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#NY23 Dem primary leader Max Della Pia’s campaign website copied from Jon Ossoff

#NY23 Dem primary leader Max Della Pia’s campaign website copied from Jon Ossoff

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

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.

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?


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G. de La Hoya | June 30, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Some say imitation is flattery. Maybe this instance it shows stupidity and laziness. Typical attributes that I’m seeing in some of the present workforce. Almost acting as if they were entitled government employees 🙂

The democrat establishment is about as clueless as the GOPe.

The only difference is that the democrat establishment is openly traitorous, the GOPe tries to hide it.

Who is worse?

DINORightMarie | June 30, 2018 at 9:58 pm

“Sampled” – what a cute word for “cut and paste.”

The fact that they even did this is enough to show they don’t have anything they stand for, but are taking the canned party line on everything.

Hope NY-23 is smart and keeps the R incumbent!

    Milhouse in reply to DINORightMarie. | July 1, 2018 at 5:43 am

    It shows nothing of the sort. The candidate says he reviewed the material to make sure it reflected his views. That is all that’s necessary. Yes, it was copied-and-pasted. That’s how it’s supposed to be. It’s stupid to expect a volunteer to waste his time writing something original when there’s perfectly good material available from like-minded campaigns, that’s likely to be usable with a bit of editing.

      G. de La Hoya in reply to Milhouse. | July 1, 2018 at 9:09 am

      …and you take their word for it. Good for you 🙂

        Milhouse in reply to G. de La Hoya. | July 1, 2018 at 9:36 am

        1. The fact that “passages” were the same means that pages weren’t. Something was changed, therefore there was an editing process.

        2. Even if the entire pages were identical it would just mean there was nothing on the page that needed changing. Which is exactly what you’d expect of two candidates coming from the same ideological background.

        3. In the absence of any reason whatsoever to doubt his word on this matter, of course we must take it. Accusing someone of lying requires some foundation.

          G. de La Hoya in reply to Milhouse. | July 1, 2018 at 10:40 am

          Never said they were lying. I just don’t believe them. You a lazy POS that piggy backs other’s work maybe, and pats yourself on the back at how brilliant you think you are? Your philosophy would work out quite well for copyright infringers in the music industry 😉

          G. de La Hoya in reply to Milhouse. | July 1, 2018 at 10:49 am

          Maybe we just come from different parts of the country and see things differently 🙂 you kind of project that typical east coast snobbery 😉 Have a good weekend 🙂

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | July 2, 2018 at 2:45 am

          There is no part of the country where such work is expected to be original. Yes, I piggyback on other people’s work all the time, and so do you unless you’re an idiot. Repeating other people’s work, just for the sake of it, is stupid, inefficient, and in most workplaces will get you fired.

          School work is different, because the whole point is not to get the answers but to teach you how to find them on your own; the teacher already knows the answers, after all. And of course creative writing is different because originality is the whole point of it; by definition submitting someone else’s work is not creative. But those are just about the only exceptions to the general rule that copying is good and to be encouraged, provided that if you copy something that’s not exactly right for the current purpose you must then remember to edit it to make it right.

      davod in reply to Milhouse. | July 1, 2018 at 9:37 am

      Millhouse. I agree with you. Life is to short to spend lots of time essentially rehashing what has already been written down.

Probably not a major deal. It gives the candidates something to snipe at each other about, but that’s about it.

Democratic voters are not really looking for originality in a candidate. Or integrity, either. They haven’t seen either in decades, so they have no idea what they might be missing. They won’t consider anything like this a turn-off.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | July 1, 2018 at 5:44 am

    Republican voters look for integrity, but not for originality. I guarantee you that plenty of R campaigns do the same thing, because it’s stupid and wasteful not to.

DouglasJBender | June 30, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Perhaps the volunteer was Jon Ossoff?

Sorry, not seeing the scandal. The mockery, yes, but not the scandal. Since when is campaign material supposed to be original? What on earth is wrong with copying such pages from a like-minded candidate, and editing them as necessary to adapt them to the local situation. The candidate says he reviewed the page to make sure it reflected his views, and it did; what difference should it make whether the original writing was by a volunteer for his campaign or for someone else’s?

It’s no different from programmers copying code, which they do all the time. Nobody writes code from scratch if they can help it; you find something similar, copy it, and then edit it. There is no expectation whatsoever of originality, indeed it’s discouraged as inefficient, like reinventing the wheel. Campaign literature is no different.

That is a great question and it is very embarrassing. Here is a greater question.

Doesn’t Tom “Reckess” Reed owe it to the voters to discuss the possible dangers if President Trump follows the path that Reed appears to be advocating regarding North Korea? Doesn’t Reed owe the voters an honest discussion of what might happen if we follow his advice and go to war with North Korea if they don’t totally get rid of their nukes? Doesn’t he owe it to us to explain that there is at least a small chance that if we go to war with North Korea, the North Koreans could explode a nuclear weapon above the atmosphere of the US, causing an electromagnetic pulse? Doesn’t Reed owe it to the voters that experts disagree about what would happen if an Electromagnetic Pulse was released over the U.S–some saying not much, some saying it could destroy electronics and knock out power over a wide area indefinitely?

Actually, John Bolton considers the EMP threat a reason we should attack North Korea–but the possibility of a crippling EMP can just as easily be used as a reason NOT to attack them. If Kim sees we are raising our military preparedness–if there is any indication that we are about to attack him, he may launch his missiles first rather than risk losing the ability to launch them later.

And even if Kim does not launch first, what GUARANTEE do we have that he won’t be able to launch later? We might not know where all his nuclear facilities are buried underground in caves. He PROBABLY won’t be able to launch a retaliatory attack, but war is unpredictable and there are not GUARANTEES.
And what about the backlash we will inevitably face from the rest of the world if we launch a first strike on North Korea? Maybe Reed’s policy is the best one to follow. But the voters deserve an honest, open discussion about its possible ramifications

I discuss the possible ramifications of Reed’s apparent advocacy of war with North Korea if they don’t denuclearize in much more detail here.

So while Max’s (or his intern’s) imitation of Melania Trump’s plagiarism of Michelle Obama is embarrassing, focusing on life-or-death issues about the wisdom of attacking North Korea or relying on deterrence should be more important to voters.

    Milhouse in reply to Robin Messing. | July 1, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    You are precisely the sort of craven worm who would have us lie down and submit to every enemy in our history, for fear of even the tiniest risk in fighting. War is always a risk; you would have us therefore never go to war.