Campaign fund issue not a factor in decision, McInnis says
Allegations of misuse of campaign funds by former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis played no part in his decision to not pursue running for governor, he said.”That was not an issue,” McInnis said.The Federal Elections Commission recently dismissed a complaint filed by the Colorado Democratic Party about the matter.Democrats said McInnis inappropriately paid his wife, Lori, with campaign funds in 2004 even though he had decided in 2003 that he wouldn’t run for re-election. McInnis had countered that his wife was helping him with his duties as a congressman and winding down campaign activities.The FEC decided the complaint warranted dismissal because it was not a high-priority matter.McInnis says the Democrats’ complaint was politically motivated. “The Democratic state party, they knew downright what the results were going to be. Everybody knew what the results were going to be,” he said.He is frustrated that FEC rules prohibit him from filing a counterclaim over what he considers a frivolous complaint.State Democratic Party chairperson Pat Waak doesn’t think McInnis is in the clear.”I think Scott McInnis is … the poster boy of everything that’s wrong in Washington these days,” she said.The fact that the FEC dismissed the complaint because it had so many higher-priority ones says a lot about the state of things in Washington, D.C., she said. The Republican-controlled Congress, now caught up in scandals over issues such as relationships with lobbyists, suffers from a “culture of corruption,” she said.But McInnis said he’s not a subject of any of the investigations going on in Washington.”I’m not tied in with any of these problems over there, so I’ve got good clean hands,” he said.Waak said she isn’t sure if the questions involving the use of McInnis’ campaign funds would have had any impact on his chances had he run for governor.Katy Atkinson, a Republican political analyst, said it might have been an issue in the general election, but probably not in the Republican primary, because most activists in his party are well-acquainted with him.”They know that he’s an honest man and that he’s a good man,” she said.
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