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July 16, 2010 06:43 PM UTC

Hasan Foundation Demands Repayment of McInnis' $300,000

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: For some reason, the AP reports, Scott McInnis thinks this is a good thing for him.

“I have said since this matter was brought to my attention that the articles provided as part of the Hasan Family Foundation fellowship were faulty. I explained how this problem arose, and I accepted responsibility. I will be in contact with the Hasan family to make full payment arrangements,” McInnis said in a statement.

“I agree with the foundation that this brings this matter to a close, and I look forward to continuing to speak on the campaign trail about the critical issues facing all of Colorado, including jobs and economic recovery,” he said.

We kind of doubt that, folks.

That’s the release we just received from Seeme Hasan, clearing up ambiguity about their response. Enraged from the beginning over revelations that gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis did not solely perform the research and writing for a series of essays on water policy he wrote for them, let alone the fact that the essays were massively plagiarized–the Hasan Foundation is now officially demanding the refund of all $300,000 they paid McInnis for the “Musings on Water” series. Release follows: “it is clear that Mr. McInnis has not fulfilled the terms of our agreement, and there is no need for any further investigation by the Foundation. The Foundation demands he repay all monies paid to him under the Fellowship.”


Friday, July 16, 2010

Findings from Hasan Family Foundation on Plagiarism Investigation

From Seeme Hasan, Chairwoman, Hasan Family Foundation

It is the finding of the Hasan Family Foundation Board that the work Congressman Scott McInnis performed under the Senior Fellowship was only a fraction of the work he was obligated to perform under the terms of his Fellowship. Of the little work that he did, he has admitted it was neither fully completed by him, nor fully original. In view of the public disclosure by Mr. McInnis as well as by Mr. Rolly Fischer, it is clear that Mr. McInnis has not fulfilled the terms of our agreement, and there is no need for any further investigation by the Foundation.

The Foundation demands he repay all monies paid to him under the Fellowship.  The Foundation shall be making no further comment on the matter and will immediately return its full attention to the worthy causes it proudly funds and oversees.



65 thoughts on “Hasan Foundation Demands Repayment of McInnis’ $300,000

    1. McInnis is a pretty wealthy guy, assuming he’s liquid at all he should be able to cut them a check. It might sting a little, but imagine how Justice Hobbs must feel!

    2. That is not even a legitimate concern.  This isn’t like you.  Usually your posts have a bit of intelligence in them, this one is just ridiculous.  Scott will be ok.  

      1. I didn’t know Texans had the gift for irony.  That is one funny sentence.

        I’m thinking Scott is going to have a number of legitimate legal concerns before this is all over.  Dead lawyer/lobbyist walking.

        1. I’m definitely not a Texan.  That would just be terrible. I’m not saying that it is not a concern I’m saying that Scott not having the money is not a concern. Like Jeffco said above he’s well off and will be ok.

          1. I’m guessing now that it stands for

            Tedious Conservative Unitarian.

            Your man may have the bucks to repay the Hasans but I’m a thinking that his fund raising appeals in the future are going to be a tougher sell.  

              1. Especially if he’s dragging his butt across the living room floor.

                Sorry.  I tried not to go there.  I just couldn’t stop myself.

      2. Only credible, respected polsters get to post stuff like this. You’re a McInnis shill, who spins the facts and never answers comments that counter yours. Your posts carry no weight here. So why don’t you go away? Your boss is going to lay you off any minute now.

          1. No, really?

            That is not even a legitimate concern


            $300k – oh, hey, let me take my other shoe off , I think I got it right here.

            Dude- I don’t care how rich the man has gotten has a lawyer lobbyist, $300k is real dough when it’s personal.  Now if the campaign could somehow be billed…. maybe he cna bill the campaign for ink and paper, …. and the assistant,…. and mileage. Lots and lots of mileage – perhaps he had to drive to every watery place in the state.

            So my question is easy – really?

    1. How about during the two years since they were paying him 300K and never got anything they considered worth publishing out of him? How about all the time since then up to now? How about the fact that water issues always were pretty irrelevant to their foundation’s work and site?  Seems like classic Captain Renault in Casablanca style shock, though the Captain was honest enough to smirk and forgo the phony outrage.  

      Maybe the outrage comes from the pol they paid for being too lazy to even give them a semi-decent fig leaf in exchange for all that cash, then adding insult to injury by dragging their name into this mess.

