TUESDAY PM UPDATE #3: Fox 31’s Eli Stokols:
Cole Finegan, managing partner at Hogan Lovells, formerly Hogan & Hartson, where McInnis was employed prior to taking a leave of absence in January of this year, would not discuss whether the apparent plagiarism case would jeopardize McInnis’ possible return to the firm.
He emphasized the firm was not involved…
“I think there are a lot of Republicans, smart Republicans, around the state who are scratching their heads right now saying, ‘We pushed Josh Penry out of the race to get this?’,” said Eric Sondermann, a political analyst. “It is black and white. This is something everyone learns early on, that you don’t take credit for someone else’s work.”
Perhaps the most telling message…was a straight-faced tweet from Fort Collins Republican Bob Schaffer, who lost a U.S. Senate bid in 2008 to Democrat Mark Udall in a race McInnis said – on the eve of the election – that he could have won.
“Family Foundation miffed it paid $300k to congressman for plagarized work & no-shows,” read a message Schaffer sent Tuesday morning to his Twitter followers… [Pols emphasis]
A week before the election, with Schaffer down in the polls, McInnis boasted to the online news site The Colorado Independent that he “would have beat Udall,” and said his “biggest threat was getting through the primary.” He blamed “radical elements” in his own party for thwarting his ambitions.
TUESDAY PM UPDATE: Scott McInnis chooses his response…poorly. 9NEWS’ Adam Schrager:
“This is a non-issue if it’s not a political year. Voters don’t really care about this issue. They care about jobs, getting back to work.” McInnis told 9NEWS…
More realistic appraisals of the situation are considerably bleaker:
[9NEWS Political Analyst Floyd] Cirulli says the way McInnis handles the situation, especially over the next 24 hours, could have a major impact on his campaign.
“It could end his campaign, frankly, I think it’s that serious,” Cirulli said. [Pols emphasis]
TUESDAY AM UPDATE #3: In a statement from Colorado Ethics Watch, Director Luis Toro opens a more serious discussion of consequences:
The reports that Congressman McInnis’ water essays for the Hasan Family Foundation contained plagiarized material, if true, raise serious questions about McInnis’ compliance with the ethics rules that apply to all Colorado lawyers. The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct specifically warn lawyers against conduct involving dishonesty or misrepresentation and against failure to adequately supervise their non-attorney staff. [Pols emphasis]
TUESDAY AM UPDATE #2: The Colorado Statesman’s Ernest Luning has more from Malik Hasan, as well as a response from McInnis’ primary opponent Dan Maes:
“I think it’s important that we find the truth out, and if the truth reveals (the articles were) indeed plagiarized, it ultimately is the congressman’s responsibility no matter who did it,” Maes told The Statesman. “He can try to lay it on someone else, but ultimately, it’s his responsibility.”
Maes – who has had his own run of bad press recently over campaign finance allegations – stopped short of condemning his opponent. But that didn’t stop him from tweaking McInnis: “Maybe he isn’t as well versed in water as he leads everybody to believe he is.” [Pols emphasis]
If the articles were plagiarized, McInnis might have to refund the money he was paid to write them, Maes suggested.
“I think he should be subject to whatever laws or policies apply in this situation if indeed he did plagiarize,” Maes said. “And if returning the money is one option, it should certainly be considered.”
Something tells us Maes has another “option” in mind for McInnis, too.
TUESDAY AM UPDATE: A statement from the Hasan Foundation:
In light of the accusations against Scott McInnis regarding plagiarism of articles to the Hasan Family Foundation, I am shocked, angry and disappointed. Any work related to the fellowship that Mr. McInnis submitted was always represented as final. At no time, whatsoever, did Mr. McInnis communicate that any of the work were “rough drafts.” Any representation that they were submitted to the Foundation as “rough drafts” is absolutely incorrect.
In addition, there were never discussions nor any knowledge by the Foundation that Mr. McInnis was working with a “research advisor.” If indeed Mr. McInnis was working with a “research advisor,” it was never brought to our attention, nor authorized. The work that the Foundation hired Mr. McInnis to do was to be done solely by Mr. McInnis, and not in concert with anyone else…[a]ll work was represented to be original and final. We will conduct an independent, internal investigation and if the allegations are proven to be true, we will demand Mr. McInnis return all monies paid to him by the Foundation.
A very bad story for GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis is in the process of breaking at the state’s newspaper of record, as well as at least one television station–all rolling out as we write.
Passages from McInnis’ “Musings on Water” articles, for which he was reportedly paid some $300,000 by the Malik and Seeme Hasan Foundation, have been found to be both word-for-word lifted, as well as subject to easily identifiable token changes from an original article printed in 1984 by now-Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs in the periodical Colorado Water Rights. Here’s a link to the original article from the CSU library, surprisingly easy to Google:
And below the fold you’ll find McInnis’ “Musings on Water” articles. Scroll to page 125, find this:
And if you look at page 7 of the Summer 1984 issue of Colorado Water Rights, you’ll find this:
This being one, small, example of what appears to be a major problem for Scott McInnis’ “sweet” $300,000 deal. We’ll leave the rest crowdsourced for now–there will reportedly be more in the paper tomorrow from this and other writings of Justice Hobbs’, and by the time that publishes in the morning we expect our readers will have found a significant number among the two documents we’ve linked to in this post (start in McInnis’ “Green Mountain Saga” article beginning page 107). This was not some isolated case or missing footnote. It’s widespread, and it’s obvious.
We hope it goes without saying, given that our readers are generally college educated, that such pervasive plagiarism as you will find in these two documents goes well beyond anything acceptable–we remember having this beat into our heads in college; there is probably nothing more terrifying to an undergraduate student than being accused of lifting somebody else’s work.
And folks, do you remember a man named Ward Churchill? It’s our understanding that, uh, Colorado Republicans really frown on academic fraud. The funny thing about Churchill was how few responsible people on the left were willing to defend him, even though there are free speech and political implications all over that story. The reason was simple: he was a plagiarist.
We’ve seen a few knockout punches against Colorado candidates in our time: Bob Schaffer and Jack Abramoff, Rick O’Donnell’s trip to Panama, and Bob Beauprez had three or four race-ending blows–he was nominally still in at the end, but not by much.
Tell us this doesn’t have “spend more time with my family” written all over it.
UPDATE: 7NEWS has much, much more. Here we go.
The campaign for Republican candidate for Governor Scott McInnis has admitted that substantial sections of an article he wrote on water rights was copied from a previously published work, the CALL7 Investigators have learned.
A McInnis spokesman claimed a research advisor provided the content, but in the end, the work was submitted for publication under McInnis’ name…
“Justice Hobbs should have been cited. It is regrettable. It’s inappropriate,” said McInnis spokesperson Sean Duffy on Monday.
7NEWS’ investigative team found at least five major examples, not including the one we cited above. And we can already tell you there are more. It’s called a “disaster.”