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McInnis's Colo. gubernatorial bid derailed by plagiarism charges

By Aaron Blake
Former Rep. Scott McInnis's (R-Colo.) gubernatorial campaign is in a fight for its life as charges of plagiarism have led to questions of whether McInnis can stay in the race.

Republicans in Colorado say he's a dead man walking, and they are exploring the ins and outs of how to get another nominee.

The Denver Post this week uncovered two examples of alleged plagiarism by McInnis -- one in papers McInnis wrote for a fellowship a few years ago and another in a Washington Post column and speech he delivered in 1994.

Sources in Colorado Republican circles say it's likely a matter of when, not if, McInnis will exit the race.

"Almost without exception, they think he is done," said one senior Colorado Republican who spoke on the condition that his name not be used.

"He may be the last one to know it, but he's dead in the water," said another. "It's likely he will resist heavily, but at some point he's got to realize this is a fact of life."

McInnis's campaign did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

Indications are indeed strong that McInnis will be the next candidate to fall victim to plagiarism. Already this cycle, plagiarism allegations have torpedoed the campaigns of Idaho congressional hopeful Vaughn Ward (R) and former Boston Red Sox co-owner Les Otten (R), who was running for governor of Maine.

The constant drip of news out of Colorado, combined with the Denver Post now calling for McInnis to step aside, appear to leave Republicans little choice but to seek alternatives.

Let's look at how it has unfolded:

First, on Monday, the Denver Post reported that essays McInnis wrote for the right-leaning Hasan Family Foundation borrowed heavily from writings on the topic by a Colorado Supreme Court justice. McInnis's camp attributed the borrowing to a research assistant, apologized and acknowledged the McInnis's "serious mistake" -- all things that suggest a campaign seriously on its heels.

"We all share a deep commitment to Colorado's future," McInnis said in a statement Tuesday. "In the coming days, I hope we can put this matter behind us and focus on solving the many problems that face our state."

Or not.

The researcher whom McInnis's camp blamed -- water issues expert Rolly Fischer -- would not back up the campaign's version of events, telling the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent that "Scott's responsible for it."

Then, on Wednesday came another Denver Post story making the case that McInnis may have cribbed from a Washington Post op-ed in a column he wrote and a speech he gave more than 15 years ago. The verbiage used by McInnis hews closely to that of then-national security adviser Richard V. Allen and Daryl M. Plunk of the Heritage Foundation.

The final blow, though, might have been the Denver Post calling for McInnis to step aside. Even for an editorial board that doesn't necessarily like a candidate, calling for him to get out of the race is an unusual and extraordinary step. And considering the Denver Post's reach in the state, it's a significant one, too.

The political difficulties for McInnis created by the ongoing revelations can't be overstated. This is now a story that has consumed the better part of the week in Colorado, and if the new allegations are legitimate, as they appear to be, it's going to be much harder for McInnis to blame this one on someone else or cast past the plagiarism as an isolated incident.

At this point, the plagiarism suggests -- as is often the case -- a pattern of behavior that casts serious doubts on a candidate's fitness for office. And, rest assured, journalists all over Colorado are scouring McInnis's published words for more examples.

Also keep this in mind, by way of context: McInnis is far from a beloved figure in the state GOP. For a man in need of people to stand behind him in rough times, there aren't a lot of obvious options for him.

If McInnis does bow out, what does it mean for the contest?

Colorado is past the filing deadline for candidates before the Aug. 10 primary, and businessman Dan Maes is also on the ballot. Maes won the state party convention, which is dominated by conservative party activists, earlier this year, but he doesn't exactly inspire confidence from the Republican Party. He also has his own campaign finance issues to handle.

All that means that Republicans may need some creative politics if they want someone other than Maes as their general election candidate against Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D). (The seat is being vacated by Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter.)

Also, given Colorado's notoriously low campaign contribution limits ($500 per election), finding a candidate who can raise enough money in only a few months could be difficult. It might be time for a self-funder -- a pursuit that it often fraught with peril.

