PHOENIX — Democratic elected officials and campaign groups are keeping themselves at arm’s length from State Senator Juan Mendez this week after their colleague publicly admitted to plagiarism.
The admission came after two articles on this website revealed that the state senator had plagiarized a 2014 committee speech while in the Arizona House of Representatives and a 2016 candidate questionnaire while running for the Arizona Senate.
The Arizona Republic independently compared Mendez’s questionnaire answers and committee speech to the third-party sources. When the newspaper tried to contact him (repeatedly) for comment, Mendez refused to answer. Other Democrats did the same.
“Mendez did not respond to multiple messages left on his cellphone,” the Arizona Republic reported. “Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs, who leads the chamber’s Democratic caucus, declined to comment on the accusations against Mendez. The state Democratic Party also declined to comment.”
Mendez eventually was pressured to respond, which he quietly did on Twitter — but not before putting a figurative asterisk on the apology by claiming that he was “in a rush” at the time.
“Anything I’ve said truly represents my viewpoints,” he wrote. “However, I will put forth a greater effort to put ideas I support into my own words. While I am often in a rush, that is no excuse to not properly cite my sources. I sincerely apologize for my lapse in due diligence & judgement.”