Rand Paul under fire for alleged plagiarism


Web Editor - Nick Miller

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky faces new plagiarism charges over an article he wrote that closely resembles an opinion piece published a week earlier.

It joins a growing number of Paul's works, including speeches, his book, and congressional testimony that outlets including Politico, MSNBC, and Buzzfeed found contain sections that appeared copied, in some cases, from Wikipedia entries.

The apparent plagiarism was first reported by online group Buzzfeed and involves what they call three copied paragraphs.

The Kentucky republican published an op-ed on mandatory minimum prison sentences in the Washington Times on September 20th. A piece by The Week editor Dan Stewart was published online one week earlier on the 14th.

Stewart's article included the line ,"America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year." Paul used the same sentence one week later.

Both articles mention Florida inmate John Horner, who was sentenced to a minimum of 25 years for selling painkillers. Once again, the sentences are nearly identical.

Paul's office released a statement today saying while Paul's ideas are his own, he draws from staff and advisors for pieces of supporting information. "Some of which were not clearly sourced it or vetted properly," it said.

Paul also said he's restructuring the approval process to avoid any more instances of misusing other people's material. This comes after he lashed out about accusations that he lifted more than a thousand words from a Heritage Foundation study for his 2012 book "Government Bullies".

On ABC's "This Week", Paul said he thinks he's being unfairly targeted.

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