The Republican Party of Texas is accusing Democratic state Rep. Joe Moody, of El Paso, of plagiarizing the text of a State of the State address by Gov. Rick Perry, and it has launched a website to make its case: www.madatmoody.com.
Moody is facing off for a second time against Republican El Paso businessman Dee Margo. When Moody won the race in 2008, he became the first Democrat to hold the House District 78 seat in nearly three decades, taking away the GOP's only seat on the border. Without the so-called Obama bump this time around, Margo and the GOP are hopeful they'll win the seat back.
On the website, the party has a video of Perry's speech, and it cites Moody's newsletters that use identical language to describe legislative accomplishments. "No matter how many times Joe Moody says he’ll be our voice in Austin, we know the truth — he has yet to find his own." Here's one of the examples:
- "Legislator’s re-affirmed Texas’ emphasis on investing in job creation with continued funding for the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. Also passed was a new proposal with an updated incentive package for the film and moving image industry.”
(Joe Moody, Legislative Report, Fall 2009)
- "Legislators also affirmed my emphasis on investing in job creation, with continued funding for the Texas Enterprise Fund, the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, and an updated incentive package for the moving image industry.”
(Rick Perry, “Legislative priorities funded to move Texas forward," Prepared Remarks By Gov. Perry, http://governor.state.tx.us/news/speech/12454/, 6/2/09)
Moody said his staff prepared a newsletter using language similar to what Perry used in his speech. What they did isn't much different from what Perry did when he had a press conference about two criminal justice related bills that Moody helped write and didn't use Moody's name, he said. "These kinds of things happen, and we'll make sure in the future that all language we use is original," Moody said. He called the site, which has a photo of Moody made to look like he's a suspect in a line-up, ridiculous. "At end of the day, this is another childish, amateurish attack that the people of El Paso have leaned to expect from Dee Margo and his friends," Moody said.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.
Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.