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.