MADISON (WITI) -- It's a report that first surfaced online on Buzzfeed, large sections of Democrat Mary Burke's job plan -- lifted word for word. This is a plan that Burke has touted for months. The site shows it's nearly identical to plans of three other Democrats who ran for office in other states.
"I don't think it was good to cut and paste word for word, but I think we'll leave it to democracy to play out: if this is a big deal or a little deal, " said UW-Milwaukee Political Science expert. I remember when I was in politics and I was always looking for good ideas and positions to take. All politicians were, in a sense, stealing from each other," said Mordecai Lee.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Burke said she didn't know about the copied material until her staff told her about it Thursday night. But Burke says she's not changing the plan, saying it represents the best ideas from around the country to create jobs and spur the economy.
In a statement released Friday, September 19th, her communications director tells FOX6 News the consultant who helped draft the plan was among several expercts Burke worked with, quote, "Which explains why in a few, isolated instances similar language from those plans is used to describe ideas that are widely accepted as best practices or are ideas which hold promise for Wisconsin. That individual fell short of expectations, and no longer has any role with the campaign as a result."
Governor Scott Walker calls it plagiarism.
"I'm not sure the word plagiarism comes in, after all, there are very few ideas in life that are absolutely original," said Lee.
But Walker argues it's misleading. His campaign manager tells FOX6 News quote, "Wisconsin deserves better, and it's clear that Mary Burke cannot be trusted to lead our state."
A spokesperson says Burke was traveling from Washington D.C. back to Wisconsin Friday afternoon and was unavailable for an interview. She is expected to address this issue at a scheduled event taking place in Appleton later today.
FOX6 News will update this story as more information becomes available.