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June 22, 2010 08:29 PM UTC

The big question about McInnis' water articles

  • by: Jason Salzman

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Some of the best news stories stay in your head because they revolve around an unanswered question.

The story about Scott McInnis getting $300,000 from the Hasan Family Foundation, mostly to write 150 double-spaced pages about Colorado water issues, centers on exactly this kind of big question.

Why did McInnis get so much money to write this stuff?

It’s surely a question that journalists will put to McInnis during the campaign, even if he’s not talking about it now.

Right, all you reporters out there?

But over at Westword, which prides itself on alternative views, Alan Prendergast thinks the real question is “what McInnis’s 150 pages of soggy prose tell us about the kind of governor he would make.”

Prendergast dissects McInnis’ water writing, quoting McInnis, and then offering his analysis of the pricy articles:

McInnis water article number one: “The water we use day-to-day comes mostly from mountain snow melt – some from rain – but mostly from mountain snow melt. The climate of Colorado is semi-arid or even arid with statewide precipitation of 16-17 inches, mostly as snow melt, mostly in the mountains.”

Prendergast: Hmm. Somebody seems to be hypnotized by the words “snow melt.” But showing the resourcefulness of a true leader, McInnis rouses himself from this rhetorical rut and soldiers on, marching through a droning geography lesson about Colorado’s major river basins, marred by only the occasional incoherence, as in “So Colorado does not get to keep off of ‘its water.'” Could “off” be a typo for “all,” or is the writer invoking the rebellious spirit of Mick Jagger singing “Get Off of My Cloud”?

Read the entire piece, here, but watch out because Prendergast warns us, “The Westword Foundation is paying me an extravagant sum to blog on this topic. I can’t reveal the exact amount without my patron’s permission, but suffice it to say that I am getting paid by the word.”


29 thoughts on “The big question about McInnis’ water articles

  1. have just been named as the new Front Page Editors, We have each agreed to write a dairy about Colorado Water policies or law and put it on pols.  All we ask in return is the modest emolument of $100,000 per diary.

      David will even throw in some Russian music videos for free.

      Are you listening, Ali?

  2. I don’t know if you mentioned this or not, Jason.

    If the former, no real problem.  A contract between two entities.  If the latter, hmmmmmm….

    By campaign, I mean anything that he might have still had after leaving the House.  You know, like a fund to pay his wife with, IIRC.  

      1. ….but don’t many politicians retire with a campaign fund account that they can then dispose of how they wish?  

        And if he did do that, did the Hasan Foundation put the money into that account or just a personal one?  

    1. with some facts.  Seriously, it’s funny, anything that comes up in the news about McInnis or Norton you guys will turn around and try to use it against them.  

      1. Not an allegation.  Just a thought. Speculation on why someone in politics might get paid a lot for doing very little. Feel free to come up with your own. Have a drink or something.

      1. I wonder if those people who view this payment as a campaign contribution take the position that it was actually a “pre-campaign” contribution”

        1. Then I’ll just point out that every time Hickenlooper got a paycheck it was all a “secret pre-campaign contribution”.  But no one is trying to be irrational here.

          1. …is not the same as income received from a “foundation”, presumably one under the Hasan family control.

            Once again, the righties just make no fickin’ sense.  

        2. You are taking both yourselves and an offhand snarky remark way too seriously.  I thought overly earnest liberals, tree huggers and feminists were supposed to be humorless.  

  3. Nobody pays someone $300,000 to write 150 double-spaced pages of stuff like “Water! It is important!”

    If the author had been anyone but a still-deemed-influential politician like McInnis, he/she would never have gotten a FRACTION of that amount.

    1. They are an absolute necessity for the survival of the Republican Party. DISGUISED POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS! Tom DeLay and I could not have lived without them. The Colorado Republican Party and the national GOP depend on disguised political contributions. The disguised political contributions we use day to day come mostly from powerful Republicans — some from wealthy CEOs — but mostly from powerful Republicans.

      1. redstateblues,

        You cannot be serious. What necessitates the Democrat’s ethical deficiencies: Murtha and PMA, Rangel the landlord, Geithner and the IRS, Blago (He of reality TV stardom)…

        Neither party has monopolized ethics and criminal violations. Hell, I remember a recent President was impeached because the truth hurts.  

        1. for governor of Colorado. ‘Round these parts, we don’t cotton to lawyer-lobbyists trading on their politiical influence for big payouts in exchange for busy work.

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