. Would doom a Republican. Will it doom Miss Trek?"

If this were a Republican we'd have wall to wall coverage of it all weekend long. There was a clip from Red Eye I saw this weekend where one of the guests on the show was asked to explain something. She said she was taking the liberal defense, wherein, liberals don't have to answer or explain. It was funny because it's so true.

This will be a non issue by next weekend, because Democrat.

Bobber Fleck said...

Daniel Bice | No Quarter

More Mary Burke passages questioned by Walker campaign

Sept. 21, 2014 8:03 p.m.


---There appears to be blood in the water. The revelations are mild, but add to the developing pattern.

sinz52 said...

They should have cut out the middleman and run Eric Schnurer for governor.

He's the one with the ideas, after all.

lgv said...

Legal question:

If the plan was produced and published as work product, would it not be the property of the previous candidate? Therefore, Schnurer or Burke was stealing property or violating copyright law by publishing the same thing?

DanTheMan said...

She was just recycling. That's a good thing, right?

Mark said...

Boilerplate.

What passes for agendas and plans for Democrats these days is simply tired old boilerplate.

Every election is about putting a new coat of lipstick on the same old pig.

Burke is just the latest shade.

Scott M said...

The plot appears to thicken and this may not be an isolated incident.

Curious George said...

I would say check Trek bikes out for patent infringement but we know Burke had nothing to do with that either.

Mary Burke is nothing without the familty money.

Automatic do nothing job at Trek, becomes 2011 Madison Person of the Year by writing a bunch of checks to charities. Despite this "honor" she still has to spend $130,000 of her own money to get elected to the school board a year later.

Gets the nod from the Dems in WI for Governor just because they think she can self fund her campaign. One thing Dems love and understand, it's free shit. Then she shows her gratitude by tell them "sorry, no can do". Not to worry, Dems also love and understand liars.

Mary's a dimwit. Walker will destroy her in the debates.