Mesa County residents who are fed up with State Senator Ray Scott are running a campaign urging people not to re-elect him in 2018.
Constituents say they’re fed up with Scott’s narrow-minded fossil fuel boosterism, ignorance of climate science, sub-par spelling and grammar and inability to tell credible research from industry-backed studies designed to reach a specific conclusion. Scott’s constituents are also offended by his rudeness. Scott calls voters who disagree with him “idiots.” In February, 2017, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel threatened Scott with a defamation lawsuit after he called an opinion piece critical of him “fake news.” When a Mesa County resident commented on Scott’s Facebook page that the Sentinel was actually a conservative newspaper, Scott responded with this grammatically-challenged comeback: “Your [sic] a foolish Democrat, go cry somewhere else” and blocked the constituent from his page.
Voters filed an ethics complaint against Ray Scott with the Colorado Senate in August, 2017, after a federal court ruled that it is illegal for public officials to block users of their social media accounts because of criticism. The court ruled elected officials who block constituents from their social media forums are engaging in “viewpoint discrimination,” which violates the First Amendment. Scott identifies himself on his Facebook and Twitter accounts as a “government official,” not a private citizen, and he uses social media to discuss policy and inform constituents, yet he blocks constituents who are critical of his views.
Scott throws his weight around, works to block access to courts and limit women’s rights
While in the legislature, Scott worked against the interests of consumers, women and children and to protect and expand the rights of wealthy developers and drillers. In 2015, Scott was the sole sponsor of SB15-091 (pdf), a bill that would have blocked homeowners’ access to the courts for construction defects in their newly-built homes. Scott’s bill aimed to shield homebuilders from being accountable for significant problems and expenses homeowners incur due to construction defects they discover just a few years after moving into a new home.
Scott has also voted to kill economic assistance bills for rural communities.
Scott supported a fetal personhood amendment to the Colorado Constitution, and in 2015 co-sponsored a bill that would have amended the definition of a “person” for purposes of homicide or assault, to include a fetus “at every stage of gestation.”
He’s also brought useless bills that do nothing for the western slope. In 2014 he sponsored a silly bill to establish a Scottish-American license plate, even though no one in his district asked for the bill, and bill would have benefitted no one in his district. Scott is a self-professed climate change denier who has says solar panels “don’t make sense to me.”
Scott was also the key “no” vote that killed a bill to encourage utility companies to build infrastructure across the state for electric vehicles (EVs). The bill, SB18-216, would have permitted electric companies to build more EV charging stations and recoup the costs of the construction by charging fees to users. The bill would have expanded the use of clean-running electric vehicles in Colorado by making it easier for people to charge them while traveling across the state. Tanking the bill was a goal of Americans for Prosperity, the astroturf front group funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers, whose companies refine and sell petroleum products and operate oil and gas pipelines around the country.
Scott’s behavior has also raised other ethical questions over the last year as well. In August, 2017 the Denver Post raised the issue of emails Scott sent to his business suppliers in which he suggested he could wield his political influence in the legislature to help or harm them, and his other energy business partners. The email exchange eventually led up to a lawsuit.
Anti-RayScott constituents feel Scott’s ethical lapses, his entanglement in a lawsuit, clueless statements on climate change, rudeness towards constituents and anti-consumer legislation show he is out of touch with constituents, works against their interests and is unfit to continue in office.
Look for the digital billboards on Highway 6&50 in front of Sprouts, and at Colorado West Outdoor Advertising’s new digital billboard at Broadway and Power Road. If you want to contribute to the billboard campaign, contact the author of this blog.
The County will start mailing out primary ballots on June 4. Election day is June 26.