In this press release masquerading as news by the IR State Bureau, new Congressman Ryan Zinke announced that his Chief of Staff in Washington will be none other than his dear friend Scott Hommel. The press release goes into significant detail about Hommel’s resume, leaving out one salient detail: that as late as July of this year, Hommel was the treasurer for Zinke’s personal Super PAC, Special Operations for America.
Zinke’s transparently unethical and almost certainly illegal coordination with Special Operations for America has been discussed repeatedly online since SOFA began spending money to “draft” Zinke to run for office a year and a half ago. Mother Jones did the best initial reporting, calling the relationship between Zinke and Special Operations for America “a new extreme” in campaign dishonest in the post Citizens United world. Other reporting showed that Zinke personally financially from his relationship with SOFA and has repeatedly lied about that compensation. In the week before the election, we even showed that the house supposedly holding Special Operations for America when Zinke and Hommel ran the operation was a hollow front that looked more like a meth house than a Super PAC office.
Getting a Congressional gig isn’t the only way Hommel has benefited from his shady relationship with Zinke. The Missoula Independent reported last year that Hommel was paid over $85,000 for “consulting” services to Special Operations for America while he and Zinke were running the outfit.
Throughout the campaign, Zinke expected the Montana press and voters to accept the farce that he wasn’t coordinating his campaign with SOFA, the Super PAC he started and ran with his friend Scott Hommel, who continued to act as the organization’s treasurer until deep into the campaign. And now he’s appointed Mr. Hommel to the most important position in his Congressional office.
Sure, nothing to see here at all.