A Few Important Things To Know About Ryan Zinke, Potential Interior Nominee

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The news today that Donald Trump is reportedly considering Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke for the position of Secretary of the Interior sent shock waves through Montana politics, and confirmed that Donald Trump is entirely committed to appointing those who are loyal to him, no matter how unqualified they may be for the post. Congressman Zinke, rated as one of the least effective members of Congress in his one term, would continue the Trump train wreck, given the serious concerns about his experience, honesty, and ethics.

Here are just a few samplers the national press may want to investigate as they vet the potential nominee.

He Might Not Have Received the Offer

While it seems likely—and even probable—that Trump has, in fact, offered the position to the Congressman, I wouldn’t believe it until named sources confirm the offer. Zinke has previously suggested, during his first term in Congress, that he was seriously being considered for Speaker of the House. He also told the Montana press that he was under consideration for the Vice Presidential nomination or Secretary of Defense in a Trump administration. He’s a self-aggrandizing fabulist, and I certainly wouldn’t reject the idea that it’s Zinke himself who has floated his name to the press again.

He’s Got a Terrible Record on Climate Change

Congressman Zinke simply cannot be trusted on climate change. In 2010, as a Montana State Senator, he signed a letter calling climate change a “significant national security challenge, ” arguing for clean, renewable energy to prevent catastrophic danger to the US military and economy. By 2014, he was arguing that there was no evidence of climate change affecting the weather, and by 2015, that climate change was neither real nor a national security threat. That’s roughly at the level of Donald Trump’s staff deleting his tweets about climate change while he was lying in the presidential debate.

He’s Got a Terrible Record on Public Lands

While Zinke has recently positioned himself as some sort of maverick Republican bucking his party when it comes to selling off public lands, he’s a recent, and uncommitted convert. In the same week, he trumpeted his independence from his party, he voted for HR 2316, which would allow the transfer of millions of acres of federally managed, public lands. Worse yet, he signed a pledge in 2012 calling for the transfer of federally managed public lands to state control. This paragraph, from February 2015, shows just how little trust we can have in Zinke when it comes to a consistent, honest position on public lands:

And this brings us back to those who are supposed to be watching Zinke—and the rest of our political leadership. None of the reporters covering Zinke’s speech that demanded a stand be taken had the courage or energy to report that he has been all over the map on public lands, in 2012 signing a pledge calling for the “transfer of public lands to state control,” in April 2014 writing an op-ed criticizing those who called for land transfers, noting it would cost the state millions of dollars, before in October of 2014, telling the AP in October that “federal land-management decisions must be approved by local government officials.”

He’s Got a Troubling Connection to Retired Generals Who Called for a Coup

The least covered story about Congressman Zinke has to be his association with retired General Paul Vallely, who called for a coup against the federal government, prayed for a terrorist attack against the United States to lead to the overthrow of President Obama, and offered up the idea that he might gather thousands of “patriots” in Washington to conduct a citizens’ arrest against untold dozens of people in the federal government. None of this prevented Congressman Zinke, who has repeatedly been connected to the general, from hosting an event for him (and an accused crook) in Washington at his office.

One More Note

If an enterprising reporter were interested in covering the Congressman’s family, there’s certainly an interesting story about the fabulous tales that have been told by the Congressman about his wife and her job experience. Taken together, they’re about as believable as his claim he was considered for House Speaker.

The Bottom Line

I’m sure there will be a tendency in the press to explore Zinke’s more colorful foibles, like his calls to invade Mexico, his endorsement of torture, his decision to call Hilary Clinton “the Anti-Christ,” his exploitation of the SEAL logo, or his repeated dishonest assertions about Benghazi, but there are a dozen substantive reasons to reject Congressman Zinke for the Interior post. And wouldn’t it be amazing to see the national press step in and actually vet Zinke, something that absolutely didn’t happen in his last race for Congress?

If nothing else, perhaps someone can get him to explain his penchant for praising tyrannical leaders who torture.

One can only hope it will happen this time.

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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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LK
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LK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyop0d30UqQ

Putys putas! Slinky the Barking Seal!

HighPoint
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HighPoint

On Nov. 21, Secretary Jewell announced the Obama Administration’s ban of new mining claims on 30,000 acres near Yellowstone National Park. On. Jan. 21, Secretary Zinke will announce the Trump Administration’s lift of the ban of new mining claims on 30,000 acres near Yellowstone National Park.

