The state GOP is calling on Dem guv candidate Tony Evers to identify the state schools employees responsible for the Department of Public Instruction’s failure to properly cite several passages in its budget ask.
“This is about accountability, plain and simple, and Tony Evers needs to answer a very simple question — who is responsible?” Republican Party Executive Director Mark Morgan said in a statement. “Tony Evers cheated on the biggest test he has.”
The party has also filed a records request with the agency for communications and records earlier this year seeking more information on the issue.
A Department of Public Instruction spokesman declined comment. And an Evers campaign spokeswoman referred to an earlier statement from the DPI head, where he said the request “should have used proper citations.”
“That should not distract from the proactive, positive vision we put forth that invests $1.4 billion more in Wisconsin kids,” Evers continued in the statement. “I have high expectations for my team and have directed them to revise our citation protocol to prevent this from happening going forward.”
Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign leveled the plagiarism accusation against Evers and his agency today, citing four passages in the agency’s 213-page budget request that includes paragraphs lifted verbatim from other sources without citation or included small changes.
DPI acknowledged that “proper citation use was missed in certain places” of the budget, but spokesman Tom McCarthy said in a statement the agency stands behind its recommendations.
McCarthy didn’t name those responsible for the plagiarizing of the passages in the budget request when asked this morning by WisPolitics.com. Asked whether any disciplinary action is being pursued, he said the department is planning to institute mandatory training.
The four passages Walker’s campaign identified as being plagiarized include: a brief by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability, a workforce and disability group; a blog post by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education think tank based in Washington, D.C.; and two Wikipedia entries.
Walker’s campaign first shared the plagiarism allegations with Politico. The issue previously surfaced in Walker’s 2014 race as then-Dem opponent Mary Burke was accused of lifting entire sections of her jobs plan from three other campaigns. She fired a consultant after BuzzFeed uncovered the lifted passages.
See the GOP request:
See the Politico story:
This post has been updated.