OH-02: Schmidt Takes Her Reckless Disregard for the Truth to the House Floor

Amazing. Rep. "Mean Jean" Schmidt (R-Loveland) is on an absolute tear of outrageous fabrications, and the latest one is on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

We all know Schmidt's history of playing fast and loose with the truth -- for example, lying about meeting Tom Noe, lying on her resume, claiming endorsements she didn't have, and plagiarizing an op-ed piece from a colleague's letter to constituents. Recently Schmidt sent out a fund-raising letter falsely asserting that Dr. Victoria Wulsin "participated in grotesque medical experiments," although her press person later tried to lie away the lie by saying that she "wasn't suggesting Wulsin participated in the experiments."

Here comes another big one. On June 5th, the truth-challenged Schmidt took her misspeaking skills to the floor of the House, denouncing federal limitations on drilling for oil by declaring that China is currently drilling off the Florida coast (video here, about 1:52 in):

This very day there is indeed drilling activity off of our country's coast. Not by our U.S. companies. That would be illegal. Instead, the Chinese are drilling off the coast of Florida with their new energy partner, Cuba.

The only problem with Schmidt's unequivocal assertion is that -- you guessed it --- it is false. As the McClatchy News Service reported yesterday:

"China is not drilling in Cuba's Gulf of Mexico waters, period," said Jorge Pinon, an energy fellow with the Center for Hemispheric Policy at the University of Miami and an expert in oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. ...

China's Sinopec oil company does have an agreement with the Cuban government, but it's to develop onshore resources west of Havana, Pinon said. The Chinese have done some seismic testing, he said, but no drilling, and nothing offshore.

Western diplomats in Havana tell McClatchy that to the best of their knowledge, there is no Chinese drilling in or around Cuba.

Schmidt might want to ponder the words of Sir Walter Scott:

Oh! what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive!

Pretty hard to run for re-election with one's feet caught in that tangled web.

UPDATE: Here's the video of Schmidt's floor speech:

on the plagiarization

1. It's impossible to plagiarize the government as anything the government prints is, by default, in the public domain.

2. All congress critters do this, yet I only hear whining about Jean schmidt.

I called the Bellwether to the carpet on this months ago, and got nothing for my trouble, so I'm disappointed to hear you repeat the same debunked crap.

The rest of your list is fine, Lord knows Schmidt isn't the world's greatest pol, but she doesn't plagiarize (any more than any other politician) and she does run marathons (at least you didn't repeat that fiasco in your litany)



I can't agree with your argument

Hi, Dave!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You raise an interesting point about government publications being in the public domain, but I don't think it addresses the issue of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is not another word for theft of intellectual property (copyright violation, for example), but involves misleading your reader as to whether your words are original or borrowed. (In the Wikipedia it is defined as "the practice of claiming or implying original authorship of (or incorporating material from someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one's own without adequate acknowledgement.") So, for example, in a student's term paper, it wouldn't salvage the thing from being considered plagiarism if it turned out that the student was legally entitled to copy the text that the student passed off as her own, it is still unacknowledged borrowing and trying to trick the teacher into thinking that the student has skills that she does not in fact possess. Same with Schmidt's op-ed.

As to other congress critters doing it, I'm not aware of that happening, but if so that doesn't make it right. I realize that 99% of excuses can be boiled down to either "everybody does it" or "but I really, really wanted to do it," but neither of those really holds up to scrutiny.

Nixguy, Not Jefferson, Authored the Declaration of Independence

The statement that "it's impossible to plagiarize the government" is patently absurd. If it was true, anybody could claim they wrote the Declaration of Indepence and pass it off as their original work. Or they could claim authorship of the Gettysburg Address and cite it as their original work. Or they could claim to have written the entire tax code.

None of the claims would be true, and it would be plagiarism to use Jefferson's work, or Lincoln's words, or the bureaucracy's toils over an inpenetrable mass of rules and red tap as one's own. If Schmidt ripped off a government document, she plagiarized.

schmidt drilling

I saw earlier reports that Schmidt got her info from a speech given by Dick Cheney in favor of ANWR drilling. Perhaps we underestimate her if she's getting her facts from the truthtelling, straight-talkin Vice President.

Jean Schmidt does it again ...

Thanks for your article on Jean Schmidt's latest "misspeak." I am a relative newcomer to Cincinnati and can't understand why you people continue to elect her.

This time Dr. Victoria Wulsin offers a much better choice in what will probably be the Democrat's year.

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