Politics

NY Republican says rival plagiarized campaign emails

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

A Republican running for New York’s first congressional district seat says the campaign of his primary opponent, Randy Altschuler, has plagiarized press releases from an unrelated congressional candidate, Doug Hoffman.

But it turns out that both Altschuler and Hoffman use the same political consultant to draft press statements and messages to supporters. That consultant, Rob Ryan, calls the plagiarism charge from the Republican making the accusation, George Demos, “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

“I’m a consultant to both campaigns,” Ryan said. “How can it be plagiarism if I’m a consultant to both campaigns?”

He said he wrote both documents and his name is listed on all of them. “When you’re in politics there’s only so many ways you can word stuff,” he said. “It’s not like someone ripped this off from someone else.”

Demos said in a statement that Altschuler should withdraw from the race. “How shameful that Altschuler takes the words of other candidates and pretends they are his own.”

Plagiarism scandals have hurt a number of candidates this year, including Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McGinnis in Colorado and GOP congressional candidate Vaughn Ward in Idaho.

According to the Demos campaign, both Altschuler and Hoffman on July 3, 2010 sent out the following to supporters:

On this, the 234th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, perhaps the words of Ronald Reagan best sums up the spirit of our nation and its people. As we enjoy the blessings of liberty and the beautiful weather of this weekend, let us remember those who have sacrificed so much, so we can be free.

“From our forefathers to our modern day immigrants, we’ve come from every corner of the earth, from every race and every ethnic background, and we’ve become a new breed in the world. We’re Americans and we have a rendezvous with destiny….No people who have ever lived on this earth have fought harder, paid a higher price for freedom, or done more to advance the dignity of man than the living Americans–the Americans living in this land today. There isn’t a problem we can’t solve if government will give us the facts. Tell us what needs to be done. Then get out of the way and let us have at it.”

Ronald W. Reagan
March 31, 1976

On July 22, Hoffman sent out this release:

Doug Hoffman said, “As a Certified Public Accountant, I’m worried. New York taxpayers should prepare for the worst. At the end of this year the largest tax hikes in American history will take place. That’s when the 2001 and 2003 GOP tax cuts are set to expire and the inaction of Bill Owens, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress will lead to an extra $1 trillion being lifted from the bank accounts of taxpaying American. Tax hikes America can ill-afford.

“Americans will see across the board hikes in every personal income tax bracket. Those individuals currently in the 10% tax bracket will see a jump to 15% and those in the 35% tax bracket will see that number jump to 39.6%. Similar jumps will take place in all other brackets.

“But that isn’t all; the death tax will jump from zero to a 55% death tax rate on estates over $1 million. The capital gains tax will rise from 15% to 20% in 2011 and the dividend tax will jump from 15% to a staggering 39.6%. The capital gains tax and the dividend tax will both jump by an additional 3.8% in 2013. Add on top of these, taxes linked to Obamacare and hikes on employer taxes as well as the alternative minimum tax and 2011 will be a bad year for taxpaying Americans.

“New York is already one of the highest tax states in the nation and this tax hike is sure to be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ for many cash strapped New Yorkers. In our current economic crisis Bill Owens should have the courage to stand up for taxpayers everywhere and call on Nancy Pelosi to renew the 2001 and 2003 GOP tax cuts.”

And on the same day, according to the Demos campaign, Altschuler said in a press release:

Suffolk County taxpayers should prepare to be mugged! At the end of this year the largest tax hikes in American history will take place. That’s when the 2001 and 2003 GOP tax cuts are set to expire and the inaction of Tim Bishop, Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in Congress will lead to an extra $1 trillion being lifted from the bank accounts of taxpaying American.

Americans will see across the board hikes in every personal income tax bracket. Those individuals currently in the 10% tax bracket will see a jump to 15% and those in the 35% tax bracket will see that number jump to 39.6%. Similar jumps will take place in all other brackets.

But that isn’t all; the death tax will jump from zero to a 55% death tax rate on estates over $1 million. The capital gains tax will rise from 15% to 20% in 2011 and jump an additional 3.8% in 2013. Add on top of these, taxes linked to Obamacare and hikes on employer taxes as well as the alternative minimum tax and 2011 will be a bad year for taxpaying Americans.

New York is already one of the highest tax states in the nation and this tax hike is sure to be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ for many cash strapped New Yorkers. In our current economic crisis Tim Bishop should have the courage to stand up for taxpayers everywhere and call on Nancy Pelosi to renew the 2001 and 2003 GOP tax cuts.

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