That all assumes, of course, that McInnis can't weather the current scandal. These things have a habit of being resolved quickly, though. Colorado is a state the GOP had high hopes to win back this year -- meaning that it is in their interests to handle this matter (if possible) and move on.

By The Fix  |  July 14, 2010; 3:06 PM ET
Categories:  Governors  
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Comments

PLUS ca change.....

Posted by: bgreen2224 | July 19, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Typical republican, whatever's convenient and self promoting.. The truth is irrelevant.

Posted by: kimkimminni1 | July 16, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, Colorodo was a big state for Republicans this year. We could pick up a governor's, senate and house seats. A very good opportunity for a governor's seat is now in jeapordy. Good news for Republicans: Hayley Barbour is running the show to help place order in this choas. Republicans will still have a great opportunity to win in 2010.

Posted by: reason5 | July 15, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone surprised that a Republican politician is a liar and a cheat? I notice some of you mooks blame Ted Kennedy for his laziness, or Joe Biden for his talkativeness. But who in the last 50 years has brought home the bacon for the common man in this country, and who has done everything possible to screw the little guy? Let's see: that would be the Demopcrats and Republicans in that order.

What amazes me more than anything else is that people who are suffering from lack of money, inability to retire, poor health and a host of other problems still listen to the baboons on the right.

Posted by: agrossman1 | July 15, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone surprised that a Republican politician is a liar and a cheat? I notice some of you mooks blame Ted Kennedy for his laziness, or Joe Biden for his talkativeness. But who in the last 50 years has brought home the bacon for the common man in this country, and who has done everything possible to screw the little guy? Let's see: that would be the Demopcrats and Republicans in that order.

What amazes me more than anything else is that people who are suffering from lack of money, inability to retire, poor health and a host of other problems still listen to the baboons on the right.

Posted by: agrossman1 | July 15, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone surprised that a Republican politician is a liar and a cheat? I notice some of you mooks blame Ted Kennedy for his laziness, or Joe Biden for his talkativeness. But who in the last 50 years has brought home the bacon for the common man in this country, and who has done everything possible to screw the little guy? Let's see: that would be the Demopcrats and Republicans in that order.

What amazes me more than anything else is that people who are suffering from lack of money, inability to retire, poor health and a host of other problems still listen to the baboons on the right.

Posted by: agrossman1 | July 15, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

I am very disappointed in your research Aaron, “Republicans in Colorado say he's a dead man walking, and they are exploring the ins and outs of how to get another nominee”. We already have a fantastic candidate named Dan Maes (R) who will win the GOP nomination in August. It will not be up to the Party elites to get another nominee for us!!!!!! Do better research next time Mr. Blake!!!!
-Josh Raines
16000 E 55th Ave
Denver, Co 80239
(303) 373-4139

Posted by: armymen | July 15, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

So, somebody tell me again: why does Joe Biden still have a political career?

Posted by: PlumbBobBlog | July 14, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I am unclear why frustration with the slow pace of recovery is placed on Obama. There is no questions which party got us here and yet the opposition has provided no solution. The Repubs have remarkably good press if they are looking better then the Dems b/c at least the Dems can say they are trying things. The Repubs offer no solutions just whining. Americans need to ignore the propaganda and consider the facts: What solutions do the Republicans have? The answer is none. They why put them back in power? It is already clear that their political philosophy is a failure- and clearly they have no desire to change.

Posted by: wbruzzowashpost | July 14, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

I am unclear why frustration with the slow pace of recovery is placed on Obama. There is no questions which party got us here and yet the opposition has provided no solution. The Repubs have remarkably good press if they are looking better then the Dems b/c at least the Dems can say they are trying things. The Repubs offer no solutions just whining. Americans need to ignore the propaganda and consider the facts: What solutions do the Republicans have? The answer is none. They why put them back in power? It is already clear that their political philosophy is a failure- and clearly they have no desire to change.

Posted by: wbruzzowashpost | July 14, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse


The 300K job was such a sweet deal I bet he figured NO ONE was ever going to read the stuff he had to write. Just get something on paper and look sincere when you get the check. McInnis was too busy counting his money and thinking how lucky he was, the naughty cribber.


Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 14, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse


The 300K job was such a sweet deal I bet he figured NO ONE was ever going to read the stuff he had to write. Just get something on paper and look sincere when you get the check. McInnis was too busy counting his money and thinking how lucky he was, the naughty cribber.


Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 14, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm not the one frantically carpet-bombing every thread in this blog with hatred pastes, shutterbug.

You're the guy who brags about spending the weekend on the Atlantic with his fambly and then spends the while time here posting how much he hates Obama and drindl.

Yeah, look at you. Turn away, child, turn away, SEE HOW FORTUNATE WE ARE? THAT COULD BE US.

Posted by: Noacoler | July 14, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse
-------------------


Whatever, Slick


You're on your way out of here again, better say good bye while you still have the chance. And don't let the door hit ya in the backside on the way out!


What is it with whack-a-doodle Wingnuts and rule breaking anyway?....Oh yeah, they're Wingnuts, stupidity is in their DNA.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 14, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

repressed right wingers (like the previously banned Zouk here

>>>>>>>>>>>>

wait I thought I was 37?

Who are you. who am I? Better call in congressman Etheridge? Or pete townsend.

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

-------------------------
Looks like Ped is determined to agitate to a larger and larger degree, stopping not at vituperation nor obscenity to garner attention. Poor loonely Ped.isn't this the approach that got you banned so many times?ook at meook at me
LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!!

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------------


I find it hilarious how sexually repressed right wingers (like the previously banned Zouk here) can take a Nirvana song and twist it into being a sexual reference.

You Wingnutters crack me up. You need to get out of your parents basement more often.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 14, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

another day of carpet posting by zouk -- how tedious it is to scroll past.

Posted by: drindl | July 14, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

As I mentioned earlier, was obvious yesterday.

Here in Colorado we've started a pool on when he'll announce his withdrawal. I've got Friday afternoon, 4pMT (still in business hours but late enough to get minimum attention from press knocking off for the weekend).

Some speculation has one of the R candidates in the Senate race (Jane Norton and Ken Buck) switching to the Governor's race and then all the Rs holding hands and singing Kum-Bay-Yah.

Personally, I think y'all might as well just get use to the entertainment of pronouncing "Governor Hickenlooper."

Posted by: malis | July 14, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Ped is determined to agitate to a larger and larger degree, stopping not at vituperation nor obscenity to garner attention. Poor loonely Ped.

isn't this the approach that got you banned so many times?

look at me
look at me

LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!!

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Telephone call for Mr. Coors. Mr. Pete Coors, please.

Posted by: gmart68b | July 14, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou - That's Zouk, not 37th. 37th is posting as guns something or other at the moment.

Plus ca change.

Posted by: JakeD3 | July 14, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Such a pattern of Republican lying and cheating. And the response from their defenders is a resounding "well so-ando-so did it too!"

Whatever Biden did must not have been very egregious because he's the Vice President and Sarah Palin is out of a job and making ends meet embezzling political donations.

McInnis on the other hand is toast.

Mark Kirk is still running, he lied his pants off.

Party of personal responsibility, ri-i-i-i-ight

Posted by: Noacoler | July 14, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

believe me, we know that your rants are
DIFFERENT from 37th and that brigade is way too bright and reasonable to be confused with you. She is a bright conservative that doesn't use second grade name calling antics like you and actually knows SOMETHING about politics, which you obviously don't.

Posted by: leichtman1 | July 14, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

One story correction:

Contribution limits for the CO Governor's race are $1050 for the election, not $500. $525 for the Primary and $525 for the General.

Posted by: Uplander | July 14, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

according to your like-minded fellow 'genius', I am 37.

according to a differnt loon, I am also Brigade.

I think they confuse me with the voices in their own empty heads.

