Scott McInnis’ Responses to “Serious Questions” Less Than Satisfactory

Complete Colorado has the scoop on one likely Republican candidate for governor’s foot-in-mouth problem when it comes to voice mail messages. Did Scott McInnis’ remarks reveal something illegal or unethical? Jessica Fender reports that it’s technically not.

But McInnis’ responses are concerning:

McInnis, who verified that he left the message, points out he’s not officially announced his candidacy or formed a candidate committee, so the rules do not yet apply.

And what he really meant to say was that [Sean] Tonner, president of consulting firm Phase Line Strategies, is a supporter and answering questions about potential future 527s, he said.

“I should have been a little more explicit. I should have said Sean Tonner is the one I’m looking to for answers on this,” McInnis said. “The law doesn’t prohibit you from discussions on ‘This is what’s going to be needed.'”

He said the message is being ballyhooed by those jealous of his ranking in a recently released public poll, which showed him as the only Republican beating Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter.

The first point is granted: technically, he’s not a candidate yet. But saying that “Sean’s doing our 527” hardly matches up with the explanation that Sean “is a supporter and answering questions about potential future 527s.” Even more distasteful is the attribution of motives to people who have “ballyhooed” this story. Whom exactly is Scott McInnis implying is “jealous”?

Though McInnis may very well be right on a technicality, Rocky Mountain Right has it correct as far as what this revelation says about the former Congressman’s political judgment: it “raises serious questions”.

To be clear, the idea of Scott McInnis as the Republican candidate for governor doesn’t thrill me. I’m personally leaning toward support of Josh Penry, but am waiting for events to take shape before I decide to back anyone for governor in 2010. This story may end up making my decision even easier.

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