2010 Colorado Elections: ‘Musings on Water’ – gate update

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Update: From The Denver Post (Karen Crummy):

Do I look like I’m going anywhere? These boots are made for walking, and I’m ready to fight,” [McInnis] said to The Post, looking down at his brown cowboy boots.

He also addressed again the controversy surrounding articles he submitted to the Hasan Foundation as original works but which included whole pages and passages that were similar to or copied directly from a 1984 essay by now-Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.

“It was an obvious mistake. I stood up, took responsibility and moved on,” McInnis said.

Update: From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Denny Herzog)

But there’s a seriousness to it, too. Plagiarism, particularly to those of us who have made careers out of dealing with the written word, is not to be taken lightly. Yet that’s exactly the way McInnis dealt with it, at least early on. Shortly after the story broke, he said if it were not an election year, it wouldn’t be an issue. The implication was that only in an election year would such a minor transgression be such a big deal. Sorry Scott, but theft, and that’s what plagiarism is, is a big deal, even in years when you’re not on the ballot.

From NewsFirst5.com (James Amos):

Dr. Malik Hasan, who helped establish the Hasan Family Foundation, says the board was hoping to get recommendations on how to deal with Colorado’s drought when it commissioned the essays from former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis in 2005. Hasan says he was disappointed when McInnis took a job in a law firm and turned in reports that were unpublishable, but there was nothing he could do about it.

From The Denver Post (Mike Littwin):

As I’m writing this column, the most relevant questions are all about the McInnis campaign death watch, now on high alert. The terms of the debate have changed from whether McInnis can still win after his “Musings on Water”-gate scandal to how long McInnis can survive. There’s an Aug. 10 primary date against Dan Maes — who, to this point, has offered up no known credentials for the job — and then there’s the November race against Democrat John Hickenlooper, who has pulled ahead in the latest polling. Still, I don’t expect McInnis to quit because he is Scott McInnis, who is far too stubborn to quit. Just look at the latest news. McInnis says he’s paying back the $300,000 that he took — and I mean took in the best way — from the Hasan Family Foundation for the plagiarized articles highlighting his water-law expertise. The real scandal is that he was paid that kind of money for his, uh, musings at all, original or otherwise. But if McInnis were going to quit the race, why wouldn’t he just keep the money, which is a lot of cash even by lawyer- lobbyist standards? The quitting, at this writing, has been limited to three McInnis senior staffers. You don’t have to wonder why they left the campaign. They were either shocked by McInnis’ behavior, particularly in regard to ex-pal Rolly Fischer, or they may have just noticed that the campaign bus, with its incriminating tire marks, has left the station.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

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