Scott, Robinson trade views in House District 55 race

Ray Scott

Dan Robinson

Two House District 55 candidates, Democrat Dan Robinson and Republican state Rep. Ray Scott, made clear their differences in a debate for the region’s business community Wednesday.

At a debate that was to be between the local candidates for House Districts 54 and 55, only Robinson and Scott ended up debating each other.

That’s because Libertarian candidate Tim Menger had no one to debate. His GOP challenger, Jared Wright, declined to show, according to Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce officials.

So instead, Robinson and Scott faced off over various subjects, including how they generally approach government.

“We can’t legislate a job. There’s nothing we can do,” Scott said. “But what we can do is make things much easier for the business community, and that’s what we intend to do.”

Though Gov. John Hickenlooper already has issued standing orders to all parts of government to eliminate unneeded regulations, Scott wants to introduce a bill requiring the same thing.

His measure, which he is calling the “Reduce the Regulation Act,” would require all departments in state government to reduce their regulations by 20 percent.

“We see nothing but regulation on top of regulation,” Scott said. “The biggest problem is the repetitive regulations.”

Robinson, however, said lawmakers in Denver need to stop bickering among each other and stop suggesting ideas that are designed to win votes but do little to change things.

He criticized Scott for once referring to the governor as “Chickenlooper,” saying that kind of “barnyard” name-calling does little to help voters.

“These days, folks, what’s needed is a thoughtful, measured, intelligent approach to problem-solving and real solutions,” he said. “That’s what I offer. It’s not about partisanship. We cannot any longer live in an environment where we’re so busy trashing the other party that we can’t get anything done.”

It didn’t go unnoticed by some in the audience immediately after the event, however, that Robinson said that just after attacking Scott for voting for a measure this year to raise per diem pay for himself and other lawmakers.

Scott, however, did contradict an earlier stance he’s taken when he initially ran for the Colorado House in 2010. Then, and during his time in the Legislature, Scott has been an outspoken critic of the so-called FASTER program the Legislature approved in 2009.

That program called for increased vehicle registration fees to help pay for rebuilding some of the state’s troubled bridges and roads.

But on Wednesday, Scott praised the use of money from those fees for various projects around the region, including completion of 29 Road to the Interstate 70 Business Loop.

“If it was already there, why wouldn’t you go get it?” Scott asked, adding that he wouldn’t do the same for the stimulus money approved by Congress in 2009.


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