The big question about the water articles

Some of the best news stories stay in your head because they revolve around an unanswered question.

The story about Scott McInnis getting $300,000 from the Hasan Family Foundation, mostly to write 150 double-spaced pages about Colorado water issues, centers on exactly this kind of big question.

Why did McInnis get so much money to write this stuff?

It’s surely a question that journalists will put to McInnis during the campaign, even if he’s not talking about it now. Right, all you reporters out there?

But over at Westword, which prides itself on alternative views, Alan Prendergast thinks the real question is, “what McInnis’s 150 pages of soggy prose tell us about the kind of governor he would make.”

Prendergast dissects McInnis’ water writing, quoting McInnis, and then offering his analysis of the pricy articles:

 McInnis water article number one: “The water we use day-to-day comes mostly from mountain snow melt — some from rain — but mostly from mountain snow melt. The climate of Colorado is semi-arid or even arid with statewide precipitation of 16-17 inches, mostly as snow melt, mostly in the mountains.”

Prendergast: Hmm. Somebody seems to be hypnotized by the words “snow melt.” But showing the resourcefulness of a true leader, McInnis rouses himself from this rhetorical rut and soldiers on, marching through a droning geography lesson about Colorado’s major river basins, marred by only the occasional incoherence, as in “So Colorado does not get to keep off of ‘its water.'” Could “off” be a typo for “all,” or is the writer invoking the rebellious spirit of Mick Jagger singing “Get Off of My Cloud”?

Read the entire piece here, but watch out because Prendergast warns us, “The Westword Foundation is paying me an extravagant sum to blog on this topic. I can’t reveal the exact amount without my patron’s permission, but suffice it to say that I am getting paid by the word.”

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