First Congressional District candidate Andrea Nuciforo’s initial defensive response to allegations of political plagiarism brought against him by rival Bill Shein only worsened matters, particularly in light of the campaign’s blaming of a past staffer Friday for the transgressions, according to a report by the Springfield Republican. Mr. Nuciforo is ultimately responsible for whatever his campaign says or does, which he must acknowledge if he is to put this incident behind him.
The examples offered by Mr. Shein, who is competing with Mr. Nuciforo and Representative Richard Neal in the September 6 Democratic primary, were striking and undeniable. Some of the policy statements on Mr. Nuciforo’s web site, which has now been dramatically revised, were nearly identical to those of Democrats like former U.S. senator John Edwards of North Carolina and former Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Alan Khazei. Mr. Nuciforo replied Thursday that he stood by the "progressive ideas" offered in his congressional campaign, which dodged the issue. And while elected officials do indeed "stand on the shoulders of giants," as Mr. Nuciforo went on to say, that is not the same as copying their stances and adopting them as one’s own.
The evident plagiarism makes the candidate and his campaign appear lazy, and worse, it gets at the fundamental principle of trust that all candidates must have if they are to win over voters. After accusing Mr. Shein of "desperate politics," the Nuciforo campaign is now throwing a former campaign aide who once worked for Senator Edwards under the bus. The buck stops with the candidate, however, which Mr. Nuciforo must acknowledge.