It was a cold evening in Whitefish last night. It was 26 degrees but with the 14 mile-an-hour wind coming off the mountain it felt much colder.
That did not dampen the spirits of the 20+ public lands supporters that came out to tell Ryan Zinke that he needs to protect public lands and national monuments.
Jared Pettinato, a Democratic candidate for Congress, had this to say about the rally:
“I felt proud lending my strength to the Public Lands Rally in Whitefish. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s national monument review undermined protections for public lands–and Representative Greg Gianforte voted on October 11 to back him up. Like Secretary Zinke, I was born and raised in Whitefish, and I wanted the Secretary to know his actions angered his neighbors.” Jared Pettinato pictured below
This statement echoes the feelings of many Montanans amidst a secret national monuments review process that has many across America wondering whether they will be able to hunt, fish, hike, and camp with their children in America’s heritage of public lands.
Inside the Zinke/Downing fundraiser must have been even chillier than outside as no one was going in. Troy Downing showed up at 6:15 with bodyguards while illegally parked in the middle of the street.
The final count of attendees that were seen entering the Fundraiser for Troy Downing hosted by Lola Zinke was between 10 and 12.
One of the people to enter was State Senator Ed Buttrey of Great Falls who is embroiled in his own scandal with Secretary Zinke over the sweetheart sale of an RV to Buttrey’s congressional campaign that was sold far below market value. This comes while Ed Buttrey is angling to become the assistant to the Secretary of the Interior himself.
Odd choice to be seen in public with someone who you are accused of breaking the law with, but 2017 is an odd time and as one supporter of public lands mentioned, ‘it seems like Zinke, Trump and all these guys think they are above the law.’
With an FBI investigation opened into the Whitefish Energy no-bid contract one wonders how long Trump will let Ryan Zinke stay Secretary of the Interior as scandals swirl around the former congressman.