Scott McInnis prematurely pisses on GOP's grave

Scott McInnis.

Former Republican Congressman Scott McInnis isn't waiting for the November 4 election to offer a post-mortem on his party's campaign. In an October 28 interview with the Colorado Independent website (an online source that leans leftward), he predicted that GOP senatorial candidate Bob Schaffer will lose to Democratic opponent Mark Udall -- and added that he could have won the contest. He didn't go into detail with the Independent about why he decided against becoming a candidate for the Republican nomination, vaguely citing that old political stand-by, family reasons. But in today's Denver Post, McInnis claims that he was warned not to run by Nevada Senator John Ensign, a national Republican heavyweight who happened to be Schaffer's former roommate. He also implied that the extreme conservatism of the current Republican office-seekers here may keep members of its base happy, but it's a losing strategy in the long run.

No doubt McInnis had to know that such comments would get under the skin of Colorado Republican Party chieftain Dick Wadhams -- and they did. "The first test of anybody who wants to run for public office is that they have the guts to get in and actually do it, the guts to not listen to those who are telling them not to run," he told the Post, adding, "Senator Allard passed that test. Others apparently couldn't." But what's striking is that McInnis shared these thoughts publicly anyhow, only days before the vote. That's either an indication of his foolhardiness or his confidence that angering someone who's regarded to be among the most powerful political figures in the state won't matter after November 4 turns into a GOP apocalypse. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts