I am appalled to find that when reading through Congressional documents, including hearing transcripts and the Congressional Record, one may find someone directly quoting from someone else, without any notice to this “borrowing” of ideas! People, cite!

What was particularly obvious was the testimony from members of the National Association of Realtors. Mr. John Lynch testified for the Subcommittee on Environment and Hazardous Materials in the House of Representatives, on June 28 2001 (Serial No. 107-43). That is all great, until one reads the testimony of Mr. Mike Ford, to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, on February 27 2001 (S. Hrg. 107-76). Interestingly enough, Mr. Lynch’s prepared statement (page 85) and testimony (page 84) present verbatim parts of Mr. Ford’s testimony (page 42) and prepared statement (page 70). What is more, Mr. Lynch’s statement follows the same format as Mr. Ford’s statement, which seems to indicate that Mr. Lynch may have (possibly) copied and then edited Mr. Ford statement to fit his State, Ohio.

Mr. John Lynch, broker and owner of Lynch & Company in Cleveland, Ohio, should be terribly ashamed of himself. He has not only degraded himself, the National Association of Realtors and the Congressional process with this obvious case of plagiarism in the public record of the United States, but also has insulted the spirit of legislation and the nature of the process we call democratic. Plagiarism is not democratic, and is much less acceptable than stupidity. I would advise the National Association of Realtors to never again send Mr. Lynch as its ambassador to Congress.

People like this give a bad name to all who are in a position to defend their interests. May no one seek the fast road at the expense of credibility and dignity.