‘Bow out,’ some tell McInnis
GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis will remain in the race despite numerous calls for him to drop out, his campaign said Thursday.
Campaign spokesman Sean Duffy said early Thursday the former congressman never left the campaign trail while dealing with an admission that he plagiarized material in 2005 and 2006 for the Hasan Family Foundation.
But hours after telling The Daily Sentinel that McInnis was going to events and answering people’s questions about the issue, he told The Denver Post he canceled an appearance to avoid it turning into something else.
The campaign even reported on McInnis’ Facebook page that he was trying to get past the matter. That posting generated more than 50 responses, most of which encouraged him to remain in the race.
“People are asking questions. They’re getting them answered,” Duffy said. “Some people are concerned, and, I’m not going to lie, people are angry. But he’s answering them, and they seem to feel better when he talks to them directly. There’s other people who’ve said, ‘Hang in there. Stick with it.’ He has reached out to people.”
But that was before he canceled a planned appearance at an event hosted by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District. His GOP rival Dan Maes attended the event.
The hits kept coming all day in media reports from around the state.
It began when KMGH Channel 7 in Denver ran an exclusive interview with 82-year-old Rolly Fischer, the former Colorado River Water Conservation District head whom McInnis hired to research his work for the Hasan Family Foundation.
Although McInnis had taken the blame for not editing his work, he blamed Fischer for using material written 20 years earlier by now Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.
But Fischer told the television station he was never told that McInnis planned to put his own name on his research, and he thought it was to be used as background material for a bid for the U.S. Senate.
“I would not have had the expertise to do a proper job on preparing a document for publication,” Fischer told Channel 7 reporter John Ferrugia. “He asked me to go ahead and prepare individual articles for him.”
Fischer told Channel 7 that McInnis paid him a few hundred dollars per article.
Fischer also told the television station that the McInnis campaign drafted a letter for him to sign that was addressed to McInnis and apologized for not attributing the work to Hobbs. Fischer refused to sign it.
The hits continued with former congressman Tom Tancredo telling KUSA 9News, another Denver television station, that McInnis should drop out, making Tancredo the state’s first high-ranking Republican to publicly say it.
Later in the day, two major newspapers in the state, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel and the Fort Collins Coloradoan, wrote editorials similar to one printed by the Denver Post earlier this week calling on McInnis to drop out of the race.
Speculation surfaced everywhere about what McInnis might do, and whether other Republican groups were planning to withdraw their support of him.
A third Denver television station, KDVR Fox 31, reported Thursday that the Republican Governors Association had planned to pull its financial support of McInnis and was canceling fundraising events planned for him.
But RGA spokesman Tim Murtaugh told The Daily Sentinel that wasn’t so.
“We have been and continue to be engaged in Colorado,” Murtaugh said. “Our focus has always been and will remain defeating (Democrat) John Hickenlooper. We’ve been running an independent expenditure against John Hickenlooper, and those efforts will continue.”