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

interesting: TeaPartiers put up antisemetic billboards and your answer, everyone does that. R Congressmen deliver an Obama speech word for word and now a Colorado R takes $300,000 for delivering a plagerized speech and your response, I hate Bill Clinton. You are delusional zouk if you think that will pass the smell test with voters. Apparently even the Colorado GOP want this dud gone yesterday and yet you are left alone in the world rationalizing and defending his conduct. The TeaPartiers realized how offensive their billboard was to holocaust survivors and took it down today and yet you still come here alone and try and defend and rationalize it. See the pattern? Must be pretty lonely out there for you now that you no longer have 37th to sing to.

Posted by: leichtman1 | July 14, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

------------------
you're not too bright are you Drainyou?

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 4:03 PM
--------------------


I'm bright enough to know that you are the same troll who used to call themself "37thandOStreet" and "FlowersofPeace" and that you have been banned from here at least twice, that last time being as recently as yesterday.


Chris Cillizza if you are watching - the troll is back again....

Posted by: DrainYou | July 14, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Another thread dominated and therefore ruined by a brain-dead loser.

Posted by: koolkat_1960


Loud and dumb, I think you overestimate your abilites, Ace.

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Another thread dominated and therefore ruined by a brain-dead loser.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 14, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

DDunce, you missed the reality of the situation. If this was a Democrat, no one would care. It would be referred to as "swiftboating".

the current Dem VP is a plaigerist
the previous P candidate lied about medals in war
the previous P candidate is a crazed poodle
the previous VP candidate has two families
the previous president thinks interns belong under the desk.

sounds like a lot of fun in your "party"

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

you're not too bright are you Drainyou?

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

FlowersofPeace,
Same thing goes for Ted Kennedy, he passed the voter test. Try again, Biff

Posted by: DrainYou | July 14, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised that plaigarism is so damning. It should be and I'm glad it is, but I'm just surprised people care about it so much, given the other intellectual dishonesty Americans seem to tolerate.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 14, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for

"FlowersofPeace" aka "37thandOStrret".

Considering that you've already been banned from The Fix twice already and yet somehow always find a way to reappear, I don't know why anyone is bothering with you, but Joe Biden's "case" doesn't fit here because the voters have already had time to examine his explanation, and he obviously passed the test. McInnis on the other hand, has failed it, as his lack of response proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 14, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's another liberal hero that thinks as long as you get away with it, no harm:

Then a freshman, Kennedy was forced to withdraw from Harvard for two years after cheating on a Spanish final. According to “The Education of Edward Kennedy,” by Burton Hersh, the future U.S. Senator and presidential candidate had the roommate of one of his football teammates take the exam for him.


then :

And then, The Big One. July, 1969. After a party on Martha's Vineyard, Ted drove his car back towards the mainland. He drove off a bridge and dumped the car into a pond. He swam to shore, went to a hotel, chatted briefly with the clerk, and went to bed. In the morning, a fisherman spotted the car and reported it to the police.

And when the police recovered the car from the water, they found the body of 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, a former campaign staffer for Robert's presidential bid and guest at the party. The coroner determined that she had survived the crash and had remained conscious for several hours in an airpocket in the submerged car before dying.

Teddy eventually pleaded guilty to "leaving the scene of an accident causing injury" and was given two months in jail (suspended) and his driver's license was suspended.

But since he's a Lib, we can overlook that.

Kennedy's womanizing ways are a Washington legend. When a supermarket tabloid published pictures of Kennedy getting "amorous" with a woman on his sailboat, one of his colleagues (Senator Howell Heflin) remarked that it appeared that Kennedy "had done changed his position on offshore drilling." In 1985, he and Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd allegedly made a "waitress sandwich" at a DC restaurant while their dates were in the rest room.

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I called on McInnis and Maes to step down yesterday at www.businessword.com. McInnis needs to say that if he wins the primary, he will step down so a vacancy committee can name a new GOP candidate. He's not likely to do that because he's all about him, not about Colorado or the GOP. Everybody will be treating Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper as the governor from now on. It's infuriating.

Posted by: donaldjohnson | July 14, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Try these Scotty:

In a letter defending himself, dated Nov. 30, 1965, Mr. Biden pleaded with the faculty not to dismiss him from the school.

