In an interview on KHOW’s Caplis & Silverman show, Dr. Aliya Hasan, brother of Ali Hasan and Board member of the Hasan Family Foundation, offered tremendous insight into the Foundation’s agreement with Scott McInnis.
Dr. Hasan was as pleasant and forthright as a person could have been in her position, making clear repeatedly that neither she nor her family felt ill will toward McInnis.
Nevertheless, the simple facts of what she said make McInnis look even worse than he did before, something I didn’t think was possible.
In particular, as readers of these pages know, I was wondering just what the Hasan family thought they were buying for $300,000 (over two years), because papers about water, even if not plagiarized couldn’t be worth that much money.
To the extent that I had suspicions about politically motivated overpayment for a small service, i.e. to pay for some prior or future “favor”, those concerns were put to rest by Dr. Hasan.
She said that the reason McInnis was paid so much was essentially that they thought they were hiring him for a full-time job and had to offer a salary that could compete with his other options at the time that he left Congress.
In particular, Seeme Hassan, mother of Aliya and Ali, believed (and presumably still believes) that understanding water issues, not least interstate water issues, are extremely important to the long-term success of Colorado and are very poorly understood.
Therefore she, through the Foundation, signed up McInnis for a “fellowship” for $150,000 a year which was supposed to include not just writing papers, but also getting the issue into the media, giving talks, and generally doing whatever he could to educate Coloradoans on the issue of water, water rights, water law, etc.
Shortly after taking the fellowship, McInnis then signed up for a full-time job as a partner with law firm Hogan and Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). McInnis told the Hasans that the quality of his work would not suffer from having this new commitment, but clearly it did, as can be seen not only from the plagiarized papers but also from the fact that, according to Dr. Hasan, he did none of the other things he was being paid to do.
The Foundation basically just shrugged their shoulders and didn’t renew his fellowship after the second year, much nicer to McInnis than I would have been in the same situation. It seems clear from listening to Aliya Hasan that the Hasan family’s motivation here is in no way sinister, underhanded, or politically motivated and to the extent that I wondered aloud if it might have been, I apologize to the Hasan family. (I have met most of the family and found them interesting, intelligent, and genial…and committed to fundamental American principles.)
Dr. Hasan noted that her family only learned about the plagiarism from the same media reports from which everyone else (except the people who discovered the plagiarism) learned about it.
The Foundation has demanded its money back, so they can put it to better charitable and/or educational use elsewhere. McInnis has said he would repay the money. Dr. Hasan said, while not trying to sound confrontational, that if McInnis did not make good on his promise to repay the money the Foundation would pursue legal remedies against him, i.e. sue him. She also said that they were more than willing to “work with” McInnis on a repayment schedule.
All in all, Aliya Hasan explained her family’s position and the history of the relationship in a way that fills in many pieces of the puzzle, and did it in much better cheer than I probably would have in the same situation. I applaud her for the excellent interview, especially given that she was, by her own admission, a little nervous being on the radio talking about something so controversial and so outside her normal daily interests. By coming on the air, she did Coloradoans a service. We know more than we did before.
Unfortunately for Scott McInnis, the more we know, the less tolerable it is for him to remain a candidate.
Really, imagine a guy being elected governor who has to make debt payments every month to reimburse a Foundation he essentially defrauded. No way, no how.
In short, McInnis took the Foundation’s money for a full-time job and then took another job and kept taking the money.
Scott, please get out now. You can’t win. And I’m not just saying that because of the new Rasmussen poll which now shows you two points behind John Hickenlooper, a 7-point drop in a month.
I note in the poll that Maes is also behind Hickenlooper…something which leads to further discussion about what the GOP should do now, if it has any real options at all. But that’s a topic for another day.
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UPDATE: Something apparently got messed up with the PayPal buttons during this past weekend’s database glitch – fixed now. Yes, it’s that time again — PPC will be conducting training classes for center-right activists on Saturday, April 20 and Saturday, April 27, at Independence Institute in Denver. The tentative class schedule is as follows: Saturday, [...]
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