POLITICS

Rand Paul May Have Plagiarized In Drug Sentencing Op-Ed

11/05/2013 12:36 am ET | Updated Nov 05, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was busted in what may have been another incident of plagiarism on Monday.

As first reported by BuzzFeed, there are unmistakable similarities between an opinion piece Paul wrote for The Washington Times on drug sentencing in September, and an article written by Dan Stewart of The Week a week earlier.

BuzzFeed highlighted two excerpts from Stewart's piece -- an introduction to mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and the story of a man affected by them -- from which Paul appears to have borrowed heavily.

Stewart wrote this in the introduction of his piece:

At least 20 states, both red and blue, have reformed their mandatory sentencing laws in some way, and Congress is considering a bipartisan bill that would do the same for federal crimes.

Paul's op-ed included the same sentence -- with the addition of a hyphen:

At least 20 states, both red and blue, have reformed their mandatory-sentencing laws in some way, and Congress is considering a bipartisan bill that would do the same for federal crimes.

Stewart wrote this about John Horner, a man who sold his own painkillers to a friend:

He will be 72 by the time he is released, and his three young children will have grown up without him. “Matt,” who turned out to have a long history of drug offenses, was more fortunate -- he received a reduced sentence of just 18 months after informing on Horner, and is now free.

And here's how Paul recounted Horner's story:

John will be 72 years old by the time he is released, and his three young children will have grown up without him. The informant, who had a long history of drug offenses, was more fortunate -- he received a reduced sentence of just 18 months, and is now free.

Paul has been accused of plagiarism before. He has recently been accused of using text from Wikipedia entries in a speech on immigration, and another in support of Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli.

Paul has defended himself against the earlier charges, accusing "the haters" of "making a mountain out of a molehill" over partisanship, and saying he'd challenge accusers to a duel "if dueling were legal in Kentucky."

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