FEC Complaint Filed Over Zinke Photos, Zinke Responds with More Evidence of Coordination


Today, two Washington advocacy groups concerned with clean elections filed a complaint against the Zinke campaign for coordinating with Special Operations for America. Their complaint includes a charge that photographs paid for by the Zinke campaign were used in a Special Operations for America ad, coordination that violates election law. From the Associated Press, today:

Television advertisements by Special Operations for America PAC that support Ryan Zinke’s House bid include photographs that appear to come from the Republican’s campaign, the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 allege in their complaint.

Independent expenditure-only committees, or super PACS, such as SOFA PAC are barred from consulting or coordinating with the candidates they support. Republishing campaign materials is considered an in-kind contribution to a candidate, and candidates cannot coordinate with Super PACs to republish campaign materials.

And the story gets even better. While Mr. Zinke was unavailable for comment in the story, his campaign manager, Robert Kearley, was. The catch? Special Operations for America paid Robert Kearly over $4,000 just this past September and October. To recap, Ryan Zinke defended himself from allegations that he illegally coordinated with the Super PAC he started by sending out a spokesman today who is running his campaign–and who worked for Special Operations for America as recently as five months ago.

If you’re a reader, you saw that story here first. Back in January, this blog discussed the same issue, when I published a story about a shared series of photos commissioned by the Zinke campaign that appeared on the SOFA ads. Today, Zinke’s handpicked chairman for Special Operations for America claimed that the photos were “open source,” a claim that makes about as much sense as Zinke’s absurd connection that there is no coordination between his campaign and SOFA.

It makes more sense every day why Ryan Zinke is touting the endorsement of former Senator Conrad Burns, doesn’t it?

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is an eighteen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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Greg Strandberg

Zinke, start walking and knocking – you still might have a chance.

Your current efforts are not producing the measurable results you expected, or wanted.

Will you continue to engage in failed policies and procedures for Montana as well?

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Well, I tried to warn people about Walsh. But they wouldn’t listen. He’s NOT a bid D, nor a small d. He’s simply small “r”! And Jeebus, in a state this big, you would THINK we could do better.


He’s part of what’s now called the shameful seven, the seven dems who don’t get it. Very indicative of the dude. Very provincial of the dude. Very military of the dude. No thinking for one’s self necessary!

Greg Strandberg

Who are these sensational 7?

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), who is facing reelection this year and whose state sits within the Philadelphia media market, said he thought Adegbile was well-qualified for the position, but was concerned that he would face “visceral opposition from law enforcement on his first day on the job,” citing the opposition to his nomination by several law enforcement organizations.

Along with Coons, the Democrats who voted against advancing Adegbile’s nomination are Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), John Walsh (Mont.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.) and Bob Casey (Pa.).

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

JONNY GOT HIS GUN! No, well actually, Jonny got his PLUM! A plum assignment as a senator! Great work if you can get it. NO thinking required! I mean, really, I tried to WARN the people of Montana about the military mentality. Like we used to say about Nam, if you weren’t there, STFU! You see, if you haven’t served, you can’t understand/appreciate the military mind. It has NOT critical thinking skills! ie. jonny walsh. Jonny got his plum!, and we got screwed! Butte my arse! He must be from judy mars’s neighborhood! He AIN’T from the mining/union district! http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/06/harry-reid-debo-adegbile_n_4912790.html

Greg Strandberg

Oh, sorry, I thought this had something to do with Montana.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Um, well YEAH, it does. He’s YOUR senator, isn’t he, young, inexperienced dude? Or is he not?

Smedley Butler he ain’t! More like Smelly Butler!

Sorry, I lack your perspicacity!

Here, read some history, Greg. No charge.


Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

p.s. Greg, where’d you serve, dude? And when. Got a lotta military experience do ya, enuff to pontificate? Jus’ wonderin’.

Oh me? Well, yes, I do.

Greg Strandberg

Ha, mine’ll cost you $7.99.

Or $15.98 if you’d like to double the fun.

Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Looks good. But you see, I al READY heard all them stories from my ancestors. They were BS, before statehood as I like to say. I’m western born and raised. Great granddad ran the Indians off. Not proud of that, but true.

Greg Strandberg

Larry, you need to calm down by the fire with a good eBook, and that’s why I wrote Wake Up, Detroit with people like you just in mind.

Here you’ll see your favorite characters rise up against the unjust and tyrannical system holding them down. Bullets will riddle bodies and barrels will overflow with laughs as the 1% finally get their due.

This book is right up your alley, Larry, and at a low, low price even you can afford.

Indulge your fantasies today before these spammy posts are removed!


Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers
Larry Kralj, Environmental Rangers

Well, in spite of the insult to “calm down”, I actually admire anyone with the stamina to write a book. Send me a free copy and I’ll read it. If I like it, I’ll buy it.

Craig Moore
Craig Moore

Greg, did you see this about you? http://mediatrackers.org/montana/2014/03/05/missoula-epic-fantasy-author-running-montana-house-democrat

Perhaps the Brewer and Shipley song “One Toke Over the Line” could be your campaign song.

Greg Strandberg

Ha, thanks for the tip, I hadn’t seen that.

Any campaign songs, to be in line with my finances, would have to come from an era when copyrights no longer apply.

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