Controversy Erupts Over Congressman's Plagiarized "Article"

A controversy has erupted over an article attributed to Congressman Steve Pearce, of New Mexico's district 2, which ran recently in Socorro's local paper, El Defensor Chieftain. The article also seems to have appeared in Socorro's other local paper, the Mountain Mail. Ironically entitled "Straight Talk", the article was found to be an almost word for word rip-off of a piece published on the web site of the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing "think tank" which espouses many anti-environmental and pro-business positions. The congressman's press secretary, Jim Burns, resigned shortly after the incident was discovered by an astute reader of El Defensor Chieftain in a letter to the editor, but many are claiming he was a scapegoat given that the article was ultimately attributed to the congressman himself.

The editor of El Defensor Chieftain wrote a somewhat scathing editorial after the plagiarism was discovered, although in the end they did not call for the congressman to resign. The paper then found itself inundated with letters to the editor rebuking the congressman, such as this call for the congressman's resignation (note: scroll down as there are several letters and not all of them relate to the incident) and the letter that started it all.