Matthew Koehler
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Matthew Koehler

I agree with Don that Rep Ryan Zinke has a terrible record on climate change and a terrible record on public lands. From what I have observed Rep Ryan Zinke has proven to be a huge support of dramatically increasing fracking, mining, grazing and logging on America’s federal public lands. Rep Zinke has time and again proven to be anti-science and anti-Endangered Species Act. Just last week Zinke teams up with Sen Tester and Sen Daines and a group of ‘collaborators’ to introduce legislation into Congress that would simply undermine the Endangered Species Act and America’s U.S. Court System in… Read more »

JC
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Horrible radio show on MTPR last night with a bunch of “conservation” groups praising Zinke, including NPCA: Michael Jamison heads the National Parks Conservation Association’s Crown of the Continent initiative. He says Zinke is a champion of America’s public lands, but also understands the balance between conservation and development: “Having someone from this region is a real boon to us,” Jamison says. “He understands our issues. He understands things like wilderness and oil and gas. He understands that there’s a place for development, and there’s also a place for protection. http://mtpr.org/post/conservationists-zinke-potential-interior-secretary I guess years and years of dem acquiescence to… Read more »

Pete Talbot
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Pete Talbot

That’s a terrible statement from Jamison. I suppose there are some “conservation” groups that are covering their asses and paying lip service to Zinke, since they’ll have to deal with him and his policies.

I prefer the MEIC’s response: “Our public lands deserve to be managed for the benefit of present and future generations. With Congressman Zinke, the only ones who will benefit are fossil fuel, climate-denying industries. Taxpayers and the American public will lose.”

As to the “dem acquiescence,” the Democrats I associate with are much closer to the MEIC’s take on Zinke than Jamison’s approach.

JC
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My comment wasn’t directed at you Pete. Moreso, it was directed at environmental groups and their leaders that are more concerned with politics and foundation funding than with policy and adhering to their stated missions. Over the years politics and money have diverted many, many nonprofits away from their core principles. Those of us who have called this out (including former leaders and board members of these groups) have been lambasted in the press and blogs for adhering to our principles, and refusing to compromise them. Now we are seeing the results of this ratcheting of well funded “conservation” groups… Read more »

Matthew Koehler
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Matthew Koehler

Hi Pete. Good comment, and I agree with you that “That’s a terrible statement from Jamison.”

You want to know what’s especially interesting?

The National Parks Conservation Association that Michael Jamison works for actually produces a National Parks scorecard where they rate the votes of members of Congress.

Guess what? The NPCA’s “National Parks Action Fund” actually gave Rep Ryan Zinke a rating of just 9% (A solid “F”) for all his anti-National Parks votes in 2016.

Source: http://nationalparksaction.org/scorecard/

JC
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Here’s a few more group’s takes on Zinke, from the Flathead Beacon: Brian Sybert, executive director of the Montana Wilderness Association, said Zinke would “carry Montana’s values” into his new role. “That means protecting access to public lands, ensuring our forests and prairies are indeed managed for multiple use and not just resource extraction, and respecting that wild places and public lands are core American values that he’ll need to protect for all citizens,” Sybert said. “ And “Congressman Zinke understands the importance of public lands and balancing management of these important resources with energy development and other uses,” Backcountry… Read more »

Priscilla
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Priscilla

Doesn’t he live in Santa Barbara?

Pogo Possum
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Pogo Possum

No Pricilla, that is “fake news”.

Ryan and his wife Lola are Montana residents.

Draftmama
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Draftmama

In fact they own a home in Hope Ranch in SB, Zinke has listed his office in official filings as 735 State Street SB, and according to the Montana Cadastral there is no property registered in the name of Zinke in Flathead Co. And btw my name is spelled “Priscilla”.

Pogo Possum
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Pogo Possum

Priscilla/Draftmama, My apologies on misspelling you name. The Zinke’s home and other properties in the Flathead County are owned by the Zinke’s under their company’s name – Continental Divide International. You appear to be operating under the assumption that a person must “own” a residence in Montana to be eligible to hold public office. That is not true. A person must simply meet the requirements of being a “legal resident” which includes maintaining a permanent place of abode in the state. A permanent place of abode can include property someone owns, rents or even a tent pitched on your neighbors… Read more »

LK
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LK

Slinky might be MORE comfortable in Moscow! I hear Puty’s lookin’ for a stable boy! Then, Slinky can wipe the glistening erogenous sweat off Ras Putin’s manly body while singing the glorious praises of such a manly man in the mother land! THAT’S enough to make Slinky’s winky twinky! BTW, Slinky left Montana for some thirty years and bought a residence in Californyeeha! Does that make him a Montanan? Not hardly. For you see, Flojo Possum, we actually WORK for a living in Montana. Did Slinky ever have a real job? If so, WHAT? If so, WHEN? If so, where???… Read more »

LK
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LK

Slinky can’t WAIT for his turn to go bare back with his idol! Slinky, you went to Eugene. Just go for it, dude!

http://i1173.photobucket.com/albums/r589/duadmin/trump-and-putin_zpspfthamxr.jpg

Ya just might get lucky!

