PHOENIX — Only two months after admitting to serial plagiarism and pledging to stop, Democratic State Senator Juan Mendez continued to plagiarize from third-party sources on several occasions and attribute the language to himself.
In March 2018, this website first reported that Mendez had extensively plagiarized his answers to the 2016 candidate questionnaire provided to him while campaigning for the state senate. We also found that Mendez plagiarized a 2014 committee speech from a conspiracy theory website that called the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 innocent children died, a “hoax.”
Members of the Democratic Party — including Senate Minority Leader Katie Hobbs and representatives for the state party — largely abandoned Mendez after being approached for comment about his plagiarism, and the Democrat himself “did not respond to multiple messages left on his cellphone,” the Arizona Republic reported in a follow-up article.
Mendez eventually admitted to the plagiarism and claimed that he was simply “in a rush” at the time.
But this website revealed afterward that, contrary to Mendez’s claim, his plagiarism was not limited to those two instances. The Democrat had been serial plagiarizing for five full years (if not longer), including everything from floor speeches and committee testimony to online commentary and more.
We can now report exclusively that Mendez continued to copy-and-paste language from third-party sources, attributing it to himself — even after his apology and pledge not to do so.
In May 2018, Mendez spoke on the floor of the state legislature about why he supported Senate Bill 1525. The Democrat said that, “in the 46 years since the passage of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, maybe as a country we’ve made some progress” but stressed the need to protect our “shared resources.” Mendez also said that “minority, low-income, and indigenous communities” have “suffered disproportionate harm” from environmental problems.
If that sounds familiar, you might be thinking of the press release that U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s office sent out several months earlier.
Booker’s press release, quoting one of his colleagues, similarly states that, “in the forty years since the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act became law, the country has made great strides to protect our shared resources.” Like Mendez’s speech, Booker’s press release adds that “minority, low-income, and indigenous communities … suffer disproportionate harm” from environmental problems.
Mendez says that we “won’t be able to undo generations of environmental injustice without addressing the social and economic injustices,” while Booker’s press release — this time a quote attributed to himself — says that we “cannot have social justice or economic justice without environmental justice.”
Elsewhere in the speech, Mendez claims that various rules have led to “nearly absolute residential, employment, health care and educational segregated society.” This language is stolen from a 2005 academic paper about Phoenix, Arizona, that cites social rules having led to “near absolute residential, employment, health care, and educational segregation.”
Elsewhere in the speech — again, still from the same speech — Mendez says that some people have been “denied the privileges of … a clean environment” because of their race, which, he adds, has “forced our communities to live, instead, in less-desirable locations.”
That echoes a media advisory distributed by a liberal activist group in Rochester several months earlier. The media advisory says that some people “have been denied access to the privileges” of others, “forcing them to live instead in less desirable locations.”
While Mendez’s speech talks about areas “subjected to industrial noise, pollution, waste, and neglect” that “often result in health problems that are not typically seen by” others, the activist group’s advisory talks about areas “subject to industrial noise, pollution, and waste, often resulting in health problems not typically seen by those in other areas.”
Senate Bill 1520 is another example of the Democrat’s plagiarism from May 2018. Mendez spoke about the bill on the floor of the state legislature.
“The people served by Arizona’s human services and non-profits deserve to have an easy access to information about how to get help when facing a crisis or following a disaster,” Mendez said.
This portion of the speech was virtually identical to the Public Policy Agenda distributed the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits two years earlier: “The people served by Arizona’s nonprofits deserve to have easy access to information about how to get help when facing a crisis or following a disaster,” it read.
The only difference between the two is that the state senator added three words (“human services and”) at the beginning and a stray indefinite article (“an”) in the middle. Both also promised that the bill would help people “learn more about services to meet their basic human needs.” (Mendez deleted the word “more” in his speech, possibly an attempt to evade plagiarism detectors — a behavior he exhibited in the past.)
The Democrat plagiarized 2-1-1 Arizona, another nonprofit, in the same speech.
“Many people on our state services cycle in and out of our state safety net,” Mendez continued. “People with access to a whole spectrum of services, not just those that the state provides, are more likely to be successful and eventually self-sufficient.”
Likewise, the nonprofit’s website read in 2017: “Many people on state support cycle in and out of the state’s safety net. People with access to a whole spectrum of services, not just those that the state provides, are more likely to be become self-sufficient.”
Again, the state senator added the word “our”; replaced the phrase “state support cycle” with “state services cycle”; and subtly altered the last clause.
Another example of plagiarism that came months after Mendez’s ‘apology’ for plagiarizing? House Bill 2663.
“It’s about the more than $1 billion taken from our students and the fact that the budget still leaves out school support staff like school counselors, bus drivers, librarians, and many more who are vital to the success of our students,” the Democrat said about the budget bill.
But the words, attributed to himself, weren’t his own.
They were stolen from an Arizona Republic article published earlier that day. The quote was originally attributed to Joe Thomas, a local union boss, who claimed that the bill did not restore “more than $1 billion taken from our students and it leaves out school support staff like counselors, bus drivers, librarians, and many more who are vital to the success of our students.”
It is unknown how many other legislative speeches and public commentaries Mendez has continued to plagiarize despite his ‘apology’ in March 2018.
You can view the substantiating research at Arizona Democrats Exposed.