Transcript of Interview with Scott McInnis on KFKA’s Amy Oliver Show(1310 AM in Greeley), May 26, 2011
Rick Wagner substituting for Oliver. The interview starts at about one hour, 37 minutes.
Wagner: I know that you’ve had some kind of good news recently. I know there are a limited amount of things that you can talk about it because it had to do with regulation counsel, the State Supreme Court dealing with this alleged issue of plagiarism this thing was brought up during the election when you’re running for governor. And frankly you should be governor. But anyway, I am going to give you a chance to say something on its. You are among friends here. No one is going to try to pick at you because I know that there is a limited amount you can say about it. The story is out that you have been essentially exonerated by the attorney regulation counsel and the Supreme Court, which controls attorney licensing and talks about behavior. We are one of the few states where behavior outside of what happens in the legal case or if you break the law influences what can be shaped or done by the Supreme Court. Pretty much everything that you do can be looked that by the Supreme Court to see if you are a good person to have a license to appear in front of the bar. Scott had this complaint filed and it has taken a long time to get through the system about this issue involving some writings he had done on water law. And if all you people can remember how this was brought up by his primary opponent in the election, which of course was the Denver Post. I believe they were running for governor. I’m not sure. I want to let Scott just talk to little bit about it. Scott just go ahead.
McInnis: Just a little history to it. I ran for governor. I always considered that the privilege to have the opportunity. We had a great campaign going. I had big dreams for Colorado and where we, as a team, could take the state. And out of nowhere popped up these allegations in regarding plagiarism. Needless to say we felt very strongly about this, but allegations were filed with the Colorado State Supreme Court as result of this event. And kind of bittersweet news, for over a year we’ve been in an intense investigation and the results of the investigation were just released last week by the State Supreme Court, and they gave us complete vindication. It supports, obviously, statements and position that I took from the very beginning with this was first, when we first were aware of it. That was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon the afternoon before it was broke, ah put out, by the Denver newspaper. So Laurie and I are very thrilled by the result. We spend most of our time over Grand Junction and although as I said it was bittersweet because it was year-long. Even the people who filed the complaint which was Ethics Watch, which in my opinion is an arm of the Democratic Party, even they acknowledged the investigation of the Supreme Court was very thorough. The findings of the Supreme Court were probably for someone who is kind of an expert of looking at these kind of things, will tell you that the opinion is very strong and certainly terrific news for us. Just a little too late.
Wagner: Well I read several versions of the opinion and the actual letter that I know is out there from regulation counsel. And it was a fairly strong vindication of you and they brought up some things out there that had not come out during the original piece of this. That you had made it clear that to your researcher that you wanted him to use as must stuff as original possible. Not be lifting anything. And that he believed that some of the comments out there were in the public domain. Probably was not true. That he put in there. And you put the foundation that you were doing the work for on notice that you had a researcher hired.
McInnis: Well Rick, I can tell you that I have taken a lot of pride over the years. As you know, you and I are both attorneys. Not only did I practice law but I was in the United States Congress. Not only the United States Congress but was in the Colorado House of Representatives where I was the majority leader, and I was also a police officer. Never in my career, never in my career, have I ever had some question my ethics. Or my integrity. And that is exactly what they tried to do. They threw everything that they could at us. And at beginning we obviously stated exactly what had occurred and we were vindicated by the Supreme Court that came out the same kind of findings. Very strong findings because of course they have an investigative arm and they’ve had a year to investigate this. These are professional people. The Supreme Court and I think anyone out there is going to acknowledge, look, it probably has more credibility than any investigative group in Colorado. And they should, rightfully. So we are pleased with the results. Nonetheless Rick we have been under this kind of…
Wagner: It’s a cloud over a person’s life.
McInnis: Yes of course it is a cloud so we are pleased with the results. But it was very unfortunate.
Wagner: I’ve told people at my radio show and I might have mentioned it in Greeley when I have hosted to show for Amy when she was out-of-town. I do not like this political sort of regulatory game that gets played. This happens to involve regulation counsel which I think is especially off-topic for the governor’s race. If you want to make a point of this and say look this guy did this and we think that is not a good idea for someone who’s running for governor-that’s fine. But when people start turning the election laws in this case the regulatory counsel as sort of a diversionary tactic from these. Unless there is some major wrongdoing, I am not interested in doing that to political opponents.
McInnis: Well look what happened Rick. Look at the destruction that it did to us. And I think you’re actually going to see this tool utilized even more in the future. Politics is a tough game. Unfortunately it diverts from the real issues. Some of the shenanigans that have gone on, I think you’re going to see more of it I think in the race. Just in the congressional race we saw this last week in New York where they threw is a straw man to throw the race.
Wagner: We talked about that last hour. We just mentioned it last hour it was my impression that they threw this former Democrat in the race in New York 26.
McInnis: Not only, Rick, was he a former Democrat, he was a very very wealthy individual, and then he came in and declared, self-declared that he was carrying the Tea Party mantle, and as a result of that, he was able to pull enough votes from the Republican that the Democrat won the race. Now the Democrats like to say that it’s Medicaid, Medicare excuse me. Certainly Medicare is a big issue out there. But, the combination of the fact that the Congressman had to resign in shame—so that’s a disadvantage for the party to start with. Then you throw in there the money that they were able to come up with the straw man. This guy was a Democrat for a long time. He switched to an unaffiliated so we could run as Tea Party. You know, that’s a, it’s not illegal but it’s certainly what I would consider kind of a strategy that is deploying pretty dirty politics. I think you are going to continue to see that. We have a history of it. I mean, clear back to George Washington. You know, ack in those days, it‘s interesting, because having a quote “illegitimate child.” I don’t see how any child is illegitimate. At any rate, back then they would throw that at each other and so on. So, the unfortunate part of it, it cost us dearly, but I hope that it doesn’t discourage people for running for office. It is so critical that we don’t let them beat us down. And I can tell you that Laurie and I are as strong as ever. The results that we saw here were redeeming nonetheless. We just want people continue to have faith in the system.
