The Otten imbroglio, continued…


In an article in today’s Portland Press Herald, the Otten campaign makes another attempt to downplay their liberal use of my work in answer to a question on education policy for Augusta Insider. As was first reported by Matt Gagnon at, the Otten campaign’s response to a question on the federal Race to the Top program was lifted, pretty much word for word, from testimony I gave to the legislature’s education committee last March.

In a statement yesterday, the Otten campaign suggested that they intended to cite me as the source of their response, but simply neglected to do so. Additionally, they seemed to suggest that we at MHPC were somehow okay with their actions, since we had, in their words, “pointed” them to the testimony in the first place. I offered my own response to the Otten campaign’s statement in a blog post yesterday.

In today’s Press Herald piece, the Otten campaign offers up yet another spin on the story, suggesting that only “two paragraphs” of my work went without citation.


Thinking this might be a less than accurate representation of what happened, I took some time this morning to compare my testimony to the Otten campaign’s answer on Augusta Insider. I then went back through my testimony and highlighted the sections (bolded and italicized in the images below) that the Otten campaign lifted – word for word – from my work.

Two paragraph’s worth? You decide. Remember, the text in these images that is bolded and italicized was used – word for word – by the Otten campaign without any citation.

Page 1 of my testimony:


Page 2 of my testimony:


Page 3 of my testimony:


Otten’s response is 419 words long. Of that, only the last eight words – “We can, and must, compete for these funds” – originated with someone other than me.

And we are supposed to believe that this was an “inadvertent oversight”?