Back in December, Scott McInnis took fire for an appearance on Fox News that portrayed him as the choice of tea party groups in the state -- an assertion excused away by McInnis's camp even as it was disputed by Lesley Hollywood, spokeswoman for the Tea Party of Northern Colorado.
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Now the issue has arisen again thanks to a BusinessWord.com piece in which new McInnis campaign manager Nancy Hopper said her guy "has had about a dozen meetings with Tea Party groups, including meetings in individual coffees."
Lu Busse, chair of the 9.12 Project Colorado Coalition and a Westword profile subject, responded by polling tea party reps to see if this claim could be true -- and in an e-mail sent to her fellow advocates, she winds up questioning his math. Here's what she wrote:
My fellow Colorado Grassroots Leaders,
Last Sunday night, I asked you to let me know about McInnis' meetings with your groups. This issue came up again today after his new campaign manager, Nancy Hopper, told Don Johnson at the Arapahoe County Republican Men's Club yesterday that McInnis has had about a dozen meetings with Tea Party groups, including meetings in individual coffees (according to article posted on BusinessWord 1/27/10).
I was asked to reply & here's my statement today:
Since McInnis' campaign keeps promoting he has met with tea party groups around our state, I recently put out query to 31 Tea Party, 9.12 Project & other conservative grassroots groups across CO. Here's summary of replies: Since his 12/2/09 appearance on national Fox News, he met with 1 grassroots group in El Paso County, he met with Western Slope Conservative Alliance Board only (not membership), President of WSCA & I met with him on 12/11/09 & he taped interview conducted by leader of Northern CO Tea Party yesterday. He is scheduled for 2 events with grassroots org's members in Feb & 1 in Mar. Also, 1 leader reported she has gone to 4 events over past several months expecting McInnis to speak & he sent rep instead. He did not meet with any of the 31 groups prior to his appearance on Fox News. -- Lu Busse, Chair of The 9.12 Project Colorado Coalition & Leadership Team
Please let me know when you have any other McInnis meetings to report so I can update this statement as it changes.
Let that be a lesson to the McInnis campaign: Don't make any tea party claims you can't back up -- because the membership is counting.