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Utah Dems say GOP ‘not funny’ with ‘plagiarized’ release


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SALT LAKE CITY — (KUTV) Just about the only words not copied by Utah Republicans from a Utah Democrats news release on Thursday were “Utah Republican Party Chair James Evans.”

After Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced he would be voting for Donald Trump as the next President of the United States, the Utah Democratic Party Chair Peter Corroon, denounced Herbert’s decision with three opening words: “Unbelievable. Shameful. Appalling.” The news release went on to state why the party felt Trump shouldn’t be supported and that “Utahns know Gary Herbert is not looking out for their best interests.”

About two and a half hours later, the Utah Republican Party issued a news release “inspired by Peter Coroon (sic)” that began with some familiar words: “Unbelievable. Shameful. Appalling.”

The statement from Utah Republican Party Chair James Evans went on to contain a majority of identical text from the Democratic Party’s statement.

“I’m curious if (Evans) is using the same press writer as Melania Trump now,” Utah Democratic Party Communications Director Yándary Zavala said responding to the statement.

Zavala mentioned the response statement Utah GOP Chair James Evans sent out to the public was “nearly identical” to Corroon’s statement.

“It is shocking that Chairman Evans would resort to plagiarizing Utah Democratic Party Chair Peter Corroon’s statement to make light of the seriousness of the 2016 presidential election. Perhaps he simply meant to poke a little fun, but this ‘Melania move’ by James Evans highlights just how out of touch the Utah GOP – and its Chairman – is with the political climate in Utah and with what is best for Utahns and their families.”

The Dems even called it out on social media, sharing a side by side of both statements and stating, “TMW (too much work) @utgop_james copies you while failing to understand the diastrousness of a Trump presidency. #utpol #NeverTrump.”

It’s not hard to see the similarities between the Dems’ statement against Gov. Gary Herbert’s choice to vote for Donald Trump and the GOP’s statement denouncing Democratic governor challenger Mike Weinholtz’s support of Hillary Clinton.

In the GOP release, Herbert’s name is replaced with “Weinholtz” and Trump’s name with “Clinton.”

One, mostly-original line still followed the same outline of the Democratic statement, reading “like the last 60-plus years, Utah will stay Red. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump believes that we can’t afford four more years of the Obama-Clinton doctrine abroad, he knows how to get our economy going again, and make America great again.”

The GOP release ended with a hat tip of sorts to the Utah Democratic Party: “This Press Release was inspired by Peter Coroon (sic).”

In a plagiarism checker tool, the news release was considered 7 percent unique. It likely would have been lower if Corroon’s last name was spelled correctly.

Zavala said she wasn’t sure if whether the Utah GOP’s move was a joke, but noted that Utahns are taking the election seriously.

“I don’t know if they were trying to be funny, but it’s not,” she said. “Plagiarism aside, it’s not funny. They are making light of what could really be a disastrous presidency of Donald Trump.”

Zavala went on to say in a state that typically votes Republican, polls are showing Utahns are not falling in line with the Republican nominee this time because they “see what a threat Donald Trump could be.”

Utah Republican Party Chair James Evans did not return multiple requests for comment.