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July 13, 2010

SCOTT MCINNIS' LUCRATIVE PLAGIARISM.... In general, when politicians stand accused of plagiarism, it's because a candidate lifted lines from a speech, or perhaps copy and pasted text for a website issues page.

Former Rep. Scott McInnis (R), the leading Republican gubernatorial candidate in Colorado this year, is taking political plagiarism to a whole new level.

Although GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis presented his "Musings on Water" for publication as original works, portions are identical and nearly identical to an essay on water written 20 years earlier by now-Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory J. Hobbs.

A Clemson University expert who reviewed McInnis' work next to Hobbs' essay called it a clear case of plagiarism of both words and ideas.

McInnis' water articles were a required part of his two-year fellowship at the Hasan Family Foundation in 2005 and 2006. The former congressman, who left office in 2004, was paid $300,000 to do speaking engagements and "research and write a monthly article on water issues that can be distributed to media and organizations as well as be available on the Internet."

Talk about wingnut welfare. The year after McInnis left Congress, he worked out a deal in which he was paid $300,000 to write a total of 150 pages -- that's an astounding $2,000 a page -- about state water policy. Some of those pages, however, were "nearly reprinted verbatim" from someone else's work. The Denver Post's report added that none of McInnis' work included footnotes, endnotes, or any other forms of attribution.

McInnis blamed an aide for the incident, but that doesn't necessarily help. For one thing, the conservative Republican specifically assured the Hasan Family Foundation, in writing, that all of his work was "original and not reprinted from any other source." That clearly wasn't true, and if he couldn't back that up, McInnis shouldn't have made the claim.

What's more, it appears that when McInnis agreed to the $300,000 fellowship with the foundation, it was under the impression that the former congressman would work full time on its project. Instead, McInnis agreed to do the work, and then soon after also agreed to begin work at a high-powered law firm.

The foundation was "deeply disappointed by the quantity and quality of McInnis' work" -- and that was before it learned that he stole content that wasn't his. The foundation, not surprisingly, would like its $300,000 back.

As of this afternoon, McInnis offered a private apology to the writer whose work was lifted, but not to the foundation which paid him all of that money. The AP reported that McInnis does not plan to apologize to anyone publicly.

Steve Benen 4:40 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy. Getting a 300K gig, foisting the work off on an underpaid research assistant (who got 0 attribution for his work), and then blaming the minion for plagiarism, when the staffer's name doesn't appear on the document, shows the sense of entitlement that McGinnis has about how big and important he is.

He should be sued for plagiarism, and this story should follow him through the general election.

Posted by: beyond left on July 13, 2010 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, it would be quite surprising if the foundation wanted its money back just because of the "quality" of the work. But now that their $300,000 investment is tanking, yeah, I guess they'd rather have that money back.

There is NO PLAGIARISM SCANDAL HERE. Other than the judge who got ripped off, NO ONE should waste any time wringing their hands over how his bribe got paid.

The ONLY thing that matters is that this guy decided to let himself get bought for two years by influence-speculators rather than going to work for a living.

Posted by: Matt on July 13, 2010 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

He better hope the private apology is accepted. The guy he plagiarized sits on the Colorado Supreme Court. Not exactly the kind of guy you wanting suing you. Think he might have some pull with the judge?

Posted by: fostert on July 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

All the world's stages have trap doors...

A hearty "attaboy" to Pug McInnis for playing by the playbook:

1) Never apologize...
2) Show'em the stiff upper lip of a cocksucker without a conscious...
3a) Say something fatuous about Momma Grizzlies and pitbulls...
Or..
3b) Point to the trap door: You'd like to see Obama's birth certificate...

Posted by: koreyel on July 13, 2010 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

What fun...

Posted by: stevio on July 13, 2010 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, wingnut welfare. You guys know that's what all the GOBP hand wringing is really about, right? They're afraid if they don't get back into power soon there won't be enough wingnut welfare available to go around.

Posted by: fourlegsgood on July 13, 2010 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

McInnis blamed an aide for the incident, but that doesn't necessarily help
----
Why not? It worked when Pelosi blamed her staff about the waterboarding thing.

Posted by: H2O on July 13, 2010 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Ah yes, wingnut welfare. You guys know that's what all the GOBP hand wringing is really about, right? They're afraid if they don't get back into power soon there won't be enough wingnut welfare available to go around."

I agree. I'd be uptight too. Guys like Goldman are going to be quite bit more careful about how much $ they toss around. But BP did get a good deal with Obama.

Posted by: On Sale on July 13, 2010 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

To H2O -- there is no comparison. As a writer who gives paid lectures myself, there is zero possibility that I would be able to imagine plagiarizing my talk and getting by with it.

Pelosi has been more than exonerated by the facts regarding how the CIA misled congress, no matter how many false headlines the right wing grabbed over this.

Posted by: jjm on July 13, 2010 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

And people wonder why there are so few GOPers in academia, outside of economics departments in business schools. IOKIYAR is not OK when it comes to plagiarism. Run of the mill theft? Well, that's no problem at all for them in the rest of the world.

Posted by: KLG on July 13, 2010 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

[...] the conservative Republican specifically assured the Hasan Family Foundation, in writing, that all of his work was "original and not reprinted from any other source." That clearly wasn't true,[...] -- Steve Benen

*Hasan* Family Foundation? Defrauding a Muslim-terrorist organisation was a patriotic act on McInnis's part, of course. That's $300K that they didn't funnel to AlQeda. McInnis ought to have been given the Medal of Freedom. Don't know how W managed to miss him.

Posted by: exlibra on July 13, 2010 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK
H2O: "Why not? It worked when Pelosi blamed her staff about the waterboarding thing."

Speaker Pelosi never "blamed her staff", numbnutz.

She simply said that one of her staff members had learned that the CIA had been using harsh interrogation methods since at least early 2003, and that the staff member in question then informed her of what he had learned.

Whereupon Ms. Pelosi was then pilloried by Republicans, for claiming publicly in May 2009 that she had been misled privately by the CIA and the Bush administration in their national security briefings with her back in 2003. And guess what, numbnutz? The evidence shows that she had indeed been misled! Not that such things like evidence mean anything to adherents of fact-free living like you ...

So, keep doubling down on the stupid, numbnutz. Because when the only people you're misinforming with your ignorant bullshit is you and yourself, then stupid is as stupid does. You're just another fucking right-wing moron, once again ripened on schedule for the GOP's plucking.

So, to quote the immortal Jack Nicholson, go sell crazy someplace else.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on July 13, 2010 at 10:26 PM | PERMALINK

The foundation was "deeply disappointed by the quantity and quality of McInnis' work" -- and that was before it learned that he stole content that wasn't his.

I'm sure they were. Then again, if they were naive enough to pay such an obvious clown $300,000 without doing even a cursory background check, then they deserve to lose their money.

Like P.T. Barnum is alleged to have said, "There's a sucker born every minute."

Posted by: electrolite on July 14, 2010 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

McInnis is a standard issue Colorado Republican.

Posted by: SW on July 14, 2010 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

The McInnis camp should demand Hickenlooper step down too. Fair's fair!

Poor Scotty, he's obviously a victim of the vast left wing conspiracy.

Here in westcolo, McInnis is a genius, and a water guru, and uh ... dead meat. Penry is circling him like a jackal.

Can't he have Justice Hobbs' old job though? I mean they found a job for Bybee, why not Scotty?.

Although disbarment might throw cold water on that career plan. Water water everywhere, it certainly does stink...

Posted by: DBM in westcolo on July 15, 2010 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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