LK
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LK

Puty! Not my Puty too?! I’LL save you, my putilicious! Don’t worry. Your Slinky Winky will save you, my little babushka! DOBRO DAN!

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/us-officials-putin-personally-involved-in-us-election-hack/ar-AAlzZQI?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

Slinky the Barking Seal

LK
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LK

We’re ALL Puty’s Putas now! And don’t it feel good?! Feels GREAT, just like Herr Drumpf and Slinky said it would! Put’er in slow, fellas. This is America. We ain’t USED to takin’ it from behind from the likes of these two pukes! Guess we better get USED to the new “patriotism”, just like Drumpf and Slinky did!

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/the-republicans-are-delivering-america-into-putins-hands/ar-AAlrbGy?ocid=spartandhp

(course, Slinky loves it!)

Don Pogreba
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Unlike Zinke, I didn’t have a single press account that called me a resident of another state. I also didn’t have any fundraisers listed as occurring in my California home. I also didn’t have a spouse telling the press that we lived in California, either.

Just a few differences.

Draftmama
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Draftmama

Well I dunno know about you, but it’s 13 below here in Helena and if I still had a home in SB that is where I would be right now lol. Wonder where Zinke is.

LK
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LK

He’s wipin’ the sweat off his babushka, the lovely Puty Pute! Geez, mama. Ever live on the Hi Line? In the old days? Twenty to thirty below every morning. Ain’t no big deal. Hell, you just dress for it. In fact, I love it! Put a big log on the fire, pop open some brewskies, and wash’em down with brandy! I call that heaven! PEACE full heaven! Seriously though, I have run every morning in Montana for the last forty-five years! (unless I was in the hospital) Yes, I’m the original Forest Gump. And I gotta tell ya I LUV… Read more »

LK
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LK

Slinky the Barking Seal has gone from being a Seal’s Seal to a poodle’s poodle! Yes, that’s right. Drumpf is obviously RasPutin’s poodle, and Slinky is Drumpf’s poodle! Guess that Slinky, like Drumpf, just loves a shirtless tyrant on horseback too! Bottom line is that Slinky is slimey, BIG time slimey. And he’s a traitor. He has operated in the international underworld for a long time, the underworld that has NO allegiance to this country at all. Why do you think he picked that little bald headed Livingstone dude for a running mate? Slinky, like the international criminal organization he… Read more »

LK
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LK

p.s. I’m old, VERY old. I knew well the greatest generation. And those guys would be out in the f*ckin’ streets looking for fascists so they could beat their f*cking asses to a pulp! Geez, how I wish they were still here. How I wish those guys, my dad, my teachers, my mentors were still here. THEY would make short work of these fascist pukes like Drumpf and Slinky. For you see, cowards and traitors are NO match for real American men! The miners from Butte would’a pantsed lil’ Slinky and made him run around town naked while they threw… Read more »

LK
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LK

UH oh! Lil’ Slinky’s winky is startin’ to look a leetle limp! But I say GOOD! Ya know, Drumpf is SO frickin’ outrageous that he just might blow this sucker yet! And I HOPE he takes all his traitorous pukes down with him, like Slinky the Barking Seal! http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/colorado-republican-threatens-state-electors-with-felony-charges-if-they-fail-to-cast-votes-as-instructed/ Hey, Slinky, you gonna put me in jail, boy? See you at Standing Rock, dinky! Leave your cop army at home. You and me, we can settle this mano a mano if you’ve got any testosterone left after felating your Ruskie lover boy Puty! It’s comin’! Sitting Bull is there with… Read more »

LK
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LK

Of COURSE he’s an incompetent moron. Why the hell do you think he picked Slinky the Barking Seal? Slinky perfectly fits the Drumpf model! Slinky played WAY too much football without a helmet! Thus, HE’S PERFECT!…………………….a perfect fascist asshoole! (sp)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/ex-cia-officer-trumps-horrifying-incompetence-poses-worst-threat-to-us-since-the-civil-war/

Pogo Possum
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Pogo Possum

Don, Again, more spin on more fake news. You don’t appear to understand the legal definition of a legal residence for the purposes of qualifying to serve in state office. Baucus owned a home outside of Montana where he and his wife lived for considerable amount of time during the year while he served in Montana but he still qualified as a legal resident of Montana. You also erroneously argue that a person must “own” a home in Montana to be eligible to run or serve in office. Zinke owns his residence in Montana but you didn’t own a home… Read more »

LK
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LK

Atta boy, Slinky! Make us proud, son! You’re Montana’s whiteness ambassador! Keep attracting even more inbred racists to Montana! Great strategy!

