Scott Renfroe: Doubling Down as a Loser

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Sen. Scott Renfroe (R).

Sen. Scott Renfroe (R).

Scott Renfroe, the RMGO-backed candidate for the Republican nomination in CD-4, whose campaign to date has been limited to running a negative ad against the leading candidate, Ken Buck, has now decided to go negative on the entire field.  He has sent out a mailer that is making a name for him, not in a good way.  The free article is available here,

In the mailer sent out to Republican voters, Renfroe, R-Greeley, calls Weld District Attorney Ken Buck an “office shopper and flip-flopper,” Fort Collins businessman Steve Laffey a “four-time taxer” and questions the ethics of Weld County Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer.

“I can’t help but think that Renfroe just shot himself in the foot,” said Stan Cass, a Weld County native and longtime Republican who grew up in Briggsdale and lives in Eaton. “It depends on how many people got that and how many people are exposed to it. We don’t need somebody with that kind of approach representing us in Congress. I’ve known Scott Renfroe for a long time and he professes to be a wonderful Christian man and all of a sudden he goes berserk and now everybody’s wrong.”

Other recent letter writers to The Tribune who have seen the mailers have expressed a similar sentiment. But Renfroe defends his actions and says he is simply telling the truth.

Outside of the fact that about 80% of votes are likely already in and it will not have a material effect on the outcome, what does it mean that Renfroe is now going negative on all the candidates?

My take is Renfroe knows he has lost to Buck and is now trying to come in second by raising the negatives of the other candidates.

Buck has the best name recognition, raised the most money, has the most important endorsements and has run a safe campaign.  I believe he will likely get 40-50% of the votes in the four- way primary.

Renfroe has spent his own money, attracted little outside money and few endorsements other than the RMGO.  His behavior suggests he now sees himself in a battle for second place.

Laffey has spent a ton of his own money, at least $350K and possibly more, and has a very professional media organization.  During his tenure as the mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island he claims to have turned around that city and guess what?  To do so he raised taxes.  Thanks for sharing that Scott.

As someone who has little connection to the district Laffey will not win, but I sense Laffey has made a move and both Laffey and Renfroe are in the 20-30% range.  This is the real reason for Renfroe’s expanded scope of his negative campaign.

Barbara Kirkmeyer has many endorsements of local officials and has done a nice job with signage.  She has raised little money and spent little money.  To win you don’t necessarily have to spend the most money, but you generally have to spend some money.  Signs don’t vote. 

The fact that Renfroe found it necessary to slime a county commissioner in the county where his business is headquartered and her local official supporters tells me he is desperate. My guess is Kirkmeyer would finish in the 10-20% range, but that she may be the beneficiary of Renfroe’s mailer and this may help her catch him.

Renfroe’s attacks on Buck did not lead to much push- back, but now that he has attacked others they are pushing back.  This is what Laffey had to say:

“I’m running a positive campaign. If I have a problem with you, I will call you,” Laffey said. “Ken Buck’s a good guy. I don’t have any problems with him at all, and Barbara Kirkmeyer is a wonderful person. We’ve become pretty good friends in this campaign. I don’t know why Scott chose to do this, but he answers to somebody else about it — not me. I don’t want to win that badly to make fun of people. The stuff that came out in that mailer was sort of bizarre to me. It’s ludicrous.”

He added, “I think it’s really bad to do stuff like this, especially late in the campaign. It’s a textbook, desperate thing. What would cause a guy to always be talking about being a Christian and then do something like this behind people’s backs?”

Kirkmeyer pushed back as well:

As for Kirkmeyer, who worked for the state Department of Local Affairs between her stints as county commissioner, the mailer said that state auditors uncovered spending problems, $2 million in other questionable expenditures, highlights poor accounting controls and that she admitted on the record to using her elected office to advance her private interests.

“I think he should get his facts straight because his comments are incorrect,” Kirkmeyer said. “Obviously, the comments that he quoted were out of the paper. But their basis is incorrect. I think he’s spreading some false inaccuracies, and I think it’s reprehensible. I thought we were having a pretty good race and everybody was keeping it positive for the most part, and then Scott decides he has to go out and attack people.”

