What do you know about State Senator Ray Scott, who is currently a candidate for Mesa County Commissioner?
One question people have about Scott is, if he is already a state senator and his term doesn’t expire until 2022, why is he running for county commissioner? Why doesn’t he want to finish his term in the State Senate?
Scott makes $30,000/year and a $45/day per diem as a state senator.
As a county commissioner, he would more than triple his salary. The salary for a county commissioner is now $92,681, not including benefits and perks, like insurance, use of vehicles, etc. — more than three times the average salary in Mesa County.
So what has Senator Scott’s track record as an elected official been like?
In April of 2020, Ray Scott forwarded false information to the Mesa County Commissioners about the federal CARES Act, causing a near-panic.
In 2019, Ray Scott showed voters he lacks the ability to discern authoritative, accurate sources of information from full-on wacko nutbag sources of information and conspiracy theories, a very dangerous deficit in an elected official, especially now.
On September 17, 2019 Senator Scott posted a tweet saying “NASA admits that climate change occurs because of changes in Earth’s solar orbit, and NOT because of SUVs and fossil fuels.” To support this claim, Scott cited an article published by a
website called “NaturalNews.com,” a site described as “a conspiracy theory and fake news website” that hawks dietary supplements, promotes alternative medicine,” makes “tendentious nutrition and health claims,” promotes “fake news, and espouses various conspiracy theories.” NaturalNews.com is as far from an authoritative, legitimate science-based website as you can get, but that didn’t stop Scott from promoting information he found to his liking on their website as though it were fact.
Absent and Lackadaisical representation
During the 2019 legislative season, Scott watched movies on his cell phone on the Senate floor during the legislative session, not paying attention to what was happening.
In the 2020 legislative session, Sen. Scott missed four of nine votes held on bills in the state Senate, giving his constituents roughly half the representation they are paying him for.
In 2019, Scott also did not bother to even show up to vote on a key Senate oil and gas bill, SB-181, which changed the mission of the Colorado Oil and Gas Commission from fostering oil and gas development to making public health, safety and the environment top priority in consideration of oil and gas drilling permits. Through his absence that day, Mesa County citizens effectively had zero representation on the vote for this bill. It snowed that day, and Senator Scott tweeted that he decided not to go in to the Capitol for the vote.
Sen. Scott is a climate change denier and opposes renewable energy. In 2018, Scott was the key “no” vote that killed SB18-216, a bill that would have encouraged construction of more charging stations for electric vehicles across the state.
Sen. Scott actually also said out loud on the Senate floor in 2019 that “climate change has led to massive improvements in our climate.”
Sen. Scott revealed that he opposes childhood immunizations when he attended a Denver anti-vaxx rally.
In May of 2019, Scott voted AGAINST HB19-1289, a law tightening consumer protections. The bill prevented Colorado businesses from “engaging in any unfair, unconscionable, deceptive, deliberately misleading, false or fraudulent act or practice.”
Yes, Scott OPPOSED this bill.
Scott also sponsored a bill to eliminate price breaks for low income energy consumers in 2019.
In 2015 Scott worked to block constituents’ access to the courts to try to recoup losses from construction defects.
In 2015 he also voted to kill a bill to provide economic help to rural Colorado communities that suffer devastating economic events, like large-scale layoffs or plant closures.
Early in his legislative career, in April of 2014, Scott, then in the House, sponsored HB14-1046, a bill to create a Scottish-American license plate. To get the plate, all a person would have to do is prove they made a financial donation to the St. Andrew Society of Colorado. That’s right…Scott introduced a bill to financially benefit a private club with no members and no branches in Mesa County.
Ray Scott spends taxpayer money thoughtlessly.
In August of 2019, Scott used state funds to settle a lawsuit for blocking his constituents on social media, spending over $25,000 in taxpayer funds for no good reason. By the time the lawsuit was filedk, Scott had already had two years of red-flag warnings, including an ethics complaint lodged against him, making it clear that blocking constituents on his official social media accounts would lead to a lawsuit.
A conscientious legislator would have immediately heeded all the warnings, eliminated the threat by unblocking constituents and saved taxpayers tens of thousand of dollars. But not Scott. He didn’t care because he was spending YOUR money.
Also, in 2018, Sen. Scott was caught double-billing for his expenses, recouping funds from both his campaign account AND the State of Colorado for the same expenses, like Uber rides and meals.
This is only a partial list. There’s lots more.
Is this really the kind of representation we want in a county commissioner? Or anywhere? Can we finally do better in Mesa County after years of suffering with self-serving spending by elected officials, officials who break laws and representatives who are just plain wacko?
That’s what you need to decide before voting your ballot in the primary June 30th.
Let’s turn the page on long-standing Mesa County incompetence and finally elect someone better for a change.