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Tilting at Windmills

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July 14, 2010

PLAGIARISM PROBLEM INTENSIFIES FOR MCINNIS.... Colorado's gubernatorial race received a jolt yesterday when Scott McInnis, the leading Republican candidate, was found to have received $300,000 to write about state water policy, but in multiple instances, presented someone else's work as his own. Late yesterday, McInnis apologized privately to the original author whose work was taken.

Today, it appears McInnis has some more apologizing to do.

A new example of possible plagiarism by Scott McInnis surfaced Tuesday as the Republican gubernatorial candidate faced calls to repay $300,000 he received for plagiarized essays on water that he submitted as "original works."

A Denver Post review of McInnis' floor speeches and columns published during his congressional career found striking similarities between a 1995 speech and 1994 column by McInnis and a previously published Op-Ed in The Washington Post.

There's no real doubt here. In November 1994, Richard V. Allen and Daryl M. Plunk wrote a piece about U.S. policy in the Korean peninsula. Six weeks later, McInnis wrote his own op-ed in a Colorado newspaper that used identical language, and then a month later, used the copied language again in a congressional speech. At no point did McInnis cite or credit the original work.

In other words, the controversy isn't over yet.

Indeed, in Colorado, the political impact of McInnis' plagiarism is still playing out. State House Speaker Terrance Carroll (D) has called on McInnis, a former Republican congressman, to drop out of the race due to these questions about his "integrity." Dan Maes, a McInnis primary opponent, said the candidate's private apology is "unacceptable," because McInnis "still isn't taking responsibility" for his mistake. Maes added that "this will not blow over." Former Republican Senate candidate Bob Schaffer is piling on, too.

Between McInnis in Colorado and Mark Kirk in Illinois, it's not a great year for Republicans seeking statewide office demonstrating honesty and integrity.

Steve Benen 10:05 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (9)

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Comments

Funny how the 'anti-intellectual' party must steal material from those who have knowledge/insight - or intellectuals - for their 'own' writings and speeches.

And by 'funny' I mean in a gouging-my-eyes-out, hair-on-fire, why the hell do Republicans always get a pass when the same thing by a Democrat would result in tarring-and-feathering kind of way.

Posted by: terraformer on July 14, 2010 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

With Blumenthal here in Ct, the Dems don't exactly have a monopoly on demonstrating honesty and integrity.

Posted by: NHCt on July 14, 2010 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

What I don't understand is why the two men whose work was copied in 1995 didn't say anything then?

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on July 14, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

The point is more than intellectual dishonesty and lying. The ex-Congressman stole intellectual property for pecuniary gain ($300,000). This is a matter for a civil court and much damages.

Posted by: AnnS on July 14, 2010 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, so now we find out that the accused plagairist is actually a serial plagiarist. No big surprise, since plagiarists usually get caught red-handed (like he did) and almost never do it just once.

Big deal.

The story here is still, and should always be, the money. A wired-up Republican is cooling his heels between elected offices for a few years, and needs some walking around money. Lo and behold, someone knocks on his door with an offer to muse about reservoirs in essay form... for THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS.

This is the world he lives in, where money and jobs just rain down from the heavens. And you don't even need to do the jobs! That's the narrative for his Democratic opponent. Screw the boring plagiarism stuff.

Posted by: Matt on July 14, 2010 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

When a political party glorifies greed and personal exceptionalism as the highest embodiments of the human spirit, is it any surprise they will have issues with honesty?

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on July 14, 2010 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Dan Maes, a McInnis primary opponent, said the candidate's private apology is "unacceptable," because McInnis "still isn't taking responsibility" for his mistake.

Hello?
It wasn't a mistake.
He didn't have a little oopsie of inattention which caused him to profit from other peoples work.

Posted by: thebewilderness on July 14, 2010 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

How many people think that McInnis himself was the plaigarist? I bet he had a lazy speechwriter. If so, that reflects badly on him for perhaps not having a chief of staff check this.

C'mon, the problem with McInnis is his policies, not his speeches.

Posted by: Tom H on July 14, 2010 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

This wasn't just speeches, it was an op-ed written in a local paper a few weeks after the material he plagiarized was published. And it wasn't just a line or two, it was whole paragraphs. Before that, it was a mothly article for which he was being $150,000 and which he certified was his original work.

Posted by: tanstaafl on July 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK
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