File this under one of the most disappointingly pathetic and lame things you have ever seen.
Derek Viger of Augusta Insider has been passing around questionnaires about education to both Republican and Democratic candidates for office, hoping to get, ya know, some real honest answers from the candidates about what they think about the issue.
Exactly three people in the state of Maine seem to care about getting some detailed policy ideas from the candidates (the rest of us are more concerned with the horse race ::hangs head in shame::), and Derek is one of them.
One of the questions Derek asked the candidates was “What is your opinion of the Federal Race to the Top, and is it worth it? Given what we know about the two 1st round winners (Delaware and Tennessee), do you believe Maine has made a strong effort to win the Race?”
Here was the beginning of Les Otten’s answer:
Under the Race to the Top program, $4.3 billion is being made available to states to help them fund promising education reforms.
The catch is that this is a competitive grant program. States across the nation have responded by passing comprehensive reform legislation that moves their states forward in a dramatic fashion.
And, interestingly, here is the testimony of Stephen Bowen of the Maine Heritage Policy Center regarding L.D.’s 1799, 1800, and 1801:
Under the Race to the Top program, $4.3 billion is being made available to states to help them fund promising education reforms. The catch is that this is a competitive grant program, and states across the nation have responded by passing comprehensive reform legislation that moves their states forward in a dramatic fashion.
Here is the rest of what Otten had to say on Michigan:
• Expanded the number charter schools in the state.
• Empowered the state to intervene in the lowest performing schools.
• Tightened certification requirements for school administrators.
• Required annual evaluations of teachers and administrators using data on student growth.
• Created alternative routes to teacher certification and raised the state’s dropout age.
And here is Bowen again:
In five separate bills totaling more than 50 pages, Michigan lawmakers expanded the number charter schools in the state, empowered the state to intervene in the lowestperforming schools, tightened certification requirements for school administrators, required annual evaluations of teachers and administrators using data on student growth, created alternative routes to teacher certification and raised the state’s dropout age.
Nice. Bullet points completely made me gloss over the additional plagiarism.
And yes, it is plagiarism, he didn’t even bother to HINT that it was lifted from Bowen’s testimony. As if it would have been hard to say, “this testimony from Stephen Bowen explains race to the top very well and I couldn’t hope to say it better”.
I could keep quoting what Otten said about Massachusetts and Maine, but I think you get what is going on here. Les Otten lifted the testimony and passed it off as his own very deep thoughts. I mean, it is almost like he Googled “Race to the top Maine Heritage” and get this testimony in his results. Oh wait. That is exactly what he did.
This is offensive on so many levels, that I can’t even begin to organize my thoughts.
It is yet another sign of a willful disrespect for other human beings, their hard work, their creativity, or their intellectual property.
It means he has absolutely zero interest in real policy discussion and is engaging in a substanceless, soul-less political campaigning – the very worst kind of politician that exists, and the last person you ever want to put in charge.
It means that he looks for the quick, easy and effortless way to get something accomplished. Just like he has time and time again.
And most disturbing at all, it means he is – once again – completely willing to outright steal other people’s hard work to pass it off as his own, for his own benefit.
This might sound trivial as it is a minor answer to a blog questionnaire, but these types of things reveal the character of a candidate, and give you an indication of how they will behave once in office. When – like this – it is the third, fourth or fifth example of the exact same disturbing behavior, it simply reinforces the point.
Les Otten can not be allowed to win the Republican primary. If he does win, he can not be allowed to win the general election. He must be stopped, and none of the Republican candidates has demonstrated the spine to take him on. He is a candidate without any type of moral compass at all, a man who is unengaged with both policy and the people. He is waging a cynical media war without the requisite human contact with voters outside staged debates, because everyone who knows him seems to hate him.
He will steal without any kind of remorse, and will look to cut corners at any opportunity when he doesn’t want to put in the work (which seems to be quite often).
Do not let this man get elected to anything. I beg of you.