I've noticed a few points in this thread that I wanted to jump in on, and clarify.
1. It is worth saying that Optimizers do not, and will not, access other accounts in order to find successful keywords, misspellings, negatives, ad copy, and so forth. The hard work and research of competing advertisers is honored and protected, and is never 'consulted' during the optimization process.
2. This sounds more like a mistake than a pulling of the Editorial strings. Optimizers must follow the same Editorial Guidelines as everyone else. And, as humans, may make the occasional mistake.
3. Exactly! This is what it really boils down to, IMO.
Optimizers are folks who've worked with AdWords for quite some time, and who have demonstrated both interest and expertise. There are no commissions of any kind involved.
Probably a mistake, as mentioned above. Or, I wonder if this was quite some time ago? I ask because the rules for repetition were relaxed months and months ago, as many of you will have no doubt noticed.
A very good point. Optimizations are really meant to be an informed jumping-off point, quite often for advertisers who are having difficulty getting started on the right foot. Once put into motion, it is always wise to monitor the real world results of the optimization - particularly for ROI as edit_g suggests.