Republican governor candidate Scott McInnis isn't going to let a little thing like being a serial plagiarist hold him back. No, he took to his Facebook page today, a la Sarah Palin, to declare that is "in it to win it."
He also says that now he has decided to return the $300,000 he received in payment for stealing someone else's work, that "brings this matter to a close." Yeah, somehow I don't think so.
The case just gets uglier for McInnis. At Talk Left, Jeralyn has the story of the researcher McInnis has tried to foist this off on, Rolly Fischer. Fischer granted an interview to the local ABC affiliate in which he confirmed that McInnis was lying about the scandal, and that he wasn't aware that McInnis was going to use the materials he provided for the articles McInnis was being paid to write.
The 82-year old Fischer said, "I never knew about the foundation or any foundation Scott was associated with."
"Did you know how he was using these?" Ferrugia asked.
"No. I had this sophomoric assumption that he wanted them for his own inventory," said Fischer.
Check out the letter the McInnis campaign tried to get Fischer to sign:
I am writing to express my sincere apology for failing to provide appropriate attribution for the research I provided for the water articles we collaborated on. While my mistake was not intentional, it is nonetheless clear that this material needed footnotes.
This mistake was solely my own and I recognize that my work fell short of the expectations you had when you included me in this project.
Again, please accept my deep apology.
Asking an 82 year-old water expert to take the fall for you takes about as much chutzpah as compelling the guy you shot in the face to apologize for getting in the way of your aim, but McInnis is no Dick Cheney, and Fischer won't sign.
All of which just makes McInnis look even more like a heel, leading to rumors that the Republican Governors Association "is essentially abandoning McInnis and pulling funds out of the Colorado governor's race - a claim the RGA firmly denies." Although they also say that they are committed to the Colorado race and to defeating Hickenlooper, and note that McInnis hasn't won the primary. That's a strong endorsement, huh? But the situation is a mess for Republicans.
Internally, Colorado Republicans are still considering their options - none of which are particularly appealing. Replacing McInnis on the primary ballot before Aug. 10 would face a certain legal challenge from Democrats, and would be tricky to accomplish from a public relations standpoint.
But establishment Republicans--which have essentially given up on McInnis--are concerned that if insurgent candidate Dan Maes wins the primary and is at the top of the November ticket, the trickle-down effect will be damaging for other GOP candidates in terms of voter turnout and support.
Tom Tancredo says McInnis has to go: "This is a huge disaster for the Republican party unless we can get a candidate in there to make this all work."
Tancredo noted that if the state GOP fails to put up a conservative candidate, the right wing in the state is likely to revolt. As for the other Republican on the ballot, conservative businessman Dan Maes, who has some support from wings of the Tea Party, Tancredo said he regarded a Maes win as an even greater longshot. "The [Denver] Post has more on Maes than they've ever had on McInnis... [Maes] is bad news," Tancredo said. (The Post broke the plagiarism story.)
Tancredo said he himself would be happy to step up and run as a write-in and has received some encouragement to do so--but added that he's well aware that the party elite would not want him to step forward.
Hahahahah! Tancredo to the rescue. Scarily enough, Republicans in Colorado seem to want Tancredo, Mr. Obama is the greatest threat ever to this nation to step in. Ouch.