Fake outrage

During yesterday's senate debate, Linda McSham "expressed outrage" over being accused by Chris Murphy of cutting and pasting portions of "her plan" for the economy.

Watch:

If you think that McSham's response to Murphy was spontaneous, then you're mistaken.

Earlier in the week, a Democratic source had tipped The Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel off to the alleged plagiarism. The source noted that until recently, portions of McMahon's website touting her jobs plan did not have the proper citations. (Here's an example of a cached portion of her jobs plan without citations, and here is the updated version of the page, with the citations added.)

Like we do with most tips, we followed it up. Terkel reached out to the McMahon campaign to get its side of the story, noting that the Murphy campaign had been making the charges.

That query led to a nasty, profanity-laced, off-the-record phone call from McMahon campaign manager Corry Bliss to Terkel on Saturday afternoon. He asserted that the print and pdf versions of McMahon's plan have had the proper citations all along, so the charges of plagiarism were baseless.

What several media outlets are not understanding is that Murphy isn't debating McSham's lack of using a citation on her website but rather that portions of her plan, which she brags took five months for her to develop, were lifted word for word from partisan think-tanks in Washington that don't have a vested interest in Connecticut.

"There is just no doubt when you look at Linda McMahon's jobs plan that there are entire paragraphs and entire sentences that are lifted from the House Republican website," U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy charged. "I don't know what you call it, but all I'm saying is that this is not a plan that is rooted in what is best for the state of Connecticut. It's a plan that was essentially written by people in Washington who had ideologies that are their primary concern, not in what's best for the state."

While I was in the process of writing this post, the Murphy for Senate campaign issued a press release that save me the trouble of connecting the dots.

"If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, then Linda McMahon has been doing a whole lot of flattering of the right-wing Republicans she called the 'brightest and the best' in yesterday's debate,"said Eli Zupnick, a spokesman for the Murphy campaign.  "McMahon is apparently so attached to the right-wing Republican trickle-down policies that have devastated local families that she copied full paragraphs from their websites and pasted them word-for-word in the so-called jobs plan she's made the foundation of her campaign. McMahon can continue spending millions of dollars on lies, smears, and attack ads, but Connecticut voters are focused on the issues and they are seeing Linda McMahon for the right-wing Republican she truly is."

[...]

Here is the lifted language with the original sources in the bullets below.

2012 McMahon Plan On Passing The REINS (Regulations From The Executive In Need Of Scrutiny) Act:

"The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act would require Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote; and requirethe President to sign off on all new major rules before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses, or state and local governments.  The REINS Act is about improving the regulatory process.  If the REINS Act becomes law, members of Congress will be accountable to their constituents on the question of whether a new regulation is truly needed or is an unnecessary burden.  This will encourage Congress and agencies to work together to develop and pass regulations that implement the original intent of laws.  Furthermore, the REINS Act would prevent administrations from either party from bypassing Congress to implement a political agenda through regulation."  [Linda's 2012 Plan, p. 7, 5/30/12]

· Dec. 2011:  Republican Congressman Geoff Davis (R-KY) On REINS:

"The REINS Act would require Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote, and forthe President to sign-off on all new major rules before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses, or State and local governments.  The REINS Act is about improving the regulatory process. If the REINS Act becomes law, Members of Congress will be accountable to their constituents on the question of whether a new regulation is truly needed, or is an unnecessary burden. This will encourage Congress and agencies to work together to develop and pass regulations that implement the original intent of laws.  Furthermore, the REINS Act would prevent Administrations from either party from bypassing Congress to implement a political agenda through regulation."   [Rep. Davis website, 12/2011]

· Dec. 2011:  Republican Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) On REINS:

"Specifically, the bill would require Congress to take an up-or-down, stand-alone vote and for the president to sign-off on all new major rules before they can be enforced on the American people, job-creating small businesses or state and local governments."  [Rep. Tiberi website, 12/11/2011]

2012 McMahon Plan On 1% Spending Reduction Each Year:

"Congress and the President should agree to cut 1% from the federal budget each year until balance is reached.  This 1% reduction would be a real cut in spending, not just a reduction in the rate of growth of government. Once a balanced budget is reached, then spending could again be allowed to grow, but at rates consistent with the growth in the overall economy so that relative fiscal balance is maintained.  A 1% reduction in spending does not necessary mean a 1% across-the-board cut. Proper budgeting requires setting priorities and making decisions - it is about making trade-offs between competing wants and limited resources."  [Linda's 2012 Plan, p. 8, 5/30/12]

