The Oddest Movement Conservative Grift: The Maine-CBPP Edition

Maine Governor Paul LePage, who makes Senator James Inhofe look moderate, decided to give a conservative faith tank a no-bid $925,000 consulting contract to examine the state’s welfare and labor policies.Nothing surprising there: grifters gonna grift. But here’s where it gets weird (boldface mine):

One of the few sensible recommendations from his group’s recently released 228-page report on Maine’s government assistance programs is for Maine to start a subsidized jobs program for its TANF recipients. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, or CBPP, Maine is one of 10 states without such a program.

But in keeping with the rest of his paper, Alexander’s recommendation on subsidized work programs is far from original. In fact, much of it is lifted directly from the CBPP report.

To its credit, the Alexander Group cites the report as a source. But following the citation, the Alexander Group uses much of the CBPP report, word for word, passing it off as Alexander Group work.

“We don’t think professional standards would include excerpting significant chunks of text without quotation marks,” said Liz Schott, a senior fellow with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ welfare reform and income support division and one of the report’s three authors. “They listed text and made it appear like their own, and, yes, that appears to be plagiarism.”

It starts with a list about advantages to subsidized work programs. Then, the Alexander Group discusses the experience of other states that have started subsidized work programs. For about two full pages, pages 110 and 111, the Alexander Group uses the CBPP’s work, virtually word or word.

A conservative think tank plagiarizes a liberal one. Battle of ideas, anyone?

I wonder when they’ll be cutting CBPP a check.

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