      1. They have been enraged since the story first broke.  Go back and read the old threads.

        I’d be enraged too.  Not just over the fraud, but because my family name was suddenly being dragged through the mud.

        I really was hoping to see the “agreement.”  I want to see what they thought they were buying.

          1. Ralphie – I did forward your request to the Foundation – that said, I’m not on the Board and it’s not in my hands

            Again, I can’t speak for the Board or Foundation, but ajb wrote a good summary from my viewpoint

            1. I commented on that in another diary.

              I’m just lamenting that it hasn’t been put out for us to look at.  With the PR saying this would be the last word, it looks like it won’t be put out.

        1. “since the story first broke.” They had plenty of time prior to get enraged about paying 300K for nothing they deemed good enough to use, if the point ever was that they were paying for articles they wanted or needed. They certainly could have sent the stuff back and told McInnis he was going to have to do a lot better for that kind of money. Or they could have published long ago if they were pleased enough before the whole plagiarism came up.  

          I propose they wanted a cover for their funneling money to him and are most enraged about McInnis screwing it up to the point they don’t even have plausible cover.  The latest threads are hardly historic info. I think they qualify for “now”, this thing being just days old.

          1. It’s either what you say, or that the Hasan’s take an inordinately long time to get worked up about being shafted — one might say they’re as longsuffering as Job.

          1. What did the Hasan Family Foundation want?

            1. Visibility. McInnis is known. Give him some money. Send him on a goodwill speaking tour. People have hear of Scott, so they show up. Prominently feature “Sponsored by the HFF” on all promotional literature.

            The articles fall along the same lines, only they turned out to be unsuitable for publication, regardless of the plagiarism.

            2. Sponsoring a young politician with aspirations for higher office could very well turn out to be money well invested. If he had indeed run against and beaten Udall, Hasans would now have a friend in very high places who they could call upon for a favor, if the need arose.

            3. Hasans are prominent Republican donors. This move raises their profile in R circles and gives them cache as movers-and-shakers in the party, or just plain old bragging rights at the next big fund raiser.

            Problem is, Scott queered the deal right off, taking the $300k, then turning around and taking a full-time job. HFF is left with a few town hall meetings, some worthless articles, and a self-centered lawyer-lobbyist. Given that they didn’t renew the fellowship, you can bet that they wouldn’t have done it again, regardless of the plagiarism.

            I think that these inside deals are par for the course in the culture of American politics. I’m sure if you look around, you’ll find plenty of similar examples, across the political spectrum. Some work, some fail. This one failed spectacularly, like a scene from the trailer to a Bruce Willis movie.

              1. They could conceivably been widely adopted as a public education resource. I can think of a series of water articles sponsored by High Country News that fulfill that purpose. And that would have been consistent with the education component of the Foundation’s mission.

                But yeah, I’d speculate the foundation first wanted to help out Scott and then went looking for a way to do that. It could have been a win-win, but…

            1. except that as I read it, they didn’t pay McGoneus $300K up front, they paid him monthly over 24 months.

              For Pete’s sake, how long to you continued to pay this knucklehead before you stop and say, “Hey, Scotty WTF?”

                1. So at what quarter, of the eight possible, do you call Scotty to ask WTF?

                  Quarter 3?

                  Quarter 5?

                  Quarter 7?

                  Not even after Quarter 8?

                  No, you get agitated after the story breaks!

                  Fitzgerald was right . . . the rich are different than you and me.

    2. a contract is worth the paper it is written on

      oral agreements usually not enforceable without lots of support, usually written documents or a work history

      since Scooter’s history was to use other’s work as his own…..

  1. MAH, any oped from you, other then the PR speaks for itself?

    For example are you/family members now supporting Hickenlooper or another course of action? Any commentary on this mornings Rosen comments regarding you? Etc…?

  2. The Hasan Foundation gives an insane amount of money for at best a poorly crafted short article on water.  

    Was this a quid pro quo for acts McInnis took as a Member of the House Ways and Means Committee to help the Hasan business?

    Have any other members of Congress received such largesse?

    The IRS and Department Justice need to investigate the Hasan Foundation.  Creating no work jobs using in essence our tax dollars for their political friends and allies is a crime.

    If you live in a glass house don’t throw stones.  The Hasans seem to have used a foundation that receives tax deductible contributions as a piggy bank to pay back political friends who helped their business.

