Is former Congressman Scott McInnis, a possible Republican contender in the 2010 governor’s race, trying to shake the political piggy bank in an illegal fashion? That’s the question he’s facing after The Complete Colorado, a conservative website, posted audio of McInnis saying GOP consultant Sean Tonner is helping to run a so-called “527” committee on his behalf, lighting up blogs across the state, including The Colorado Independent.

Candidates and their committees are not allowed to collaborate with 527 committees, which can raise an unlimited amount of funds so long as they are disclosed to the Internal Revenue Service.

On the tape, McInnis says “We’ve got Sean Tonner on board … Sean’s doing our 5, our ah 527.” McInnis verified that he left the message, according to The Denver Post, but also noted that he has not officially announced his candidacy or formed a candidate committee, claiming that means campaign rules do not yet apply.

McInnis, who could face Democratic Governor Bill Ritter next year, also says he was misunderstood. “Either way, a professional politician like McInnis should know better than this,” ColoradoPols writes.