- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014
Campaigns commonly share policy platforms, slogans

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The Democrat running for Wisconsin governor acknowledges her campaign lifted policy platforms, including some exact language, from like-minded candidates.

Republicans quickly charged plagiarism, but Mary Burke is just the latest in a long line of politicians in both parties who have shared slogans, talking points and campaign materials. With Burke locked in an extremely tight race with Republican Gov. Scott Walker, the practice is putting a spotlight on how much leeway those running for office should have when presenting ideas as their own.

“We need to be a little more cognizant of the rough and tumble that politics is,” said Rutgers University history and journalism professor David Greenberg on Monday. “We’ve never held campaigns to the highest standards of strict scrutiny that we would hold a scholar to or hold a journalist to or a judge to. You know, it’s politics.”

The accusations against Burke first came to light on Thursday night and focused on several passages from her jobs plan, which she’s made a central part of her campaign to knock off Walker, a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate. Burke is a former state Commerce Department secretary and Trek Bicycles executive.

Burke said the jobs plan passages, which were identical or largely the same as materials from four previous Democratic gubernatorial campaigns, were written by a consultant who had worked for all of the candidates. Burke cut ties with the consultant but said she wouldn’t change the language because she believed in the underlying ideas.

“It does not at all undermine the credibility and integrity of the plan,” Burke told The Associated Press in an interview Friday. “When I was at Trek, the way Trek would always look at being better would be to look at best practices and ideas that others had.”

Over the weekend, Walker’s campaign found seven additional examples in Burke’s plans for rural communities and on veterans issues that appeared to be taken directly from statements from advocacy groups and others. In four cases, Burke cited the original source for the material but did not place it in quotes.

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Michelle Obama to campaign in Milwaukee for Burke

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Michelle Obama is coming to Milwaukee next week to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

The visit on Sept. 29 comes the same day that Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is to be campaigning across the state in Hudson, near the Minnesota border, for Gov. Scott Walker.

No details about either event have been released. Burke’s campaign announced the visit on Monday and said more information would come out later.

Polls show the race between Walker and Burke to be nearly even, with the election just six weeks away.

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Police: Body of missing Wisconsin woman found

WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - Wausau police say they have found the body of a woman missing for nearly four years.

Police Chief Jeff Hardel said Monday that the body of Stephanie Low was found Friday in a shallow grave in the national forest near Wabeno.

Low disappeared from her Wausau apartment on Oct. 10, 2010. In 2012, police identified a person of interest in her disappearance.

Hardel says that man reportedly told witnesses he had gone to Low’s apartment with the intent of stealing from her, and when she fought back, he strangled and stabbed her.

Police say the 34-year-old man led them to Low’s grave last week. WSAW-TV (https://bit.ly/1ueudMGhttps://bit.ly/1ueudMG ) reports the man did not confess to the killing.

No charges have been filed so far, but police say charges will be coming.

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Small plane down in Waukesha County

LANNON, Wis. (AP) - Sheriff’s officials say a small plane has gone down near a bike trail in southeastern Wisconsin.

WTMJ-TV reports two people inside the plane weren’t seriously injured. Firefighters responded to the Bugline Recreational Trail in Waukesha (WAH’-keh-shaw) County at noon Monday.

Authorities say the ultralight aircraft may have attempted an emergency landing in the village of Lannon.

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Information from: WTMJ-TV, https://www.todaystmj4.comhttps://www.todaystmj4.com


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