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June 09, 2010 07:06 PM UTC

Chasm Between McInnis, Reality Remains Vast--Motive?

  • by: Colorado Pols

We’ve expressed astonishment in this space a few times recently about the audacious flip-flop–more to the point, the insistence that what is plainly an audacious flip-flop isn’t, seemingly ignorant of over two decades of recorded history on the matter–of GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis on abortion rights. As we’ve said, it’s one thing to simply change your mind on an issue, quite another to assert things about your record that can be proven false in five seconds or less Googling your name.

Not that our astonishment, or the public ridicule McInnis has earned from editorial boards and pundits on both sides of the aisle, has changed McInnis’ script–here he is talking to the Durango Herald editorial board, as reported yesterday:

In 1992, when McInnis ran for Congress, he answered an abortion question by saying, “I am pro-choice.”

Since then, McInnis has voted to ban partial-birth abortion except to save a mother’s life; to fund health providers who don’t provide abortion information; to ban human cloning, including for medical research; to ban family planning funding in U.S. aid abroad; to make it a federal crime to harm a fetus while committing other crimes; and to bar transporting minors to get an abortion.

On Monday, McInnis said he changed his mind on abortion soon after that campaign…

Got that? We want to make sure people are clear on (the latest version of) McInnis’ story here: McInnis can now say with certainty that it was soon after his original 1992 campaign for Congress that he “changed his mind” on the matter of abortion from pro-choice to pro-life.

Of course, you’ve then got to reconcile that with what the Colorado Independent reports today:

Anti-abortion Republican candidate for governor Scott McInnis says he does not remember serving on the advisory board of Republicans for Choice, a political action committee ostensibly dedicated to supporting pro-choice candidates.

Papers filed with the Federal Election Commission, though, show that McInnis served on the organization’s board from June of 1996 through at least August of 2005. [Pols emphasis] Filings submitted since then do not include the PAC’s letterhead, which lists its advisory board…RFC founder, chairwoman and treasurer Ann E. W. Stone earlier this year told the Center for Public Integrity that she relies on an advisory board to set the agenda for PAC spending. [Pols emphasis]

[Former McInnis chief of staff Stephannie Finley] surmises that he simply forgot he had agreed to be on the board and hence never asked to be removed. She noted, however, that pro-choice Republicans came to be riled by McInnis when he started changing positions. “I’m surprised they kept him on the board,” she said.

Spending by Republicans for Choice has raised eyebrows over the years.

Since Stone founded the group in 1990, RFC has raised well more than $5 million but has spent almost none of that money to support pro-choice Republican candidates. The vast majority of money spent has gone for administrative costs, with the majority of that going either directly to Stone as reimbursement for expenses or to companies controlled by Stone- companies that also share an office with RFC.

That last part about RFC’s spending certainly adds an additional layer to the mystery, but it wouldn’t be the first time funds intended to benefit a political candidate have been spent questionably in the vicinity of Scott McInnis, would it? There’s been a lot of talk lately about the efficacy of many PACs, and whether or not they function more as slush funds for favored political operatives than legitimate vehicles to support candidates. And there’s been a lot of talk about McInnis’ true motivations for allowing this ludicrous gap between his claims and the record to fester.

Now assuming none of you seriously believe that McInnis remained a board member of Republicans for Choice for over a decade by accident–because you are not stupid–perhaps a say in how RFC’s money got spent was what mattered after all? It would certainly explain a lot: for example, why he doesn’t want to talk about it.


43 thoughts on “Chasm Between McInnis, Reality Remains Vast–Motive?

  1. There is nothing really new here in this story. McInnis was a member of Republicans for Choice. The other fact that this story conveniently forgets is his 0 rating from NARAL.  His record is pro-life. Period.  Also it cannot be assumed that because Scott was at one point associated with RFC that he is implicated in allegedly “questionable” spending.  Stone’s name is continually mentioned.  Scott’s is not in this spending allegation.  This is nothing but trying to throw mud at Scott and hoping that these claims stick even though they have minimal, at best, factual evidence.

    1. It shows he’s a pandering flip-flopper with no solid positions on anything except for the fact that he hates Ritter’s O&G regs. The fact that he could be in RFC and then support something as idiotic as the personhood amendment is proof enough of that.

    2. that a member’s primary responsibility is fiduciary oversight.  

