You remember Jon Ossoff?

He was the high-flying national liberal and media darling who crashed to the ground in the Georgia 6th District congressional special election in June 2017.

 

https://youtu.be/qi7-c3HaQzY

Ossoff became a punch line for how out-of-state and celebrity money and endorsements may not be enough for liberal Democrats to win even in swing districts.

So who would want to copy Ossoff?

Apparently candidate Max Della Pia in NY-23, who grabbed huge chunks of Ossoff’s campaign website. Della Pia is ahead by 28 votes after the Democratic Party primary to challenge Tom Reed, in my home district that includes Ithaca and the “Southern Tier” of upstate New York. Absentee ballots have yet to be counted, so it’s possible Della Pia will not end up as the challenger.

But if he does, he’s got his first mini-scandal to deal with, one that almost certainly will be part of Reed’s advertising.

The Buffalo News reports:

Voters sometimes say that politicians have just plain run out of ideas. And by the looks of his website, that might just be the case with Max Della Pia, the Democrat who’s likely to challenge Rep. Tom Reed, a Corning Republican, this fall.

Large parts of the Della Pia website are lifted, word for word in many cases, from the website of Jon Ossoff, a Democrat who lost a special House election in Georgia last year….

… nearly 20 passages of Della Pia’s website that echo Ossoff’s. The portions of Della Pia’s website on civil liberties and civil rights, U.S.-Israel relations, women’s health, national security, seniors, criminal justice and anti-corruption also all include passages that appear to be copied from the Ossoff website.

Asked for an explanation, Della Pia’s spokeswoman blamed the apparent cut-and-paste authorship of his website on a volunteer who put together the prose in the early part of the candidate’s campaign.

“Max was responsible for writing his biography and a ‘letter to the voters,’ while the volunteer wrote the policy sections of the website,” said the spokeswoman, Aubrey Stuber. “While writing several of the sections, we now know that the volunteers sampled heavily from Jon Ossoff’s campaign website.”

Stuber, who declined to name the volunteer, said Della Pia read the passages of the website to make sure they echoed his beliefs, but had no idea they were lifted from the website of another candidate.

“It was a mistake that the campaign didn’t ensure the language provided by that volunteer was checked for originality, and one for which we take full responsibility,” Stuber said. “However, voters can be confident that the views expressed on the website are consistent with Max’s stances on the issues.”

Stuber said the cut-and-paste passages of Della Pia’s website would be removed and rewritten starting Friday afternoon. But none of that was good enough for Nicholas Weinstein, Reed’s campaign manager.

“The extent of Max Della Pia’s dishonesty is surprising when he has portrayed himself as an independent thinker and candidate of integrity,” said Weinstein. “How can the voters believe anything he says when his platform was stolen word for word from another candidate?”

You could chalk it up to staff error, but this is not the first time the Reed campaign has accused Della Pia of shenanigans with his campaign website.

The 2nd Amendment is big in the mostly rural and conservative (outside Ithaca) district. The Reed campaign accused Della Pia of doctoring the transcript of a Q&A in a video interview on his gun ownership.

But back to basics. If you are going to copy another campaign’s website, why copy a loser and laughingstock like Ossoff?