Website 2.0: Sherri Ybarra reworks wording

State superintendent’s candidate Sherri Ybarra has edited her campaign website — removing language that was nearly identical to wording on opponent Jana Jones’ website.

Sherri Ybarra square
Sherri Ybarra

The modifications apparently were made Thursday, a day after Idaho Education News first reported on similarities between the rival candidates’ sites. As recently as mid-afternoon Thursday, the passages appeared twice on Ybarra’s page.

What’s left now is a brief passage on the “Join Team Ybarra” page of the website — a solicitation for donations and support. It reads, in full:

“The Sherri Ybarra campaign for Idaho State Superintendent of Public Instruction will get Idaho’s education system on the right track. Sign up below and be involved in the Sherri Ybarra Idaho Superintendent for Public Instruction republican campaign.”

Jana Jones Headshot 2
Jana Jones

The “Join Team Ybarra” and “Join Team Jana” pages contained the following identical wording, now removed from Ybarra’s page: “It’s going to take a lot of hard work to have the kind of education system we want for Idaho’s kids. … Parents, students, educators, business leaders, elected officials, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, working together to make it happen.”

Both sites included a nearly identically worded sentences soliciting “thoughts and ideas” about improving Idaho schools; Ybarra has also removed this language from her site.

Jones, the Democratic superintendent’s candidate, said the words are hers, and were posted online before the Republican Ybarra entered the race. Her “Join Team Jana” page is unchanged.

Catching up on the story

• Here’s Clark Corbin’s Wednesday article on the website similaries.

Competing candidates’ statements. Ybarra claims responsibililty. Jones accuses Ybarra of plagiarism.

• In an interview with Kimberlee Kruesi of the Associated Press, state GOP chairman Steve Yates downplays the flap, and says the wording in dispute amounts to “plain, vanilla prose.”

• More about the story from Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review.

Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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