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Republican congressional candidate Marilinda Garcia accused of plagiarizing parts of two speeches



Last modified: Saturday, October 25, 2014
State Rep. Marilinda Garcia, the Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District seat, apologized yesterday for not properly citing a magazine editorial from which she lifted passages for a speech she gave on the State House floor in 2012. Neither she nor her campaign acknowledged a second allegation made later yesterday about a speech she gave at a New Boston debate in 
February.

“It appears I did not verbally attribute select excerpts of a speech I delivered on the house floor in 2012 to the article from which they came. I acknowledge that I should have verbally cited the author of the article, and apologize for the oversight,” Garcia said in a statement about the first allegation.

The speech in question was one she gave in support of repealing the state’s marriage equality law.

“The campaign for same-sex marriage, as evidenced by the immediate abandonment of civil unions, is primarily motivated by one specific benefit, and that is the symbolic statement by the government that committed same-sex relationships are equivalent to marriages. But with respect to the purposes of marriage, they’re not equivalent. And so, this psychic benefit can not be granted without telling a lie about what marriage is, and why a society and legal system should recognize and support it,” she said.

The paragraph, and others in the speech, closely echo an editorial printed in 2010 in the National Review: “The campaign for same-sex marriage is primarily motivated by one specific benefit: the symbolic statement by the government that committed same-sex relationships are equivalent to marriages. But with respect to the purposes of marriages, they’re not equivalent; and so this psychic benefit cannot be granted without telling a lie about what marriage is and why a society and legal system should recognize and support it,” the conservative magazine’s editors wrote.

Granite State Progress flagged that passage and four others in the five-minute speech.

The liberal advocacy group first began researching the speech after Garcia told an interviewer for NPR that members of the millennial generation aren’t concerned about marriage rights for same-sex couples.

“Once we put the video out and started to do more work on it, we realized some of the statements were really oddly worded. When we searched around, we found the National Review piece,” said Zandra Rice-Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress.

Later yesterday, the group lodged a second allegation, saying that remarks Garcia made at a New Boston debate in February included a phrase lifted from Virginia: The Old Dominion, a book written by historian Matthew Page Andrews in the 1930s.

“The colonists quickly developed what became the distinguishing characteristic of Americans – an aptitude for all kinds of craftsmanship coupled with an innate genius for experimentation and invention,” Andrews wrote.

In her speech at the debate, Garcia said: “And that right then is when what I believe the defining characteristic of Americans – and America – was born. And that’s an aptitude for all sorts of craftsmanship coupled with an innate genius for experimentation and invention.”

In response to the allegations, a spokesman for Garcia’s campaign pointed to three instances where he said her opponent, incumbent U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, had plagiarized text about legislation in press releases or on her campaign and official websites.

One, a section of Kuster’s official website titled “Protecting Seniors,” says Social Security “has lifted millions of senior citizens out of poverty and provided financial security for generations of widowed spouses, children, and people with disabilities.”

Garcia’s campaign pointed to the website of another congressman, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, which uses almost identical language. Cartwright was elected the same year as Kuster.

The two other examples are a technical description of a proposed bill, and a technical definition of the taxes on hard cider.

Garcia’s campaign also called on Kuster to apologize for spending more than other members of the state’s Congressional delegation on franked mail, or official communications with constituents.



(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)