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July 14, 2010 06:35 PM UTC

Note To Aspiring Officeholders: DO NOT Plagiarize The Washington Post

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #2: “Dead man walking,” writes the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake for The Fix:

Former Rep. Scott McInnis’s (R-Colo.) gubernatorial campaign is in a fight for its life as charges of plagiarism have led to questions of whether he can stay in the race.

Republicans in Colorado say he’s a dead man walking, and they are exploring the ins and outs of what they can do to get another nominee…

Sources in Colorado Republican circles say it’s likely a matter of when, not if, McInnis will exit the race.

“Almost without exception, they think he is done,” said one senior Colorado Republican granted anonymity to speak candidly. [Pols emphasis]

“He may be the last one to know it, but he’s dead in the water,” said another. “It’s likely he will resist heavily, but at some point he’s got to realize this is a fact of life.”

UPDATE: Think we’re kidding? Feast your eyes, Washington.

That sound you hear is McInnis’ card, from every Rolodex inside the Beltway, being shredded. Combine this with a major Denver newspaper calling on McInnis to drop out of the race, and we’d say that you can go ahead and pull out that fork now. Ladies and gentlemen, your Republican nominee for Governor, some guy named Dan Maes!


The folks minding the Twitters at the Washington Post took notice of new allegations of plagiarism–unrelated to the ‘researcher’ the campaign is blaming already-reported incidents on–by GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis, as reported today in our state’s newspaper of record:

Which points to their wire story. To briefly summarize, McInnis published an op-ed in the Rocky Mountain News in December of 1994 that directly lifted the words of a Washington Post opinion piece about a month and a half prior. The following January, McInnis gave a speech on the floor of Congress that again lifted this text without attribution. This new incident can’t be pinned on the ‘researcher’ McInnis is blaming the incidents of plagiarism from his “Musings on Water” articles for the Hasan Foundation–a shifting of blame that doesn’t help McInnis anyway, since the Hasans insist that the essays were always represented as McInnis’ sole work.

Not to mention that the Glenwood Springs paper caught up with the researcher in question, Rolly Fischer, who is apparently not interested in being Scott McInnis’ scapegoat, and doesn’t sound very ‘remorseful’–as McInnis has been representing him–while denying any responsibility for the plagiarism. We viewed his unwillingness to be scapegoated as the most damaging thing for McInnis that has happened since the story broke–up until these new incidents of plagiarism were revealed that have nothing to do with Rolly Fischer.

This story is moving very rapidly at this point. Every media outlet in the state, and now national press as well, is trying to get the next big scoop; with a particularly heated rivalry emerging between the Denver newspaper and local television stations over who will report the latest game-changing angle. There’s a consensus that these incidents of clear and deliberate plagiarism are being found much too easily, and many more are in all likelihood out there waiting to be found. It has a life of its own now, and the calls for McInnis to withdraw from the race will only continue to get louder as new information is uncovered.

The end will come when Scott McInnis chooses to end it.


42 thoughts on “Note To Aspiring Officeholders: DO NOT Plagiarize The Washington Post

  1. it made page 3A in today’s Durango Herald.  Maybe tomorrow it will go to the front page.  Of course, it matters more how it is being reported in the Front Range, but still, it’s hard to believe this isn’t even bigger.  My question is what will be the headlines right after Labor Day.  McInnis has until then to get a positive spin started.  That will be important in setting the tone for the election, not what is happening during the summer.

      1. I don’t see how Dan Maes can win statewide.  He’s unknown out here and it doesn’t sound much better in the rest of the state.  The fact that he recently made a presentation in Evergreen isn’t good.  He has to introduce himself to Republicans in his hometown?  The tea party is a base but hasn’t shown any ability to attract independents.

    1. McGinnis has probably been playing this game his whole life.  He should have thought about those skeletons in his closet before running for major office.  This isn’t going away.

      1. I would love to see him as the Republican nominee because it means Hick would walk in, but if he’s serious about supporting his party he’ll suddenly need to spend more time with his family.

        I wonder if Wadhams can figure out some technical way of getting Penry back in?  Did he suspend or drop out?  There is a difference, at least on the federal level.  Not sure how the state law works.

        1. after his dirty turncoat move to Norton’s campaign. McInnis is toast; Dan Maes will win handily if Republicans care at all about the governor’s race. McInnis is and always has been about one thing, Scott McInnis. Too bad all this couldn’t have come out earlier.

          1. McInnis can still win the primary even after this.  We just have to see how much longer it stays in the media.  If it blows over soon, people will forget and go with name recognition.

