Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Flip Flop Fever: A Ryan Zinke Checklist for the Debate

The third week of June means two things that share flip flops in common: the arrival of Montana summer and the first opportunity for Montana voters to witness State Senator Ryan Zinke debate a real opponent. In that spirit, I’ve created a primer for viewers headed into the debate.  My suggestion would be to make your picks in advance, to see if you can guess which Ryan Zinke will appear at Saturday’s debate in Butte.

A word of caution: I DO NOT recommend turning this into some kind of politico drinking game, given that Zinke flips more than a Chinese gymnast and flops more than a Brazilian soccer player. You’ve been warned.

On Abortion Rights

___ From 2009 through his primary campaign in 2014,  Zinke supported legal abortions during a woman’s first 20 weeks of pregnancy. He even received a 62% rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Montana.

___ During the same primary campaign, Zinke asserted that he was the most pro-life Republican candidate running for the U.S. House.

On Gun Control

___ Zinke has a record and public statements that make him the most anti-gun candidate the Republican Party has run for statewide office in Montana for at least a generation. He expressed opposition to “assault” weapons, voted against guns in national parks, and was “undecided” on background checks, Montana gun laws, and background checks.

___ As a 2014 candidate in the Republican primary, Zinke took a hard line, doctrinaire interpretation of the Second Amendment.

On Energy Policy

___ Zinke said he is not against alternative energy, but added: “When it goes out of the laboratory into the field, then it has to compete on its own merits, unsubsidized.”

___ In 2011, he called for taxpayer subsidies for alternative energy, saying “our policy should be to improve efficiency, fund research, store nuclear fuel safely, and build new wind, solar, and biomass facilities.”

On Political Ideology

___ In 2013, Senator Zinke described himself as a moderate. He told the Portland Tribune ” He is writing a book titled, “The Rise of the Middle. I take the middle of the political spectrum,” Zinke says. “Middle America is us. ”

___ In 2014, Senator Zinke has decided to call himself “the right conservative for Montana” to win a Republican Party primary.

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  • Lets see then: abortion and gun control are wedge politics, and no one in power cares about them, so both candidates are free to swing their fists far and wide. No one gets hurt, bases solidified. Political ideology, if you think you can tell by a man’s words during a campaign what that might be, you’ve got some real delusions to work on. I assume that Lewis, like his former boss, is a cloaked Republican, so that we’ll be dealing with two right wingers, one pretending otherwise. Yawn.Montana politics as usual.

    That leaves energy policy. Since you’ve already admitted the public has no say in Keystone, that matter is closed. That leaves you with cellulosic ethanol. and if the matter was first pushed by George Bush in 2006, then you can bet there are some heavy hitters behind it, and then you need to see if Lewis is lined up collecting money from a spigot on that matter.

    That means you gotta follow the money. You do that, right?

  • Hillary Clinton has flipped on NAFTA, NCLB, driver licenses for illegals, the Iraq war, and now gay marriage.

    Voting for her Don?

  • Well, after last nights debate, it seems Zinke is even going to flip flop on where his wife lives! Last Septmeber, he posted on his FB page, and quickly deleted, a post that said his wife had moved to Santa Barbara, CA to live with her mother who is suffering from “late stage Alzheimer’s and dementia” He backed this up in May when asked about the campaign signs he illegally posted in Santa Barbara. At that time he said his wife lives in Santa Barbara but will be moving back to Whitefish in August. But then last night, when pressed just a bit by Lewis, he reverted to his habit of saying whatever best suits his plan at the moment. He said his wife “spends a lot of time in CA caring for her sick mother”. Well, as all of us know here in The Flathead Valley, Lola and her 2 sons moved back to Santa Barbara last August. They were here for Christmas and she came up right before the election to help him campaign. So which one is it Ryan? Does your wife live in CA? Or does your 16 year old son, who goes to high school in Santa Barbara, live alone down there?

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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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