Dems air ad blasting McInnis
The first anti-Scott McInnis television advertisement about his admitted plagiarism hit the airwaves Thursday, less than two weeks before the Aug. 10 primary.
But the group that’s paying for the ad, Colorado Freedom Fund, isn’t doing it because it backs McInnis’ rival in the GOP primary, Dan Maes. Rather, the 527 political organization is funded by Democrats.
The ad calls McInnis “a typical politician” for plagiarizing work that the Pueblo-based Hasan Family Foundation paid him $300,000 to do.
The foundation named him a “fellow” in 2004 and 2005, and it paid him to write a series of articles on water issues. But unbeknownst to the foundation, McInnis hired an 82-year-old researcher, Glenwood Springs resident Rolly Fischer, who included work originally written 25 years ago by now Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.
The 30-second ad says McInnis “tried to cover his tracks,” citing his comments to the media in which he tried to blame the entire matter on Fischer. Fischer, however, told a Denver television station earlier this month that the congressman paid him only a few hundred dollars for the work and never told him what it was to be used for.
Fischer said had he known, he would have credited the work to Hobbs.
The ad also says McInnis wanted Fischer to sign a letter taking the blame, something Fischer said he declined to do.
The group funding the ad, which is expected to air in various television markets around the state until the primary, is headed by Julie Wells. She also is executive director of New West Fellowship Group, another 527 political organization that is funded by such groups as the Colorado AFL-CIO and the Democratic Governor’s Association. Deep-pocketed donors Pat Stryker and Tim Gill, two millionaires who have given generously to Democratic candidates over the past decade, have combined to give nearly $500,000 to the group during the past few years.
Wells could not be reached for comment Thursday.