Last week, CBS News and the Washington Post contacted me about Jane Strauss’ plagiarism of the images Louise Epstein has been using on her campaign materials since May 2011. If you live in Herndon, Great Falls or McLean, you can’t miss the huge photo of three graduates plastered on Epstein’s 4′ x 8′ campaign road signs.
Recently, Strauss “adopted” use of similar imagery in her revamped campaign brochure that uses the same students. Strauss appears to be injecting some “voter confusion” into the campaign. That’s a pretty low-ball move but par for the course with her struggling campaign these days.
The plagiarism story ran on both the CBS News DC bureau website and on the new Washington Post blog “Virginia Schools Insider” hosted by reporters Emma Brown and Kevin Sieff.
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but this is not a joking matter. Consider the fact that if Jane Strauss were an FCPS student, she would be brought up on honor code violations for plagiarism. The chairman of the FCPS School Board should not be sending the signal to students that plagiarism is okay. Plagiarism is never okay.
Strauss is telling reporters that the use of Epstein’s branding image is unintentional and that she never saw Epstein’s campaign materials. That’s funny – because her people were picking up Louise’s campaign flyer at the McLean Day Festival back in May. Also, does Strauss honestly expect the public to believe that she and her campaign have never visited Epstein’s website before August? Epstein’s site went live in May and the imagery Epstein is using has never changed.
Strauss’ recollection of events seems to be fading a lot these days as we recently saw on her claims about her level of participation with FAIRGRADE.
Strauss also seems to “borrow” from the hard work of others a lot. Her “idea” for an independent auditor for the School Board has been pushed by school board member Patty Reed for two years now. Suddenly, it’s now Strauss’ “original” idea? Um… right.
After 18 years in office, apparently Strauss’ well of ideas has run dry.