GOP candidate for governor Scott McInnis, who is drawing heat this week for releasing only partial and sketchy details on his income and charitable giving, said on the Caplis and Silverman talk radio show yesterday that he gave generously to individuals and families and also to the Republican National Committee. Although it’s difficult to track charitable gifts to individuals, especially alleged gifts of dressed elk meat, RNC finance records are public and there is no record of McInnis giving generously to the RNC. Indeed, so far as the record shows, according to Fort Collins Coloradoan Editor Bob Moore, McInnis hasn’t given a dime to the RNC.
But one thing in particular caught my eye… in Tuesday’s [Denver] Post, reporting on comments McInnis made on the Caplis and Silverman radio show Monday.
“The contributions I give to personally are families in need. And I give to the Republican National Committee,” he said.
But Crummy’s article didn’t address how much he gave to the RNC, which — unlike contributions to families in need — is a matter of public record. So I checked the Federal Election Commission database and got a surprising answer.
There’s no record of anyone named McInnis from Colorado giving to the Republican National Committee. In fact, the only record of a contribution from McInnis to a Republican group is $200 last year to the Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee.
I did find a $7,000 contribution from McInnis’ Western Way PAC to the RNC in 2004, but that’s money McInnis collected from other donors and then gave to the RNC.
McInnis has been treading water on the topic of his personal finances for some time. He has been a lawyer-lobbyist for the oil and gas industry here for years while also fighting as a lawmaker and politician against increased environmental regulations on the industry. Activist groups like ProgressNow have asked McInnis to release records of the clients he or his firm Hogan & Hartsonhas lobbied for, including during the time he served in office.
Likewise, the matter of his charitable giving has gained steam recently but it has been a question for years. In 2004, when McInnis decided not to seek re-election to Congress, he had collected roughly $1.3 million in campaign donations. A staffer reported that McInnis would give a large portion of that money to charity, especially charities involved in cancer. In the end, however, he gave most of the money to other candidates or groups supporting candidates. Of the money he did give to charity, most went to support a wilderness area named after McInnis.
The flap over that round of his giving, led to a testy appearance on the Caplis and Silverman radio show. “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,” he said at the time. Now he’s being asked to do that and he finds himself talking about elk he has killed and donated to families in need and gifts to the RNC that don’t appear in the public record.