· From A February 2011 George Mason University Paper Called "The 1% Solution" By Jason J. Fichtner:

"As a starting point for discussion,the Congress and the President should agree to reduce 1 percent from the federal budget each year until balance is reached.  This 1 percent reduction would be a real cut in spending, not just a reduction in the rate of growth of government. Once a balanced budget is reached, then spending could again be allowed to grow, but at rates consistent with the growth in the overall economy so that relative fiscal balance is maintained. A 1 percent reduction in spending does not necessarily mean a 1 percent across-the-board cut.  Though an across-the-board reduction would accomplish the goal of reducing government spending and is shown below in this paper for illustration purposes, it is not proper budgeting.  Proper budgeting requires setting priorities and making decisions-it is about making trade-offs between competing wants and limited resources."  ["The 1% Solution" by Jason J. Fichtner, 2/25/11]

2012 McMahon Plan On Ending Capital Gains Tax On Inflation:

"Currently, the capital gains tax is based on the difference in the original purchase price of the asset and the sale price of the asset.  However, some of this difference, or 'gain,' is the result of inflation."  [Linda's 2012 Plan, p. 4, 5/30/12]

· 2009:  Republican Study Committee On Ending The Capital Gains Tax On Inflation:

"End the Capital Gains Tax on Inflation.... Under current law, the capital gains tax is based on the difference in the original purchase price of the asset and the sale price of the asset. However, some of this difference, or 'gain,' can be attributed to inflation."  [Republican Study Committee's Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009 H. R. 470, 1/14/09 via Rep. Dan Burton's blog, 1/23/09]

2012 McMahon Plan On Repealing The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT):

"The AMT was created in 1969 to prevent 155 wealthy taxpayers from using loopholes in the tax code to avoid paying taxes altogether....  [S]ome 34 million taxpayers will incur this tax in 2012.  There is a broad agreement that this is both an inadvertentand unfair effect."  [Linda's 2012 Plan, p. 4, 5/30/12]

· 2009:  Republican Study Committee On The AMT:

"The AMT was created in 1969 to prevent 155 wealthy taxpayers from using loopholes in the tax code to avoid paying taxes altogether.... [T]he tax will hit more than 30 million people in 2009. There is a broad consensus that this is both an unintended resultand anunfair one."  [Republican Study Committee's Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009 H. R. 470, 1/14/09 via Rep. Dan Burton's blog, 1/23/09]

2012 McMahon Plan On Government Programs:

"GAO found there are 47 separate job training programs, 88 economic development programs, 82 teacher quality programs, and 56 financial literacy programs."  [Linda's 2012 Plan, p. 9, 5/30/12]

· 2/3/12: Sen. Tom Coburn On Government Programs:

"For instance, GAO found there are 47 separate job training programs, 88 economic development programs, 82 teacher quality programs, and 56 financial literacy programs." [Tom Coburn Press Release, 2/3/12]

2012 Linda's Plan On Energy:

"Manufacturers use one-third of the energy consumed in the United States, so building new, reliable sources of energy is essential to our competitiveness. Building new nuclear power plants also means the creation of quality jobs for Americans at a time we need them the most.  The new plant alone will create 5,000 new jobs; have a tremendous, positive impact for the many jobs in the nuclear energy supply chain; and be a long-term, emission-free energy source."  [Linda's 2012 Plan, p. 13, 5/30/12]

· February 2012:  National Association Of Manufacturers:

"Manufacturers use one-third of the energy consumed in the Unites States, so building new reliable sources of energy is essential to our competitiveness.  Building new nuclear power plants also means the creation of quality jobs for Americans at a time when we need them the most.  The Vogtle plant alone will create 5,000 new jobs and will have a tremendous positive impact for the many jobs in the nuclear energy supply chain."  [National Association of Manufacturers Press Release, 2/9/12]

For someone who claimed to have taken five months to develop her plan for Connecticut, it appears that McSham's answer for the state's economic woes is nothing more than a series cut and paste talking-points from Washington.

...and McSham wants you to think she's represent your best interests?

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