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Eye On Boise

Latest on website-plagiarism dustup: Ybarra changes site, Jones calls it ‘troubling,’ Yates weighs in

Here’s the latest on the website-plagiarism dustup in the Idaho state superintendent of schools’ race: Republican candidate Sherri Ybarra has removed both paragraphs from her campaign website that matched wording posted months earlier on Democratic rival Jana Jones’ campaign website. Now, the “Join Team Ybarra” page on Ybarra’s site has very little wording at all. However, the first two sentences of the disputed paragraph remain on the main page of Ybarra’s website.

Jones has issued a statement in response to Ybarra’s statement this afternoon that she takes responsibility for the website duplication. Jones’ statement:

“I appreciate my opponent taking responsibility for plagiarizing content from my website, but the fact that it happened at all is troubling. Integrity matters in this office, and so does attention to detail. Idahoans have had enough of a superintendent who is not open, transparent, and accountable, and my opponent seems to be cut from the same cloth. I will be a superintendent who will provide leadership Idahoans can trust.”

Meanwhile, Idaho Republican Party Chairman Steve Yates told the Associated Press the situation is “unfortunate,” but said he doubted it would cause much harm to Ybarra’s campaign. “This is plain, vanilla prose,” Yates said. “It is still unclear what, if any, real damage was done.”

Jones and Ybarra are facing off to be the state’s next superintendent of public instruction, as current GOP Supt. Tom Luna steps down after two terms; you can read the full story here at

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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