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What? Ryan Zinke Spent $139,000 In Your Taxes On Doors

Taking a well deserved break from restricting public access, gutting environmental protections, and turning public lands over to oil companies Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has gone back to frivolous spending of taxpayer funds.

Yesterday the Associated Press reported on Zinke spending $139,000 to “upgrade three sets of double doors in” the secretary’s office.

This follows news from last year that Secretary Zinke used more than $50,000 in taxpayer funds for unnecessary helicopter rides, including one to go horseback riding with Vice President Mike Pence. Along the way Zinke’s office attempted to pawn a helicopter bill off on a wildfire preparedness fund. And, yes. This followed a debilitating fire season in Montana.

It almost feels like a diversion. Zinke has already been caught as a cabinet secretary spending taxpayer funds frivolously, how could he and his team possibly be foolish enough to drop $139,000 on doors to his office?

Since Ryan Zinke is such an everyday guy who hits the trails and casts a fly rod like the rest of us, what do you think he could have gotten for that amount of taxpayer money?

Let’s take a look at the Home Depot website and find out.

To start I’m going to assume Secretary Zinke’s office does not have an exterior door which empties out onto a splendid piece of public land. He’d be less inclined to curtail access to them if that were the case. So we’re looking at interior doors.

Zinke strikes me as a Chip Gaines type of dude, so that means barn doors…

Zinke could have landed Home Depot’s most expensive barn doors for a cool $9,094.08, without installation. So if Zinke had bought these doors and spent $129,905.91 on installation, he still would have saved the taxpayers money, granted it would have been a cent.

Taking a guess here, but there’s a 10 out of 10 chance Zinke’s bookcases are filled with spy novels packed with espionage. Which makes it likely Zinke was in the marketplace to conceal his office location. Can’t let the hunters, anglers, sportsmen, and public lands advocates, he already doesn’t meet with, know where his office is:

Dang, he could have landed three bookcase doors which completely conceal his office for just $7,869. How could he pass up this opportunity and picked something more expensive?

Want to know what Zinke spent the money on? It’s extremely unlikely we’ll ever find out. Zinke’s Interior Department has become notorious for slow walking public records requests and answer questions from the media.

Most would tell you the role of our Interior Secretary is to open the doors to our public lands. It seems Zinke’s opinion is we should be charging more for those doors, open or closed.

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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Max Croes

Max is the founder of Power Street Strategies a political and public communications consulting firm based in Helena. You can find his very biased opinions on the Houston Rockets at The Dream Shake and his thoughts on his cats (loves them) and the Star Wars prequels (loves them even more) on Twitter @CroesFire.

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