Colorado Secretary of State, Bernie Buescher, just announced his office will not give an opinion of what would be a legal ballot substitution for Scott McInnis – the disgraced Republican candidate for governor. McInnis is the subject of a plagiarism scandal after reports of his using unattributed research in exchange for $300,000 he was paid for 150 pages of water law articles by the Hasan family foundation.
Buescher’s office declined to give an advance opinion, and said they would address the issue only when a candidate actually attempted to be placed on the ballot:
“This week, my office has fielded numerous calls asking for answers to hypothetical questions related to whether a candidate may be replaced in a contested primary,” Buescher said. “At this point, no decision will be given to speculation that may impact a current and actual contest. Any conclusions reached by my office to these inquiries may potentially have an unintentional effect on an ongoing race.”
“If a scenario does occur with actual implications to the ballot, voters can rest assured my office will provide a timely and clear decision that follows Colorado’s constitutional and statutory provisions. Only after all individuals and organizations impacted by this decision have had an opportunity for reasonable input, will we issue an official position.”
Buescher, a Democrat, obviously hampers the Republicans by being so coy. To be fair, advisory opinions are something most government agencies prefer to avoid – it cuts off their options. At the same time, shouldn’t the circumstances under which a replacement candidate can be placed on the ballot be clear to the public?
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