Unasked question: where are McInnis’ writings about CO water issues?

Despite Craig Silverman’s fog-horn voice and Dan Caplis’ adolescent intonations, I like the Caplis and Silverman on KHOW radio in Denver, especially when they’ve got good guests like Scott McInnis or John Hickenlooper.

But the show gets frustrating when the hosts fail to ask the follow-up questions that pile up in your own mind as you listen in.

For example, Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis was on the show April 26, discussing his decision not to release his income tax returns.

The Denver Post had pieced together some of McInnis’ income over the years, and Silverman asked McInnis, “one lawyer to another” about $150,000 that he earned from the Hasan Family Foundation after he left Congress. “How does a lawyer get in on that,” Silverman asked him. (See transcript here.)

“I wrote a series of in-depth articles on water, Colorado water. And so, that’s what that was about. And so I was pretty excited to do it,” McInnis answered him, adding later: “When I got out [from Congress], we were having a conversation, and they said, we’d be interested in doing this if you’d be interested in helping put together some articles at some point, [that] could be used in a series for education on water in Colorado. So that’s what that was about. And I was thrilled to do it. I got paid to do it. That’s pretty sweet.”

As a sometime writer, not a lawyer, I later wondered how much writing McInnis had to do for the $150,000, but Silverman let me down and didn’t ask the question.

So I searched Nexis and found no articles on water by McInnis.

I also spent some time on Google, to no avail.

I then went to the Hasan Family Foundation website, and there’s a photo of McInnis next to a short description of his “senior fellowship” and a link to a presentation titled “Colorado Water Analysis” by Muhammad Ali Hasan. Congressman Scott McInnis’ name is listed below Hasan’s. Then on the next line, you see “The Hasan Family Foundation” and below this, you find “Water Project Wing …• Congressman Scott McInnis.”

I emailed Muhammad Ali Hasan to find out if other articles were available. He cordially responded that due to my inquiry, he had added a note to his “Colorado Water Analysis” clarifying that Scott McInnis was not an author. The note stated, in part, “Analysis written and conducted solely by Muhammad Ali Hasan, under the guidance of Professor James Sadd of Occidental College.”

So now I was back to square one. What did McInnis write during his fellowship? Hasan concluded his note to me by suggesting I contact the Hasan Family Foundation attorney, Glenn Merrick.

“I think you’ll have to get those from Mr. McInnis,” Merrick told me when I asked if McInnis’ water articles were available.

I asked if articles had been turned over to the foundation as part of the fellowship, and he said he believed so, but I’d have to get them from McInnis.

I told Merrick that when he was on the radio, McInnis mentioned articles that “could be used in a series for education on water in Colorado.” What about those articles?

“Well, I think it was intended to educate an audience who had a keen interest in this topic,” Merrick said. “It was intended to allow the foundation to distribute to that audience. But I don’t know precisely who the audience is. If McInnis wants to give it to you, and he authored it, then I think that’s acceptable.”

I was left with only one more place to go for the answer to my question and that was, of course, McInnis’ office. I was thinking that I should have simply called there first.

I was wrong about that, because I couldn’t get an answer.

I called late Monday afternoon and explained what I was looking for. But McInnis’ spokesman Sean Duffy could not provide a comment or response on the matter Monday or Tuesday.

So this story ends without an answer to the question Silverman should have asked McInnis on his radio show in the first place. Where are McInnis’ articles about Colorado water? And can we take a look at them?

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