New Plagiarism Question in Colo. Governor Campaign

DENVER -- A Colorado gubernatorial candidate faced new allegations of plagiarism Wednesday, a day after the Republican apologized for lifting part of a judge's work for a series of essays he passed off as his own.

Parts of a newspaper column Scott McInnis wrote in 1994 and a subsequent speech he made resembled a column that appeared six weeks earlier in The Washington Post.

The earlier column was written by Richard V. Allen, a former national security adviser, and Daryl Plunk of the Heritage Foundation.

McInnis said he isn't sure who on his staff wrote the parts of the column and speech that are apparently lifted from the previous newspaper column.

"In Congress, you have lots of staff. I had hundreds of pages a day go out of my congressional office with my signature on it. We have no idea of the base material," McInnis told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "Of course I had assistants writing that."

The similarities were first reported Wednesday by The Denver Post.

McInnis apologized Tuesday for lifting part of a judge's work for a series of essays on water rights, but blamed research assistant Rolly Fischer for the alleged plagiarism.

Whole sections of McInnis' "Musings On Water" about the history of Colorado water rights were identical to a 1984 piece written by Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs. McInnis' essays were accompanied by a 2005 letter stating the essays were original.

"It's unacceptable, it's inexcusable, but it was also unintentional," McInnis said in a statement. "I made a mistake."

McInnis said he talked with Fischer and Fischer took responsibility, but McInnis said he was ultimately responsible for not checking the research.

Fischer told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent that "Scott's responsible for it," but he didn't return a phone call Wednesday seeking a response.

The new questions centered on a column McInnis wrote for the now-closed Rocky Mountain News in Denver when McInnis was a Colorado congressman.

The Denver Post reported that the column and a speech McInnis made later on the floor of the House included at least three passages that used some of the same words Allen and Plunk used in their earlier piece for The Washington Post.

Allen and Plunk's piece was published Nov. 9, 1994. McInnis' was published Dec. 21, 1994, and he made the speech on Jan. 25, 1995.

In one passage, Allen and Plunk wrote, "There is a growing popular belief in South Korea that the North has outmaneuvered Washington and marginalized the South's role."

McInnis column said, "There is growing South Korean sentiment that North Korea has outmaneuvered Washington and marginalized the South's input into this issue."

In his speech, McInnis said, "There is growing popular South Korean sentiment that North Korea has outmaneuvered Washington and marginalized the South's input into this issue."