BuzzFeed is reporting that U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Monica Wehby has again plagiarized her campaign platform on health care. This time, the website says, she copied her positions word-for-word from her Republican primary opponent, Jason Conger.
Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon challenging U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), came under fire last month for using a health-care platform written by Karl Rove. She replaced it with a new platform. Today, BuzzFeed News reporter Andrew Kaczynski says she copied that replacement platform from Conger, who she defeated in the spring's GOP primary.
Among the passages Kaczynski cites as being the same in Conger and Wehby's platforms: "Guarantee protection for Americans who remain continuously enrolled in insurance plans."
Wehby spokesman Dean Petrone says Wehby's positions are commonly held.
"The campaign has already addressed this issue and taken the necessary steps to correct it," he tells WW. "Dr. Wehby stands by the concepts and principles that are shared by a majority of Americans who recognize the need for reform of our broken healthcare system."
In WW's endorsement of Conger over Wehby in May, this newspaper cited Conger's better grasp of health-care policy as a reason to support him:
Republicans are using Obamacare as a major wedge this year. On this question, Wehby is all over the map. She touted the value of some provisions of the Affordable Care Act, such as those on pre-existing conditions.A former Oregon Medical Association president, Wehby waffled endlessly when she tried to describe which parts of major health-care reform she might have supported in the past. When pressed, Wehby acknowledged sheâd vote to repeal the entire ACA if the question was put to her in the U.S. Senate.Conger, who clearly dislikes Obamacare, nonetheless had the common sense to support bills in the Oregon Legislature that would leverage its benefits to Oregonians. Wehby is trying to appeal to right wingers while preserving campaign rhetoric for the general election. Given her knowledge of the health-care system, and the stakes for Oregonians, her befuddling answers were at times disingenuous.
Wehby won the primary easily. But in recent weeks, her campaign has unraveled. She trails by about 20 points in polls, and has has avoided joint appearances with Merkley, including skipping the WW endorsement interview.