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Correction on the Orrin Johnson Plagiarism Story

I know I wrote yesterday that I was taking Christmas weekend off; however, due to a misunderstanding in communications, I made a error in yesterday’s Muth’s Truths and it’s important enough to fix today rather than wait until Monday.

After yesterday’s e-newsletter went out, I found out that Orrin Johnson did NOT plagiarized Ellie Lopez-Bowlan’s research work in a campaign mailer in 2010. That was two other candidates.

What Johnson is actually accused of ripping off is Lopez-Bowlan’s exposure of the plagiarism in a press release he sent out which criticized the other candidates.

But rather than taking a chance on getting the information incorrect again, I’ll let Lopez-Bowlan herself explain exactly what happened:

“My consultants uncovered the Copy Cat Candidates who used my stats and data and did flyers with it. We worked all weekend on an email exposing them…as soon as we put out our email, Orrin and (his consultant) Bryan (Bedera) stole this information and did a press release…implying that they had uncovered it….even using the term (‘Photocopy Campaign’).

“So yes, Orrin plagiarized the work that we did. When I confronted him, he said it was ‘public knowledge’! I told him that I had paid my consultants for this and one of them had worked all weekend. He did not care as he was running against (Pat) Hickey and needed our material. My take was that he had little money to put in to his campaign…so he was (going to) steal our work!”

The ironic part is that in his press release slamming his opponent, Orrin wrote, “And frankly, it’s troubling that anyone would put their name to a product so clearly not their own.”

You know, the way Orrin did with his press release. Talk about a world-class hypocrite.

Oh, and as for Orrin’s campaign email list? Lopez-Bowlan says part of that was stolen from her, too.

“Also, Bedera was supposed to help me with an email distribution so I gave him a private, member list…after I decided not to use the list, he gave it to Orrin. All of my neighbors began getting Orrin’s emails! I once again confronted these idiots and they claimed it was a ‘four-year old list’…lies again! My neighbors who had only lived here 2 years were getting the emails! These guys know only one way to play….dirty!”

Ah, yes…what a paragon of ethics the “thoughtful” Mr. Johnson is.

And this isn’t the first time Bedera has been accused of purloining an email list. Debbie Landis of the tea party group Action is Brewing had her attorney “draft a cease and desist order in case she needs to file it against an Internet-savvy political consulting group based in Reno that she suspected of obtaining her e-mail list to share with its clients.”

The Internet-savvy political consultant involved? Bryan Bedera.
You can read the full story here

For his part, Mr. Bedera emailed me Friday afternoon and admitted Johnson used Lopez-Bowlan’s material in Johnson’s press release, but says she “was informed of what we were doing and expressed no objections before the release was sent.” Lopez-Bowlan vehemently disputes that claim.

Bedera also wrote that Lopez-Bowlan “isn’t a reliable source” – which ought to come as quite a surprise to the thousands upon thousands of northern Nevadans who have read her columns in the Reno Gazette-Journal over the years.

Anyway, I apologize for the error in yesterday’s e-newsletter.

Again, Orrin Johnson did not rip off Lopez-Bowlan’s work on the illegal immigration issue. He ripped off her work on exposing the rip-off of her work on the illegal immigration issue.

And for the record, as soon as I found out there was an unintentional mistake on my part yesterday, I removed the post from my blog rather than leave the mistaken information up there for folks who hadn’t seen it to see it. I thought that was the responsible and fair thing to do.

Of course, Orrin is now accusing me of trying to cover up my mistake by removing the post – but Orrin’s full of bean dip. Does this correction look like a cover-up to you? I made a mistake. I fixed the mistake.

In unrelated Orrin Johnson news, another northern Nevada GOP leader informed me yesterday that Orrin isn’t just a government employee in the business of helping keep criminals out of jail, but during the last legislative session he was also a taxpayer-funded PAID LOBBYIST for Washoe County’s public defender’s office.

Lovely.

A taxpayer-funded government employee getting paid with taxpayer dollars to lobby the Legislature for more taxpayer money. Some conservative.

Indeed, the more we learn about Mr. Johnson, the more we understand why he lost his race for state assembly to Mr. Hickey last year…and why we’re all better off for it.