News Column

Rand Paul Pledges Changes Over Plagiarism Charges

November 5, 2013

Responding to a new plagiarism claim on a commentary, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's office said Tuesday material from staff and advisers wasn't thoroughly reviewed.

The Republican Kentucky senator's senior adviser, Doug Stafford, also pledged there would be a new review process and that footnotes to his speeches would be available upon request, Politico reported.

"In the thousands of speeches and op-eds Sen. Paul has produced, he has always presented his own ideas, opinions and conclusions. Sen. Paul also relies on a large number of staff and advisers to provide supporting facts and anecdotes -- some of which were not clearly sourced or vetted properly," Stafford said in a statement Tuesday. "Footnotes presenting supporting facts were not always used."

Under the changes, Stafford said, "footnotes will be available on request."

"There have also been occasions where quotations or typesetting indentations have been left out through errors in our approval process. From here forward, quoting, footnoting and citing will be more complete," Stafford said. "Adherence to a new approval process implemented by Sen. Paul will ensure proper citation and accountability in all collaborative works going forward."

Buzzfeed said Paul's commentary on mandatory prison sentences he wrote for The Washington Times in September was quite similar to a piece written by a senior editor of The Week and published a week before.

Media outlets such as Politico, MSNBC and Buzzfeed have reported a number of Paul's works -- including speeches, his book and congressional testimony -- contain sections that appeared to be lifted from other sources.

Paul rejected the accusations on his speeches as attacks by the "footnote police" and "hacks and haters," saying spoken words don't allow for footnotes as an academic paper would, Politico reported.

Original headline: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., responds to another plagiarism claim

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