In a way Bill Randall was clever, taking a fifty year old document, Stan Evans’ ‘Sharon Statement,’ renaming it and posting it on his website as his own ‘Charter of Principles’ as if he’d written it.
After all, it worked for almost a year – until last week when Randall got caught red-handed.
Since, Randall has made one misstep after another.
At first he tried to brazen it out: He took his original ‘Charter’ off his website, replaced it with a new version with a footnote, then sent the new version to a reporter in Greensboro – like the footnote had been there all along – and said, See, look at the footnote. That proves I haven’t plagiarized anyone.’
Why he thought that would work is hard to say.
Of course, the next day Bernie Reeves’ campaign produced the original footnote-less ‘Charter’ Randall had been using for a year, plus ten more examples of Randall plagiarizing stands from Congressmen and Senators and the Republican National Committee.
By then Randall’s cover-up was in tatters and he had no fig leaf left so it looked like it was time for him to try confession and contrition – but instead, misstepping again, he announced all the plagiarism on his website, every bit of it, was the fault of an errant volunteer – who he hinted had done him in intentionally. What’s more, he said, he had, himself, personally, purged every plagiarized word from his website.
By the time Randall was through explaining it was hard not to feel like he ought to get the Good Conduct Medal for cleaning up the mess – but that fig leaf only held up a couple of hours until someone asked Randall a question he hadn’t figured on. They asked: If that plagiarizing was done by an errant volunteer – then why did you try to fool the press with that bogus footnote the first time you were caught?
It turned out Randall had landed himself in another mess.
By his own admission he’d been using that plagiarized ‘Charter of Principles’ for years – so there was clearly no way an ‘errant volunteer’ from his campaign had written it. But to say he’d been undone by two different plagiarists, one who’d stolen Stan Evans’ Sharon Statement years ago and another who’d worked in his campaign, was like saying lightning had struck him twice in the same way and in the same place – four years apart.