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Energy Environment Featured Montana Politics Ryan Zinke

Zinke Sinks Deeper Into the Swamp

It’s almost as if Ryan Zinke wants to go to jail. Politico is reporting that the disgraced former Secretary of the Interior and current resident of Santa Barbara has signed up to lobby at a company with disgraced and discredited Corey Lewandowski:

Zinke is the first former member of Trump’s Cabinet to join a lobbying firm — a new milestone for a president who took office promising to “drain the swamp.” Lewandowski, meanwhile, is one of a multitude of former Trump campaign staffers and fundraisers who have offered to advise corporate America on how to deal with the administration. Some of them have registered as lobbyists, while others, including Lewandowski, have declined to do so.

That Zinke, who oversaw wholesale destruction of regulations and environmental protections at the direct request of lobbyists and special interests while at Interior, has managed to utterly transform himself from a Republican known for moderate positions and passion for public lands into a tool of oil companies is a sad reminder that for most members of the Trump Administration the purpose of government “service” is little more than exploring and exploiting opportunities for personal enrichment.

While Zinke claims he won’t lobby the Trump Administration, it’s hard to understand why anyone would take Zinke–who still faces over a dozen investigations–seriously. Instead, according to Politico, Zinke plans to lobby Congress–a body he claimed wanted him as Speaker while he was a freshman member in his one undistinguished term–on issues he feels “passionately” about.

Maybe the Ryan Zinke who was a state senator and advocate for public lands and even a women’s right to choose was once real, but that person no longer seems to exist. Instead, the good people of California are left with someone who is only passionate about his own self-interest, ethics, the environment, and consistency be damned.

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.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a 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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  • So much for Trump’s pledge to drain the swamp. From ProPublica: “Days after taking office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order requiring every political appointee to sign a pledge as a condition of taking office. The appointees agreed not to lobby the agencies they had worked in for five years after they left government service. Nor would they lobby anyone in the White House or political appointees across federal agencies for the duration of the Trump administration.”

  • As long as he isn’t in Montana I really couldn’t care less what he does. He’s a bottom feeder, we know it and hopefully he’ll land in prison soon.

  • On Saturday, my 6-year-long feature This Week at Progressive State Blogs will post its Final Edition at Daily Kos. Since excerpts from The Montana Post (and its predecessors) have been frequently included at TWPSB, I thought you might like to look in then one last time. 1 pm PST. Cheers. Keep up the good work. I’m still reading you.

  • i sorta care…why should he get off just because he’s no longer in office? the guy’s a skank, a weasel…i so hate using animal names…OK; he is an opportunist piece

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