Wagner: It makes a person feel better to be redeemed at some point. You can certainly argue something about choices made during the campaign and how you handle stuff, but setting other people’s hounds loose on you to get outside of the questions of the campaign a little bit is something that I just find disturbing.
Wagner: We are back with my guest Scott McInnis and one of the things that I wanted to get Scott in for which is to talk about politics little bit too.He’s interested in politics. [laughs] So I wanted to get his take on a couple of things. Having been in the state Legislature for awhile, what do you think is going on over there in the last year?
McInnis: Well this is a difficult year for the Legislature because, one, they only did they have their budget situations, but they have a new governor and probably really critical, although it’s not an interest on Main Street, it is the redistricting and reapportionment.
Wagner: Wow, that’s what I wanted to talk about. You are taking my notes and you can’t even see them.
McInnis: Rick, there’s a difference, and it’s easy to confuse. Reapportionment applies to the State House seats. Redistricting applies to the U.S. Congressional seats.
Wagner: I use them interchangeably but I know that there is a difference.
McInnis: It is easy to confuse them. Interestingly, I saw where, what’s the Congressman? Kucinich. Whatever his name is out of Ohio. I worked for him. Well not for him obviously. I worked with him. He actually is going to be redistricting out of Ohio. He is going to lose his congressional seat.
Wagner: Because they are losing population.
McInnis: Yes he is now talking about moving to Washington State to run as a Congressman out of Washington State in a very liberal district up there. It’s interesting. He was on the news last night. Another thing is that, in Colorado there is, contrary to popular belief, there is no restriction that a state has to elect Congressman out of a particular district. You can elect your Congressman statewide. Now that doesn’t happen in Colorado, and it’s never happened Colorado. But what we have to be particularly cognizant of here in Colorado; how they carve out these districts and what happens. As you know the Democratic Party took the official position, and they were down here they put together a bill that would split the Western Slope. Now the only way you can split the Western Slope for example and have enough population to have the two congressional districts is the population would have to be a big community or a big city on the other side. We don’t have big cities over here. So there are a lot of political tricks that are going on on redistricting.
Wagner: Our ideological nemesis I call them in the newspaper, Boulder County, was going to be paired up with Mesa County.
McInnis: Yeah, what do we have in common with Boulder? Really, I mean it just doesn’t make sense. So it is a busy year for the Legislature. This will go the courts. That’s, in my opinion, what the Democrats wanted to happen from the very beginning. They do well in the courts on redistricting. So that’s an issue they’re dealing with. And then at the federal level, of course you asked about the state level, but at the federal level, they have massive deficits that they gave to deal with and the presidential election coming up.
Wagner: That usually means nothing will get done.
McInnis: Well that’s right. Next year’s session will be very interesting. It will be very short session.
Wagner: Yeah and everyone is going to go home to campaign. You were in Congress for a long time. Ten years I think.
McInnis: Twelve years.
Wagner: Twelve years. So you see that. You can tell it’s an election year, particularly a presidential election year when there is a lot going on. The business of Congress starts getting truncated right there and everybody tries to get out of town.
McInnis: And now you see it the year before. Next year is the election year. But this year, the Democrats are not going to put up a plan, and let’s delay the hard decisions until after the next election. Which means it will be delayed until after the next election.
Wagner: They didn’t even put a budget up. The Democrats didn’t put a budget up.
McInnis: Reed said he is not going to. Doesn’t intent to. SO the legislature will be out pretty soon. When is their last day? It’s coming up pretty soon. Isn’t it?
Wagner: Yea I just saw something on that.
McInnis: Unless are called back to special session which I don’t think they will be because they did get their budget done. Then redistricting goes to the court. I’m pretty confident that the court is going to leave the Western Slope…well the Western Slope is defined differently. I’m talking about all the mountains from Vail back. Well because Vail, they stuck it to us. I’m pretty confident. Let me put it this way. I would be totally shocked if the courts decide that the interests of the western Colorado in the community interests and community tie-ins would be better served by splitting the Western Slope.
Wagner: It is supposed to be a continuity of interests. It’s not supposed to be competitive districts which is the Democrat talking points all the time. Our listeners over here in Greeley, the fourth congressional district. They are trying to monkey around with that to, what I read, is that Brandan Shaffer who lives in Longmont can run against Corey Gardner.
McInnis: That is exactly right. Corey Gardner has done a fabulous job by the way. He’s a star over in the Greeley area. But they will look at the rural areas. The two areas, the district on the Eastern Slope and the district on the Western Slope. Which have, by the way, a lot in common. Although their waters are primary aquifer, and so on, and our waters are primary surface, etc. But we have a lot of interests with the rural part of part of eastern Colorado…western Colorado. They are going to do the same thing with eastern Colorado. Try and use it to slice up to benefit the city districts. So Corey has got his hands full. Scott Tipton has his hands full. And by the way the state legislatures, their seats are being realigned too. So they have their hands full.
Wagner: Well it’s going to be interesting and we have to keep on top and pay attention and a lot of it is going to happen in the courts like you said. And then that ends up being done by fiat. The processes is not anything that we see. I know that the folks over in Greeley are worried about how this is going to go. They got a great congressman in there now with Corey, and they need to hold on to him. It’s going to carve that baby up.