Tuesday, May 25, 2010

GOP candidates' wording on Web strikingly similar--Big Deal or Much Ado about Little?

The Tuesday, May 25, 2010 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured this breath-taking report:


Madison — Several Republican candidates for Congress in Wisconsin and other states are using nearly identical language on their Web sites as they try to sway voters.

Presenting the ideas as their own, the candidates have posted strikingly similar passages detailing their stances on such issues as the economy, taxes and jobs, a review of their sites found. The similarity raises the question of whether some of the candidates are plagiarizing each other or whether they are all taking their language from a common source.

My first reaction was: "Wow, who would have thought? Talking points among Republicans! Soon the Democrats will do this too…"

Yet looking deeper at it, I'm not sure this is really a story. So some GOP candidates use similar wording. It's like they copied each other's web sites, or used talking points, or copied the planks of the party platform.

The GOP is a political party, after all. They are also known as Republicans. And political parties are a gathering of somewhat like-minded people harboring similar beliefs and philosophies.

And each party develops a platform. The issues on that platform are called "planks." So it is highly likely that politicians have copied and pasted their party's platform in their own promotional material--campaign literature, newspaper ads, radio ads, TV ads, and now the internet.

I imagine one could "pan the globe" and find three Democrat candidates that have eerily similar wording on the web sites. It's nothing new.

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