''My intent was not to deceive anyone,'' Mr. Biden wrote. ''For if it were, I would not have been so blatant.''

At another point, the young Mr. Biden said that ''if I had intended to cheat, would I have been so stupid?''

''I value my word above all else,'' the impassioned letter said. ''This is a fact which is known to all those who are or have been acquainted with my character.'' Misunderstanding, He Says

Mr. Biden said today, as he did 22 years ago, that he had misunderstood the rules of citation and footnoting.

''I was wrong, but I was not malevolent in any way,'' Mr. Biden said. ''I did not intentionally move to mislead anybody. And I didn't. To this day I didn't.''


????????????????


The evidence of how stupid I am is actually good for my case.

gotta love those liberals.

Of course in Biden's case, the verdict was, yes it is perectly believable that you are THAT stooopid.

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Present and unaccounted for:

Was Joe Biden paid $300,000? No. I suggest that McInness stole that money, and should be disbarred.

Posted by: nita3 | July 14, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Present and unaccounted for:

Was Joe Biden paid $300,000? No. I suggest that McInness stole that money, and should be disbarred.

Posted by: nita3 | July 14, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

The plagiarism angle is almost a side-show at this point. Scott took $300,000 from the Hasan Family Foundation, and did next to nothing for it. That is problematic for a lawyer like Scott, who is forbidden to take an unreasonable fee, and cannot deceive his clients as to what services he will or will not perform for their money. This may be a disbarrable offense and theft by deception, so the election is almost the least of his worries.

In Colorado, the local plutocrats tend to 'park' their owned politicians in cushy, no-account jobs between elections. Senate candidate Jane Norton was paid $120,000 a year to run a charitable foundation with less than $500,000 in gross receipts; it is worth noting that names like Anschutz and Gart are found on the board of directors. Sen. Gary Hart (D-CO) and Scott were hired as rainmakers for large and prominent law firms; while Hart is a talented lawyer, even a cursory review of the water articles shows that Scott would never be trusted by a major law firm to submit a brief on its behalf. For this reason, the Hasan scandal has the odor of the usual scheme to take care of certain politicians, with the transparent veneer of a "fellowship" to mask the obvious.

The ultimate scandal appears to be that it is business as usual -- well, usual in Washington, DC -- but intolerable in this political climate. Had Scott McInnis not have been so arrogant, this never would have hit the fan.

Posted by: Bouldergeist | July 14, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., fighting to salvage his Presidential campaign, today acknowledged ''a mistake'' in his youth, when he plagiarized a law review article for a paper he wrote in his first year at law school.

To buttress his assertions of sincerity and openness, Mr. Biden released a 65-page file, obtained by the Senator from the Syracuse University College of Law, that he said contained all the records of his years there. It disclosed relatively poor grades in college and law school, mixed evaluations from teachers and details of the plagiarism.

I bet Barry's transcripts read about the same. But mr transparancy has refused to release ANY of his records at all. In fact, he has paid over a million bucks to block release of his passport and birth certificate. Curious Mr transparancy. what's so secret?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Well, as long as it was a mistake, and you are a true liberal, and besides, you make Barry look kind of smart by comparison, how about the VP slot? You don't have any second families do you?

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Plagiarism is what happens when a Repug doesn't have their usual (Faux News, Druggy Rush etc) bs right wing talking points to rely on and bloviate with.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 14, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

More likelyt he is just another republican who doesn't think anyone will check and even the few who do won't care.

It is basic contempt for the mental processes of the electorate.

Republicans gained this immense lack of respect by years of experience with their base.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 14, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

never bothered babbling Joe Biden.

Ted Kennedy just went ahaead and paid someone to take his tests for him. "Tell then you're me".

If he were a liberal he would get a reward for frugality and beating the system.

but since he's not, he must go.

Posted by: present-and-unaccounted-for | July 14, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

A career ended because he was too lazy to do a few hours of work.

Or maybe he's like right wing commenters, literally capable of composing a coherent argument.

Posted by: Noacoler | July 14, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

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