She added, “I don’t agree with negative campaigning. I didn’t do any negative campaigning. I think people should talk about themselves and what they can accomplish. Typically, when people have to do negative campaigning they feel like they’re losing or they don’t have anything good to say about themselves. I think it’s probably hurt him because I don’t think that people who vote like it, either.”

CSU Political Science Professor Kyle Saunders noted: “(t)hat’s not how a person who is leading the race would behave,” 

Time will tell if I am properly reading the tea leaves, but as to the Pols Big Line which has Renfroe as the favorite, I am not alone in concluding Renfroe is not exactly behaving like a front runner.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Tsk, tsk….

  2. Andrew Carnegie says:

    MB, what is your take on the outcome?

    I seemed to remember your indicating that Kirkmeyer might be making a play.  Do you think that happened?

    • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

      If I was judging my answer to your question simply by the number of Kirkmeier signs in Yuma County, Barbara would be the victor.   But, as my fellow Yuma County residents found out the hard way in the secession vote, getting 80%+ of the vote in this county doesn't mean Jack Schitt.

      I think Ken will win – how the rest of them shake out is hard to tell.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    It is delightful to watch the Republican cannibalism in the 4th district. Carry on, please.

    Interestingly, it turns out that your hero, Ken Buck, helped then-Republican congressman Dick Cheney cover up "investigate"  the Iran-Contra scandal for Reagan and then-VP Bush 1.

    This is common knowledge –  Buck's campaign website lists the investigation as an accomplishment.

    The roots of so many of today's foreign policy swamps (Iran, Iraq, Al-Quaeda, Central American drug cartels) can be traced back to the snaky Iran-Contra deal, in which Iranians and Nicaraguan rebels against their democratically-elected government were  given weapons, and in return, we got some of – not even all of -our hostages back from Lebanon.

    Yet, you, who are cognizant of Buck's background as few others would be, have the nerve to pontificate about our current President "negotiating with terrorists", and "abusing executive power".  Reagan didn't ask Congress whether he could arm the mullahs or the contras. He kinda sorta felt that Congress wouldn't agree – so we just did it on his own.  Poppy Bush was deep in it.

    And Dick Cheney and Ken Buck did their level best to sweep it all under the rug. So that is perhaps a big piece of how young Buck, an obscure DA who worked with the state legislature in Wyoming, has now come to national prominence.




    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      MJ,  Take a deep breath.

      Enjoy the Renfroe flyer push back.

      Let me help you.

      The Iran hostage crisis preceeded  the Iran-Contra deal.

      The Sandanistas in Nicaragua preceeded the Iran-Contra deal.

      The root of all evil was not caused by the Iran-Contra deal.

      Evil was a pre-existing condition.

      What exactly did the Congressional committee sweep under the rug?

      The evidence that Cheney and Buck "did their level best" to sweep what under the rug is . . .?

      You also have Buck's background confused but don't let the facts get in the way of your story.

      • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

        Was the Iran-Contra deal the root of all evil? No. One of the roots of Al-Qaeda resentment and fueling of terrorists? Yes. Helped to lay the foundation for a decade of war? Yes.

        One of the roots of the Central American drug cartels? Yes. One of the roots of the cocaine and gang business model in the USA? Yes.

        Obviously the Sandanistas preceded the contras. The Sandanistas deposed dictator Somoza, then later were elected. The contras were funded by the CIA, and worked for to overthrow the Nicaraguan government through all of that period.

        What did the Congressional committee sweep under the rug? Bush and Reagan's involvement, Ollie North took the fall. Drug smuggling is one thing that was swept under the rug. Reputable journalists blamed the rise of crack cocaine in American cities on the cocaine smuggled in via contra connections. As to the "sweeping under the rug" part:

        Only three moderate Republicans on the Senate side – Warren Rudman, William Cohen and Paul Trible – agreed to sign the report, after extracting more concessions. Cheney and the other Republicans submitted a minority report that denied that any significant wrongdoing had occurred.

        The watered-down Iran-contra majority report essentially let Vice President Bush off the hook. Bush’s political career was saved.

        Ken Buck's political background: He wasn't a DA in Wyoming, but he did work in the state legislature – probably met Cheney there. There are other ethics scandals in his background, on that same link. But you knew that already.


      • ct says:

        Somoza preceded the Sandinistas.

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