The Case Against Ryan Zinke: 2018 Edition

Secretary Ryan Zinke is an embarrassment to Montana. He has furthered some of the many stereotypes about our beloved Montana. We’ve all heard them; Montana is seen by many on the coasts as a backwards state, where we don’t wear shoes or have any electricity, internet, TV, or an understanding of culturally diverse issues. We’ve all heard this, we’ve all been asked the question when visiting friends out of state, “Do you ride your horse to work.”

But at the same time, most of these people have some respect for Montana, there’s a belief that people from Montana are hard-working, caring, compassionate, honorable, and that we will inherently do the right thing. These are our Montana values, these shared values that unite everyone together in the Big Sky State.

This is what makes Ryan Zinke an embarrassment to Montana. As the first ever Presidential Cabinet member from Montana, we thought he shared these values. We believed Zinke would approach his role as Secretary of the Department of the Interior with honor and hard work like we Montanans do each and every day at our jobs. We believed he would listen to all sides, work with multiple stakeholders, be fiscally responsible, and develop solutions to make our public land management better—for everyone. We thought he’d bring Montana values to Washington D.C.

We were wrong.

It hasn’t even been a year yet since Secretary Zinke was confirmed as President Trump as Secretary of the Interior, and his time at DOI has been plagued by scandal, backrooms deals, self-promotion, and spending like a drunken sailor. He has turned his administration into a Hollywood farce about a bumpkin from Montana who is in over his head in the Big City. We’ve all heard this story before and Ryan Zinke has become our state’s biggest embarrassment. That is hard to do in a state that elected Greg Gianforte.

Read the original Case Against Ryan Zinke: HERE

Rather than being a hard-working Montana, keeping his head down and doing his job…

Zinke bows to corporate industry:

Coal Leases on Public Lands

California Mining Contracts

Offshore Drilling

Florida Exempted from Oil Drilling

Alaska Against offshore Oil Drilling

Washington State sues over drilling

Zinke threatens local leaders and his own employees:

Zinke Threatens Native Protester

Zinke Threatens Alaska Senator Murkowski

Says DOI Employees are not Loyal to Trump

Demotes Climate Scientist

Parks Board Resigns

Makes Employees Raise his Personal Flag

Zinke siphons off kickbacks to himself and his friends:

Whitefish Energy Puerto Rico Contract

Gun Company Stocks

Using Government Housing unit for personal profit

He runs up a personal tab on the taxpayers’ dime:

Personal Flights to Vegas

Helicopter Joy Rides

Military Chartered Flights

Under investigation by Deputy Inspector General

Zinke sticks it to hard-working families in Montana and across the Nation:

National Park Service Budget Cuts

Raising Park Entrance Fees to hurt low-income families

Zinke Tears up bipartisan state agreements with no local input:

Sage Grouse Management Plans

Relocation of DOI HQ with no Governors’ support

And Zinke is selling off our public lands:

Zinke Standing Behind Trump’s Plan to Shrink Monuments

Supports Shrinking Bears Ears and other Monuments

Trump/Zinke Infrastructure Plan to sell off public lands

While much of what Ryan Zinke has done must have been at the direction of the President, Zinke has somehow managed to even piss President Trump off:

Trump Turns on His Interior Secretary via Axios:

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke went “rogue,” per one source. And President Trump isn’t happy about it.

Two weeks ago, Zinke made an announcement that surprised the White House (and over Twitter, no less, after telling reporters at the Tallahassee airport): the waters around Florida would be exempt from his agency’s offshore oil and gas leasing program. Zinke’s announcement came shortly after he met with the state’s Republican governor, Rick Scott.

Trump has made clear to Zinke that he’s angry about this move, according to two sources with direct knowledge. Zinke’s decision is both legally and politically dangerous for the Trump administration. Zinke did not coordinate with anybody, and gave the White House no forewarning of his controversial action.

To piss off even Donald Trump with your incompetence, that is a standard that many thought was unreachable, but Ryan Zinke has again and again shown just how far he can lower the bar.


If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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