Last night, we published a story about Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, Republican candidate for Arizona's 3rd Congressional District, who posted the following analogy on her official Facebook page:
The post went viral pretty quickly. By 12:30 AM EST, it was deleted.
However, what can be seen as another case of partisan politics gone wild on social media took a strange twist when it came to our attention that Saucedo Mercer allegedly just lifted her ideas from other sources and gave them no attribution. What is even stranger is that Saucedo Mercer and her campaign were going down a path that was already taken by a Minnesota state rep who basically said the same thing four months ago in the following video:
In March, Franson (R) tweeted her apology hours after her video was public on YouTube. The YouTube video was deleted, but not before it was captured by Crooks and Liars. Saucedo Mercer's post closely matches Franson's words, which we are sure have been going around the Internet before Franson made the comments. This is what Franson said:
And here, it’s kind of ironic, I’ll read you this little funny clipped [sic] that we got from a friend. It says, ‘Isn’t it ironic that the food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to please not feed the animals, because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.’
Furthermore, a quick image search revealed the following pic that was posted on Facebook in June, 2012:
Apparently this is not the first time that the Saucedo Mercer's Facebook page has allegedly lifted content from others without attribution. On July 11, the following post was made:
A quick search of this post led us to the following blog post, which was published on September 11, 2011:
We did reach out last night to Saucedo Mercer's campaign and the candidate responded to us around 11:30 EST asking for specific questions regarding the original food stamps post. We sent the questions over to her and also shared with the alleged examples of lifted content from her Facebook site that we found last night. We also sent her links about Franson's story as well as the story behind her July 11 posting. We asked specific questions as to why she was not attributing sources for her ideas, and told her that if this were a political speech, such attribution would be common. We told her that this story would be running this morning and that we were requesting a comment from her. As of right now, Saucedo Mercer has not answered our emails or answered our questions. Instead has posted the following on her Facebook page (a dictionary definition with no attribution):
Meanwhile, more and more Facebook profiles are slamming Saucedo Mercer for the original food stamp post. Here is just one example:
If Saucedo Mercer does decide to talk with us, we will publish her comments on this site.