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Water Plagiarism Expands

Plagiarism by Elected Officials Deceives Public in Northern Colorado

Press Release by Save the Poudre (July 13, 2010)

Fort Collins, CO —  The Denver Post revealed that gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis plagiarized water writings from Gregory Hobbs who is now a Colorado Supreme Court Justice.  McInnis was paid $300,000 for the plagiarized writings.

Similar plagiarism has occurred by currently elected officials in northern Colorado.  Three separate officials published under their own names nearly identical versions of the same editorial regarding the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP).  The original author was not identified or cited.

On Friday, July 10th, Weld County Commissioner Doug Rademacher (R) published this editorial in the Greeley Tribune about the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) and its Glade Reservoir: Proposed NISP reservoirs are Vital to Weld’s Future.

Two days later, Weld County Commissioner Sean Conway (R) published the identical editorial in the Denver Post: Weld County needs water project. http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_15471328

A day before and a day later, State Representative B.J. Nikkel (R-49) published a near exact copy of the same editorial in the Loveland Reporter Herald and the Berthoud Recorder: Water storage is critical to Northern Colorado’s future.

All three elected officials signed only their own name to the editorial.

Who actually wrote the editorial?  How much did they get paid to write it?

“If these elected officials will deceive the public about who authored this editorial, what else are they deceiving us about?” said Gary Wockner, PhD, of Save the Poudre.  “We think the taxpaying public should know who really wrote this editorial and how much they were paid to write it.”

The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (NCWCD) — the developer of the water project supported by the plagiarizing elected officials — has a $500,000/year “public information” budget.  In addition, the District’s pollster, Floyd Ciruli, was paid $50,000 in 2010 to advise NISP and NCWCD on how to re-market the dying reservoir project to the public.

The plagiarized editorial invites the public to a “Farm Rally” for NISP on Thursday July 15.  Save the Poudre has repeatedly discredited the claims that NISP will protect farms .  Scientists from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also refuted the claim.

Gary Wockner and Mark Easter, leaders of Save the Poudre, refuted the plagiarized editorials with their own editorial in the Greeley Tribune and the Berthoud Recorder a few days later: NISP will be trouble for ag

“We wrote our editorial,” said Wockner.  “We submitted it under our names.  And, it contains facts.”

Scott McInnis is also on record as supporting NISP and its environmentally destructive Glade Reservoir: McInnis endorses water project. Oppositely, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has threatened to veto NISP.  The only business publication in northern Colorado — the Northern Colorado Business Report — said NISP was a “mistake we can’t afford to make”.  And, the Fort Collins City Council voted unanimously against NISP/Glade.

It is unknown whether Mr. McInnis was invited to, or was planning to attend, the “Farm Rally” for the water project on Thursday.  Ironically, the Hasan Family Foundation project was commissioned to educate the public on “…how the state could be more diligent in protecting its rivers.” (Denver Post, website front page, July 13, 2010).  Oppositely, the NISP/Glade project that McInnis supports would dam, drain, and destroy the Cache la Poudre River of northern Colorado.

Editor’s note:

Representative B.J. Nikkel responded to the question of authorship with the following comment:

“Sean Conway and I worked together on the two columns and all of the information that the other commissioners and I used was with explicit permission from him. As a group, we believe that NISP is a critically important project for our community and hope everyone will continue to focus on its merits, instead of on this attempted distraction.”

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