Vera Hylsky's original plagiarism is posted below these notes.

1.  The original exposure of plagiarism by Vera Hylsky was published on August 19, 2010.  
Hylsky could have admitted the plagiarism when it was exposed, and set a good example for Cochise County politicians of all stripes.  Instead, she denied plagiarizing; and much later, on April 19, 2011, I received an email from, which is Hylsky's email address, stating "I am no longer the chair so please stop persecuting me on your blog.  Take off the plagiarism allegations.  /s/ VH".  I immediately answered "I am not persecuting you, and they are not mere allegations, they're well established by the record on that page.  Plagiarism, which you committed, is contemptible theft of another person's words and ideas; you have no moral standing at all to demand that the evidence of your plagiarism be suppressed.  I plan to publish this email exchange.  MJ."

2.  As Hylsky notes, she is no longer chair, at least not of the Cochise County Republican Committee.  She is, however, chair of the Americanism Committee of the Huachuca Area Republican Women, and also of "TARS," a group for Teen Age Republicans.

Here is the exposure of Hylsky's plagiarism, published on 8/19/10:


There are stirring words on page 1 of the August Cochise County Republican Committee newsletter, in an editorial signed by Vera Hylsky, Chair of the Committee.  But Hylsky's editorial is plagiarized -- that is, stolen, with Hylsky not giving any credit to the person who actually wrote the words.

A copy of the editorial is at
The editorial's source appears to be an article from 2008.  See

One short paragraph in the editorial, "Never be swayed by commercials that use character assassination and other 'dirty' tactics," is not based on the 2008 article.  Everything else but a few scattered phrases is plagiarized.  See for yourself in the paragraphs below, where plagiarized parts of the editorial are compared to the 2008 article.


The plagiarized parts of Hylsky's copied words, and the words in the original source, are in red.

1, Hylsky's plagiarized title:  Be an Educated Voter
-- the original source's title:  How to Be an Educated Voter

2, Hylsky's plagiarism:  Watch debates.  Do the candidates answer the questions asked or do they just "spin" or spew "talking points".  Take notes as the candidates give their idea and proposed policies, and then research them.  Have they ever worked?  What were the results?
-- the original source:  Watch the debates.  Do the candidates actually answer the questions posed, or do they just launch into their talking points?  Take notes as the candidates put forth their ideas and proposed policies.  Afterwards, do a little research into these proposals.  Have these ideas ever worked?  What were the long term results?

3, Hylsky's plagiarism:  Don't depend on the newspapers to give you 'fair and balanced' coverage.  If you miss an event or speech, remember that the reporter is giving you what she/he thinks a politician was trying to say.  Instead watch it on You Tube or CSPAN.
-- the original source:  Don't depend on quotes in a newspaper article or sound bites on the evening news to give you the whole picture.  Try as they might to be non-biased, a reporter's interpretive summary of what they THINK a politician was trying to say, or should have said, is NOT the same thing as hearing a speech in context.  If you missed the original speech or news conference, read the transcript online, or watch it in it's [sic] entirety on YouTube or CSPAN to get the whole story.

4, Hylsky's plagiarism:  Don't be swayed by political commentators.  You have the right to form your own opinion.
-- the original source:  Don't be swayed and intimidated by all the "talking head" political commentators.  They're basically like sports announcers, giving their opinion on the game, and they're not always right!  You have the right to watch the game for yourself and form your own opinion.  The more you educate yourself on important issues, the less you'll depend on other people's judgement, and have confidence in your own!

5, Hylsky's plagiarism:  If you're registered to vote, you should have received your Voter's Guide in the mail.  Read it for information on local candidates.
-- the original source:  If you're registered to vote, you should receive a voter's guide in the mail several weeks before the election.  Read your local voter's guide for information on local candidates, propositions, and issues.  Read the statements for and against the propositions before deciding.  Use the enclosed sample ballot to mark your decisions, so you don't have to do all your research again in the voter booth.

6, Hylsky's plagiarism:  VOTE!  All of this is worthless unless you exercise you [sic] right to vote, so cast your educated ballot on August 24th.  Remember -- brave American men and women have fought and died so that you are able to live in a free society where you have the right to vote.  People around the world long to live in freedom and to have this right.  Many came to this country and earned their citizenship for these reasons.  Don't waste this opportunity to make a difference!
-- the original source:  VOTE!  That's right, all of this is worthless unless you actually cast your educated vote.  If you won't be able to make it to the polls in person, apply for an absentee ballot.  Brave American men and women have fought and died for your right to live in a free society where your voice is heard and your vote counted.  Millions around the world long for this basic right in vain, and would gladly trade places with you!  Don't waste this precious opportunity to make a difference!


Hylsky has denied plagiarizing, saying "I have no idea what you mean.  I put this together from so many ideas.  I had no idea there were similar ones, but it makes sense because these are sensible ideas."

Hylsky's failure to realize that she plagiarized is consistent with the tag line she puts at the end of her emails:  "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.  Mark Twain".  However, a different quotation, from a contemporary of Twain's, probably applies better:  "I did that, my memory says.  I didn't do that, my pride says.  My pride sticks to it ... and eventually memory loses," Friedrich Nietzsche.

In any case, plagiarism is theft whether it's intentional or not.

Besides, the issue with plagiarism isn't thoughts, it's words -- and most of Hylsky's words are clearly lifted from elsewhere, with no credit given to the author who actually created the words that Hylsky lifted in chunks.

Plagiarism steals intellectual property which other people worked to create.  Plagiarism is contemptible.    For a basic discussion, see

Exposed plagiarists often lose their jobs, and always suffer some consequences.  Here are three local examples:

-- In October 2007, the Cochise County Planning Department posted a column signed by a newly hired high-level employee named Don Spiva.  The piece was almost 100% plagiarism, and was quickly exposed.  See
Soon, Spiva found work elsewhere.

-- The former Pinal County Sheriff was a plagiarist.  In the 2008 election, his opponent, Paul Babeu, made that an issue.  See
Voters rejected the plagiarist, and Babeu is now Pinal County Sheriff.

-- In a lawsuit about Rick Mueller's campaign for Mayor of Sierra Vista, Mueller's attorney complained about plagiarism in an opposing filing in which "a large section ... is a verbatim cut-and-pasted copy of an argument ... in Maricopa County Superior Court last week....  Whether or not the argument was copied word for word does not matter a whole lot but [the judge told Mueller's challenger] 'It is disingenuous not to attribute where you got it and pretend that you came up with this all by yourself.'"  See

Hylsky's plagiarism damages everyone's ability to trust the Committee newsletter, including any contribution from Hylsky.  Hylsky's refusal to admit obvious plagiarism will only worsen the damage she has done to her own credibility.  The Cochise County Republican Committee may, or may not, try to regain some credibility by addressing its chair's plagiarism.