National Journal accused House candidate Carl DeMaio Monday of plagiarizing its report on members of Congress who get a salary and draw a pension at the same time.

“Carl DeMaio claims he has done investigative work, but his database looks just like National Journal’s, right down to the color scheme,” it said.

This isn’t the first time that DeMaio’s been accused of copying someone else’s work right “down to its color scheme.”

Before DeMaio came to San Diego in 2002, he ran for-profit government think tanks in D.C. One of those think tanks was the target of an earlier complaint that DeMaio had lifted material without credit:

DeMaio wasn’t known in Washington for pioneering big management concepts, but rather taking others’ ideas and running with them. One of his competitors contended he once took that to an extreme.

In 2003, Christopher Wye was planning a major conference on government performance for a center he ran as part of the federally chartered National Academy of Public Administration. Wye said he woke up one morning to find that The Performance Institute had decided to plan its own competing conference and had replicated Wye’s entire website down to its color scheme.

Wye decided to add embossed gold seals to his conference literature and gold seals on his website. They read: “The Original Performance Conference.”

(DeMaio denied copying the website and called the anecdote sour grapes from a competitor.)

DeMaio’s campaign, according to U-T San Diego, responded to National Journal’s accusations by pointing out a few differences between the two, but saying the publication should have been credited.

Rep. Scott Peters, DeMaio’s main opponent in the 52nd District race and the primary target of his report on double-dipping legislators, accused DeMaio of misrepresenting his record.

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    Written by Liam Dillon

    Liam Dillon is senior reporter and assistant editor for Voice of San Diego. He leads VOSD’s investigations and writes about how regular people interact with local government. What should he write about next? Please contact him directly at or 619.550.5663.