Tuesday, December 20, 2005
There she goes again
While I appreciated Missouri Speaker of the House Rod Jetton's recent e-mail explaining how state representatives have made a deal to use each other's writings as their own, I still don't buy it.
Apparently, Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin, does. I have written a couple of times recently how Ms. Ruestman and Rep. Ron Richard, R-Joplin, have plagiarized, word for word nearly, columns that were originally written by Rep. Jetton.
As I was reading the Dec. 14 Newton County News today, I read "The Ruestman Report," which purportedly is Rep. Ruestman's weekly column detailing what goes on in the state legislature. As I read the column, I once again had the feeling of deja vu, so a quick check turned out an Oct. 7 column by Rep. Jetton, which is almost exactly the same as "The Ruestman Report."
While the earlier two that were explored by The Turner Report centered around the Medicaid issue, this column was a more general review of the 2005 legislative session.
Give Ms. Ruestman credit. She apparently wrote her own first paragraph, which reads, "The 2005 session was a great success, and many of the problems that have been our focus over the past several years have been dealt with."
After that, most of the column is either word-for-word or nearly word-for-word the same as Rep. Jetton's column.
After she reaches the portion of Rep. Jetton's column where he begins to talk about things that are germane to his constituents, Ms. Ruestman finally steers herself away, writing, "Currently, I am working on legislation that will focus on meth houses. We have strengthened our position on preventing meth labs from occurring in the state, and we now need to look at how to further protect our citizens from the effects of these labs.
"This legislation would require that a house, after being used in the production of meth, be properly reported and tested. It has been found that those who move into a former meth house are subject to adverse health effects, and this would ensure that the houses are properly cleaned and safe."
When Ms. Ruestman puts her name on a column, the same as any other columnist, reporter, or even someone writing a school report, she is saying that the column is her work and her work alone.
Again, if she wants to parrot the words of Rep. Jetton or anyone else, she needs to tell her readers that. They have the right to know.