September 22, 2007

Update: Menard's Canard Exposed; Alaska's Chilly Reaction

Monique Chartier

It's a darn good thing Woonsocket's Mayor Susan Menard keeps records. That was the only way she was able to determine that the source of the purloined speech she gave at the Woonsocket High School graduation in June was the City of Woonsocket's controversial former Director of Human Services, John Dionne. The whole incident might otherwise have remained a major mystery.

Meanwhile, the unattributed author of her speech, Alaska's Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, was able to view the Mayor's "instant replay" of his speech before it had been removed from YouTube. The Valley Breeze reports that he called it shocking:

In a highly critical statement Tuesday, he said the Woonsocket mayor failed to take responsibility for stealing a speech he gave a month earlier at a graduation in Anchorage, Alaska.

"Besides the outright plagiarism, I was concerned about the mayor's unwillingness to take responsibility and apologize for her actions and those of her speech-writer," said Parnell.

As to Mayor Menard herself, Turn to 10's Bill Rappleye reports that

Menard wouldn't go on camera but told NBC 10 by phone that she doesn't write her own speeches and considered the accusation politically motivated and trivial.

Menard also told NBC 10 that she doesn't even remember the contents of the speech.

Turn to 10 reminds us, however, that

... plagiarism can derail a politician.

In 1988, Joe Biden pulled out of the presidential race when it was revealed he borrowed from a speech from a British politician.

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Sooner or later Menard's lack of graciousness will come back to haunt her. This may be the instance when it finally happens. How hard it is to say I'm sorry and it'll never happen again?

Posted by: Tim at September 22, 2007 1:41 PM

these are the same peopel who voted for fred st germain for years and then patrick kennedy... don't expect too much

Posted by: johnpaycheck at September 22, 2007 3:37 PM

It's all about having an ego and an unwillingness to take responsibilty.

Montalbano responds to an ethics investigation by questioning the authority of the ethics commission. Menard admits her speech was plagiarized but calls it trivial. Craig gets arrested in an airport bathroom and pleads guilty, but then shirks responsibility when it become public.

The one thing they all have in common? It's not party affiliation, intelligence, gender, etc.

It's all about having an over-sized ego.

They share a common belief that they are above the people they are elected to represent. They justify "little" indiscretions by clinging to a belief that the ends justify the means.

Unless voters remind such politicians about the meaning of public service on election day, we will have no choice but to put up with the array of indiscretions, "mistakes" and dishonest behaviour.

Posted by: Anthony at September 22, 2007 5:09 PM

How wonderful for the students of the high school to hear this:

Menard also told NBC 10 that she doesn't even remember the contents of the speech.

Hey kids: what the heck did you think... that you were worth original thought and personal insight? Pshaw.



Sorry, but I gotta wonder why you felt compelled to put Craig among your other, local examples.

Posted by: Justin Katz at September 22, 2007 8:01 PM

My point in mentioning Craig was to show that such behavior is not limited to one party. Craig may be at a different level, but the attitude that leads to unethical behavior is the same.

Posted by: Anthony at September 22, 2007 9:32 PM

Remember, Menard cut her political teeth working for Ant-knee Solomon. She earned her master's degree in good-old-boy politics and arrogance at the ex-state treasurer's office.
The Menard playbook dictates that she find some way to come across as champion of family values. A few years ago, she played a house that hosted swinging parties hard and heavy enough to make voters forget about all the other garbage she's been part of.

Posted by: Rhody at September 23, 2007 12:14 AM

"four score and seven years ago....."

Posted by: johnpaycheck at September 23, 2007 11:24 AM
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