• WisPolitics


Friday, September 19, 2014

 8:30 AM 

Burke campaign cuts ties with consultant over passages in jobs plan

Mary Burke’s campaign says it has cut ties with a consultant it blamed for lifting sections of her jobs plan from three Dems who ran for governor in other states during previous cycles.

The website Buzzfeed reported last night that language in Burke’s plan mirrors sections from those put forward by Ward Cammack, who ran for Tennessee governor in 2009 before withdrawing from the race; Delaware Gov. Jack Markell in 2008; and John Gregg, who lost to Mike Pence in the 2012 Indiana guv’s race.

Burke’s campaign said Eric Schnurer worked on all four campaigns cited in the article and was responsible for the passages Buzzfeed cited in its report. The campaign described Schnurer as a subcontractor. It also sought to downplay the significance of those passages in her plan.

“The core strategies she outlines and the vision for Wisconsin's economy that she lays out is entirely her own, and stand unquestioned by anyone,” Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said. “They are informed by her time at Harvard Business School, through starting her own small business, serving as a top executive at Trek and leading the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.”

Scott Walker’s campaign slammed Burke for the report.

"It's a sad day for Wisconsin when the Democratic nominee for governor misleads voters by offering a plagiarized jobs plan, in which she has staked her entire candidacy,” said Walker campaign manager Stephan Thompson. “Wisconsin deserve better, and it’s clear that Mary Burke cannot be trusted to lead our state."

The passages Buzzfeed cited included this from Cammack:

“Supporting the development of public-private partnerships by working to match small farmers with business professionals to help farmers improve management, develop new markets plans and improve use of risk management tools and risk reduction strategies.”

And this from Burke:

“Supporting the development of public-private partnerships by working to match small farmers with business professionals to help farmers improve management, develop new markets plans and improve use of risk management tools and risk-reduction strategies.”

Buzzfeed, which fired an editor this summer for multiple instances of plagiarism, earlier this week accused Oregon U.S. Senate candidate Monica Wehby of lifting her original health plan from a survey on health care reform done for Karl Rove’s Crossroads USA.

-- By JR Ross

EDITOR's NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect Burke's campaign has clarified Schnurer was a subcontractor. 


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