Paul op-ed resembles story from week earlier

Portions of an op-ed written by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in September appear nearly identical to a separate article from a week earlier about mandatory minimum drug sentencing — the latest charge of plagiarism against the Kentucky senator.  

Buzzfeed reported Monday night that whole sentences from Paul’s writing on Sept. 20 read similar to an article by Dan Stewart of The Week

ADVERTISEMENT
The finding comes as Paul is facing allegations that he lifted portions of some speeches from Wikipedia and other news sources. BuzzFeed reported over the weekend that three pages of his 2013 book, “Government Bullies,” come from a conservative think tank report. 

The op-ed was written in September as Attorney General Eric Holder instructed U.S. attorney’s to relax mandatory sentences for low-level drug offenders. Paul had sponsored similar legislation early in the year. 

Paul did not respond to BuzzFeed for a request for comment. But his office has defended him in the past. After news outlets found instances where portions of his speeches resembled Wikipedia entries, Paul said it was a problem of footnoting. 

BuzzFeed also reported the transcripts of some speeches have been removed from his website. Paul’s office did not respond for a comment on the change. 

Over the weekend, his office also defended him against charges that he lifted whole portions of a Heritage Foundation report in his book.

Paul cited both reports in the notes of his book. However, whole sentences appear word for word without quotations, running three pages. A Paul adviser said the endnotes clearly define the sourcing of the book. 

On Monday night, Paul acknowledged he did make citation mistakes in the book, but continued to argue that it was not intentional. 

"In the book in fact we made a mistake," he said on Fox News. "It should have been blocked off or indented to show that it was a quotation. It was footnoted at the end. We didn't try to pass off anything as our own."

Paul, a potential GOP candidate for president in 2016, also addressed some charges of plagiarism Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

He admitted that sometimes his citation has been sloppy or not correct. But he again defended himself by saying he has never intentionally lifted other people’s work without citation. 

“I take it as an insult, and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting,” he said. “I have never intentionally done so. And like I say, if, you know, if dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge. But I can't do that, because I can't hold office in Kentucky then.”

— This post was updated at 11:35 a.m.