      As we know the erstwhile DeLay/Abramhoff era DC-insider congressman from the big-spending days of GOP yore has a well-documented history of flopping around from position to position.

      1. If I were to concede this point I would ask you to show me a politician that did not?  Don’t hate the player, hate the game comes to mind.

        1. or a sufferer of convenient amnesia. Didn’t he recently say he couldn’t remember whether he was a member of Republicans for Choice? Don’t hate the player, hate the player who constantly rewrites the rules in his favor comes to mind.

        2. Mr. McInnis can’t avoid the obvious based on the time line. He is now saying the following:

          1992 – I was pro-choice during my first election to the U.S. House of Representatives;

          1993 or 94 – Shortly after the 1992 election I became pro life;

          June 1996 – After becoming a pro life advocate, I became the board member of a pro-choice organization;

          June 1996 – at least 2005 – While remianing stedfast to my pro life position for at least nine years, I remained on the advisory board of a pro choice organization which according to an earlier thread consulted me about pro choice issues regularly and whose former chairman stated I indicated I was pro choice.

          This has nothing to do with a candidate changing their mind or flip flopping. Mr. McInnis simply can’t square his statements with what he did in the past, and it is too late for him to do so.  

          1. Maybe McInnis never actually flip flopped. He’s still pro-choice, he just voted and spoke against his own position. Whatever people want to hear, that’s what he’ll tell them. What a great Governor he’ll make!

    3. … when you’re the member of a board of an organization, you do have some responsibilities that go along with your name on the letterhead.

      If an organization you’re on the board of, has collected $5 million but spent almost all of it for the organization’s executive or for payments to her companies, that’s not a good thing. Regardless of the organization’s position on abortion.

    4. This one:

      His record is pro-life. Period.


      So what about this?

      He long had opposed partial-birth abortions and backed parental notification. But he opted to allow for privately funded abortions at overseas U.S. military hospitals, to let federal employees choose health insurance plans to cover abortions and to preserve federal funding for family-planning programs.

      In 1995, NARAL tracked 21 roll-call votes. McInnis sided with their issues seven times.

      I can’t find anything online that confirms McInnis’ claim that he ever scored a zero from NARAL. So why are you so sure that he did?  

        1. I already tried to follow that one.

          NARAL ranks members of congress every year. I wanted to see the year-by-year rankings. For example, in the current year, the NARAL ranking for House members is based on just 3 votes. What if McInnis’ zero-ranking claim is based on one vote in one year? What if the following year there were 10 votes and he scored 50%? I wanted to see how valid and robust his claim wsa.

          I only used the google to see what I could find, but there is no document available on the NARAL website that contains the word “McInnis”. Every other page that google found only has McInnis’ of Duffy’s claim.  

        1. I posted a similar link to the one you posted, but ajb is right–it doesn’t link to the original NARAL 0% rating. It just says that they rated him 0% in 2003. We were wondering about the validity of using that rating to tout his pro-life credentials when we don’t know what the rating is based on.

          It’s complicated. Try to keep up.

          1. So you don’t trust a non-partisan group reporting or the Pro-choice group?  I’m sure they are trying to trick us.  Hey if this guy is pro-choice lets give him a zero rating which says we disagree with his voting and oust a pro-choice Republican. Yeah I agree that is probably what they are doing.  My bad.

            1. One score for one year with no collaborative information doesn’t constitute proof of “Pro-Life forever”.  The link doesn’t go anywhere.  Do you understand how flimsy this “fact” is and all the years it doesn’t account for?  You throw up one fact and claim that because the organization providing it is “non-partisan” then it must be true according to your point of view.  It is like unions rating Ritter and one year he is their friend and the next he vetoes their passed legislation.  Unions would probably grade Ritter differently based on the year in question.

              Criminalizing womens health care was once an intrusion of government on the privacy of the individual.  Protecting individual privacy was one of the big things that conservatives had against the health insurance reform.  In another age (early 90’s) defending the rights of the individual against the tyranny of the state was the right thing to do if you were a conservative.  I can believe that McInnis might not have been “Pro-Life forever” if he truly believed in the conservative principle of protecting the individual from the state. From what I can tell today’s conservative is an amalgam of spiritual voodoo and worship of the rich.  It gets difficult trying to keep track of which principles they follow on which issue.  I guess two faced liars would be a more apt description of them and in that vein McInnis is a prefect reflection of his base.

