I did the same with article sites, but only for getting links. I'd completely re-write articles I wrote for my own site and submit them to e-zine and a couple of others.
I can't say that the strategy worked as planned, as many sites that republished my articles either didn't use anchor tags for my links or didn't include links at all. I finally gave up on using articles.
Nevertheless, I wonder how much the articles that are out there with links hurt a site?