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NC Tea Party candidate scrubs conspiracy website, then plagiarizes his positions on issues

By Scott Kaufman
Thursday, April 17, 2014 9:36 EDT
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A Republican Senate candidate from North Carolina appears to have plagiarized the “on the issues” section of his campaign site from Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, and his “issue” posts on Facebook are near-direct copies of articles by scholars from the conservative think-tank the Cato Institute.

Dr. Greg Brannon, an obstetrician and former Tea Party activist, ran a conspiracy website that recently disappeared which argued, for example, that United States property taxes were akin to the Holocaust and the Russian gulags, and that massacre in Aurora, Colorado was a “false flag” operation designed to give psychiatrists the ability to drug and imprison Americans against their will.

Now, according to Buzzfeed, he is cribbing language from, among other sources, the website of Rep. Amash of Michigan. Although he is running to represent the people of North Carolina, he plagiarizes passages that refer specifically to the state of Michigan. Justin Amash’s site claims, for example:

Michigan has one of the most diverse agricultural economies in the country. Our state’s farmers represent the best in innovation, entrepreneurship, and stewardship. The future success of Michigan farmers is endangered, however, when the government seeks to take over farm production with needless, uninformed, and often overly burdensome regulations.

According to Brannon’s campaign site, the state in question is actually North Carolina. The plagiarized portions are indicated in bold:

North Carolina has a rich and diverse agricultural economy, with some 50,000 farms producing everything from wheat and sweet potatoes, to pork and poultry, and even Christmas trees and trout. Our state’s farmers represent the best in innovation, entrepreneurship, and stewardship. The future success of North Carolina farmers is endangered, however, when the government seeks to take over farm production with needless, uninformed, and often overly burdensome regulations.

On Facebook, he plagiarized from an article written by the Cato Institute’s Doug Bandow, who wrote:

Naturally, chief executives offer creative reasons to short-circuit the Constitution’s clear requirement. One claim is that the president has some unspecified, ill-defined “foreign affairs power” that reduces the explicit war powers clause to a nullity. However, the framers consciously circumscribed the president’s foreign policy authority by vesting countervailing power in Congress, including the responsibility to declare war.

Brannon broke the paragraph up, omitted the word “short-circuit,” and placed it on his Facebook wall:

Naturally, chief executives offer creative reasons to bypass the Constitution’s clear requirement. One claim is that the president has some unspecified, ill-defined “foreign affairs power” that reduces the explicit war powers clause to a nullity.

However, the framers consciously circumscribed the president’s foreign policy authority by vesting countervailing power in Congress, including the responsibility to declare war.

Buzzfeed contacted Brannon to ask him about this serial plagiarism, but Brannon’s spokespeople did not return the call.

Watch Brannon and his wife be interviewed by Glenn Beck on April 10, 2014 below.

Scott Kaufman
Scott Kaufman
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
 
 
 
 
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