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/12/trumps-pick-for-interior-secretary-has-links-to-neo-confederate-group-that-inspired-dylann-roof/

Have you given rrichard spencer a job yet in your dept? You should, right!

Matthew Koehler
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Matthew Koehler

Trump’s Interior Pick Zinke Ads to Government for, and by, Big Oil and Resource Extraction Industries

Source: http://forestpolicypub.com/2016/12/16/trumps-interior-pick-zinke-ads-to-government-for-and-by-big-oil-and-resource-extraction-industries/

Bob Williams
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Bob Williams

This from Matthew’s 12:19 link:

. . . the Dept of Interior manages 1/5 of the entire land base in the U.S., 35,000 miles of coastlines and 1.76 billion acres of the Outer Continental Shelf.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ryan Zinke would be in charge of 70,000 employees . . . .

LK
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LK

YIKES! Someone call the Commanduncy of Poodle Team Six, Herr Slinkenheimer, the Barking Poodle! I theenk I may have rooted out a terrorist for Herr Slinkenheimer! I don’t know who this lady is, but I LUV HER STYLE! Surely Herr Slinkenheimer needs to call her in for questioning! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RdGPYvQcFc BTW, WHEN is Herr Dumkopf Slinkenheimer gonna write that letter to the Montana dailies explaining just WHY we need to turn our social security over to Herr Dumpkoff Trumpenshizer?! For you see, I really, really, REALLY want to know! I been tryin’ to tell grandma that she can’t have any more… Read more »

LK
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LK

Ryan Zinkenshizer the Barking Poodle and the Drumpfurher protecting your “freedom”. Yep, that’s right. Zinkenshizer is right IN there protecting your freedom. In fact, these two dinkwads LUV them some Freedom Party! Michael Flynn loves freedom too. We’re ALL nazzzis now!
FREEEEEEEDUMB! (are you scared yet? you should be) Unbelievable.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/world/europe/austrias-far-right-signs-a-cooperation-pact-with-putins-party.html?utm_source=huffingtonpost.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=pubexchange&_r=0

We can’t let fascism and Nazism be normalized, folks. It’s NOT a good thing, nor a good replacement for our democracy.

LK
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LK

Yup. I just upgraded my concealed carry gun from pea shooter to thug killer. Just thought it was time. But do listen to what the guy in the video says. Dammmit! If Dems had been listening, we’d have our real president elect back now! But they didn’t, and they wouldn’t, so now we can’t. But HEY, we have gay marriage and trans something bathrooms. That’s KINDA like democracy, right?

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38297345

LK
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LK

Come ON, America! Gawd DAMMMIT I’m gettin’ too OLD for this shizer! Not again! My heart can’t take another fluckin’ coup! Do sumthin’ about it this time. Don’t let the Kock bros., Slinky the Barking Seal and his little butt buddy Livingscam steal a NOTHER frickin’ election from us! I’m tired of being a third world country. Fight back in whatever way you can. The nazzzis can’t win by default again. Hell, I’ve got grandkids now. Fight back! Our country, our environment, and our democracy depends upon it! Show up wherever these dinks are and raise hell! Not this time,… Read more »

LK
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LK

These corporate nazzzis have about run their course in Latin America, so now, they’re comin’ after us. I say GOOD! Let’s get this party started! From Crazy Horse to Standing Rock, we’re ready for’em this time. Standing Rock is where greed goes to die!

http://fair.org/home/weve-seen-exxon-leading-the-charge-to-go-after-groups-that-criticized-them/

LK
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LK

Uh oh. Talked to some of my old Nam pals today regarding Slinky the Barking Seal. Them boys don’t LIKE a dinke like Zinke besmirching the reputation of our fighting men from the past. In fact, one guy even went so far as to insult the Barking Seal real good. Here it is, if not word for word, pretty close as I remember: Everyone gave something, Some gave everything, And some STOLE everything they could get their hands on! Yup, I said. That pretty much sums up ol’ Slinky the Barking Seal. Guess that THAT is why Lord Cheeto wanted… Read more »

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