07/21/2010 02:40 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Dear Scott: It Still Doesn't Add Up

Maybe I'm beating a dead horse, but since Scott McInnis has performed CPR on his gubernatorial campaign with comments like he's "ready for a fight," "taken responsibility" for his plagiarism and his "boots are made for walking," it seems fair game to pile on the carcass.

Note to the McInnis campaign: it still doesn't make sense yet.

The timeline just doesn't add up. When did the Hasan Family Foundation hire the former congressman? And why? The timeline and the reasons just don't add up.

Dr. Malik Hasan has been quoted as saying that the Hasan Family Foundation expected former congressman Scott McInnis to "work full time for two years writing and lecturing on Colorado's protracted drought in 2005." The foundation issued a news release in February 2005 that McInnis had been named a fellow, at $150,000 annually for two years, or $300,000.

But back up about a year. McInnis boasted in a May 2004 interview with Grand Junction's Channel 11 that he had accepted a Denver position with Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan & Lovells) "one of the top powerhouses in the country, the largest, oldest law firm in Washington." He told Channel 11 that he was looking forward to representing corporations, energy companies and, of course, water interests. The same story says that McInnis submitted the plagiarized articles and left the fellowship about a month later.

How did the Hasan Family Foundation realistically believe that McInnis could devote 40 hours a week to water issues when he was taking on an ambitious legal/lobbying portfolio? Or had the deal been struck before the Hogan & Hartson agreement? Or did McInnis mislead the Hasan Foundation? The congressman already had been quite public in his intentions to move from Congress to legal and lobbying work.

Perhaps the people at the Hasan Foundation were not paying attention. Or perhaps the foundation didn't care, as Dr. Malik Hasan admitted that the foundation was not specific about the work McInnis was to perform. Or perhaps the offer was made to McInnis while still in Congress, before he accepted his day job. None of these conclusions are particularly satisfactory to McInnis or the Hasan Family Foundation, but one is a likely explanation.

Beyond the time inconsistencies is the lack of logic behind hiring Rep. McInnis to write a series of water articles. His water expertise is diminished standing beside the myriad of available water experts in Colorado. In hindsight, of course, it would have been so much easier to hire then-water attorney (current Colorado Supreme Court Justice) Greg Hobbs, who was plagiarized by McInnis. Hobbs has been known to donate his proceeds from such activities to appropriate causes like the nonprofit, nonpartisan Colorado Water Education Foundation. Or the Hasan Foundation could have hired the Colorado Water Education Foundation, whose mission is to educate people about water, directly.

Of course, McInnis deems all of these questions irrelevant because he is going to repay his $300,000 fellowship to the Hasan Family Foundation.

Does he have enough money to follow up on that promise? Who knows? He won't release his income tax returns. So much about McInnis just doesn't add up.