DENVER – The wealthy family that helped torpedo former Congressman Scott McInnis’ gubernatorial bid two years ago amid allegations of plagiarism is now facing a scandal of their own.
Ali Hasan, who campaigned unsuccessfully for both the state legislature and state treasurer, raised eyebrows this week when he posted a 3500 word testimonial on his website about a three-month rehab stint with an Orange County sex addiction outfit.
“[S]ex addiction is a problem that, if not confronted, will destroy your life.” Hasan wrote on www.miguelali.com, adding that he decided to enter the rehabilitation program after his girlfriend discovered racy emails and text messages and told him to “get help.”
The online testimonial was followed by an apologetic posting from Hasan’s mother Seemein on Facebook.
“I am sorry to say, but I want to advise all of my friends to De-friend my son Ali Hasan. I have already De-Friended him.” She wrote. “Since a majority of my friends are young or have young children I am sorry but this action has to be taken.”
“He has become too much Hollywood and too little his own family values.” She continued, “Please try not to read what he has posted…Everyone’s culture is not the same as Hollywood.”
Her post was followed by a host of comments from sympathetic friends, which included well wishes like “Seemein may Allah bless you for standing by your principals [sic]” and “Lots of Duas (prayers) for your family.”
Ali responded to his mother’s post with disappointment.
“As I said in my blog site, when you go through rehab, you lose people,” Hasan told The Observer. “It’s disappointing because my mother was one of the people who first supported my rehab and I thanked her on my site. As I went through rehab, there became an increasing amount of distance between us. I am still thankful she’s in my life, but when you get healthy, you do lose people,” said Ali.
“I hate that I’m not as close with my mother, but on the other hand, I’m no longer a sex addicted monster. Personally, I’ve never been happier and I hold no ill will towards my mother. I don’t take a single word back and I proudly stand by my words,” he added.
It isn’t the first time that Ali Hasan, the son of a multi-millionaire Colorado health care magnate, has made news as a result of his perceived eccentricity.
Ali Hasan exploded onto the scene in 2008 after the alternative newspaper Westword wrote a profile on the then 27-year old aspiring politician entitled “Is this Muslim Republican Mr. Right or the Big Cheese?”
The now-infamous profile portrayed Hasan as flashy and extravagant – a self-described “[W]omanizing mean guy who wants to be a politician,” who came off in the story as more rock star than political activist.
It’s a “bad boy” image the article solidified by describing an alleged campaign trail tryst between Hasan and his then-publicist in the restroom of the Hotel Denver in Glenwood Springs.
According to the 2008 story, “Ali sprawled on a couch, his head resting in [publicist] Miller’s lap. “Do I work well under pressure?” he asked, looking up at her. “This was simple compared to filmmaking.” The couple then meandered off hand in hand, disappearing for what Ali later admitted was a brief interlude in a hotel bathroom.”
Hasan’s record of generating controversy isn’t limited to electoral politics. He also wrote and directed Rabia, a controversial 2007 film that some critics charge glorifies Palestinian suicide bombers.
The Hasan family gained national notoriety in 2010 after they demanded that former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis return $300,000 that their family foundation paid McInnis to produce a series of research policy papers after revelations that McInnis had copied much of his work directly from an article written years earlier by state Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.
The charges led to the primary election defeat of the disgraced former Congressman at the hands of the eventual Republican nominee, the hapless and virtually unknown Don Maes, who ultimately finished a distant third behind Governor Hickenlooper and third-party candidate Tom Tancredo.
The Hasan family remains politically active. According to opensecrets.org, family patriarch Malik donated $20,000 to the Democratic Campaign Congressional Committee and $5,000 to U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulder). His wife Seemein also contributed $5,000 to Polis’ campaign this year.