    A grand jury needs to be convened to get to the bottom of what looks like a totally illegal scheme on the part of the Hasans.  By the way the Hasans are amongst the biggest GOP donors in the country.  

    1. .

      is to come up with some facts that indicate a crime has been committed, and bring that evidence to your local police department.  They will take it from there.  

      Or maybe assemble evidence that the Foundation violated tax laws, and bring that to the IRS.  

      But I can’t think of one single governmental jurisdiction that is going to investigate whether or not the Hasans are wealthy, or whether you are envious of them for that.  Neither one of those appear to be against the law, nor do they indicate that they cheated on their taxes.

      Likewise, that feeling in your bones that, if they are rich, they must be breaking the law, that’s really not enough to go on, except on a TV show.  

      You are obviously trying to trick Jason Saltzman into spending his time investigating whether your fantasies are accurate.  I think you should post this same invitation on every single thread at CoPols, just to make sure he considers this vocation.  I think there are still 14 Diaries where you haven’t posted this.


      1. It is illegal to use a non profit foundation to fund no work jobs.  That is why there are all these real special type rules that apply to 501(c)(3) Corporations.  The Hasans can spend their cash anyway they want.  But sorry to inform you that they cannot funnel it into a non profit, take a tax deduction and than fund no work jobs.


        1. .

          “It is illegal to use a non profit foundation to fund no work jobs.”

          I cannot imagine what background you must have to believe a statement like that.  

          Who do you imagine is going around inspecting non-profits to see if everyone shows up for work ?  The IRS ?  

          Oral Roberts University is a non-profit.  Nobody in the family that runs that charade has ever done a lick of work, but they are all paid in the millions.  

          Is it possible that you are mixing up the way that you wish the world was with the way it really is ?  


      2. Come to think of it, can this grand jury also move to indict Michael Bennet? He’s surely guilty of something, with all that money he’s got.

    2. .

      the Hasan Foundation did not pay McInnis to write articles.  They gave (as in “gift”) him a Fellowship so that he could use his time to promote water issues, pretty much as he saw fit.  

      In retrospect, after the first 2 years, they didn’t think they got what they expected, so they declined to renew the gift.  

      But there was no contract for the delivery of goods or for the performance of services; there was assistance provided to support a level of effort in pursuit of a worthy undertaking, not contingent on outcomes.

      All McInnins promised was his “best effort,” and based on recent events I’d say those articles probably DO represent the best he could do.


      1. That’s bullshit.

        Read my blog tonight.  Give me an hour or two to write it up.

        The Hasans DID expect articles.  One per month.

        And I don’t know where your post came from, but it couldn’t have come from facts.

        1. .

          Ralphie, with all his facts and citations and documents,…?  B-O-R-I-N-G.

          Or me, dreaming stuff up and embellishing it, fashioning a compelling human interest story, and not getting bogged down with the messiness of what actually happened, which I’ve already established is B-O-R-I-N-G ?  


          RALPH, that is some EXCELLENT work there on yer blog.  That’s “Journalism,” is it ?  I think I like it.  


          However, on the most important item in dispute between us, you have no pertinent evidence, one way or the other.  You call it a contract, I call it a fellowship.  I think we both understand the difference.  

          You have not shown us a contract, with terms and conditions and a price schedule that ties the performance of specific acts to specific payments.  The memo you posted essentially says he gets paid if he keeps breathing, and if he does keep breathing, he is to give his (best) effort in the following areas: ….

          Think back to when you were on contract.  You had to sign it to commit to the terms, so that the other party had recourse to the courts under contract law.  A contract has 6 elements, including (from Wiki’s definition*) “an exchange of promises with specific legal remedies for breach.”  The document you tracked down affords the Foundation NO legal remedies, whether for breach, fraud, poor performance or just changing their mind.

          Of course, it doesn’t give Scott any standing to sue in court, either.  

          Accordingly, this agreement is in the realm of a “gift” or a “grant” or “assistance.”   A fellowship is a type of assistance.  


          Where did my post come from ?  OMB Circular A-110, mostly.  I’ve been involved with the solicitation, award and administration of federal assistance (grants and cooperative agreements) for several years.  

          Granted [pardon the pun] that private grants and fellowships are not constrained by federal regulations, but there are philosophical parallels.  


          * – how ’bout that attribution, huh ?


          1. Opinion.

            Without it I’d be just another old man throwing shoes at the TV.

            And I didn’t call it a contract.  I said it was unsigned and undated.  It looked more like a Statement of Work to me.

