Otten's Team Has Been Busy Covering

Well, this story just keeps getting more interesting.

Say nothing of the fact that other Republican campaigns (Bruce Poliquin, specifically) are already starting to attack Otten over these revelations of plagiarism (question:  where is the Maine media on this?), there is yet another layer to this story.

It has come to my attention that the Otten “Jobs Plan” that I pointed to in my previous piece, is not the first version of that plan.

It seems that sometime after my original story from yesterday, it was changed.

A simple google search of the term “Otten jobs plan” will reveal a host of results.  You will notice one of them contains a cached version of Otten’s website with the Jobs plan download from before my initial article went up.  Go ahead and go there, hit the cached version, then click “download”, and you will see what initially appears to be an identical version of the plan.

Except it isn’t.

It seems that the famous footnote I noted in my previous story, linking another stolen passage to Maine Heritage as a citation, is missing.

Take a gander for yourself, I have saved you the time and uploaded the original copy of his jobs plan to Scribd:

Otten Jobs Plan

Interesting.  No footnote.

So, let’s work out the series of events here.  Otten had a “Jobs Plan” up on his website that contained a lot of plagiarized, non sourced material.  Sometime after I outed him (again) as a plagiarist, it seems that somebody at his campaign went back into that document and added a footnote to it, in some kind of lame attempt to show citation – even though it didn’t do that.

But riddle me this, dear reader:  how did Otten or his team know they needed to go back through their document and try to cover for ripped text if they were not already aware that they had plagiarized the text and were open to being found out?  If they were unaware, they would not have gone back in and added a pathetic and inadequate footnote in an attempt to cover themselves.

Or, put it another way:  you can not know what to try to cover for, if you did not know there was something to cover for.  Thus, they were aware of what they were doing – not that any of us doubted that.

So, we not only have disturbing disregard for other people’s hard work and intellectual property – it now appears they are actively working to cover their own asses for the rather copious amounts of plagiarism they have been engaging in.  And, they know exactly where they need to go to try to cover for themselves.

The really sad and kind of pathetic part of this whole story is that even knowing where to go to try to cover their tracks, they did a terrible job doing so.  The document is still unacceptable in terms of credit or citations to the original authors of the text, even as they try to cover their tracks.

Lesson for future campaigns:  Google cache will show exactly what you are doing, so try not to do something like this.  It is too easy to find out what you are doing.

Matthew Gagnon

About Matthew Gagnon

Matthew Gagnon, a Hampden native, is a Republican political operative. He serves as the Director of Digital Strategy for the Republican Governors Association, and has previously worked for Senator Susan Collins and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.