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RI State House candidate sews platform together using other people's work

Rhode Island State House Candidate William O’Brien has two writers working for him on his campaign. Their names are "cut" and "paste."

O'Brien was caught lifting large portions of his platform (almost all of it) from Georgia State Senator Jason Carter, grandson of former President Carter.

The Valley Breeze, a Rhode Island weekly, reports:

A North Providence resident and Providence educator, second-time District 54 candidate William "Bill" O'Brien copied approximately 1,000 words of Carter, an incumbent state lawmaker in Georgia and the grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and pasted them onto his own website, www.williamobrien2012.com .

But for a changed word or two here and there, like "North Providence" for "community," O'Brien attributes almost all of Carter's words on the two topics of education and jobs, found at www.carterforstatesenate.com , to himself.

The "jobs" and "education" parts of O'Brien's platform are essentially identical to Carter's.

O'Brien has since said what he didn't isn't plagiarism. It's simply "two old friends working on a website to move Democratic ideas forward for the benefit of the middle class and the seniors citizens of North Providence."

Carter said it "doesn't seem like a big deal..."

The silver lining: The conclusion of O'Brien's platform, a bit about wind energy, is not taken verbatim from Cater. It is, however, copy and pasted from an About.com article on "Environmental Issues."

[Georgia Tip Sheet, The Valley Breeze]

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