Grand Junction Sentinel Slams GOP Sen. Ray Scott

Sen. Ray Scott (R).

Sen. Ray Scott (R).

After yesterday's story by the Grand Junction Sentinel's Charles Ashby about the death in a GOP-controlled Senate committee of a bill to provide relief to rural communities impacted by layoffs, that paper's editorial board weighed in this morning with a blistering editorial against the chair of the committee responsible: Republican Sen. Ray Scott of Grand Junction.

Scott, a Republican representing Mesa County, denied that politics was involved. Yet, he turned his back on rural Colorado despite support from Colorado Counties Inc., the Colorado Municipal League, the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado and the state Department of Local Affairs. Representatives of these organizations all testified before Scott’s committee in favor of the bill…

If this wasn’t a purely political move to thwart passage of a Democratic bill, Scott offered little in the way of an alternative interpretation. After the 3-2 vote, Scott said the bill would cost too much, but then added it didn’t go far enough in helping more of rural Colorado. He said the bill needed an amendment to use severance tax money to pay for it, then failed to exercise his power as chairman to offer that amendment himself.

It's important to keep in mind that the Sentinel endorsed Scott in his Senate race last year, meaning this isn't some kind of knee-jerk liberal tantrum. The fact is, it's very difficult to reconcile voting to kill the Rural Economic Emergency Assistance Grant Program bill with the constant refrain from Colorado Republicans, including Sen. Scott, that Democrats have "turned their backs" on rural Colorado.

This mealy-mouthed double talk is insulting. If you’re going to kill a bill that would have helped our neighbors in Delta County, you better be prepared to explain why. For a lawmaker who has long railed against the governor for ignoring the plight of rural Colorado, the hypocrisy is galling.

The lack of minced words tells us this was a serious misstep by Scott, most likely for the shallow purpose of denying freshman Democratic Sen. Kerry Donovan a win for her constituents–and it's going to have lasting consequences for Scott's credibility with the Sentinel's editorial board. At the very least, it will be harder for Scott to make his boilerplate case about Front Range Democrats telling the Western Slope to eat cake.

Because this time, that was him.


19 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    "Oh-oh sheriff, we got some big trouble abrewin' out in Backbone."

  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    all things are relative…..would they rather his predecessor be returned to office (once he's off probation)?

  3. gertie97 says:

    The Sentinel endorsed him in the first place. I do hope they can get salt to make the crow a bit tasty.


  4. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    they could have endorsed his opponent….
    they have what deserve….

    • DawnPatrol says:

      My feelings exactly.

      If you voted FOR this worthless son of a b-tch and his clinically insane, immoral ilk, or, if you didn't vote against them, then you can most definitely SUCK IT.

      • PKolbenschlag says:

        Tip: It should not be: 'Ha Ha, payback for stupid hicks' if progressives actually care about organizing in rural Colorado.  Clue: Its hundreds of people struggling that are unemployed and underemployed who just got the shaft from Sen. Scott.

        Its about real people a lot of whom never read let alone wrote the Sentinel editorial, or voted for Sen. Scott (many here probably did vote for Don Suppes but I digress).  I find the dismissive — 'that's what you get for voting Republican (or Democrat)'–a troubling sign of the dysfunction of our day.  

        The issue befalling Mesa County politics is far worse than run of the mill Republican malfaseance.  It is that the already conservative establishment is run by a cadre of good old boys (and girls) that trade favor and position like chips–it has created a culture of no accountability from the Airport to the County Commission to the state leg seats.  

        No one deserves that, not even the misguided voters and abstainers in Mesa County.  

        • kwtreemamajama55 says:

          Hear, hear, PK.  Ray Scott sold out his constituent's real interests for perceived political payback, and that's despicable.

          In an ideal world, it would be nice to see a mea culpa from the Sentinel: "Yeah, we endorsed him, but we were wrong."

          If we really want to educate the disengaged voters of Mesa County, forcing them to confront their own cognitive dissonance that government is sometimes the solution to real problems, and that votes matter, a) it's probably not going to be on this forum, and b) it's a dirty job, and someone needs to do it, in a factual, non-partisan  town meeting setting.

  5. Gilpin Guy says:

    Isn't it ironic that the seccessionist movement was based on rural outrage at being slighted by big city liberals and now they get knifed by one of their own.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      More like poetic justice.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Righties have been knifing rural community interests with good regularity for decades — simple mathematics — their corporate masters have always been more interested in the massive profits more easily made among the bodied areas of this country.   

      In this case it the deliciousness of a corrupt ideology that claims one thing while regularly doing the opposite, and doing it so openly, and then scrambling to come up with any excuse for its transparent and obvious action.

      "Mealy mouthed double talk," indeed — could have been abbreviated to [GOP] SOP instead.  

      Don't kid yourselves, Ray Scott will still get his honorific trophies and plaques for his office display from righty groups after session's end. 

    • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

      Karma bites.

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