2010 Colorado elections: Scott McInnis is standing behind his position that the lifting of Justice Hobbs’ writings was just a big mistake

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Update: Rolly Fischer is on the video record now. Channel 7’s John Ferrugia interviewed him yesterday. Here’s the link to their video page. I could not determine how to deep link. From the article:

Ferrugia asked, “Rolly, is Scott McInnis lying to us?”

“Yes,” said Fischer.

Meanwhile The Denver Post’s Karen Crummy is reporting that Colorado Republican leaders are preparing for the eventuality that McInnis might drop out of the goveror’s race. From the article:

The name rising to the top of the list was University of Colorado president Bruce Benson, the 1994 Republican nominee for governor. Benson said he was dedicated to his current job. “We’ve made great strides at the university and have a great team of people,” he said. But asked whether he was open to being a candidate again, he said, “You never say no.”

Others being considered include former Congressman Tom Tancredo and state Senate Minority Leader Josh Penry, who had been running against McInnis in the primary but dropped out of the race in November.

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Patrick Malone):

Foes have characterized McInnis’ faux pas as plagiarism and called for him to leave the governor’s race, something McInnis said he won’t do. “There obviously was a mistake made, and the research associates did not have sufficient attributions,” McInnis told The Pueblo Chieftain…

McInnis identified the researcher who plucked the writings from Hobbs as Rolly Fischer, who worked at the Colorado River Conservation Board. “(Fischer) thought it was in the public domain and you could use that,” McInnis said. McInnis said Fischer “is sick about” the plagiarism allegations…

The candidate admitted some personal responsibility for the gaffe. “One: (Fischer) should ha ve attributed it,” McInnis said. “Two: In the process, I need to go through the research material.”[…]

Dave Dill, Pueblo County Republican chairman, echoed McInnis’ position on Carroll’s remarks. “Obviously, McInnis is running pretty strong, in fundraising and in the campaign in general,” Dill said. “Democrats are fearing he’ll take the primary. If he is indeed the front-runner, (Democrats) would be happy to have him out of the race. They are afraid.”

The Fort Collins Coloradoan editorial board is calling on McInnis to bow out of the race. They write:

McInnis should bow out of the governor’s race. Prolonging his campaign in light of news about the plagiarism would not serve his party and does not serve Coloradans. Quite often, during election season, candidates do try to discredit their opponents by revealing unflattering facts or situations about them. These “stunts” do little to educate voters and appeal to the lowest common denominator. But McInnis is flat wrong in believing that this revelation is only significant or news because he is a candidate for governor. Honesty and integrity matter as much for the dog catcher as for the governor, not to mention a former U.S. congressman. McInnis apologized for the mistake, but he didn’t assume responsibility. And there is a difference.

On Wednesday The Denver Post editorial board also indicated that McInnis should quit the governor’s race. Here’s an excerpt:

The plagiarism and other issues have cumulatively so damaged McInnis’ credibility that we do not believe he can be an effective governor. Even though McInnis acknowledged he made a mistake, he still spent part of Tuesday blaming a research assistant for the failure to credit the work. If you put your name on something and take money for it — a lot of money in this case — it is your responsibility to make rock-solid sure it is bona fide, original work that will stand up to scrutiny. The state’s chief executive must be someone Coloradans can believe in as the state suffers a stretch of tight budgets and a struggling economy. If Scott McInnis cannot be trusted to turn in what amounts to an overpaid term paper — without plagiarizing someone else’s work — there is no way he can be relied upon to guide Colorado through these complicated times.

Meanwhile, Ed Quillen sizes up the situation in a way that simplifies everything, in his column in today’s Denver Post. He writes:

At least McInnis had the good sense to steal from a good source, Gregory J. Hobbs, a water lawyer who has served on our state Supreme Court since 1996…

… Hobbs writes with clarity, grace and knowledge about Colorado water. And as the late Steve Frazee (a Salida novelist who died in 1992) once advised me: “Your writing is influenced by what you read. Consciously or unconsciously, you’ll imitate. So you should always read the best — Shakespeare, Cervantes, Dickens, Homer.” Except McInnis apparently wasn’t reading Hobbs on water, because the candidate has blamed his “research adviser,” Rolly Fischer of Glenwood Springs, for lifting the material.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

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