            1. .

              I accuse thee of committing journalism.  

              Maybe what I really mean is that you appear to be a better investigator than the MSM investigators.  Lots of folks wanted to know what exactly was in their agreement, and you dug it up and shared it.  


              1. with the sensationalism of “Will Scott drop out?” and “Who will replace him?”

                To me, the backstory has always been what the Hasans expected to get for their money, and whether they got it.

                It was just something I was curious about.  It wasn’t hard to find.

                I’m much better able to opine now that I’ve seen that memo.  There was a defined scope of work, and the documents that were to be produced were intended for public consumption–even education.  And there was no hint, let alone a promise, that the grant was renewable.  It was a two year project, period.  It started, it ended.  Nobody yanked Scooter’s fellowship in a huff.

                1. that just because there wasn’t a “hint, let alone a promise” about the grant being renewable, doesn’t mean that the option may not have been discussed in one on one talks with McInnis or with the Foundation Board members.

                  I’ve served on several Boards and we often talked at length with potential candidates about not only our expectations but the possibilities after the initial contract, fellowship, grant, internship (take your pick) was fulfilled. Just because it isn’t in the document you read doesn’t mean it wasn’t discussed.  

                  1. But for me to go beyond what exists on paper would be pure speculation.  As a halfass sometimes scientist, I don’t like to speculate (although I must admit, I do it all the time). I don’t know what was discussed.  I do know what was written down.

          2. .

            I just listened to a 30-minute segment from Caplis & Silverman yesterday, 16 July.  Their guest was Dr. Aliya Hasan, Director, HFF.

            She indicated that the Board may have some legal recourse to force the repayment of funds from Mr. McInnis, if I understood her correctly.  She said that the Board’s legal advisor was looking into that.  

            In other words, after all of my protesting that it was a grant/ fellowship, unenforceable under contract law, an actual attorney thinks its a contract.  

            There are probably 5 to 10 people I owe apologies to.  Sorry.



            1. Having a lawyer looking into it doesn’t mean it ultimately isn’t the way you described it. There’s a lot of sorting out down the road on this.

            1. It would seem that McInnis fell far short of the agreement yet they continued to pay him without making much fuss until the current plagiarism scandal.  

  3. at the Republican Governor’s Assoc.  I won’t post the link but suffice it to say it’s not in the Aspen Daily News (there are two dailies in Aspen).  

    He does say he would never do a ‘bait and switch’ according to the article. Full on denial mode by the report.

    Meanwhile two headlines from KDVR Fox 31  (which has done a good job staying on top of this story) portend a dreary future for Team McInnis.  Looks like the wheels are falling off the bus they had hoped to toss Rolly under…

    Staffers quitting on McInnis; polls show plagiarism case hurting

    GOP abandoning McInnis; candidate vows to fight on

    McInnis does has some loyal supporters, and they appear to be flooding the Sentinel with letters

    Attacks on McInnis

    smell like a plot

    Seems like everyone wants to get on the bandwagon and put Scott McInnis down for a so called plagiarism some five years ago. …You have to wonder if the people who are against him running weren’t waiting until the right moment to release this information? Do I smell a plot?

    Even if there was a small part of the report he did that might have been plagiarized, so what? We are not talking about a author here getting the Pulitzer prize for journalism…

    …Scott, we will always have the backstabbers and little people who want to see you fail, but the good people like yourself who are willing to put it on the line to help other people and serve the public are few and far between. Keep up the good work and don’t let your opponents scare you off.

    Although I think this one might be snark:

    Right wing should demand

    that Hickenlooper withdraw

    So The Denver Post calls for our local Gubernatorial candidate to withdraw? Are you kidding? Seriously? What’s a little plagiarism among legal scholars anyway? This is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot dome. Scandal? Not!

    Unless you or Rick Wagner or Antonin Scalia, in a written majority opinion, can show me where in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights it says “plagiarism is unconstitutional,” then I say the entire state of western Colorado, after we secede, demand that the Post print a retraction, and apologize, to all of us over here, post haste…

    …In closing, let me add: Is it to soon two impeach Hickenlooper? He is, after all is said and done, a libral, aint tht gud enuf fer us?

    1. S/he could only have written this:

      …In closing, let me add: Is it to soon two impeach Hickenlooper? He is, after all is said and done, a libral, aint tht gud enuf fer us?

      The anti-BJ, with knowing irony.

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