Rand Paul to Use Footnotes, so 'Leave Me the Hell Alone'

Move comes as senator loses 'Washington Times' column

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 6, 2013 8:32 AM CST

(Newser) – Sen. Rand Paul yesterday offered a solution to his plagiarism problem: "What we are going to do from here forward, if it will make people leave me the hell alone, is we're going to do (written material) like college papers," he tells the New York Times. "We're going to try to put out footnotes." The new strategy will be implemented among his staff, though no one will be fired. Paul's previous "mistakes," he said, hadn't been "intentional."

But the footnote move won't save his weekly column in the Washington Times, which is now coming to an end, the paper reports. "We expect our columnists to submit original work and to properly attribute material, and we appreciate that the senator and his staff have taken responsibility for an oversight in one column," editor John Solomon says. That column, a Sept. 20 piece on mandatory sentencing, was flagged by Buzzfeed as including sections that were close to identical to those that ran in an essay in the Week one week prior. In other Paul plagiarism news:

  • Buzzfeed also picked up on similarities between an article in Forbes and Paul's book Government Bullies.
  • And Rachel Maddow, whom Paul recently suggested he'd like to duel over the matter, says Paul's not exactly handling this like a grownup. "Senator Rand Paul wants to shoot at me or stab me with a sword or something for reporting something true that he has done wrong as a politician," Maddow said on her show on Monday, per Jezebel. "Responding to the person rather than the charge is a time-tested tactic. Honestly, it's a symptom of immaturity in our political discourse."

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine reevaluating the effectiveness of Federal mandatory minimum sentences, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing to examine reevaluating the effectiveness of Federal mandatory minimum sentences, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday,...   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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