Democratic Congressman Ami Bera, who represents California’s tightly-contested 7th district in eastern Sacramento County, has been accused of plagiarizing in an op-ed he wrote for the Sacramento Bee on Sunday, according to the Bee. In the column, Bera supported a Trade Promotion Authority bill giving Barack Obama “fast-track” authority to negotiate a trade deal.
On Tuesday, Bera’s plagiarizing was caught by BuzzFeed, which noted six different instances in which Bera copied statements produced by the Business Roundtable and Third Way, “groups that back the president’s trade agenda,” according to Buzzfeed.
After he was caught, Bera released a statement saying that his position remained unchanged, but he added, “However, after an internal review of our editing process, it has become clear that widely used and disseminated statements made their way into the final draft, and for that I apologize. I take full responsibility for this oversight and will be dealing with the responsible staff internally.”
Dan Morain, the Bee’s editorial page editor, said, “It clearly is a work that borrowed way too heavily from other peoples’ work. I would expect better of people who write op-eds.”
Zach Hunter, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, told the Bee, “It appears Ami Bera is engaging in copy-and-paste public policy, substituting other people’s talking points for analysis.”
Labor sympathizers chastised Bera for blindly supporting Obama.
Bera barely won reelection in 2014 in the most expensive House race in the country; out of roughly 183,000 votes, he won by 1,400.