Friday August 10, 2012

First Congressional District candidate Bill Shein on Thursday accused his opponent, Andrea Nuciforo Jr., of copying his campaign statements from political figures including former state Senate candidate Alan Khazei, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards and President Barack Obama.

"I've made clear my priorities and positions on issues. In all cases, the words I've used have been my own," Shein said in a statement. "Re grettably, another candidate, Middle Berkshire Register of Deeds Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., has built his campaign on statements, proposals, and position papers that are plagiarized from other Democratic candidates in Massachusetts and elsewhere.

"

In a statement released Thursday, Nuciforo rejected the allegations and said that he stood by the ideas contained in his campaign materials.

Nuciforo, Shein and incumbent U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Spring field, are competing in a Sept. 6 Democratic primary for the new 1st Cong ressional District seat, which was created as part of a redistricting plan approved by the state Legislature last fall. With no Republican or third party candidate in the race, the primary will decide who will represent the new district.

Shein cited several examples of the allegedly lifted content, including Nuciforo's values statement, in which he lists a nine-step process as his method for developing policy:

"We believe that our method is just as important as our solutions. Therefore, we will follow a consistent approach to developing policies and positions. This method will allow us to incorporate the best ideas from around Massachusetts, and implement those ideas in Washington."

Shein said those steps were taken from Khazei's campaign statements, and a similar policy process that read, in part:

"I believe in leading by example, and in this campaign I will follow a consistent approach to developing plans and positions called The Khazei Principles (sic)."

Shein went on to cite language in Nuciforo's position papers and legislative proposals on senior citizens and women's issues, which he says were taken from Edwards' 2007 campaign documents; proposals on veterans' issues, which Shein said were taken from an Edwards for President statement and include three programs proposed and enacted last year by President Obama; and a statement on environmental protection, of which Shein says significant portions were copied from northern California Demo cratic Congressional candidate Stacey Lawson.

Nuciforo's "Eight Point Plan to Restore the Middle Class" was copied "word-for-word" from an economic plan proposed by Lawson, specifically citing a section on small business, and Nuciforo's take on the EPA's SuperFund came straight from proposals issued by the Tax Policy Center, Shein said.

Nuciforo dismissed the allegations.

"Rather than advancing his own candidacy, Mr. Shein has resorted to the desperate politics of a desperate campaign. Voters in the new 1st Congressional District deserve better," Nuciforo said.

"I stand fully behind the progressive ideas I have put forth in this campaign. The truth is that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Like all policy makers, the ideas advanced by our campaign have been developed and advanced by like-minded Democrats."

Theresa Boucher may be reached at tboucher@berkshireeagle.com.


Statements comparison ...

1st Congressional District candidate Bill Shein accused fellow Democratic candidate Andrea F.

Nuciforo Jr. of plagiarizing many of his policy positions from other campaigns. Above, Shein said Nuciforo's "values" statement is a "slightly edited version of a process outlined several years ago by two-time progressive U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei called ‘The Khazei Principles.'"

Here are a couple other excerpts that Shein say illustrates his point:

  • From 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards' policy statement titled "A Sacred Contract with Our Military and Veterans Community":
  • "Today, John Edwards called for repairing the sacred contract with our veterans and military community. In recognition of their bravery and sacrifice, Edwards believes we must guarantee quality health care for service men and women and every generation of veterans, provide families with the support necessary to withstand the strain of separations, and ensure returning troops have access to the education and opportunities to succeed in civilian life. Central to the sacred contract is a solemn pledge to every man and woman who risks their life for our country that we will take care of them as they take care of us."

  • From Nuciforo's policy statement on veterans at Nuciforo.com:
  • "Nuciforo realizes that we need to honor the bravery and sacrifice of America's service men and women by providing them the care that they need and deserve. As congressman, Nuciforo will work to guarantee quality health care for veterans, provide support for military families, and ensure that troops have access to education, training and counseling opportunities to succeed in civilian life upon their return home."

  • From Edwards' 2008 policy position on senior
    citizens titled "Security Dignity and Choice: A Declaration of Independence for Older Americans":
  • "Our long-term care system is poorly equipped to give independence to older Americans and forces many families to juggle elder care, child care, and their jobs or spend themselves into poverty to pay for nursing homes. Edwards will reform Medicaid and Medicare to let people to choose home-based care in their communities and test innovations such as asset and income protection programs. He will also support states and communities offering much-needed and often less expensive alternatives -- like adult day care and senior villages -- that allow seniors to live at home with their loved ones."

  • From Nuciforo's policy position on senior
    citizens at Nuciforo.com:
  • "Our long-term care system is poorly equipped to give independence to older Americans and forces many families to juggle elder care, child care, and their jobs -- or pay for expensive nursing homes. Nuciforo supports Medicaid and Medicare reform to let people choose home-based care in their communities and test innovations such as asset and income protection programs. He will also support states and communities offering much-needed and often less expensive alternatives -- like adult day care and senior villages -- that allow seniors to live at home with their loved ones."