  2. The Republican Governor’s Association has stopped running ads attacking Hickenlooper.  By the time McInnis gets through the GOP primary and if he gets through he will be dead broke and far behind.  McInnis’ main problem is that he started with 60% of the delegate votes and after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars had 48%.  The more people get to know McInnis the less they like him.

    Foolish errors such as this one are not helping any.  

    1. McInnis went into the Right wing of the Republican party and came out 16 votes behind Maes.  Maes target base was the same as Buck’s.  Difference is Buck was able to pull 77%.  All that shows is that a little less than half of Maes’ base voted for McInnis, interesting.  Also the people that do support Maes don’t donate to his campaign.  Look at last weeks reported numbers.  And lastly, money talks.  McInnis still isn’t spending money on defeating Maes because he is confident he can beat him soundly.  He is however following an apparent game plan of jobs and anti-Hickenlooper.  Maes is all over the board trying to pander.  All polls have McInnis ahead or at worst tied (after making up an 11 point deficit to Hick).  So I am a little confused about

      and if he gets through he will be dead broke and far behind

      1. But the “independent third party” ads against McInnis are beginning to write themselves. All we need now is an arresting visual…

        Does Scott parasail?

      2. And that was without any credible opponents!

        No one disagrees the assembly vote for governor was mostly an anti-McInnis vote. A lot of Republicans are going to be holding their noses — not exactly what a candidate wants going into a tough election.

  3. He forgot that he was on their board…so he forgot to resign?  Does this happen very often with him?  You know, that could be an early stage dimentia symptom….

    What if he were to be elected Governor, forget that he was elected…and then forget to resign?  That would leave our state is a pretty sorry mess….

    1. He forgot that the bill was going to release all convicted murderers, so he forgot to veto it.

      He forgot that the budget needed to be balanced, so he forgot to sign it when the GA passed it.

      He forgot that he was responsible for declaring a state of emergency, so he forgot to send in the planes to put out the forest fire.

      The possibilities are endless!

      1. it could have been used in a number of other situation as well:  

        John Ensign forgot he was married so he had sex with his office assistant’s wife.

        David Vitter forgot both that he was married and that prostitution was illegal…so he paid that hooker for sex.

        Bristol Palin forgot that she was an opponent of pre-marital sex–or–she forgot that she wasn’t married, so she got pregnant.

        Larry Craig forgot he had a “wide stance” so he sat down in a narrow stall.

    2. reminding McInnis that this organization still existed…(you know like updates, emails, phone calls, etc.) if there was no such activity reminding McInnis of his involvement with the group, why should it matter?  Maybe that was the case and that’s why he simply forgot that he was apart of the organization, aside from changing his mind.

    1. You would remember? I remember when my mind changed, and I doubt I would have remained on the board of Pro-Life 4 EVAH organization. Even if I didn’t hear from them for a while.

      1. he knew he was going to be running for governor in 2010.  Everybody is attacking him and wondering whether he is going to change his mind again if he were in office…Well, is there really a rationality to that?  Or are we just saying to ourselves “since he changed his mind once, then it is obviously going to happen again, therefore he cannot be trusted.”  Well I don’t believe that comment itself can be trusted.  Nor do I believe that it is rational.

  4. Is it not possible someone changed their mind? I don’t like my politicians changing their position a year after being elected either, but the fact is McInnis is pro-life.  That’s his upfront position now and has been steady since 93-94. McInnis never attended RFC events or meetings, it’s not like he was living a double standard.

    Guess what, everyone in this world has made mistakes and has skeletons in the closet, that’s why most of us are not brave enough to run for office. If this is the worst dirt oposition can dig up on a candidate I’m impressed. Because again, he’s been active pro-life now for over a decade and has stood by his choice. Whether you like that choice is another debate all together, but I wouldn’t consider him a flip-flopper or a liar.

    By the way this blog took out very limitted pieces of the Colorado Independent article to slant this conversation very hard one way, if you’d like the real story I’d do a little research youself and not just read the ten lines this blog decided to show.

    1. It’s that he’s lied about his involvement in RFC during his latest campaign. And that he stayed on the board long after he supposedly changed his mind.

      This isn’t about McInnis’ abortion position, whatever that might be. It’s about talking out of both sides of his mouth depending on the audience, and voters are right to be skeptical of politicians who make a habit of that.

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