  2. Still think this is a non-issue, Scott?

    Now, you’ve got more than just Chris Cillizza at WaPo interested in your little non-issue. Good luck with that…

  3. Here’s a Colorado water law analogy, which Scooter should hire an expert researcher to explain to him:

    Stick Two Forks in him, he’s done.

    1. “I believe the appropriate metaphor here involves a river of excrement and a Native American water vessel without any means of propulsion.” Dr. Sheldon Cooper

    2. I should never be on here while eating or reading- but I still blame you for the food & beer I just spit out all over my keyboard.

      Damn funny.

      If you can work in a “southern delivery” double entendre, you would be my new comedy writing idol.

  4. Dear Scooter, here’s an article from March 21, 2007. Just change the public office title. Oh, but don’t copy this verbatim. This is from The Washington Post.

    Colorado Senate: Leading Republican to Exit Race

    UPDATE, 6:30 p.m. ET: McInnis made it official this afternoon, releasing a statement to the press that the race wasn’t right for his family. McInnis’s departure leaves Republicans without an obvious candidate, although chatter surrounding a candidacy by former Rep. Bob Schaffer is heating up in the state.

    Original post from this morning:

    Former Colorado Rep. Scott McInnis (R) is expected to end his Senate bid as soon as today, according to sources familiar with his thinking who asked not to be identified because they did not have permission to speak for the McInnis camp.

    McInnis’s exit from the race comes less than one month after he formed an exploratory committee to run for the seat being vacated next year by Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.). McInnis did not return a call placed to his Denver office Tuesday seeking comment.

  5. McInnis said he isn’t sure who on his staff wrote the parts of the column and speech that are apparently lifted from the previous newspaper column.

    “In Congress, you have lots of staff. I had hundreds of pages a day go out of my congressional office with my signature on it. We have no idea of the base material,” McInnis told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “Of course I had assistants writing that.”

    Can he take any responsibility for his actions?  This is absolutely disgusting human behavior.  For the sake of his family involved I hope he pulls out of the race by the end of the week and stops embarrassing them.

  6. how everybody (media and liberals) are assuming that Scott is going to drop out, when you haven’t heard a single word of evidence from the campaign itself?  Maybe you (media and liberals) are thinking you can warp this into some kind of rumor?  I don’t know, it doesn’t seem very effective to me.

    1. Given just a bit of research, these multiple ethical lapses (read: plagiarism) have turned up.  Stack on allegedly paying his wife from campaign funds after he stopped campaigning, his waffling on various issues to pander to different groups…

      Mayor Hickenlooper I’m sure would be fine with campaigning against McInnis.  But with the Post calling for him to retire from the field and no major Republican officials standing up for him, there has to be at least some thought going on at GOP headquarters and within the McInnis campaign that he should drop out.

      1. The man exhibits ethical values which many of can only write about. And yet he, with head held high, goes forth to demonstrate that he believes those values must be put to practice.  A lot of practice apparently.

        He should stay in the race.  Right now it seems to be a wonder as to what he did write of his own creation.

      2. I hope McInnis stays in.  Those McInnis / Churchill ads should play pretty well, especially with all the Republican comments about plagiarism.

      3. to tell if anybody will stand up for McInnis.  If, he chooses to drop. Only been a few days, and some folks are getting trigger happy with this whole problem.

        1. It’s day three that this has been headline news and all he’s gotten from major Republicans is one call for him to drop out (Dan Caplis) and one assertion that he will (Tom Tancredo). Scott hasn’t had one bit of good news in any of this – the Foundation wants their money back, the assistant on whom he tried to pin the blame says he’s lying, the RGA is canceling events which usually indicates that they’re pulling out, and not one prominent Republican has said anything supportive.

          It’s exactly the right time to tell if anyone will stand up for Scott, and we can tell that it won’t happen.

    2. (Apologies to Michigan State.)

      Or, is it low reading comprehension?

      Who assumes Scott is going to drop out?  Answer: No one.

      Do you honestly think (I know, I know, that’s a difficult concept that there aren’t REPUBLICANS hoping Scott will drop out?  And I don’t mean just Maes supporters.

      Your conflation of “everybody” and “you” with “(media and liberals)” would be funny if it wasn’t pathetic.  

  7. I’ve heard Maes say twice now that he’s going to fire 4000 state employees.  Shouldn’t that be getting press – it seems crazy to me.  Maes may be more dangerous to Colorado than Amendment 60, 61 and prop 101.

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