Also see: "Rand Paul’s plagiarism allegations, and why they matter," Washington Post, November 4, 2013: " ... Paul hasn’t denied that the language was borrowed. Instead, he has argued that he is the victim of 'haters' out to destroy his political career. ... "
The instance joins a growing number of Paul’s works, including speeches, his book and congressional testimony that outlets including POLITICO, MSNBC and Buzzfeed have found to contain sections that appeared copied.
Paul wrote in one section of his September piece:
“By design, mandatory-sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges so as to impose harsh sentences, regardless of circumstances. Since mandatory sentencing began in the 1970s in response to a growing drug-and-crime epidemic, America’s prison population has quadrupled, to 2.4 million. America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year. Drug offenders in the United States spend more time under the criminal justice system’s formal control than drug offenders anywhere else in the world.
That compares to editor Dan Stewart’s op-ed in The Week:
“By design, mandatory sentencing laws take discretion away from prosecutors and judges so as to impose harsh sentences, regardless of circumstances. Mandatory sentencing began in the 1970s as a response to a growing drug-and-crime epidemic, and over the decades has put hundreds of thousands of people behind bars for drug possession and sale, and other non-violent crimes. Since mandatory sentencing began, America’s prison population has quadrupled, to 2.4 million. America now jails a higher percentage of its citizens than any other country, including China and Iran, at the staggering cost of $80 billion a year.
And in another section, Paul wrote:
“John Horner was a 46-year-old father of three when he sold some of his prescription painkillers to a friend. His friend turned out to be a police informant, and he was charged with dealing drugs. Horner pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to the mandatory minimum of 25 years in prison.
Which resembles this paragraph from The Week:
Paul has rejected the accusations as “footnote police” and “hacks and haters” trying to attack him, saying spoken word does not allow footnotes the way an academic paper would. Sunday, on ABC’s “This Week,” Paul said he wished dueling were still legal so he could issue some challenges.
He has pledged to be more cautious with his words, and some of the speeches that have been questioned have had footnotes added to the transcript hosted on his Senate website.
Monday night, Sean Hannity on his Fox News show asked Paul about his book, “Government Bullies,” which allegedly contains three pages of material from copied from think tank reports.
Paul again brushed off the criticisms as having ulterior motives and said speeches are different than other works.
Paul’s office could not immediately be reached for comment early Tuesday on the op-ed.
The editor in chief of The Week told Buzzfeed that it appreciated Paul’s endorsement.
Lucy McCalmont contributed to this story.