“I read through every single one of these ideas but I didn’t necessarily read through all the plans of other governors.”
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke explained Saturday how she missed noticing the large sections of copied text in her jobs and rural communities plan, despite saying she had spent "hundreds of hours" putting it together.
"Well, I read through every single one of these ideas but I didn't necessarily read through all the plans of other governors," Burke said on News3's For the Record. "So, Mr. Schnurer was one of the people we utilized to put together this plan and he — these are some ideas and best practices that he saw going on and around the rest of the country and that he had brought to here, to us."
The Burke campaign has placed blame on an outside consultant named Eric Schnurer, who also worked on the other campaigns as responsible for the similar text. The campaign has since cut ties with him.
"I wouldn't have included them if I didn't think that they were good for Wisconsin," she said in the interview. "And anyones that are not his language and what he used in other plans are cited, um, from other sources. We have something like 83 footnotes in this plan. So there is a lot of sourcing from where this information came from."
Burke has found herself under scrutiny in the closely-watched Wisconsin governor's race against incumbent Scott Walker since BuzzFeed News reported on the copied text in her "Invest for Success" economic plan, veterans plan, and rural communities plan.
BuzzFeed News reported "Invest for Success" took nearly-verbatim portions of the jobs plans of five other gubernatorial campaigns, and then found additional copied text in her rural communities and veterans plan also included failed 2010 Nevada gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid, a newspaper article, a Wisconsin school press release, academic journals and reports, and a local newspaper column.
Burke has struggled to address the copied text. She initially said last week she would provide updates and sourcing, but her campaign later responded to her statement by saying no changes would be made.
"Certainly, anything that is not directly from Eric that should be cited would be cited," Burke said as quoted by the Associated Press.
Burke's spokesman, Joe Zepecki, told the AP that following a review no changes were going to be added to the plan.
"Where cites are appropriate, they have been made," he said. "In other instances work product that has been identified as coming from Mr. Schnurer has been addressed by cutting ties with him."
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