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Gazette Premium Content Candidates' statements suspiciously match word for word

TOM ROEDER Updated: August 14, 2010 at 12:00 am

Two Colorado Springs candidates for the same state Senate seat apparently think alike — exactly alike — according to their websites.

On their Senate District 11 campaign sites, Libertarian hopeful Doug Randall and Republican Owen Hill both say “America is a land where you can have almost anything – but you can’t have everything.”

They also say “The United States is unparalleled in the education available to those who take refuge in our borders. We do not restrict education to social classes, to ethnic groups, or to gender.”

They even sing harmony on business issues.

“Small businesses are responsible for the majority of job creation in the United States,” Randall and Hill state on their sites. “In addition, small businesses are growing at a faster rate for women and minority owners than it is for the population at large.”

And while it’s clear that either the two candidates were separated at birth or somebody is lying, supporters of Randall and Hill say the words are the sole creation of their candidate.
“It is Owen’s original content,” Hill spokesman Chris McIntire said. “If anything, they are trying to copy us and trying to get publicity.”

“I can produce plenty of documents to prove that I wrote that stuff,” said Randall, a carpenter who said he’s been honing some of the political phrases since 1979.

Randall said he has filed a complaint with state campaign regulators.

“I figure a federal crime has been committed,” he said.

“My understanding is, from Doug, that Doug had written the stuff, and he noticed it was on his opponent’s website and was not pleased with that discovery,” said David K. Williams Jr., chairman of the Libertarian Party of Colorado.

McIntire said Hill was busy campaigning and didn’t have time to discuss the matter.

Plagiarism has been a hot topic in Colorado politics this summer. GOP gubernatorial hopeful Scott McInnis went from frontrunner to also-ran in the Republican primary last week after is was revealed that he had purloined passages to use in papers he wrote as part of a $300,000 fellowship.

McInnis was defeated in the primary by political newcomer Dan Maes.

While Randall and Hill may have the same wording on their Internet sites, the two campaigns couldn’t be more different.

Hill, an Air Force Academy graduate, has raised $60,000 in his bid to defeat incumbent Democratic state Sen. John Morse.

Randall, who took on Morse after losing a bid to represent the Libertarians in the governor’s race, hasn’t raised a dime or spent a cent on his effort, according to reports filed with the Colorado Secretary of State.

McIntire said Randall’s low profile makes the whole thing fishy.

“All I know is, I wasn’t aware he had a website up until today,” he said. “Owen’s has been up forever.”

Williams said Republicans and Libertarians disagree on everything from civil liberties to spending.

“The Republicans have a record of talking one thing and doing another,” Williams said. “We aren’t on the same page with the Republicans.”

What happens next is up in the air.

Williams said Hill should remove the content from his Internet site and apologize.

McIntire said Hill will probably ignore the whole thing.

“To us, it is a nonissue,” he said.

Morse, the Senate majority leader, launched a redesigned website Saturday. It contains no wording that is found on his competitor’s sites.

 

 

A LOOK AT THE TWO SITES


• Fiscal Policy
From Republican Owen Hill’s site:
We learned it from our grandparents and we will teach it to our children: America is a land where you can have almost anything–but you can’t have everything.  We have to make hard choices and we have to have a vision for what we want in life.  That vision animates our daily lives from the moment we wake up early to the moment we crawl in bed at night.  This is how we live and this is what we require of our elected officials.


From Libertarian Doug Randall’s site:
We learned it from our grandparents and we will teach it to our children: America is a land where you can have almost anything–but you can’t have everything. We have to make hard choices and we have to have a vision for what we want in life. That vision animates our daily lives from the moment we wake up early to the moment we crawl in bed at night. This is how we live and this is what we require of our elected officials.

• Education
From Owen Hill’s site:
The United States is unparalleled in the education available to those who take refuge in its borders.  We do not restrict education to social classes, to ethnic groups, or to gender.  But our opportunity to choose what is best for our children is limited.  Just as we choose what higher-education best addresses our needs and desires, so should we be able to choose what primary education does as well.


From Doug Randall’s site:
The United States is unparalleled in the education available to those who take refuge in our borders. We do not restrict education to social classes, to ethnic groups, or to gender. In recent years our freedom to choose what is best for our children has increased through the creation of magnet and charter schools, and resurgence in home schooling. These advances need to be protected and enhanced. Just as we choose the level of higher education that best addresses our needs and desires, so should it be with primary education.


• Jobs
From Owen Hill’s site:
Small businesses are responsible for the majority of job creation in the United States.  In addition, small businesses are growing at a faster rate for women and minority owners than it is for the population at large.  As such, small businesses represent an opportunity to reduce the gender and ethnic gap in the workplace.


From Doug Randall’s site:
Small businesses are responsible for the majority of job creation in the United States. In addition, small businesses are growing at a faster rate for women and minority owners than it is for the population at large. As such, small businesses represent an opportunity to reduce the gender and ethnic gap in the workplace.

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