Scott McInnis will repay $300,000 to Hasan Family Foundation, wants to change subject

Earlier today, we told you about a release from the Hasan Family Foundation, which paid Scott McInnis $300,000 for "Musings on Water," a series of articles that included direct lifts from Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs's work.

The Foundation demanded a refund -- and a release from the McInnis camp promises that the guv wannabe will cooperate.

Here's the campaign's response:


Scott McInnis, Republican candidate for Governor, today issued the following statement in response to a news release issued by The Hasan Family Foundation:

"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 apologized to the Hasans for this mistake, and I expressed my determination to make it right with my dear friends. I will be in contact with the Hasan family to make full payment arrangements. 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."

As this last sentence implies, the McInnis campaign wants to stop talking about their guy's alleged plagiarism, not to mention the statements of Rolly Fischer, an elderly researcher who says McInnis didn't tell him the truth about the work he was hired to do on the water articles and then tried to goad him into signing a statement accepting blame for swiping Hobbs's material.

Today, in the wake of a Westword post about Atlantic senior editor Josh Green, who has the same name as a McInnis spokesman, I belatedly received an e-mail from Sean Duffy, another McInnis mouthpiece who hadn't responded to earlier interview requests. Aside from a brief joke about the Green vs. Green showdown ("We'll take OUR Josh Green over the faux Josh Green any day"), he wrote, "We don't really have any further comment on this story."

When I e-mailed back that I wanted to chat with a campaign spokesman on a wide range of topics, not just the Green post, Duffy responded, "Will consider it but we have said all that we are going to say on the matter, except for a statement on the Hasan Foundation news release."

Best of luck with that strategy. If the McInnis campaign is seen to be dodging the questions on the minds of Coloradans, the situation will go from worse to worser -- with worst a definite possibility.

Then again, maybe McInnis can try paying voters to drop the subject in the same way he appears to be doing with the Hasan Family Foundation. How much would you charge?

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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