Lundergan Grimes appears to copy 'family recipes' from others

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes's family recipes, posted on her website on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday, appear to be lifted from other websites.

One, for cranberry-pineapple salad, is a near-exact copy of a Kraft recipe for "Festive Cranberry-Pineapple Salad," as posted to the Motley Recipe Book blog in 2006.

Lundergan Grimes's recipe swaps pecans for walnuts and eliminates some of the specificity of the recipe on the blog.

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Another, for sweet potato casserole, also tracks closely with the measurements and directions for a sweet potato casserole posted on the website of the Hartzler Family Dairy in Wooster, Ohio.

Lundergan Grimes's recipe swaps yams for sweet potatoes, generic butter for Hartzler brand and suggests baking, rather than boiling, the potatoes.

Both recipes can be found widely on the Internet with various, slight modifications.

The recipes were posted to the candidate's Facebook on Wednesday with a note from Lundergan Grimes describing them as some of her "family's favorite Thanksgiving recipes."
 
"There’s nothing quite like the smell of a good meal around the holidays, so I’m excited to share with you a couple of our family’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes. I hope you’ll try them out and let us know what you think!" she wrote.

The candidate has made her family, and particularly her grandmother, a central focus in her campaign, seeking to portray herself as a more likable alternative to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Charly Norton, a spokeswoman for Lundergan Grimes's campaign, offered no explanation for the similarities but said they were recipes that the candidate's grandmother Elsie, a surrogate for the candidate who often appears on the campaign trail with her, made for the family.

"Elsie has been making those for her family for years, so Alison thought it would be nice to share them on her Facebook," Norton told The Hill.

The recipe issue is reminiscent of one that ensnared Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) campaign for a few days in April 2008.

McCain's campaign was caught passing others' recipes off as favorite family recipes of Cindy McCain.

After drawing negative press for the situation, the McCain campaign scrubbed the recipes off their website and accused an intern of plagiarism.

Critics of McCain pounced on the incident as evidence of the candidate's inauthenticity. A blogger on the progressive site DailyKos said the situation "speaks volumes to the type of person Cindy McCain is (and we already know about her husband...) — fake."