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Tempest over a Teapot

July 19, 2010

There has been a lot of hand-wringing this week in the Republican camp over the revelation of plagiarism by Scott McInnis. The facts are pretty well known: McInnis took $300,000 from the Hasan Family Foundation in return for some Musings on Water. That’s a lot of money for the amount of material he produced but if the Hasan foundation was happy with the product, who cares? Problem is, McInnis didn’t write the papers, he plagiarized. Making things worse, his campaign went to the author and asked him to sign a statement taking blame for the plagiarism. He rightly refused. The Hasan Foundation has asked for their money back and McInnis says he will return it.

The Ward Churchill plagiarism case comes to mind and anyone like me who has spent time as both student and teacher knows this kind of behavior is unacceptable. Some, including the Grand Junction Sentinel and the Denver Post, have called for McInnis to withdraw. McInnis has said that he is in it to win.

Meanwhile the pundits in the newspapers and talk radio are talking about who the Republicans should field to replace McInnis. Names like Penry (he started then dropped out), Benson (he never ran), and Tancredo (he too seems to have decided early on not to run) have been bandied about. The strategy is for McInnis to stay in the race—his win on Aug 10 is taken as a given—and then withdraw in favor of one of those.

Having received almost half the delegates at the state assembly I think he owes it to his supporters to give it his best shot. Dick Wadhams said, correctly I believe,

Hundreds of thousands of Colorado Republicans will vote in the primary election to determine our nominees for every office from county commissioner to U.S. Senator and Governor and that is how it should be.

In other words, the media does not run the Colorado Republican Party. Who does?

That is the real tempest in this story. That is the real question facing Republican voters on August 10. There is another candidate on the Republican primary ballot and he holds the top line, having gotten more votes at the assembly than McInnis. He’s businessman and grassroots favorite Dan Maes. This seems to upset and unnerve at least some establishment Republicans.

He can win. The first time he was matched against Hickenlooper on a Rasmussen poll, he tied the Looper at 41% each. On Saturday, Rasmussen showed Hickenlooper ahead of Maes 46% – 43%. He had gained 3% against McInnis, too. The Looper is viewed very favorably by 28% of voters and very unfavorably by 22%. (Count me in there.) Just 9% view Maes very favorably—but that’s the same percentage as view McInnis very favorably. In short, Maes is in the same position relative to Hickenlooper that McInnis is. It’s very early in the race and with 54% of informed voters saying McInnis should quit the race, it’s time to give Dan a chance.

  1. July 20, 2010 9:01 am

    You are right, Dan can win, but agenda politics has taken over. Dan’s problems are not ones of character. If McInnis stays in and wins then quits, what does it say about those informed voters and the GOP establishment that still wear the McInnis green that vote for him? America is in the position it is today because voters hold their nose and vote for the “party” guy no matter how tainted the candidate. If he is really “in it to win it” and wins the primary, he has to stay in the race even though it will mean the GOP stands for nothing; not intergity or honesty in government and Hick picks the next Supreme Court (sorry, Matt).
    I’ll use the Senator DeMint quote again from a WSJ interview, “If you don’t stand for something, what’s the point of winning?” If you are a Party willing to run a bait and switch on your own Party members who only look up on election day to pull a lever, you are a Party willing to do and say anything to win. Character matters in your business life and your family life. Funny how people are willing to check values at the political door.

  2. July 20, 2010 10:06 am

    Josh Penry (of all people) before he dropped out of the governor’s race, wrote in an email something like “If we win and nothing changes, what’s the point?”

    I’m with you, bro. We must stand on our principles or we stand for nothing.

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