Sen. Brown website changed after opponents charge plagiarism
October 13th, 2011
02:54 PM ET
3 years ago

Sen. Brown website changed after opponents charge plagiarism

(CNN) – Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown's website looks a little different Thursday than it has before.

Democratic Super PAC American Bridge 21st Century revealed that a portion of the Republican's official Senate website was an exact duplication of book excerpts from former Sen. Elizabeth Dole. The Super PAC is working to unseat Senator Brown.

Brown's press secretary, John Donnelly, said in a statement the matter was an error in production. "Sen. Dole's website served as one of the models for Sen. Brown's website when he first took office. During construction of the site, the content on this particular page was inadvertently transferred without being rewritten. It was a staff level oversight which we regret and has been corrected."

After accusations of plagiarism surfaced, the offending portions of "A Message from Scott," were removed from the Student Resources section of his website earlier this week.

Dole, a one-term Republican senator from North Carolina, wrote in her book Elizabeth Hanford Dole: Speaking from the Heart, "I am Mary and John Hanford's daughter, raised to believe that there are no limits to individual achievement and no excuses to justify indifference. From an early age, I was taught that success is measured, not in material accumulations, but in service to others. I was encouraged to join causes larger than myself, to pursue positive change through a sense of mission, and to stand up for what I believe."

The same text was used on Dole's website with the reference to her parents subtracted. That passage was then replicated on Brown's website word-for-word.

The material was originally from a campaign speech by Dole

It was originally spoken by Dole in a campaign speech.

The replacement message reads, "Welcome to my Student Resources page. It has always been my belief that we can be who we want if we work hard enough. I work every day to be the best Senator I can, and to humbly serve you in the United States Senate. Public service is a wonderful calling, and I encourage all students and young people to strive to make a difference in our world."

Dole's Chief of Staff Brian Nick said his office, like Brown's, was chalking it up to clerical error.

"We were aware that they used the website template and it is obvious human error. This is much ado about nothing," Nick said.

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Filed under: 2012 • Massachusetts • Scott Brown • Senate
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Kenny

    Dole's Chief of Staff Brian Nick said his office, like Brown's, was chalking it up to clerical error. "We were aware that they used the website template and it is obvious human error. This is much ado about nothing," Nick said.

    That is the socially acceptable explanation if a Republican does this. If it done by a Democrat, he must be hanged and then his body must be sentenced to prison.

    October 13, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  2. james Miller

    Let it all hang out---– election, of course!!!

    October 13, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  3. GI Joe

    I've always thougt he was sneaky. Look at his eyes.

    He's Wall Street's FAVORITE SENATOR – they voted on it ! Tells me a whole lot.

    October 13, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Scott does have time for his own website work, after all, he has to spend his time voting against 99% of Americans. MA sure elected a tool when they sent Brown to the senate.

    October 13, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  5. westward

    Just give up, Brown. You're outta there come election day & even you know it.

    October 13, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    OOPS, Scott does not have . . . Sorry for the confusion

    October 13, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. NVa Native

    Plagiarism is better than the usual lies the GOPtee-baggers spew.

    October 13, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    This guy fooled the teabaggers but they allow him to skate by while they target wingnuts.

    October 13, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    Warren's going to dance on this pandering Teatroll fool's face and his fake polyurethane smile and plastic ideology. It's going to be glorious.

    October 13, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  10. newmoon2

    Clerical error my butt! As a web developer myself, there's NO excuse for this! They knew what they were doing. Reusing code and lay-out is one thing... reusing content is another completely and totally unacceptable AND totally unprofessional. Booooo!

    October 13, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    C'mon Captain Nudie, debate Warren...we dare you.

    October 13, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. Thad

    No you got caught with your hand in the cookie. Just admit it your a fraud stealing someone's life experience. Why did you use her site as a template anyway. You got money and aides be an orignal and use your life story clown.

    October 13, 2011 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    Sen. Scott Brown already facing lot of trouble anyway Scott Brown is not creative guy in 2012 he will see his exit door

    October 13, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    Mr. Downlow needs to go.

    October 13, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When it come to republican crimes, I guess plagiarism is better than having one of Rand Paul's teabaggers stomp on a girl at a campaign event.

    October 13, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. Bill

    Warren will beat him in 2012.

    October 13, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. SaintM

    Republicans are excellent on back peddling and explaining their faus paxs so that things come out their way. They likely know the words were lifted from the book but thought or hoped that no one would notice. When they did, in come the fabricated explanations. Like I said, they are good at this, but only because they have to do it so many times–it's like "practice makes perfect".

    October 13, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. thomas

    Scott Brown is the Best body Wall st can buy !

    October 13, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Voice of Reason

    Dont get all worked up – I'm sure he'll blame some staffer and it'll all be ok again. In fact, its doubtful that Sen. Brown writes ANY of the content of the website. Or his speeches. Or whatever tea-party ghost-written autobiographical book he'll be promoting as soon as he's voted out of office...

    See – this is how it works now. The candidates are just the public face of a political machine. The primaries arent a battlle of candidates, it's their machines that duke it out.

    Can we please just have knowlegeable, accountable, honest politicians? It it too much to ask to find people who are genuine? That we vote for people, not based on their sound bites and how much they look like a GQ model – but on the actual substance of their abilities?

    I weep for the future.

    October 13, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  20. one voice

    I think it's time for Scott to "WHIP OUT HIS TRUCK" to show just how fake He really is. He sure DUPED those RIGHT WING SUPPORTERS ( CLOWNS ).

    October 13, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  21. Mikey

    So they think that paraphrasing is a big improvement over plagiarism. How about having your own thoughts?

    Kinda like what you are going to do to create all the jobs you and your GOP friends promised to get elected????

    Anyone feeling like you were duped yet?

    October 13, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    I guess this should really tell us something about today's Republican Party. The Republicans have nothing new to offer, except for the same old messages, same old policies, and the same old tricks.

    Change? A Republican? Are you cuh-razy? The proof is on display in the presidential campaigns. The candidates are preening themselves and strutting like peacocks to demonstrate that they haven't changed, that they retain the most important core set of conservative values.

    October 13, 2011 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    "So they think that paraphrasing is a big improvement over plagiarism. How about having your own thoughts?"

    You do realize he's just a walking fleshy sockpuppet and that the GOP operates on the basis of a hive mind, don't you?

    October 13, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    After two years as a Senator age has really crept in on Scott. Definitely no longer centerfold material. Smoke and mirrors is what it is all about.

    October 13, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    A woman came up to me in the laundromat and told me Brown also plagiarized all of his school papers...

    October 13, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |