UPDATE: So, uh, Scott McInnis went on the Caplis and Silverman Show again to talk about this tax return/sources of income/”what am I hiding” thing today, and rather than come between our readers and the goods, we give you–The Good Elk Hunter.
That’s right, folks, and Bob Beauprez trained the elk. It’s swell that McInnis shot an elk once and gave the meat to a poor family–but that’s the best example a man who said a few months ago he would “match contributions” with all comers has got? Truth is, charitable contributions are kind of a sideshow to the real reasons people want to see McInnis’ financials, but that doesn’t excuse him after giving the most rambling, self-contradictory, ridiculous answer to the question imaginable. Original post follows.
Call me uncharitable, but when I learned of Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis’ recalcitrance over the traditional release of income tax returns, a certain radio tirade came to mind.
Anyone who read Sunday’s articles in The Denver Post contrasting the personal financial history of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to that of the former congressman’s might wonder about that August tirade as well.
In a KHOW radio interview with Craig Silverman and Dan Caplis – before Hickenlooper entered the race – an angry McInnis claimed that he is unparalleled in his charitable giving.
“I’d be happy to kind of match my contributions to the community against either one of you, for example, or against the governor or against any of my opponents,” McInnis says.
It was a truly odd comment then, and it could prove a disastrous one now.
It turns out that the mayor can clearly be called charitable, and as for McInnis, well, we just have to take his word for it…
Voters have to wonder whether the forms McInnis is hiding conceal something. Did the lawmaker make his millions from sweetheart deals and political payback?
Or is it that he’s miserly when it comes to charity? Could both things be true? We simply can’t know.
For those of you who don’t remember, Plunkett is referring to a radio interview of Scott McInnis from last year–one of the more disastrous media appearances we can recall for any major political candidate, McInnis interpreted relatively softball questions from friendly hosts Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman as hostile, and basically melted down in a fit of nonsensical accusations and childish taunts to “match his record” on charitable donations. Considered a massive embarrassment of the kind that would kill a campaign a little later in the season, McInnis has tried mightily in subsequent months to live this interview down.
As it’s not actually possible to “match” McInnis’ record on the subject of charity, or anything else financial for that matter since he won’t disclose his financials…he’s going to have, as Mr. Plunkett makes pretty crystal-clear above, trouble living it down.
And it could be about to get worse for McInnis: we’ve been hearing rumors of much more in the way of records that McInnis doesn’t want to see the light of day, forthcoming disclosures (and fights over disclosure) that could make this business about tax returns seem like small potatoes.
Liberal activist group Progress Now sent out a press release today demanding new information from McInnis in addition to his tax returns (full text follows)–lists of lobbying clients, board memberships, and divorce records from McInnis’ first marriage that Progress Now claims have been sealed. We’ve separately heard rumors about these sealed divorce files (the same Denver Post successfully sued gubernatorial candidate Bruce Benson in 1994 for his), as well as some new alleged specifics about McInnis’ past roles on corporate and “nonprofit” boards that, if corroboration surfaces, could be extremely damaging–remember we told you these were lurking, because it looks there’s no good will left to slow them; certainly not at the Denver Post. When McInnis said that he’d “take a beating” if he cooperated with the media’s requests, he should have considered how much worse the “beating” will be if he doesn’t.
Demand for full and immediate disclosure by Scott McInnis
Why the pattern of cover-up? Why would McInnis “take a beating” by disclosing tax returns?
For Immediate Release: Monday, April 26, 2010
Contact: Bobby Clark, Executive Director, at 303-905-8375
Denver – In response to continuing refusals by former Rep. Scott McInnis–who has made millions as a lawyer-lobbyist–to release financial and other information requested by the media, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, demanded that McInnis immediately disclose the information he is concealing from the voters of Colorado.
Coloradans have a right to full and immediate disclosure of everything Scott McInnis is hiding, including:
* Tax returns for the same time period that his Democratic opponent already has disclosed — on April 15th on KCOL radio in Loveland McInnis admitted that he did not want to disclose his returns because he would “take a beating”, which highlights the critical importance of full and immediate disclosure
* McInnis’ divorce records that, in a highly unusual move, have apparently been sealed–in 1994, The Denver Post and KUSA-TV successfully sued to unseal then-gubernatorial candidate Bruce Benson’s divorce records
* List of all of McInnis’ lobbying clients and board memberships and compensation, both corporate and nonprofit, past and present, including his time in Congress
* Records of charitable giving, from both personal funds and from his leftover congressional campaign funds
“McInnis is thumbing his nose at The Post’s routine request for basic financial disclosures, and on behalf of our network members and all Colorado voters we demand that McInnis come clean immediately,” said ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Bobby Clark. “McInnis’ admission on a conservative radio program that he won’t disclose because he would ‘take a beating’ is stunning and only highlights the critical need for complete and immediate disclosure of his financial ties as well as everything else he is hiding.”
In a column today, Post editorial board member Chuck Plunkett blasts McInnis’ continuing refusal to disclose his financial information “as almost every candidate for the office has done for years,” highlighting a radio interview from last year where McInnis angrily challenged hosts to “match my contributions to the community.” McInnis’ failure to disclose his finances makes ‘matching’ his charitable contributions impossible.
Plunkett further notes, “Voters have to wonder . . . did the lawmaker make his millions from sweetheart deals and political payback?”
“Only by releasing this information, as is routinely expected of any candidate for higher office, can McInnis prove that he can be trusted by the people of Colorado to represent them and not his longtime corporate lobbying clients,” continued ProgressNow’s Bobby Clark. “How can the voters be expected to make an informed decision when one side is concealing so much? It’s time for McInnis to come clean with the people of Colorado, or be compelled by public opinion to do so.”