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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

New analysis: Ward’s entire announcement speech was plagiarized, not just Obama parts

KTVB-TV, in a special "Viewpoint" program entitled "Plagiarism in Politics" that aired yesterday, did extensive analysis on unsuccessful GOP congressional candidate Vaughn Ward's January announcement speech and reached a startling conclusion - the whole speech was plagiarized, not just the final paragraph in which Ward echoed Barack Obama's 2004 Democratic convention speech. According to the station's analysis, while other parts of the speech also repeated Obama's words, the entire meat of the speech echoes an announcement speech given by a Pennsylvania congressional candidate, Pat Meehan, four months earlier.

That includes the entire part in which Ward talked about concerns he'd heard from Idahoans in his year of campaigning around the state; Meehan laid those out as the concerns he was hearing from people in Pennsylvania, during his announcement speech there in September of 2009. Only 25 percent of Ward's speech was original, the station found, and that part was where Ward talked about his military experience and when he gave his goodbyes and thanks. You can see the program and its documentation online here. KTVB also talked with Ryan O'Barto, Ward's former campaign manager, whom Ward blamed for adding the Obama lines to a speech that Ward said he'd written himself; O'Barto told KTVB neither he nor Ward wrote the speech, but wouldn't say who did.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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